It's not like 2014 was bad for me personally. It was actually a fairly neutral year. Yes, bad things happened... But good things happened too! Life just kept on rolling. I'm not tossing 2014 out to the curb like an old shoe (mainly because I have a hard time throwing away my favorite old shoes), nor am I crying over its ending. I'm just honestly in the "it's been fun! now let's keep on truckin'!" zone about it all. Does anyone else analyze their feelings about a calendar year as much as this? Probably not.
Today is January 7 (thank you, Mandy obvious), which means it's the day before my birthday. In this particular instance, it marks the last day that I am 32 years old. Not a significant age, I know. But I'm finding it to be true what people kept telling me - being in your 30's is pretty rad. I've quite enjoyed it so far! And so I have decided that it's fitting to share 32 things that I have learned or experienced throughout my supreme reign as Grand Prize 32 Year Old. And, because my parents decided they wanted to make a baby when they did (gross.), it just so happens to coincide perfectly with the new calendar year! Good thinking, Mom and Dad! (gross again.) So, without further ado, here we gooooooooo (I'll try to keep this short, but if not -- oh well.) ...
1.) Karaoke is awesome. It seems scary at first, but once you get up and do it, it's so much easier, and so, so fun. And it's so fun when your friends also comply and put themselves out there with you for the sake of your birthday and a good time!
2.) Never underestimate the people that you will encounter in public places. This is in reference to #1, where my birthday last year featured an epic cast of characters from the general public that my friends and I still talk about one year later, and are hoping will surface again this weekend as we go for Round 2.
3.) The older I get, the more I love Groupon. Not ashamed to admit it.
4.) The Ocean in Washington can be fun!
5.) I will always love saltwater taffy.
6.) Puppies, while cute, are a lot of work.
7.) Puppy snuggles are the best. Hands down.
8.) I find myself becoming really sad about things that will happen in the future but aren't my reality yet, for no reason. (ie, when Chloe isn't with me anymore, heaven forbid.)
9.) Working at a school rocks -- especially on major holidays. There is no end to the love!
10.) Sometimes you just have to go to happy hour. Even if it's just for snacks. Which, in my case, is usually my ulterior motive.
11.) Did I mention that puppies are hard work?
12.) Even if you didn't use or love the thing that your puppy chews up, you will never be more personally offended in your life as when she chews it.
13.) Going on a road trip with your besties is, quite literally, the best.
14.) Taking a chance and going to see the hotel entertainment (girls at table 4!) could end up being one of the most fun nights ever!
15.) It's perfectly acceptable, and super fun and thrilling, to just indulge and order a really expensive, and extensive, meal. Especially when sharing with your friends. Wine? Yes. Two bottles? Yes please. Clams? Yes. Oh god yes. More bread? Keep it comin'. Entrees? Sure! Dessert? Well, we've come this far... Best $**.** I've spent in a long time!
16.) It's so awesome to be loved by kiddos that aren't obligated to love you. :) I'm so blessed to have this job!
17.) Sometimes, if you are doing something purely out of spite, and you are not a naturally spiteful person, you will feel icky afterwards and vow to not do it again. Lesson learned. Ain't nobody got time for that!
18.) The end of the school year is sad. Even though everyone else is happy, for the school admin assistant, it's a sad day. Maybe it's just that way for me -- but it's a sad day to say goodbye for a few months!
19.) On the other hand, a summer full of great work lunches and laughter with your coworker friends is pretty priceless, as well as wearing comfy clothes and getting a lot of much needed cleaning done!
20.) Letting go of times in the past where you have been hurt or slighted can be so hard to do. But you will find life much easier if you honestly let go of them and charge forward. Because if you let it get under your skin, it will stay there, and color the experience. And at the end of the week/time/experience, you will walk way regretting not going in with more abandon!
21.) After a whole year on them, I got to stop taking my blood thinners! Jury is still out on if I will need to return to them, as they have found out why my blood was clotting, but for now I'm Warfarin free! And I love that!
22.) Piles of crap around your house are apparently not going to sort themselves and go away. If they did, your husband's life would be a dream, and you would feel less guilty in your basement!
23.) No matter how old you get, or how much you change, there will always be that one place that is always exactly the same as you left it. And will always make you feel exactly the same as when you left.
24.) It's time to start thinking about major grown-up things... Families, houses, etc. Serious conversations have been had in the Marcellis household, and it feels both really exciting and a little bit scary at the same time. Like when you were in the mall all by yourself for the first time. Only maybe your mom was there too, just in another store. :)
25.) Your mom having surgery sucks for her, but is a win for you because you get to spend lots more time with her than you normally would have been able to -- including major holidays she usually worked on! :)
26.) Things may happen that seem horrible, and make your world feel like it's crashing down around you. But it's important to dissect those things sometimes and find the good inside of them. I've had to work and rework this lesson all year long.
27.) Taking pictures and having them to look back on in life is so awesome. We are so lucky to have the technology that we do -- even if I'm a little bit addicted to my phone sometimes!
28.) I will never forget the feeling of running into the ocean in Mexico and feeling the warm water for the first time, and just letting the waves pull me around! That was one of the best experiences of my year, and a chart topper at least in my 30's for sure!
29.) Nothing is more important than your family and friends. And it's okay to be overly fierce and protective of them. Don't ever apologize for loving someone down to the very core of who you are!
30.) At this moment in my life, even though we are looking ahead to what the future holds for us, the mantra "thank god we rent, thank god we rent...." has crossed my mind numerous times this year. And I stand by it for now!
31.) Who knew that having a boat would be pretty damn awesome??? And that I would end up with a great tan at the end of the summer, and with more crab than a family can possibly eat?
32.) I love being me. That is the biggest one of all. I may gripe, I may yearn for other things, and I may dream of a life different than mine. But when it boils down to it, and I'm at the threshold of another year on earth, I say, confidently and with all of the power that I can muster: I love being me.
And so I leave you, my friends, to digest all of these things. I'd love to hear a few of your highlights from 2014 if you'd be willing to share!
I will see you all when I am 33! :) Until then, enjoy these visual highlights of a year well had!