2014: A Year in Review

“I’m gonna look ahead, no turning back. Live every day, give it all that I have.”

Throughout the year, I’ve been compiling a page of memories from 2014 – including notable experiences I had, concerts I attended, music I listened to, movies I watched, television shows I  followed, and books I read – and now the time capsule is complete! Check it out here at Scrapbook 2014.

At the onset of 2014, I turned 25 and entered the daunting year of my quarter-life crisis. I anticipated aging insecurities, existential ponderings, erratic decision-making, and numerous nervous breakdowns, but never would I have guessed that this year would turn out to be THE major turning point of my life as a young adult.

I went through a lot of changes and made some waves. And I’m not just talking about my hair (though going from straight to wavy locks, wearing red lipstick, and maturing my wardrobe has done wonders for my self-esteem). I landed a position at a company that I love and spend my 9-5 with an amazingly talented, kind, and hilarious bunch (shoutout to the Quietly Qrew!). I met new friends and developed stronger relationships with old friends and finally feel that sense of belonging and common understanding with people that I’ve always desired. I attended many mind-blowing concerts and discovered several new favourite artists and songs – music is love, music is life. I took the plunge and splurged on a new MacBook laptop (goodbye PC, hello Mac!) and nothing was the same.

An important lesson I learned in 2014 is to just shake it off and let it go (sorry, I couldn’t resist sneaking those references in). I can say with confidence that I’ve grown more this year than I ever have in previous years, and that’s just by taking a “to hell with it!” approach to life by freely owning who I am and being myself, with no reservations nor regrets. Do this and you’ll find others who will respect that openness and originality about you and you’ll be happier because of it. You only live once, so catch the curveballs thrown at you (wildcards may be unpredictable, but they can come with pleasant surprises), make every moment you have count, and follow your heart.

With all that I’ve gained in 2014, I also faced gigantic losses. Disappointments, goodbyes, heartbreak, illness, and death. August was especially agonizing. My Mom was in the hospital – seeing your parent in pain is the absolute worst – but she proved herself to be a fighter, as always. The sudden death of Michael Johns shook my world hard. He had a MASSIVE influence on me and his passing has altered my outlook drastically. Life is fragile and we mustn’t take even one day for granted.

The truth of the matter is, people will always leave you. It’s an inevitable part of life.

I learned this year that certain people are only meant to be in our lives for certain amounts of time. A select few are with us from the start to the finish. Some for a few pivotol years. Some for a season. Or even for one day. 

People can’t stay forever. Life takes each of us on our own unique journeys and our differing trails will eventually lead to our paths diverging from those we’ve met, gotten to know, and grown fond of.

Despite your best efforts, connections will slip, people will outgrow people, and you will see those you once contacted daily depart from your circle. And unfortunately, in the worst cases, we have to accept that some people will leave us forever in this lifetime when their time on earth comes to an end.

All of these instances of people leaving are sad and hurtful. But eventually, it will be okay. When people leave us, we’ve gotta hold on to what they’ve left behind in our hearts, minds, and souls – the acts of kindness, the advice, the memories. In this way, those people will always live on within you wherever you are. And who knows, maybe you’ll reconnect someday and be even closer than ever before. Anything can happen and is possible. In any case, you should tell people that you care about and appreciate them while you still can, because no one should have to live with the regret of leaving the important things unsaid.

As you move forward from the past, you will continue to meet and get to know people who will shape your present and your future. And I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s pretty damn exciting.

To those I lost this year, I love you, I miss you, and I will cherish the influence you had on my life.

To those I met this year, I am so grateful that our paths crossed.

To those true blue friends, thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the love and support you’ve given me. Whether you’re near or whether you’re far, you’re dear to my heart and I appreciate you more than Kanye appreciates Kanye.

Throughout the best of times, the worst of times, the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows, this was what I’d call a milestone year. 2014 was good. 2014 was bad. 2014 was best I ever had, and I won’t be the same.

Now let’s do this, 2015.

When day breaks sun, the journey’s just begun… I love you…”

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