Favorite Things From 2017 (So Far)

Now that we’ve hit the eleventh hour, I’ve started to put some thought into what 2017 has meant to me. If there’s one thing I know for sure, it has been a wild rollercoaster of emotions; I have been all over the place. I have questioned my sanity one too many times, as well as some friendships that I’ve been trying to maintain. I really had to put some thought into what I want for myself, my life, and my career. And I’ve thought about how I want to get from Point A to Point B.

This year has not been an easy one, to say the least. I took what felt like a much-needed break from seeing just about anyone, and sat myself down, to think about life. I know how afraid people get of their feelings and innermost thoughts—I know that I do, but this was something that I had to do.

It was almost like I needed to reevaluate my priorities, which have always kind of been messed up, because I have never truly put myself first. I was essentially having a mental breakdown, or existential crisis—whatever you want to call it—and I needed to push everyone else away for a bit, so I could take care of myself.

Now, my head is in a better place. I’ve had to go through certain obstacles in my life to get me where I am now. I have come to terms with my situation, and where my mind is at. I know that this journey of mine is going to be a long, windy road, but I’m excited to see where life can take me. So instead of focusing on the low points of this year, I would like to share what parts of 2017 are highlighted in gold—the parts I am grateful for, because they’ve made this year bearable.

rileyOne thing I have always loved is children, so I think it is only right that I start this with the birth of my youngest niece, Riley, who my sister-in-law gave birth to in March. She is literally the most photogenic baby I know, and I am super grateful to have her as the newest addition to my beautiful group of niblings (it’s a word, look it up!). I am really excited to watch her grow—although I have high hopes that it doesn’t happen too quickly.

me amanda kaylin

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you would know that I was the maid of honor for my best friend’s wedding, back in June. For the first half of 2017, I spent a good amount of my time focused on making sure that Amanda had someone she could depend on to help her with anything she needed. And for me, sometimes, it’s nice to be needed. From the bridal shower, the crafting, the bachelorette party, the dress search, to the wedding, and everything in between—although it was stressful, it was also a blast. Being such a big part of Amanda and Tim’s big day was the greatest honor of all; I’d happily do it again.

floridaBack in April, my mom and her fiancé, Chris, gave me tickets to see Luke Bryan in August, for my birthday. I had been waiting years to see him perform, and it ended up being one of the best concerts I had ever been to. They also invited me to come with them to Florida that very same night to go see my sister and her family, and although the drive was long, it was worth every second. I always love getting to see Joanne, Mike, and the kids, and just the fact that we got to do normal, everyday things together for almost a week, was so nice. And the fact that we went to Magic Kingdom didn’t hurt, either. I always look forward to hanging out and talking and playing with them, so I can’t wait to go down to see them again.

Another positive thing that came out of this year was the birthday present my dad and Aunt Roxanne got for me, which was my driving lessons. Driving had been a sensitive subject for me for the last five years of my life, so it’s been great getting to finally do a thing that scared me. I know that driving shouldn’t have, because it’s a coming-of-age thing that everyone should eventually learn, but it did. I had a hard time learning to ride a bike, after all. So being able to drive now has definitely become one of the biggest highlights for me.

Back in March, I told my little sister, Caitlyn, that I would get her a good sixteenth birthday gift. Little did she know that I had already bought our tickets to see the musical Waitress for May. So when the time came, we spent a day in the city; we strolled through a Duane Reade for chapstick, saw the show, ate dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, and even went to Madame Toussauds Wax Museum, before going back home. It was a fun-filled day, and I loved that I got to spend it with someone I loved, who loved the same things as me. It was definitely a highlight in my book.

Also, back in March, was the release of Ed Sheeran’s most recent album, Divide. I have remained a big fan of his for about five or six years now, so obviously a new release of his was going to be exciting for me. I think it’s my favorite album so far—although I said the same thing when x came out. And my favorite song from the album is constantly changing (it’s currently either Dive or Barcelona). And then to top that off, only a couple of weeks ago, my mom surprised me and Cait with tickets to see him perform next year. I was so excited, I cried at my desk, at work. It’s been a long time coming to see his play, so I had a lot of emotions built up.

once and for allFive months ago to this day, my favorite author growing up, Sarah Dessen, released her most recent book, called Once And For All. I’ve read every one of her other books, and have yet to not like one, so I was like a twelve-year-old fangirl, waiting for this book’s release. The day it came out, I went to Target, and read the first half of the book, leaving the rest for the following day. It was surrounding weddings, as was my life at the time, so it was fit for the time being, and it was just fantastic. I loved every part of that book, and now I look forward to the next one that comes from Sarah.

Just three days ago, Sam Smith’s second album, The Thrill Of It All, was released, and I am already obsessed. I’ve been a fan of his for years now, and this album has me feeling everything. It is just so pure and heartfelt and damn good, that I haven’t been able to listen to anything else since its release. His voice is just so beautiful, and I wish I could say more about it, but honestly, I’m so speechless. I know it just came out, but it is already considered it a highlight of my year.

adultolescenceAnother book that I got this year—actually, I preordered this one—was Adultolescence by Gabbie Hanna (who is also known as The Gabbie Show). I’ve read it probably five times over now. Granted, it’s a book full of poems, but I just can’t get over it. It is full of dark pieces of work, funny pieces, and even little bits of advice (some funny, others serious). I was already watching her videos on YouTube, which is what made me want to buy the book, but I feel like the book was a better representation of her than her channel, and I loved the entertainment of it, as well as the insight. I even let Caitlyn, who doesn’t watch her channel, read the book, and she was so obsessed, I got it for her for Christmas.

Speaking of YouTube, I feel like I have to mention my biggest obsession of 2017, The Vlog Squad. I have previously mentioned while I was in my darker days this year that the vloggers of YouTube was what helped me get out of my slump, so I feel like it is necessary to say that they highlighted my year. Between Lizy Koshy, David Dobrik, Zane Hijazi, Heath Hussar, Scotty Sire, and Carly and Erin, I have found a kind of comedy and storytelling that has given me some light in my heart. I almost feel like I owe them for helping me through that low point in my life.

scI also came across [and watched] Demi Lovato’s YouTube documentary, Simply Complicated. Let me tell you that I had no idea how many issues Demi had, and continues to overcome to this day. I looked up to her throughout my teenaged years, and after watching Simply Complicated, I feel like I have seen a raw, relatable side to her. The video was so real, and so moving, that I felt changed after watching it. I feel like now I see her as more of a real person, flaws and all, but I feel like she’s a bigger inspiration to me now than ever. And after listening to her album, Tell Me You Love Me, everything just pieced together so beautifully, and I can say that I’ve never been a bigger fan of Demi until now. Her development and evolution she’s pushing through is really becoming of her, and I can’t wait to see what else she’s got coming.

Similar to The Thrill Of It All, another favorite thing of mine this year just recently came out: the second season of Stranger Things. Mind you, I never even watched the first season until the second season came out, and I’m in love with this show. I finally understand all the hype and praise the show has been given. I’m halfway done with re-watching the second season because damn, it is that good. And this is coming from someone who isn’t a huge fan of sci-fi. The development of the characters are on point (especially Steve, like, oh my god), the storylines keep you interested, and the graphics. are. everything. I’m basically an secret nerd when it comes to CGI (like, I look very closely), and all I have to say is wow. Also, I really want Hopper and Joyce to get together…but that’s just my opinion.

And I know this one hasn’t really happened yet, but I know for a fact that it will be my number one highlight of 2015, 2016, and 2017: as of November 15th, I will have my last semester of Iona finally paid off. That means I can start looking into schools again, and that means I will be one step closer to obtaining a diploma, and building a career for myself. I don’t think anybody has any idea how happy that makes me. If I could, I would actually scream on the rooftop about this. It’s like a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. I’m too excited for words.

And the last to be mentioned, but not the least, is this blog. I’m not really sure what I would do if I didn’t start writing again. I would probably be going insane, honestly. Starting this one-post-a-day thing has really been working out with figuring out my personal issues, whist slowly documenting my life, and I really love it. I don’t how if I’m going to blog for the rest of my life, but I would really love it if I did this for years to come. I could really use the outlet, and it’s nice to know that I have something to go back to. I’ve even thought about vlogging a bit, but I’m not so sure if that’s for me. I think I’m just going to stick with writing for now, and we’ll see where this takes me.

Like I said before, this year has been a tough one. But the past is the past, and now, a part of me. All I can do now is work towards a big, bright, beautiful future. I am grateful for every step I’ve had to take, and every obstacle I have conquered.

Wish me luck.

Prompt: Tell us some of your favorite things that have happened so far this year.

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A twenty-two year old who lives through words and her Netflix account. She makes herself laugh more than others, and she claims that she is okay with that.

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