2018 was a whirlwind of a year. This past year was definitely full of higher highs and lower lows that I had imagined! I wanted to write a little recap of the year to look back on the amazing experiences I had, and the struggles that I had, to see how far I’ve come. I like the idea of doing this also to get a bigger picture of things that I want to do more of this year and things that I want to let go of from last year.
Major highlights of 2018:
- studied for & passed the NCLEX and added RN to my name in January
- started my career as a nurse in February, and made it through my first 10 months of nursing
- moved into our amazing loft in July
- got engaged to the love of my life in September!!! this takes the cake for the highest high 🙂
Outdoor adventure highlights:
- backpacked/camped at cloudland canyon state park
- car camped at deep hole camping ground
- hiked to hike inn & backpacked to the AT approach trail
- kayaked the hooch for our anniversary in June
- shot the hooch in September for Labor Day (the day we got engaged!)
Travel highlights of 2018:
- Traverse City, Michigan in January for Blake’s brother’s wedding
- Baltimore, Maryland in February to see one of my best friends Kat
- Miramar Beach, Florida in April for a weekend getaway
- Lake Lanier, Georgia in June for our anniversary
- Charleston, South Carolina in July as a belated real anniversary trip
- Danville, California in July to see my family
- Houston, Texas in October to see Blake’s family
- Berkeley, California in November for our close friends’ wedding
- Chateau Elan, Georgia in November as a 24th birthday surprise from Blake
- Bend & Sunriver, Oregon for a family vacation in December over New Year’s
Other awesome experiences of 2018:
went to a few Braves games
met one of my now bridesmaids who was my preceptor at work!
did the Moon Ride in Atlanta for the first time
went to Shaky Knees music festival
joined a new gym
showed some of my closest friends my favorite parts of Atlanta
saw Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour with my mom
had an engagement party in Houston with Blake’s family
toured wedding venues in California with Blake & my mom
got engagement photos taken in wine country
took pictures of my brother’s proposal in Oregon (congrats you two!!!)
Writing this out has me really appreciating how much good there was in this past year, despite it feeling like one of my hardest years yet. In the effort of keeping it real, though, there were some pretty low lows as well:
- I navigated what my relationship with exercise looks like as a full time working adult and cried more than a few times about the whole process. It felt like I lost part of myself as I was no longer able to crush it in the gym all the time and felt “out of shape”
- I learned a lot about the not-so-wonderful parts of myself through my relationships… and learned how much work I have to do in being kinder to others, having more patience, being slow to anger, and being less defensive.
- I struggled to keep work/life separate and found myself very challenged to regulate my emotions logically after long exhausting days at work where all my patience had evaporated
- I dealt with real world nursing and fought a lot through the journey of it. Everyone tells you your first year is hard… but nothing could have prepared me for the days where I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. The days where my patients drove me up a wall or were incredibly rude to me or got upset with me for things that weren’t in my control. The days that you realize that nothing is really fair and that the 4:1 patient:nurse ratio is not always a reality, and you feel completely and utterly overwhelmed.
- I struggled with feeling like there has to be something more to what I’m doing on my days off and feeling lazy/ unproductive with the increased free time that I have. (still struggling with this one!)
- I spent my first holiday season away from family due to work. We spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta making beef bourginoun and I worked Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Being away from family especially on Christmas was really emotionally challenging.
I’m so thankful for the past year and how much I grew throughout it. It taught me that the highest of highs can coexist with the lows and I learned so much about myself along the way. I’m looking forward to all the growth that is to come in 2019 and all of the exciting things on the horizon! 2019 is the year that we get married, the year that I go on my first international trip as an adult (hello, Iceland), and so much more!
Stay tuned for my next post with a few habits I want to change and goals I want to accomplish in the new year! <3
I want to hear what your favorite parts of 2018 are! What are you looking forward to in the new year?