I’m going to live.

(WARNING: This is a New Year’s post and it’s long.)

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of BuzzFeed articles, blogs, news posts, comic strips, nutrition labels… ya know, things that are irrelevant. A lot of them talked about why I should travel, why I should not get married young, why I should feel old or weird or awkward or confident after reading X number of GIFs that aren’t always that funny. And of course, there’s the one I seem to see bi-annually, “22 Ways Your Best Friend Is Actually Your Significant Other” (so funny). But most importantly, there are the new year’s resolution posts.

I found myself reading a lot of this “wisdom beyond my years” material, so I could write a more unique reflection about the new year. I thought I’d reference a few of them and say yes, or no, or that’s stupid, or “whaaaa?”. I even wrote drafts on drafts on drafts. But then I realized that was lame. This blog is about me, and as far as a new year is concerned, I’m going to reflect on my life.

Reset.

Every year people ask me if I have made any new year’s resolutions, and these past few years I’ve basically said no. I don’t really “believe” in them. Because let’s face it… Cigarette sales will never decrease. Fresh fruit and vegetable sales will never increase. And everyone who buys all the cute new workout clothes that are on sale the beginning of January is going to stop going to the gym once they get all that Valentine’s Day candy. It’s all a cop-out. I mean, it’s the truth.

Actually, since I didn’t have this blog for the first half of last year, let me give you a short blurb about some things I did and saw; we’ll call it “luckettmebefore”. Let’s see…I:

  • had a big reunion with my high school friends at new years
  • went on a wild Goose Chase across Nashville, TN
  • walked around campus barefoot
  • gave SMAC my everything (especially with all the obnoxious Facebook posts)
  • did some new things for my sorority as an officer
  • fell in the shower (may have chipped a bone? oops)
  • stood by my best friend as she married the love of her life
  • stole a lot of pop tabs… out of trash cans (not ashamed)
  • had Five Guys for the first time
  • won a scholarship (HOLLA)
  • walked across the highway a few too many times for my friends to handle
  • experienced a tornado and learned who all cared enough to call or text me immediately (seriously, thank you again). Also saw all who cleaned up afterwards and helped restore faith in the community I now love.
  • saw Alabama Shakes and Maroon 5 live (and you should too)
  • collected all 50 state quarters!
  • had my first “real” job, I guess you could say
  • had a cold spring break with my best friend and met some Jewish republicans
  • became obsessed with thrift shopping
  • had a douchebag of a date (gotta have at least one of these to talk about)
  • fell for the sassy red lipstick trend
  • became an organ donor
  • made new and unexpected best friends

And then of course, there were all my big summer adventures, and I started writing, and… I think you know how most of the rest of my 2013 unfolded.

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On January 1st, 2013, I made a memory jar. I painted the top emerald since that was the color of the year and wrote “2013” on it in silver glitter. Every day* of the year, I took a slip of paper and wrote down something good that happened. Then I put them in the jar and never looked at them again. Well today, I opened that jar and randomly pulled out 13 slips. These are a few of my happy moments of the year:

  1. Was able to sleep and relax.
  2. I snorkeled through really rough water!
  3. I talked a lot with my friends.
  4. I got several keepsake voicemail messages from Mary Beth, and John gave me a ride home 🙂
  5. I had a fun time at OEC with Elyssa, Lindsey, Christian, Kimber, and Gavin.
  6. I slept a LOT today.
  7. We decorated a part of campus with hearts and I got flowers. They make me feel so special 🙂 🙂
  8. Finally home and traveled safely.
  9. Last day at PT Hawaii 😦 Vangie was so sincere
  10. I bonded with my roommate, and I made it to class despite my alarm not going off 🙂
  11. Met a lot of great people and slid on a super TALL slide at boys bid day
  12. Watched the Life of Pi and The Lucky One
  13. I drank all day and felt so much love from my family, friends, and sisters. I’m so thankful for everything they put up with from me. I’m thankful for another year of feeling so alive.

Well then… random indeed. I swear I didn’t redraw any haha. Every day I was always able to think of something good that happened. I never drew a blank about what to write. I want you to realize that there is something special about EVERY day, and all those small things from your daily life add up to make your life one bright ray of sunshine. Even this small (Pinterest) activity made me remember that.

*I’ll be honest though. The past month I didn’t put notes in the jar because I got distracted by lots of other things. So the fact that I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family, danced all night, got my first Fall 4.0 GPA, saw Christmas lights in 3D, visited the Mississippi School for the Deaf for 2 days (“epiphany worthy” experience), and found a really special dance partner, all didn’t make it inside the memory jar. Sorry to all persons involved.

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—–

Now back to my reflection…

In 2013, I learned:

  • “Never let someone or something stop you from following your dreams, with an ‘S’. Dreams.”
  • Make the most of each moment and make a difference until your last.
  • Relax, Reflect, Rejuvenate. (Not gonna lie…. I had to write in my planner to do all of these things, BUT I still feel much more refreshed than I did before.)
  • Be bold and confident. Own it.
  • Networking is one of the best things you can possibly do. Meet EVERYONE.
  • You won’t be young forever.
  • Be resourceful. Even if people make fun of you for it.
  • Don’t let one thing define you because (ya know what?) one thing doesn’t define anyone.
  • Failing is good. Do it intentionally every once in a while.
  • Sometimes you’ll have to make sacrifices for what you love.
  • Worrying gets you nowhere.
  • “All things will pass.”
  • Patience is a virtue… And it pays off tenfold.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • There’s a lot of beauty right in front of you. Just open your eyes.
  • “You can always retake a class, but you can’t relive a party”
  • If you’re passionate about something, show it. Give it your all.
  • There are times when it’s best not to listen to your parents.
  • “It is often in unedited moments, moments in which we hesitate and stutter and go silent, that we reveal ourselves to one another.” (aka, Step away from the social media)
  • Hidden places are often the coolest treasures.
  • Don’t be afraid.
  • “Remember no man is a failure who has friends.”
  • If someone continuously goes out-of-the-way for you, they are worth keeping.
  • The silver lining is much thicker than you think.
  • You can’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree.
  • You should be willing to get your hands dirty and do any task (big or small) that someone asks of you.
  • Live for the memories that make you feel infinite.
  • Make the first move.

And (new things) I learned about myself… well:

  • I can be a diva sometimes, and I’m very thankful for my friends who put up with it.
  • I don’t have limits. I don’t let them happen. I can do anything I set my mind to.
  • I can speak Cat.
  • Sarcasm is a reflex.
  • Experiences are always better. Put some miles on that mind.
  • I’m driven and like to take control.
  • One of my favorite places to relax is on a rooftop.
  • I’m strong enough to get through a kidney stone.
  • I’ll never figure “it” out.
  • I do crazy sh*t sometimes, and I don’t care what other people think about me.
  • I want to be an audiologist.
  • I get EXTREMELY excited if I have high iron levels because I love to donate blood.
  • I’m really proud of where I’m from.
  • I make a LOT of faces.
  • My spirit animal is a sea turtle.
  • According to my StrengthsFinder test, I’m an Achiever. I feel dissatisfied with myself if I do not achieve something tangible literally every day. (It takes a lot for me to admit this.)
  • Which leads me to… I love being active.
  • I think I would be a great NASCAR driver.
  • It has taken a lot of work, but for the first time I really feel appreciated by those around me.
  • I’m meant to be exactly where I am right now. There’s a reason.
  • I’m really proud of myself.

Best 365 days of my life…so far.

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Now as for my future days on this beautiful planet, I’m going to make the best of them.

I’m going to dance to my own beat. Use my new blender to make lots of smoothies. Workout enough to look like an action figure. Be realistic… Show off my style. Let my freak flag fly high. Stay hydrated. Do good. Call my grandparents more often like I use to. Make something. Take chances. Finish that book I started last summer. Get more smile wrinkles (smiling’s my favorite). Put my damn phone down and look around. Not take myself so seriously all the time. Wear fun socks. Fall in love. Surrender my control more often. Explore and experience what life offers me. Not sweat the mistakes. Find inspiration in every day. Listen more to others. Do something unexpected for someone else. Exceed people’s expectations. Continue to write. Maybe I’ll even try being bored sometimes; it may get kinda crazy.

The first thing I will do when I return to school this week is post lots of inspirational quotes around my room in all the different nooks and crannies I can find. I’m even going to post them on my desk in the SMAC office, in my car, on my binders, etc. This year, I want to see great advice and encouragement that I can live by every day.

But what are my plans for 2014? As of right now, I know I’ll start my senior year of college in the fall, I’m doing a group presentation in Boston, MA at a national convention (SO ecstatic about this), I’ll hopefully get an apartment, and I’m starting my honors thesis. Yeah, all of that’s kind of scary, but I’m ready for some new challenges.

I’m going to do a lot of great things this year; I can feel it. But most of all, I’m going to live.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KINfQbfZwik

Oh, and Happy New Year! I hope you have a memorable one too!

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