2014, Year End Review

I have always admired people who are so aware of time, who can say what year a style was big or a genre of music was really popular or a movie came out. Not a decade, not a time from, but that year, maybe even the month. Maybe, they can even tell you what other memorable things happened around that time. Those people always seem so grounded to me, so situated, so aware of what's going on, and I want to be more like them. I want to be always aware of my journey, too, so I'm starting a (hopefully) annual tradition: the year end review. 2014 was a big, scary, lonely, important year for me. Looking back, here are some of the events that stick out to me:

Spring Semester
-Headed back to Virginia after a long visit to Texas
-Andy and I broke up (read more about that here and here) & felt super supported by all of my friends
-Started my last semester of my graduate program
-Focused on self care, including joining up with a health-focused support group on Facebook and so much journaling
-Lots of snow in Virginia!
-Visited my older sister and nephew in Ohio
-Taught and loved teaching creative writing
-Had brief obsessions with writing magnet poetry and playing Device 6 on my phone
-Got on OK Cupid
-Babysat for two awesome families
-Found a bathing suit I felt good in
-Apartment and job hunted
-Discovered blogilates (which I still love) and started a semi-regular running schedule
-Started some new writing projects
-Finished and revised (and revised, and revised) and finished and defended my thesis
-Graduated and hosted a rad graduation party

-Started a garden with a friend
-Started working at the jewelry store
-Moved out on my own
-Kept a running schedule with a couple of running partners
-Went on some dates
-Befriended the most awesome coworkers ever
-Helped some of my dearest Blacksburg friends get ready to move to Boston
-Read some good books
-Got my first library card since childhood
-Finally invested in some new glasses
-Wrote some out-of-character for me fiction
-Learned a new software program and did some major edits on an engineer friend's dissertation (maybe this will come in handy some day?)

-Made myself lots of awesome food for my birthday week
-Got used to the cats (that I'm watching right now while my friends get settled in Boston)
-Took over the store's social media
-Shopped the shelters for the perfect dog
-Adopted Olive
-Listened to so many great audiobooks
-Kept in touch more regularly with my mom than usual, which was really nice
-Replaced running with dog walking for the colder weather
-Went through a 6 week puppy training class with Olive
-Did Sunday yoga for six weeks (my first time ever doing yoga!) and absolutely loved it
-Got addicted to Serial along with everyone else
-Chopped off my hair (& absolutely loving it)
-Hosted two of my sisters and my nephew for Thanksgiving
-Survived working in retail through the winter holiday season
-Sent a birthday card and a Christmas card to my dad, who I haven't spoken to in years. Feels like it's time to take a step in some kind of direction
-Sent out holiday cards (and thank you cards for gifts received) to family members. Hoping next year to step it up and send out to more people
-Hosted my mom and brother for late Christmas/New Year's

In 2014, I made some hard choices. I was sad/lonely a lot more than I would like to admit. Self love and self acceptance was really important for me, as well as self forgiveness. I made strides toward some resolutions at some times, and totally dropped the ball on others. It was a funky year, a year for learning and for self reflection.

Do you ever do a year end review, privately or publicly? How did your year stack up?

Yours Truly, Jen

P.S. Tune in Wednesday for my 2015 resolutions and Friday for my thoughts on the future.


  1. Love this post. It's not easy sharing everything, but you've done it so gracefully. Looks like you ended the year on an even better note too! Plus, Olive is the cutest :)

  2. i really love the way you broke this down in seasons! that would probably have helped me remember a lot of things. after i did my year review posts, i actually realized that i had a tough 2014 until i switched jobs, but the change made such a huge difference in the way i looked back on the year. i've been so proud of all the progress you made in 2014 in finding yourself and engaging in self-love, self-care, and self-forgiveness. can't wait to see what you do in 2015 -- looking forward to the resolutions post!


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