Dear 2018…

Since 2016, I have written a blog post summing up the year, and thanking the past year for the experiences I had and the lessons I’ve learned. It has become something I look forward to, not only because I love looking back and seeing how the year went, but also because I love reading my old posts about the previous years.

Like last year, before I sat down to write this, I created a Memories video on my iPhone to reflect on the year. It’s pretty easy, actually—you just create a “2018” album on your phone, add in pictures from the year that you want to highlight and follow a few steps on this site to turn it into a video.

It’s my new favorite thing to do, and I highly recommend doing it yourself. I love seeing everything I experienced over the past year, especially since life moves so fast.

So, 2018, I have a lot to thank you for this past year.

2018, thank you for my professional growth

I started off the year as a fresh college graduate, and I was determined to hit the ground running. The start of the year opened new doors for me, working in other departments so I could continue working for Goodyear post-intern. I helped out anywhere I could, and tried to show everyone the kind of worker I was, and it worked.

I landed my full-time job in April, working on a “secret” project to launch Goodyear’s new retail concept: Roll by Goodyear.

Working on this project allowed me to work with so many people at so many levels of the company. I got my name out there and became known for the hard work I did. People took notice, and it’s sure to open even more doors for me in the future. I couldn’t be more grateful for the professional opportunities I had this year.

2018, thank you for the next steps in my relationship

Starting out the year, Tyler and I knew we wanted to buy a house together (and I knew a ring was coming before the end of the year, but we’ll get to that). We also knew that this would be a test of our relationship, and boy were we right.

First, we were tested by looking and picking out houses. We learned what we both liked and disliked, and we surprisingly came to compromises rather quickly. It was a long, grueling process, but in February we officially became homeowners.

That was only the start, though.

Motivated by our excessive consumption of HGTV, we fixed up the house ourselves. We sanded and stained the floors, took out a fireplace, patched and sanded and re-patched and re-sanded the walls, painted, remodeled the bathroom shower, fixed up the yard and had a new driveway put in.

As you can imagine, this consisted of long, frequent nights, spending our money and eating lots of pizza. At one point, I looked over at Tyler and said, “If we make it through this, we can make it through anything.”

We finished and moved into the house at the beginning of May, and we haven’t killed each other yet. Joking, but things are going well 🙂

So well, in fact, that Tyler proposed at the end of August—with our new puppy, Zoey. Our wedding date is set for September 21, 2019, so next year is going to be another big year for us, and I can’t wait!

2018, thank you for family time

With moving out of our parents’ houses, we had to consciously make time for the most important people in our lives. We could no longer wake up and have morning conversations with our parents, brothers and sisters. Instead, we had to get together with them.

I feel like we spent more quality time with our families this year than ever before. I’m so glad we were able to do this, because so often life gets in the way of the important things. Hopefully we can keep this trend well into 2019 and beyond.

2018, thank you for the lessons learned.

This year was a huge year of growth for me. I got a job, bought a house, got a puppy and got engaged, but I also learned so much along the way, like:

  1. If opportunity arises, take it. Even if you’re unsure about it.
  2. Everything happens for a reason, and you will end up exactly where you’re supposed to be.
  3. Don’t let life get in the way of what’s really important.
  4. Never, ever, ever compare another person’s journey to your own.
  5. Hold on to every moment you can.
  6. Friendliness will get you a lot further than bitterness.
  7. If you miss someone, tell them. Odds are that person misses you, too, and if they don’t that just means you don’t have to miss them anymore.
  8. Sometimes you have to put yourself first. Don’t feel guilty about that.
  9. Sometimes you have to put others first. Just remember not to put yourself last in the process.
  10. Speak your mind. Always. (Just do it respectfully.)

Thank you, 2018

Each time I write one of these yearly recap posts, they get better and better. As I sit here and think about how far I’ve come over the past few years, I can’t help but to think about how much I still have to look forward to.

2018 was an incredible year for me, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I have a wonderful fiancé by my side, an adorable puppy and a supportive, loving family. I can’t wait for what’s to come!

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