Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that, upon reflection, you have much to celebrate and be grateful for! I know I spoke on this last year, but even though January 1st is not a special day, there's something about the changing of the years that is especially powerful. Personally, I have felt in a bit of a lazy slump this past December. Work has been really slow (for good reason) and that has permeated into my personal work ethic and I wasn't enjoying it. Somehow, magically, after December 25th, a spark has reignited in me and I caught the New Year's Bug. Combining that rediscovered ambition with witnessing motivational change within others and I am ablaze with excitement for 2015. I haven't had too much motivation to write on The Modern Austen as of late, which I addressed recently, but I did want to take some time to reflect upon this year. I wasn't really feeling up to creating a solid round-up post, so when I came across Lisa's A New Year for a New You annual review series on Market Your Creativity, I thought it would be a perfect way to reflect upon the year in a unique way. I won't be answering all seven days of her questions, so I just selected the first group to address. I'd love to hear your own responses to these questions in either the comments or in your own post. Be sure to link to Market Your Creativity if you do!

Goodbye 2014 Hello 2015
Goodbye 2014 Hello 2015

Looking Back at 2014

  1. Was time very well spent this year? In many ways, yes. I felt like I was in a complete standstill the first few months of 2014, but the choices I made and actions I took were instrumental in setting up the series of events to follow. As soon as I moved back to Pittsburgh, I pounded the pavement and truly hustled. There were times, of course, when I was lazy and procrastinated, but I like to think that I also spent many moments feeling content and relaxed. Towards the end of the year, I definitely got into a slump and look forward to being more structured and intentional with my time.
  2. Was money very well spent this year? I saved and spent a lot of money this year. I am extremely fortunate to have had parents who were willing to take me back in when I made a leap of faith, which has allowed me to save a great deal of money and recover from the loss of the previous year. With a new MacBook Pro, iPhone 6, and Christmas gifts, I also spent a great deal as well. I was able to take a look at my net worth, however, and I am very pleased with my progress thus far. I anticipate some important investments for my new blogging ventures in 2015 as well as the opportunity to move out again, so I will need to be better at budgeting moving forward.
  3. What are your favorite memories of 2014? I have to say, 2014 was a year for the books. So many amazing things happened. Sobbing with joy on my drive home (super safe) after getting a job offer, going to the beach with my whole extended family, traveling for work, accepting various blog opportunities, discovering my passion for swing dancing, making some really incredible friends, getting involved with Levo League, and reclaiming (and refocusing) my life have all filled my heart.
  4. What did you accomplish or complete this year? I completely and successfully switched careers, moved back to the city I love, reached the largest audience on TMA thus far, traveled to two new cities (Chicago and Dallas), and decided to make a big change for the blog next year.
  5. Did you make any progress on long-term goals? Looking back on my reflection post from last year, I remembered that my only true goal was to make progress. And man, did I crush this goal. I'm in a totally different (and happier) place now than I was then and it's all because of progress.
  6. What felt successful about the year, as a whole? The tangible evidence of successes are very nice and rewarding, but how I feel--about myself, about the future, about my family and friends, about my career, about blogging--is most noteworthy. I feel amazing and proud of how far I've come emotionally and mentally.
  7. Did you overcome any obstacles or mental blocks this year? Absolutely. Perhaps my lowest moment of 2014 came early on when I felt overwhelmingly defeated and suffocated, like I could never get out of this spiral I had found myself in. But, with the help and encouragement of my family and friends, I pushed through and persevered. It was crucial that I did something--I made a change or completed a task--to overcome this roadblock.
  8. What did you learn about yourself after all that happened in 2014? Oh, this is deep. Let me think...I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought possible;I'm more courageous than I've ever been before;I have big dreams that don't seem entirely out-of-reach;I don't have time or energy for people or places that don't fill me up positively;I need to stop being so careful (and worried) about how I might be received online as it can stifle my voice;I need to continue to let go of things that aren't fulfilling a purpose or serving me well;I am not defined by my career (none of us are!);I know what I want and need in a relationship....Among so many other things!
  9. Who nurtured or supported you most this year? My parents saved me this year and have been my biggest supporters through everything. I discovered who my truest friends were because they supported me no matter what and genuinely cared. A few of my blog friends have gone out of their way to express their support, whether via email or comments or social media, and every single message helped to build me back up.
  10. Who did you enjoy nurturing and supporting? My mom, Ashlie, Brigid, blog friends, and a few other special individuals :)

Here's what I know to be true as a result of 2014:

  • Plans never go according to plan (and that's okay).
  • Family is everything.
  • Overcoming the fear and anxiety of going solo to pursue an activity you've always wanted to do always pays off.
  • You are in charge of your happiness.

Here's to 2015! Can't wait to see what is in store!