A Recap of 2017

I’ve said this a lot but somehow 2017 has managed to be both spectacular and difficult at the same time. I’ve learned an abundance of things about life from the best and worst moments of this year. So much has happened between January and December that I wanted to document it here so I can look back at how much has changed. I think a reflection of the year as a whole is a healthy thing to do. It really forces you to look back at your challenges and achievements and remember that you’ve survived it all. You’ve made it through another year of joy, stress, challenges, and achievements.


I don’t remember much about January besides it being quite a difficult month. At the time, I was a senior in high school and therefore feeling the weight of everything that comes with senior year. I had quite a heavy school load and with finals coming up, I was feeling a little more pressure to perform. In the midst of all the madness, on January 21st, I marched with individuals from over 75 other countries across the world as a part of the Women’s March. Being part of such a powerful movement with so many marvelous people involved lifted my spirits and made me feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself. This was the first time I really put myself out of my comfort zone when it came to my political beliefs which was mildly uncomfortable but extremely rewarding. I think it really solidified the concept of standing up for my beliefs no matter what anyone else has to say.
The next big part of my year came on March 30th when I traveled to Florida with one of my best friends, Hannah. I had been to Florida before but this time was a bit different because it would be my first time flying as a minor without an adult with me. I was a bit nervous but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. I was just ecstatic to get out of the bitter cold of Michigan for a week. This was actually my first time going to Florida not in the Disney bubble which, although I missed Disney, was refreshing. We spent the week doing the normal Florida things; beach hopping, airboat tours, hanging out by the pool, etc. Every time I travel to Florida the experience is a good one. No matter where I go, traveling always recenters me by reminding me that there is, in fact, a world outside of my teeny Michigan bubble and it’s worth every penny to see it.
On May 13th, I was off to the infamous high school prom. For me, prom felt like more of an obligation than anything else. I was excited but somehow missed out on the idea that this would be the most exciting night ever. I knew it would be fun but I also knew that once prom was over, I’d be more than ready to go home, put on some pajamas, wipe my makeup off, and go to sleep. Overly stimulating environments with lots of people both physically and mentally exhaust me. As I’ve said 400 times before, I’m an introvert to the max. In the end, I liked my hair, I liked my dress and I ended up having a better time than I expected but prom is one of those things I only need to do once. Check.
Quicker than I ever anticipated, high school graduation came. On June 4th, I woke up feeling a little nostalgic but also so ready to end that season of my life. Mentally, I was already graduated but I had yet to nervously walk across that stage, shake hands with a bunch of strangers, and get my diploma. Graduating from high school felt like the first big milestone in my life that I achieved and it felt like a long time coming. To be fair, I didn’t have a bad experience in high school. It’s where I made some of my best friends and also learned a lot about who I am but I would be lying if I said it didn’t start to feel a bit suffocating near the end. Nevertheless, I was (and still am) extremely thankful for the opportunity to not only attend but graduate high school. It’s an opportunity that not everyone gets and I am sincerely grateful for the things I learned throughout my time in the public schools and the people I met in the process.
At the end of the month, I spent a week in the Outer Banks, North Carolina with my family. Though I frequently call myself “not much of a beach person”, this would be my second trip to the beach this year and I wasn’t mad about it. It was a week of relaxation and fun all while failing at trying not to get sunburned. Somehow dozens of layers of sunscreen still can’t protect my pasty skin from the sun. Again, the beach and I don’t get along.
At the end of the trip, (as per my request) we headed home by way of Washington D.C. We spent the first day at Mount Vernon in Virginia and then headed into D.C. where we spent the next day romping around the city trying to find the best free museum without a line out the door. It was a quick but enjoyable few days with my mom and sister. One of my most vivid memories from that day was eating ice cream in a random “park” (does concrete and iron tables and chairs count as a park??) and watching the sunset behind the buildings. Little moments like that are what keep me going.
Soon after that, I went on a quick trip up north with one of my other best friends, Lydia. The plan was to go to the Cherry Festival up north in Traverse City (have you EVER heard a more Michigan sentence?!). Traverse City is one of those little cities with some of the nicest people and just those general good vibes that up north has. If you’re not from Michigan this is probably all a little confusing which in that case, you can just pretend you didn’t read this. Nevertheless, we had such a good time exploring and consuming entirely too much coffee (at least for me).


That July is when I officially launched this blog. I had been toying around with the idea of having a blog but the time never felt right until that summer. On July 28th, I nervously announced to my friends and peers on social media that I had started a blog. I remember feeling so nervous yet so relieved that I finally did it. I received more support than I could have ever imagined and even met a few new blogger friends along the way. This space represents who I am and what I love which is why I hold it so close to my heart. The last 6 months of this blog have taught me so incredibly much. Thank you to anyone who’s showed me even a tiny ounce of support, it means more than you know.


That summer felt like one of the shortest even though it was actually one of the longest. At the end of August, I attended my first college class at a local community college. Luckily, my first class (French) was one that I signed up with my sister which was a huge help when it came to calming my nerves. Much to my surprise, I not only survived that day but survived a whole semester of college. I met a lot of people last semester but found that making friends isn’t my forte. I’m someone who has few friends but I can trust those few people with my entire life. I’ve learned to be okay with not having a friend everywhere I go. Doing more stuff alone teaches us so many things at once and I think we all could stand to do more things alone.


The weekend of October 6th was one I had been simultaneously excited and nervous for. I was going to visit Lydia at school in Chicago. Obviously, I was more than excited to see Lydia but the train ride there would be my first ever time traveling somewhere by myself. To someone else, the idea of traveling on a train alone to another city wouldn’t be a big deal but I was feeling apprehensive about the idea. However, despite all of my anxiety, I got onto the train. Much to my surprise once I was actually sitting down all of my anxieties disappeared. I think a lot of the time when we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone we are surprised by how easy it is to do the things that scare us the most.
On October 27th and 28th I was blessed enough to attend the inaugural Women’s Convention in Detroit. I spent the weekend sitting thorough panels and sessions where I learned about local, national, and global issues that currently exist. Me and thousands of others from across the country spent our weekend listening, taking notes, and being inspired by the leaders of our nation. It was a room full of inspiring, powerful, and loving people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Being amongst such a diverse group and hearing so many of their stories was truly a privilege and an honor. One of the most powerful lessons I learned that weekend was that power is, in fact, in numbers and no task is too small to care about or too large to tackle.

The remainder of the year has been a flurry of holiday festivities, being with loved ones, and reflecting on what this year has been. This year was one where I truly started to improve myself by instilling more positivity into my heart. The power of positivity is enormous if only we choose to invest time into our personal growth and self-discovery. I’m thrilled to be able to carry on my self-improvement journey into the new year. I can’t even put into words how excited I am for 2018. I have SUCH a good feeling about next year, though I’m not entirely sure why. Regardless of how 2017 was for you, I truly hope you’ve walked away with a better understanding of life and a deeper sense of who you are. There’s so much waiting for all of us in 2018 and I sincerely wish you all joy, enlightenment, and health in the new year.
-Ashley xx

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