Happy New Year!

Learning to take a step back and appreciating the present

“You never know a good thing until its gone.”

There were so many times throughout this past year that I would close my eyes and go to sleep dreaming of 2019. I felt as if there were more bad days than good. When I think back at 2018, I remember stressing myself out so bad I’d cry, having panic attacks, and even making myself sick from worrying. I remember my mind being my worst enemy. I remember feeling like I was a person full of hopes and dreams completely out of touch with the real world, someone who needed a reality check to bring her back down because the things I dreamt of were too far out of reach. There are a few things I cannot remember though. I cannot remember one of those specific days. Those days that I felt like my life was really never going to turn out the way I wanted. The days I felt like I wasn’t good enough or capable. But when I take a step back and do a month by month evaluation of the year, I remember so many great memories and experiences rather than all the negative ones. I remember all the fun I had and all the love I felt. Some of you may know the Instagram trend where people post a photo or two of them from each month to highlight their year. I decided I would jump on the bandwagon because I really enjoyed seeing other peoples. I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face the entire time I was doing mine. I quickly realized how many good memories I had when I couldn’t just choose one photo to represent each month. Whether it was my dog sleeping on my face that I documented with 200 photos and videos of, going to a new place, having an amazing meal, or just having a relaxing night with friends, there were so many good times. Of-course I remember some of the “bad days” from the Fall because it was so recent, or some of the extremely bad days, but I truly can’t remember more than a handful of them total. If I could have 360 good days out of an entire year, every year, I’d be overjoyed for life.

Today, I am challenging you to look at back at your 2018 and write down one good thing from every month. It can be anything from a wedding, getting an extra nugget at chic fil a, accomplishing a big goal, or even learning something new about yourself. Look through your photos, texts, social medias, or anywhere else you may document your year and find something that made you smile each month. I promise you will be very surprised at just how great your year was too.

*Although I documented my year with just one photo each month on Instagram, I wrote a more detailed list in my journal that I am going to share with you as an example of how you can do your year-end summary.*

January 2018:

  • I had the best NYE to date in New Orleans with my friends
  • I spontaneously went to a concert wearing a pink wig and had the best time
  • Some of my horse show friends came to town and we met up and had a lot of fun
  • It snowed
  • A family friend got married and the wedding was beautiful
  • I went to Glen Rose for a horse show and although I didn’t do well, Lane came and we had tons of fun

February 2018:

  • Sophie made a really nice run in Kinder
  • I met Ross who is now one of my best friends
  • Mia and Walt came to town for Mardi Gras
  • I saw a show at the Metro where I met Ivan and Jay who are now life-long friends
  • Bacchus bash during Mardi Gras was so fun and probably my favorite Mardi Gras ever
  • I had some really good queso at Rum House with my mom and grandma
  • Went on the boat for the first time of the year

March 2018:

  • I went to Starkville for my first Red’s and Dead’s
  • Met my friend Eva, who I adore
  • Went to Buku fest with a bunch of friends and it was Ashley’s first festival ever so that was really exciting
  • Went on a ski trip with family and friends for spring break
  • My brothers 21st birthday

April 2018:

  • I got Elmo!!
  • Ryann, her dad, and Ross came to Louisiana to deliver Elmo and we had a fun day in the city
  • I went back to Starkville to visit my friends for my birthday
  • My dad took me to a Barrel Race where I did really good on all three horses (I used to hate when he would come because I thought he was bad luck.. Now I realize I do better because he’s the boss and I know I have to ride well in front of him! Haha)
  • Elmo won the warm up race at the State show against very tough horses and it was only our third run
  • He placed high on Saturday in the State show as well. He gave me an unexpected and very exciting weekend
  • I went back to Starkville to visit friends for a spring party

May 2018:

  • Went to a Pelican’s playoff game with my brother
  • Went to another Pelican’s playoff game with Shelby
  • Visited Texas to ride with Ryann and got to go back to highpoint
  • I got to run Welma (solidredsocks) at Josey Jr world
  • I went to EDC Vegas for the first time
  • Cade’s 21st birthday
  • Went on the boat some more

June 2018:

  • Mia’s birthday
  • Shelby’s 21st birthday
  • Madison’s birthday
  • Rode Jet Ski’s with Deb, Elle, Shala, Casey, and Mrs. Wanda
  • Went to Republic’s first Pajama rave
  • Sang some Karaoke at our crawfish boils with Logan
  • Took a really funny video of Tre helping me hang pictures

July 2018:

  • Fourth of July in Destin with my friends
  • Last run on Fanny.. it was a good one
  • Free chic fil a breakfast
  • Got to see Jacee and her family
  • Had a really good maple donut

August 2018:

  • Went to Europe for the first time with my mom (Paris & Amsterdam)
  • Tyler flew out to Europe and met us
  • Went to a Pauly D concert + meet and greet
  • Started my junior year of college

September 2018:

  • Lyla went to an MSU game in Starkville
  • Had fun at dinner with Reese and Tyler
  • Had a really good breakfast

October 2018:

  • Lyla learned to drive
  • My dad’s 50th birthday party
  • Rekindled an old friendship with Madi
  • Did a surprise photoshoot with my horses for my parents
  • Went to ACL for the first time
  • Made a funny video of cades toes
  • Made Lyla an Instagram
  • Took lots of cute photos of Lyla
  • Cade got me a wanderer bracelet
  • Did a Halloween shoot with Madeline, Hailey, Hailey F
  • Went to Market in Dallas
  • Did a photoshoot with Joel
  • Had a late-night dance party with Cade, Reese, and Hailey
  • Went to Voodoo fest

November 2018:

  • Lsu Vs. Bama game
  • Lyla fell asleep in a driving video
  • Did a Christmas shoot with Cappy and Lyla.. shot by Madeline
  • Dyed my hair purple
  • Went do EDC Orlando again
  • Met back up with Ivan
  • I made Reese eat canes sauce
  • Reese fell asleep so we covered him in random objects
  • I got Lyla ESA registered
  • I watched my dad’s racehorse run at the track
  • Lyla drove us to a barrel race
  • Launched my blog

December 2018:

  • Dyed my hair brown
  • I took a cute picture of Lyla sleeping across Cade’s face
  • I wrote an article on The Truth of being LGBTQ or an LGBTQ advocate in Catholic High Schools that I am proud of
  • Received some heart-warming messages about my blog post
  • Had a fun night out in New Orleans with my brother and lots of friends
  • Did a Christmas photoshoot with Logan to surprise our parents with for a Christmas present
  • Went to the Spa with Hailey
  • Pulled off a great Christmas surprise with my dad for my mom
  • Got a cool sloth notepad and socks from Ryann
  • Had an amazing Christmas
  • Went to Colorado for Decadence Festival

Pretty awesome year, right? It’s so crazy to me to look back at all of this and barely be able to recall the days that made me feel so hopeless. I never once doubted how blessed I was with my friends and family. I am so lucky to be able to go on all the adventures I do, but those things were being overshadowed quickly after they were over by all the negativity, stress, and anxiety I had going on in my head. I was so ready for 2018 to be over about 3 months ago and now I realize how bitter sweet it is to leave such a year full of firsts, adventures, and new friends. I am now ready for 2019 for the right reasons. I am ready to challenge 2019 to being a better year than last. Let’s see how this goes! Happy New Year everyone!

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