In a Flash

Hello readers! I've been feeling awful that I have been barely blogging lately. As I stated in my previous blog post, I've been struggling with a combination of a sinus infection, Bell's Palsy, the family situation with the new baby, and Christmas coming up. I honestly blame Mercury being in retrograde (it's alright everyone, the last day will be the 22nd, so hang in there). With the medications I've been prescribed, my energy is a roller coaster right now. The steroids make me extremely tired the moment I take it (and hungry), but the antibiotics I take keeps me wide awake; so basically, the combination of medicine has been rough when it comes to sleep.

I did want to talk about some mental struggles and thoughts I've had, and I still plan to, but I have problems typing it down. I don't want them coming off as self doubt or a negative post, but I want to describe to you how I'm feeling while giving some hope or inspiration. I'll keep that on hold until I get the words together; for now, let's talk about something more positive. Recently, I tweeted on Twitter that for every like I get, I'll talk about one good thing that happened to me in 2017.

For me, 2017 was definitely a year of learning. About my needs, wants, my life, and me as a whole. On Twitter, because we only have a certain amount of characters we can use, I couldn't go into details about the good! So today, I'll talk about them here. If you follow me on Twitter, I'm sure you've already seen my goods of the year. If not, one, definitely give me a follow here, and two, this will be new for you, so that's good. Alright, lets get right into it.

1. I got my first ever full-time job

Ever since I was 19 years old, I've only ever worked retail. Of course, retail is a great way to get your foot into the door of employment, as well as earn money. I was in college, learning the how to of being an adult and working, so this was fine for me. Of course, once I was 25, I hated it. Retail is awful, I'll just tell you the truth. I don't like not having a consistent schedule, covering for people constantly, not having weekends off, and the lack of pay. Retail wasn't for me anymore, but every full-time office job I ever applied to didn't give me a chance because I didn't have experience. How can you not hire someone due to not having experience? That's why we apply: to GAIN experience.

Around late February, my mom's job was looking for a receptionist. The new supervisor was, now formally, my mom's friend, so my mom thought this would be a great way for me to gain experience. At first, I didn't think I would get the job because I felt like I did awful in the interview, and it didn't help the previous supervisor was someone that didn't like my mom already. After waiting three weeks, I just gave up and assumed they weren't going to hire me...until I got a call the next day I said that. I was given the job! I don't want to go into grave details of my experience, but I only stayed for seven months. I could handle the job, I was great at my job (I even got moved up from receptionist to registration), many people liked me, from patients, patients' families, to even the nurses and doctors. I sadly had to leave for very personal reasons regarding the office I worked in.

I will say this, however, I am very grateful and blessed to be given that opportunity. I was able to start paying off my student loans without worrying my mom, I gained receptionist experience, I had my own insurance, and I even got two really get references for whatever job I apply to next. Even though I am currently unemployed at the moment, I am truly grateful for the experiences and networks I made from that job.

2. I improved my makeup skills

I know this sounds like a "who cares" thing, but bear with me. Between the end of 2015 and the middle of 2016, I used to work at a makeup store. At the time, I was unemployed for a few months and needed money. Now, when I first started that job, I knew nothing of makeup. I knew of eyeliner, one shade of eye shadow, and one coat of lipstick, but after working at that makeup store, my thoughts of makeup transformed. Within nine months, I was able to learn so much about makeup I had no idea about. I learn about terms I've never heard of in my life, and my world was just opened up more. Because I worked at a makeup store, I was able to appreciate and love makeup more than I ever have.

In 2017, I was determined to learn more skills with makeup. I got a lot better at filling in my brows (I have eyebrows, but when I put on that brow definer, it is on), I started experimenting with contouring (still not perfect at it, but getting there), and I even nailed putting on false lashes! My experience with makeup this year has grown so much and I cannot wait to continue growing and learning more about it.

3. I became wiser

As I stated earlier, 2017 was definitely the year of learning and growing for me. By choice, I avoided dating this year and focused on bettering myself and learning about me. I learned so much when it comes to being an adult. From my job, I was able to grow and learn about working in an office, managing and saving money, paying my own bills, and figuring and learning about health insurance. It was a completely brand new world to me, but because I'm 26, I need to know these things; it's important. I also was able to channel myself.

Through friends, old and new, people who stayed, and people who left, I learned more about myself more than I ever had. I learned what I want in a significant other, I learned that I know what I need and deserve. I learned that if people aren't treating me the way I want to be treated, and when confronted about it, they either don't care or don't know what to say, I need to cut them out. I don't need people in my life that will only bring me down or bring me back to my old ways. I need to be surrounded by people that care and respect me, not people that only want the benefits for themselves and not care when they're called out.

I also learned how to be more compassionate towards people. Not stress about people, their actions, try to not worry on what people think about me or my decisions, and to be kind to others always. Not only to be kind to others, but to myself as well. I started working on loving myself again. It's been an on and off journey since 2014 (I explain a lot more of that in my "Loving Yourself" post), but I've gotten back into it. It will always be a journey, but the work and the walk is worth it. One lesson I also learned is to be patient. For me, I'm into rushing into things. I rush into my plans, rush into goals, rush relationships, everything needs to be quick. This year, however, I really did learn that not everything needs to be rushes. I need to take time to get to know people, my goals will be reached in due time, everything will come together. I can't always rush things because if I do, I may get a messy result. So I am happy that 2017 has taught me so much about life and about myself.

4. I confronted someone that hurt me

So you may think that this one isn't really good, but it was for me. About a month ago, I accidentally found my abusive ex boyfriend online. I've spoken about him a few times on some of my blog posts in the past. He's not my last boyfriend, but the one that broke things off with me in 2013. Because of him, I struggle a lot with depression, anxiety, and emotional abuse. I was contemplating even messaging him since the last I spoke to him was of February of 2014. I wanted to just talk to him like we were old friends, but that wasn't right, because we aren't old friends; he was someone that hurt me in more ways than one. So I did message him. I told him what he did to me during our relationship was not ok. I tried giving him the benefit of the doubt, that maybe because he was only 23 at the time, maybe he didn't know what he did to me was wrong. I let it out, I got my closure, and I blocked him. Once I saw he read my message, it was as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders; the nightmares of our relationship don't haunt me anymore, and I am so happy for that.

5. I made so many wonderful friends this year

I wasn't able to make many new friends in my reality, but online, I made a lot of great new friends. From my blogging friends, to my GYAL GANG girls on Twitter. I met so many wonderful, supportive people who care about my well being and want to see me do well. Since getting to know these people, my life online is less stressful, I see so much positivity, and it's honestly a breath of fresh air. I've only known them for a month or two, but I am very happy to have them in my life, and to hopefully continue growing and networking with them, as well as be there for them and support their goals and dreams. 

6. I got my diploma in the mail

So technically in May of this year, I was suppose to graduate with my class, but because it's an online college, and a lot was going on that weekend, I wasn't able to attend the physical ceremony. It's a little disappointing, but I am happy to have in my hands my diploma. I have been on and off college since the Fall of 2009, so I never got to graduate on time with my peers. Even though it was a long, stressful, and draining journey, I'm happy that my hard work paid off. I have something that says, "yes, I did it. I finished college". It may not be from a state university, but it's legit and I'm happy I finally finished. I do plan to go to graduate school when the time comes, but this is one milestone I'm proud I was able to achieve this year.

7. I got to meet, and see live, one of my favorite bands

So one of my favorite bands is Issues. If you've never heard of them, they're a metalcore band (their music vibe is basically singing with screaming but a sick hip hop/rock beat). I've been listening to them since 2014. Their first self-titled album really helped me out during my breakup from my abusive ex boyfriend. When they released their second full length album, "Headspace", it came out when I was struggling with my last breakup. Basically...their music has helped me with sad times in my life. There were many opportunities for me to meet them and see them live, but it was always something for plans not following through. I never had a ride, they were far away, the date wasn't a good time; it was always something.

Around the summer, the band released that they were going on tour for their second album. I was freaking out because I thought, 'this could be my chance to finally meet them and see them live!' At first, I thought there was no hope again, because there was no date for a show nearby me. The closet one was in Pennsylvania, but I wasn't sure if even that was possible for me. Luckily I waited to buy tickets, because a week or two later, they released a date for a show in Maryland. The date was on a Saturday, it's only an hour away from me, and I had money to afford my own ticket, meet and greet, and play a game of Super Smash Brothers with them!

The moment the tickets went live, I jumped on them so fast. As the day was getting closer and closer, I was getting so nervous. 'What if I embarrass myself?', 'What if I have a terrible time?', and, 'Maybe I shouldn't go'. I'm so glad I didn't let my nerves and fears get to me, because that day was one of the best days of this year. I'm pretty sure I was one of the oldest fans meeting them, but I didn't care. I got to hug each of them, say hi, the Tyler Carter and the rest of the guys, even their tour photographer, told me I have a cute voice (I was literally shaking I wanted to cry). I was so happy that I had the opportunity to meet them, get a photo, be surrounded by other fans, and see them perform many of the songs that have helped me through the tough years of 2014 and 2016. They will never see this, but to the guys of Issues, I truly do thank you for writing the music you write, working hard, and releasing amazing music. Your songs were truly there for me, and still are, during my toughest moments.

Look how cute we all look though, especially me though. I will forever treasure this silly photo.

Look how cute we all look though, especially me though. I will forever treasure this silly photo.

8. I officially became an aunt for the first time

I won't go into full details, since I stated everything in my last blog post, titled "Life Unexpected", but this one is my personal favorite. On December 14th, 2017, my nephew, Dante Alexander, was born. He's a preemie, but he's a fighter. He's a beautiful baby, and I can't wait until the doctors give the ok for him to go home with my sister in law and brother so he can make so many wonderful memories with them. It's exciting to be an aunt; weird, but exciting. I never loved another human like I love him. I see that baby like he's my own child. I am so happy he's with us in the world, and is continuing getting better and healthy. He truly is a blessing for my family.

So there it is! It's a pretty small list, but I do thank the growth I've made, the people I met, and the experiences I went through in 2017. I believe these memories have helped me grow as a person, and I am truly happy for the improvements I've made on myself. Next week, I do plan to make a post regarding my goals and resolutions for 2018, so keep a look out for that! In the comments, let me know what your favorite memory of 2017 was. Lets all share our good experiences and relive happy memories. Thank you so much for reading, and as all, like, comment, share, and subscribe!

*Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash