I'll be honest... New Years is probably my least favorite Holiday. I'm pretty certain that all but maybe a couple of my New Year Eve's have been spent on the sofa with my sister watching the ball drop at midnight. It's never really been something I've been "excited" about for whatever reason. However, this year might be the first exception in 19 years. A fresh year definitely feels like something to be excited about. Fresh starts, new goals, new attitude... Yeah. I'm there.
For the most part, this year started off wonderfully. Last New Years was spent on a couch next to two of my favorite people (Niklaas and my mom) at one of my favorite places in Idaho (coffee house). I spent most of January relishing in the fact that I was home again after a difficult semester away from home at college. I learned to crochet by watching youtube videos and made them obsessively for everyone I knew. My most viewed blog post to date had nothing to do with clothes or fashion at all and was in fact just a list of 100 weird things about me. Niklaas wrote a blog post for me and picked everything from the shoes to the headband to the location. It was cute.
By the time February rolled around, I was back in school and ready for a new semester to dig myself out of the academic hole I got myself into. Fall semester, I had spent way too many weekends at home and once second semester began, I knew I couldn't afford lost weekends to study like that anymore. I wore my Taylor Swift autographed cowboyboots in an outfit post that I still love to this day. I think I said it best in february when I said that sometimes it's harder to say "i need you" than "i want you and I wrote a blog post to all them single ladies on Valentines Day that hated being single.
In March, I wrote this blog post which I think captures everything about my experience with being in a long distance relationship and how it really feels. It was hard but really, really worth it. I spent a Friday night in my dorm room watching An Education on netflix which to this day is one of my favorite movies I've seen. I also had the pleasure of showing my cousin around my college and I think that weekend sealed the deal because he chose the University of Montana and now attends school with me! Aye aye! I also fell in love with Montana this month. I think it had something to do with going to the hot springs, hiking the "M", and being in the Lolo forest. It was a little mesmerizing.
Of all my freshmen year, I think April was my favorite month of them all. Starting college was such an interesting experience filled with adjustments and constantly battling homesickness (it hit me so unexpectedly) but I definitely think spring semester was when everything just clicked. I was between friends most of fall semester and it took a while to settle in with a solid group of friends. April was really the month that we became a unit and I'm so excited that I get to live with those girls now! Last winter was a brutal winter and I was so excited to finally experience some sunshine in April. We got in an interesting floor "fight" with our neighbors which resulted in a stolen shower caddy and some pretty ugly staredowns. Hilarious. We took some of my favorite pictures to date with an impromptu umbrella purchase at Ross. I had a lovely spring break at home visiting some friends at the high school and spending time with my sister.
May was a big month- Niklaas and I hit our one year anniversary (!!) and I got to fly home the weekend before finals to go to prom with him. He wrote that post and rereading his thoughts about his senior prom made me tear up! Hehe! This is why I love blogging. I also finished the semester with a 3.7gpa- all A's except for Chemistry! It was the greatest reward ever! It saved my scholarship and bumped me up a lot. Phew! I also had my first blog swap with Jasmine, the sweetest gal in the world, and wore her shirt as a dress! I'm so short.
My summer was a very relaxed one. I scored a job in a micrbiology lab only two floors above my dad so I got to see him every single day and drive to work with him. It was a blast. June was a beautiful month in Idaho. We got to take advantage of the yellow fields and frolick in the June sunshine when my best friend from school visited us. I also wrote about "my moments" and the response was overwhelmingly sweet. It was also my favorite boy's 18th birthday.
I feel like my summer passed in a large blur. Even though it was pretty low key, it seemed like there was a lot going on. As I've talked about a bit on the blog, my aunt's cancer took a plunge for the worst and most of my summer was filled with listening to my mom on the phone every single day for hours talking it through with her. It wasn't easy. However, I did get to celebrate my 19th birthday traveling with my family on the best family vacation we've ever had through Yellowstone! I also started reading kylee's blog which has inspired my own and she was kind enough to fill in for me on my summer vacation. One of my other favorite bloggers, Kenzie, also filled in for me and left my blog with her amazing style!
By the time August hit, I was tired of summer and ready to go back to school. I wasn't working a lot (20 hours per week) but it seemed like there was always something happening on the weekend between soccer tournaments to watch, babysitting gigs, weddings, weekend trips with the family, and catching up on chores that I was in a very "blah" state of mind. When I think about this year... I'm a little disappointed and I think it began around the end of the summer when I got in this self-loathing, closed off, uninspired state. Which is so unlike me. As you'll see in November... it wasn't a good thing at all. But! I did throw a birthday party that was "tea party" themed and it was awesome! It was definitely a highlight of the summer and a birthday dream come true. I was pulled over for the very first time in my life by a cop who caught me at the wrong time of the month and left me crying on the side of the road on the phone with my mom. I also wrote about self image and what being "beautiful" meant to me and the feedback I received was nothing short of astonishing. So many of you shared your own personal stories with me and I was floored by all of your emails. If you didn't catch this post, do yourself a favor and just read the comments. You reminded me why I blog in the first place.
School finally started in September and I moved into our fancy new dorm with my two best friends from the previous spring and a chemistry pal from class. We each have our own bedrooms and there are two bathrooms, a living room space, and a small kitchenette. It has to be the best living situation ever! Also, with school starting, that also meant that Niklaas and I both moved to Missoula. It was an exciting, exhilerating, amazing thing to end up at the same school and be together after being apart for a full year! I also decided in September that I was going to change my blog a bit and blog about life as it happened. I didn't get rid of "outfit" blogging completely, but when school got too busy and I didn't have outfits to post, I decided I was going to fill that gap with the ongoings of being a sophomore college student. It was awesome. Niklaas and I made a roadtrip to Seattle to see none other than TAYLOR SWIFT IN CONCERT and it was the best night of the entire year. Hands down. I loved every second of it and I couldn't help but feel giddy at standing next to the boy who asked me to prom by blasting You Belong With Me and fell for me when I gave him a Taylor Swift CD. Love. I also bought this cat shirt on Modcloth which is my favorite item in my closet.
The month of October... includes something I haven't talked about on the blog yet and the sole reason why I wasn't sure I even wanted to do a 2011 recap. This month isn't something I'm proud of. Niklaas and my relationship hasn't always been easy, but until this month, it was never ever something either of us had to second guess, either. We both wanted it. Even if it meant being long distance, we were willing to do what it took because there wasn't a doubt that we wanted to be together. Like I said, in August, something in me turned off over the summer. I still don't know why. I became a little less happy and a lot more introverted about personal details. The enthusiasm I had to go on adventures with Niklaas and make crazy plans wasn't there. I was hurting but I didn't know why or how or what to do with it and it wasn't related to him, it was me. We were so excited to finally be in the same place that we took being together overboard. We started behaving like a married couple that didn't live together. He was at my apartment way more than I wanted him to be there and instead of being a freshmen at college exploring his world and making new friends, he was hanging out with me all the time. However, we never hung out alone. We didn't go on a date off campus for over a month. It was always him, me, and my roommates sitting around in my apartment. It didn't work. I needed my space. He needed his. We needed to be 19 year olds. We almost broke up when it got to the breaking point one night early in October and I was devastated. We didn't take a break, per say, but we took time to hang out with our friends on the weekends but continued to talk things through and saw each other during the week for coffee and conversation. It worked. And I realized how much I'd let myself become closed off but dependent at the same time. I lost my voice to speak up and say when I didn't like something. I didn't address anything going on even though I saw it. I'm disappointed in both of us. In me for not talking. In him for dealing it the way he did. But. We got through it. We almost got a fresh start and I came out of it feeling rejuvenating. Things aren't absolutely perfect and we still have to work being in the long term almost 2 year long relationship we're in, but our relationship has grown through the rough spots and I'm so happy and blessed to be with someone who knows me so well and is at heart, my best friend.
In the spirit of spending time with my friends and getting out of my little box, I went "out" on Halloween and had a blast being the only sober people with my roommate among a room of college students at a rave. We had a blast taking pictures at our new favorite place in Montana, too.
In November, I realized for the first time in months that I was happy. And wrote about it. I also decided to do something about this surge of inspiration and I signed up for a study abroad program... to Indonesia. And wrote about it. I fell in love with Jillian Edwards' new album and thanked my favorite people in the world for being so unique and crazy and cool and inspiring.
The beginning of December was exactly what I needed. The crisp-ness of freshly fallen snow. I was really busy and wrapped up with school and spent so many days cooped up in the library studying biology and organic chemistry. I wanted to die.What saved me were the little dates with Niklaas. Getting through it was the greatest feeling ever after such a long, grueling semester. I flew to Boise right after my finals and spent a few days there. I came home and spent a few blissful days with Niklaas going to our favorite spots in town and spending time together before we separated for the Holidays (he's in Mexico... and I was in Wyoming). Since Christmas, I've lounged around the house and enjoyed finally being home.
Especially after reading my previous posts from the year, I've realized my biggest New Years resolution is to just be myself. To be productive. To be happy. I've always believed that so much of happiness is a choice and I've always chosen to be so. Part of being me is to speak up and say what's on my mind. That's always who I've been and that's who I always need to be, especially in relationships. Here's to a wonderful 2012 <3