December 31, 2015

Looking Back on 2015 ...

2015 was an unpredictable year. It was a rollercoaster of good and bad, with me wanting to push forward even when I felt more than a little stuck. When I think of when I turned 30, I remember making all these big life changes happen. When I think of 31, I remember settling into those changes and feeling content. But this past year of being 32, it's hard for me to pinpoint what exactly it's been. Maybe a good way to describe it is contradictory. In some ways, I felt a little lost but at the same time, I have a clearer sense of who I am, what I want and the people I think belong in my life. There were disappointments and frustrations but also many moments of happiness and excitement. All in all, 2015 is a year I won't forget and I want to look back on all of it.

Here's what I remember most about 2015:

+ I started a new job (again!) | The amazing second job I finally moved to after 8.5 years of hating my first job? Well, at the beginning of the year, the company was shut down and I was forced to find something new. Yet again. I wasn't thrilled with the prospect of having to start over but I'm grateful that I found something fairly quickly. My not-so-new job has taught me a lot about being a designer and made me realize even more that I love doing what I do. But it has its ups and downs and I'm still trying to find my footing there (hint: you know how I feel about life/work balance).

+ All about the planning | I've always been kind of a planner but more than ever, I was all about going places and exploring, even it meant having to go myself. I had this attitude of wanting to do things now and it certainly worked in my favor this past year. That meant seeing shows, going on roadtrips, traveling (although not nearly enough!) and crossing things off my New York City bucket list.

+ 3 concerts, 2 ballets, 2 exhibits, 1 design conference + 1 Broadway show | I went to three concerts (The Ting Tings, Jana Kramer & Sara Bareilles ), saw two ballets (Romeo & Juliet and The Nutcracker) and attended a show (Gigi).  I also went to cool conferences and exhibits like the Smashing Magazine Design Conference, the Hunger Games Exhibit and the Star Wars: Power of Costume Exhibit.

+ NYC Bucket List + Project Ice Cream | I finally visited the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, The Cloisters, the mini-Smorgasburg at South Street Seaport (must visit the real one next year!), Roosevelt Island and the Whitney Museum. And more importantly, I kicked off Project Ice Cream (for real this time) and ate at 10 different places this summer. (10Below, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and Sundaes & Cones were my favorites).

+ Wanderlust | I went to San Francisco and Salt Lake City for the first time. I road-tripped to Rehoboth Beach, DE, Philadelphia, PA and West Chester, PA. All trips involved amazing company, good food and exploring. I will say that of all the places, San Fran holds a special place in my heart. Mostly because it's the home of Philz Coffee (best coffee ever), morning buns and the Painted Ladies (Full House!).

+ Grief | In the recent months, I lost someone very, very dear to me. I'm still grieving and it's made the holidays bittersweet. In the aftermath though, I have to recognize the closeness I feel to my family and the love I felt as almost all my friends who knew what I was going through supported me every single day. It sucks but tragedy can make you see more clearly who you can and can't depend on. A lesson I seem to keep on learning over and over again each year. It would be so easy to just let myself dwell on the sad things but I won't. And I can't. Because even as my heart was breaking at the loss, I couldn't help but feel so thankful for the people around me.

+ It's the little things | It's not just the big moments (good or bad) that make this year memorable but the little things as well. Whether it was brunch/lunch/dinner, a coffee/bubble tea break or a trip to the mall, I was very quick to say yes to hanging out or being more proactive in making plans with the important people in my life. Even though I've always set aside that time, I was more conscious this year about wanting to be there for my friends and I've been so much happier for it. (Even when I sometimes complain about not having enough lazy weekends!)

Now after saying all that (hope you're still with me!), I can officially say goodbye to 2015. I'm hoping 2016 will continue with the good from this past year and then some!

***

Favorite Books of 2015!
It's been a good year of books, blogging and meeting authors I love. Ten books really stood out to me (technically 12 because I'm counting two books from 2016!). I met authors I adore for the first time like Katie Cotugno, Trish Doller, Huntley Fitzpatrick and Jojo Moyes (!!). And I've really settled into my blog, collaborating with friends and having more fun than ever with it. I already have a ton of things planned for next year and I can't wait!

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith // The Secret by Julie Garwood // The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle // Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer // Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas // Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier // The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne // Winter by Marissa Meyer // The Shattered Court by M.J. Scott // The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson // 2016: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard & Passenger by Alexandra Bracken 


Thank you for reading my blog and hope you all have a Happy New Year!

4 comments:

  1. It sounds like you had an important year! It's so great that you were able to bounce back from needing to find a new job and I'm so happy that you've been able to see who your true friends are. I'm so sorry for your loss and I wish you the best of luck in 2016! I read your blog every day but I know I've been bad about commenting so I'm going to to try to be better about that next year! Also, I am now craving Sundaes and Cones because YUM. Happy New Year Rachel!!!

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  2. We basically spent so much of this year together, and I wouldn't have it any other way <3 Thank you for being such an amazing friend! I'm so ridiculously grateful to have you in my life, and I foresee our friendship lasting for all the years to come. This year was definitely a roller coaster, but somehow, we've both made it through - and come out stronger too. Love you <3 Happy New Year, and here's to more adventures!

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  3. Wow, what a great year for you! I'm sorry to hear about your loss though. I see you included a Julie Garwood book as one of your favorites of 2015, I love her stories! Hear's to a great year in 2016 filled with lots of awesome books! Happy New Year! :)

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  4. Great post. It looks like 2015 had a lot of fun moments and I'm sure 2016 will have even more.

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