Look back at it (2017, I mean)

December 30, 2017

(Originally posted on my old personal blog, Adventures with KHill!)

Hi again, friends, for the final time this year!

As you may be aware, it’s been a crazy 2017 for me and not in the best way. Largely, it has actually been pretty sucky. Remember this time last year when I was like, “Wow, I live in this new city with my boyfriend and have a great new job and I’m not going anywhere or doing anything major any time soon so I can just chill and make a life for myself out here and, golly gee, it’s going to be amazing!” YEAH, ME TOO. I’m honestly not bitter about the way everything has played out nor do I wish I was back across the country living my imagined life as a character on the Seattle reboot of Friends, but wow, am I exhausted. So much has changed in such a short timespan and a lot of those changes have been difficult, emotional, painful — much of which I’ve documented here already. It’s been a rough year for many others in the world, too; I promise that I’m not too tone deaf or self-centered to realize that, even when I’m occupied by my own mental breakdowns. So to wrap up the year, I feel like putting some focus on the positives in my life over the past 12 months. They don’t necessarily outweigh the negatives or make me feel significantly better about all that’s happened, nor do they make any profound impact on the world outside of myself, but I think it’s important to recognize that they are always there. There is always a mix of good and bad, happy and sad, love and loss, even when one side is getting 98% of the attention. Without further ado…

  • I've lived with my boyfriend for a whole year. And we LOVE each other. More than ever.
  • My family is cool. Understatement, but I probably have more appreciation for them and how consistently and steadfastly they are there for me than I ever have before.
  • Friends too. I promise this whole list won't be a bunch of shoutouts like an outro to my hip-hop album. But there are just so many great people, ya know?
  • I rediscovered reading for fun. It's been the most wonderful thing and I encourage everyone to try it, even if you can just do a book per month or something. I can hit you up with so many recommendations too (or shamelessly plug my book blog...). It is such a fun and easy escape and I feel like my brain gets bigger with every book I finish. Or most books I finish, anyway.
  • Writing too! In addition to blogging, I've written some fiction-y things that have so far only met one set of eyes (mine) and it's been so fun. I wrote a whole, messy draft of a novel during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and while it's in dire need of editing and will probably never go anywhere, I still did it. Yay!
  • I went to Disneyland. It was wonderful and came at the perfect time for me. I want to go back tomorrow. And then every day. And then go to every other Disney park in the world.
  • I've started to see my little brothers as real people. Since they're so much younger than me, they've always kind of been little infants in my head but now they're at a point where we can actually hang out and talk and relate and it's wild, but in a good way.
  • Taylor Swift blessed me with a new album. Haters can back off me. I know she's problematic, but her music has made me happy since I was a wee middle schooler and I will take my small joys where I can get them, OKAY?
  • I released the crazy. Meaning I have been a lot more open about my mental health issues than I've ever been before, and it feels really good. I think having candid conversations about mental health like we would with any other physical ailment is super important. Since I've started talking so freely about my own illnesses, I've been amazed at how many people have come to me and told me that they can relate. I am still struggling and I might always be, but being able to relate to other people about it (even by just typing it out and putting it on the interwebs) is surprisingly freeing.
  • I met lots of dogs. For a hot minute, I was a rover.com dog sitter and walker, and it was really fun. Dogs are so much easier to be around than people are! And they're so cute and cuddly. I'm kind of talking myself into becoming a professional dog caretaker again right now.
  • I'm now a #PNW lover for life. Seriously, the northwest is amazing and I feel so lucky that I got to live in and explore that part of the country even just for a year. Highly recommend that everyone visit when you get the chance. Or heck, pick up and move there for a bit. Everybody's doing it these days.
  • I road tripped across the country. This was probably the most fun part of the year. My best pal/boyfriend and I got to see so much of the U.S. and Canada, and I even CAMPED like the real life outdoorswoman that I have never ever been. You can read all about this in my previous posts so I won't go on.
  • I started cross-stitching. While I was home over the summer, I impulsively bought a cross stitching kit at a craft store and quickly became obsessed. It's such a peaceful hobby and I like seeing my progress and the finished product. I now cross stitch while watching movies/tv, listening to music, riding in the car, or really any other time or place in which I have enough light and stability to not stab myself with the needle.
  • I became more politically involved. This one is a double edged sword because I would honestly love it if I felt so comfortable with everything the government was doing that I didn't have to contact my representatives on a regular basis or march in the streets or send strongly worded tweets (okay, the latter probably don't make any difference), but here we are. Counting down to those midterm elections, ya feel me??
  • I moved into a house! The bf and I are renting an adorable little cottage in our hometown and I am in love with it. Currently sitting in my cozy recliner in my cutely decorated place that is (besides the whole landlord thing) all mine! And it's 2/3 the cost of our tiny apartment in Seattle. What a world.
  • My family's dog didn't forget me even though we've spent the last year in a long-distance relationship. This is the most important item. She still does the excited whimper thing and runs around my legs and jumps at my ankles when she sees me, and as long as I have that, what more could I ask for?
 Just look at the perfect puppy butt.
Just look at the perfect puppy butt.

There are plenty of other happy things that I could have included, but did I mention that I’m tired? This is as much of a list as my brain can create right now. I would love to hear from others about what the positive parts of your year have been — truly. I love hearing others’ good news. The new baby and dog pictures that my Facebook friends post are my lifeblood. I’m not weird, you are.

Anyway, I wish everyone a very safe, fun, and happy new year! And don’t forget to wish my boo thang a happy birthday on New Year’s Day ;)

Thank you for reading and for caring!

XOXO

Kaitlyn

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