“Did anyone see that? Because I will not be doing it again.” – Captain Jack Sparrow in On Stranger Tides

I am already thinking about 2019 New Year’s resolutions. I’m getting emotional thinking back on the year that I’ve had, as crazy as it’s been. There were so many ups and downs; it was wildest year in my life. There’s been love and heartbreak, happiness and depression, success and failure, friendship, and adventure with new experiences right and left. Just sitting here thinking about it is making my stomach turn with anxiety from such a cluster of emotions. Through everything, I’ve learned so much about myself. I am proud to say that I am closing the year in such a good state of mind. I am strong. I have strayed so far away from myself this year, but I’ve also come back to who I truly am. I’ve made so many poor decisions, but I’ve also made really great ones. I have proven to myself that I can do hard things, because this was mentally and physically the hardest year of my life. However, it has also been one of the greatest. Here is my list of 2018’s top 10 highlights:

  1. Turned 20 in Disneyland
  2. Backpacked 25 miles through the Frying Pan Wilderness and over the continental divide for five days
  3. First kiss…
  4. Went paragliding over beautiful Colorado mountains
  5. Road-tripped with a friend to go Skydiving
  6. Made an awesome best friend
  7. Completed my first year of college successfully
  8. Career goals vacillated between a CEO of a non-profit farm sanctuary and veterinarian, to being a wildlife biologist, and then realizing my intense love and passion for writing and deciding to be a writer
  9. Started a daily blog
  10. Watched Andrea Bocelli perform and it changed my life.

The year is still not over. I have a ten day trip planned just to go home and be with my amazing family, which includes Nikki, my soulmate puppy dog. I am going to soak up every ounce of good energy I can to prepare for next year. At this point, I feel like I have my life mostly together, at least as far as I can control. I am mentally in the best place I’ve been all year. I’m going to enter the new year with love, happiness, and peace in my heart and soul. I’m going to end this year and enter the new year with my family, surrounded with people I know love me more than life, and who I love just as much in return. I’m ending this year and entering the new year with my heart full. I am proud of myself and what I went through and the strength I had through the hardest times. Even when things got rocky for a while, I picked myself back up and returned to a place true to myself. I feel so successful, even despite all the failures, because I learned so much from them!

In 2018, I accomplished above and beyond the goals I set that January. I also fell short in many areas, so I plan to be completely realistic with my 2019 goals. If there’s one lesson I learned this year, it’s that life is totally unpredictable. There is no way to anticipate what may happen. So, my main goal is just to be spiritual. I want to be strong minded, to stay true to myself, no matter what happens. Next year has the potential to be a disaster, but it could also be a year of monstrous success. I want to be mentally prepared for either one, because I believe whichever direction this year swings can be an opportunity for unprecedented growth if I am in a place to make smart decisions for myself.

In 2019, I expect less panic attacks, less tears, less sorrow, less weakness. I expect more strength, more optimism, more faith in myself, more love, more kindness, more compassion. I expect to be resilient when I’m knocked down. I expect to keep hiking no matter how steep it gets. I expect to avoid giving up at all costs. I foresee 2019 being another difficult one, but I can do it, and I want to do it well. I owe that to myself.

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