Well folks, how was your 2017? I can say for me, it's been a whirlwind of changes. Which is why I wanted to take a moment to look back on this past year -- mostly because it's a therapeutic experience. Today I can wholeheartedly say I've learned so much the past 12 months and would do nothing differently.
Did I get hurt? Yes. Did I hurt a few people? Possible. But that my friends, is the way life goes.
I've always struggled with being a people pleaser, although sadly it took me until this past year to come to terms with this fact. I think there's a lot to be said about discovering certain things about ourselves, whether good or bad. If we're able to identify these traits then we can check ourselves when we are falling back into old habits.
Now before I dive into all the events of the past, more importantly I want to share a few things I want to work towards in 2018:
1. Being more present - I'm always thinking about getting through the week or my next trip I'm looking forward to. This leaves no room for the here and now.
2. Further developing my photography skills - because I'm a nerd and spend more time watching photography tutorials than I would care to share. I want to spend more time in the field shooting...but Chicago chilly temps have been making this more difficult.
3. Teaching myself that it's okay to say 'No' - O.K. I admit it! I can have some serious F.O.M.O. at times but I swear it has gotten better.
4. Travelling to at least 4 new places + 1 new country - I'm leaning towards the west coast...maybe Seattle or San Diego.
5. Move into my own apartment - the famous line I've been using the past 6 months.
6. Learning how to use public transportation - because I'm a big baby and use Lyft more than necessary.
7. Finding how to balance different aspects of my life - friends, family, relationship...you know the drill.
8. Reading more books - more or less try to finish one in a month...or two.
9. Trying new things - indoor skydiving? snorkeling? Who knows!
10. Dare I say...blogging more? - this one I'll definitely need to make more concrete because man, have I been slacking.
Now I realize some of these goals are a little vague. Trust me I'm aware. Today Rib sent me an article which talks about how important it is to be specific with your goals for the new year. I'm telling you this as I watch the Planet Earth documentary on Netflix and now all of a sudden I want to take an exotic trip to Madagascar.
Here are a few of the many highlights from 2017:
Attended Hamilton in Chicago
Remember when all everyone could talk about was going to see Hamilton? Luckily I was in the right place at the right time and was able to snag a seat thanks to my old boss as Windy City, Kit.
Chicago Boat Cruise
I got to experience the city with my friend Megan and a few of her friends on a birthday boat cruise. While it was a little chilly, the fews were so stunning and reminded me why I love this city so much.
Took a Trip to Miami, FL
I FINALLY got to see the ocean firsthand and let's just say it was quite the adventure but well worth the wait. But the more I look back on it the more I realize it sparked my love of photography. We didn't do anything too crazy but explore different parks and museums but oddly enough it was the time I felt the most creatively free. Ever since then I've been trying to recreate that feeling through my photos.
Met THIS Guy
You could say that meeting this guy was by far one of my favorite things that happened this year. Never would I have known that someone could stumble into my life so unexpectedly and mean so much to me. Thank you ROB.
Freelance Gig with Olive Mediterranean Grill
I got first hand experience on what goes on behind the scenes in the restaurant business while also expanding my photography skills. If you haven't tried their food you're missing out, it is AMAZING.
Started My First Full-Time Job
Ya girl is finally an employed adult. In the end of September I took my first full-time position as the digital marketing manager of Leapfrog brands. Basically they make really cute water bottles which you all should check out (sit tight I will be doing a full blown post about their products very soon).
My Sister Got Married
A wedding for the books. I'm so happy for this couple. My heart explodes every time I think about how much love was shown that day. Katie was an absolutely stunning bride and everything turned out so perfect.
Added the Newest Addition to the O'Neil Family
Ladies and gentlemen meet the cutest member of our family. My parents finally caved and we got ourselves a pup named Booker from the Anderson Animal Shelter in Aurora, IL.
Can't wait to see what 2018 has in store! Hope you're having a great week!