As I sit here reflecting on what a whirlwind of a year 2018 was, tears of gratitude fall to my keyboard. I cannot believe I am where I am right now. I never expected to be living so closely to my dream at the age of twenty-two. From major accomplishments, to milestones, to the amount of goals I've reached, I'm in awe of how far 2018 has brought me. I couldn't have gotten here without the support of my family and friends, the constant love from my wonderful boyfriend, or the constant hype from all of the people who encouraged me to reach for the stars. Here are just a couple of the things that happened in 2018:
1. After four years of teaching group exercise at JMU and two years of being a group exercise manager, I taught my last Cardio Dance Party class to an overly full class of about 60 people (sorry Mary).
2. I got to work with some of my favorite brands, such as: NastyGal, Lulu's, Topshop, and PacSun
3. I was sent to Miami with VS Pink and College Fashionista for Spring Break
I didn't make plans for spring break to save money because Tylar and I knew we wanted to move after graduation. About a week before our break, I got an e-mail saying that VSPink and College Fashionista were sending me to Miami, FL with my friend Britt for the weekend. It was a two-day vacation full of photo ops, events at Pitbul's house (he wasn't there), and 80-degree weather during winter.
4. I graduated college with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies
I didn't know what I wanted to do going into college. Because of the wide range of possibilities communications offered, I went with that option. Looking back, I should have done Marketing or Media Arts & Design, but I got where I wanted to go with a Communications degree focused in Public Relations. I was the first in my family to get my Bachelor's Degree and I'm so thankful they all supported me in that endeavor.
5. I became a part of TargetTag
This is one of the biggest things that happened to me this year. I literally got an e-mail with the subject, "Hello from Target, wanna collab?" I legitimately thought it was a scam at first. This random woman (love you, Marcia) hit up my inbox telling me that Target wanted to send me to their headquarters and pay me for a six month collaboration but didn't tell me what I'd be doing. Fast forward a month and I'm sitting in a room with the most talented people I've ever met being told that we were a part of the launch of Target's digital magazine. Still not over it. Also not over the fact that this photo is currently on TARGET'S FREAKING WEBSITE. What?!
6. Tylar and I celebrated six years together
Yes, we've been dating for a billion years and yes, we plan on getting married soon
7. I was the face of a NastyGal ad
During spooky season, NastyGal was running a contest that was for a staycation in LA. They asked me to go to Venice Beach and take a photo in front of the mural they made so obviously I was about it. They ended up blasting the photos throughout the entire month of October and I was the face of the campaign. Also still not over it.
8. I deadlifted 185lbs.
I ended 2017 deadlifting 55lbs. It wasn't a lot, but it was more than the year before. I made it a goal to stop being afraid of heavy weight (mainly because of fearing injury) and did the damn thing. For a 120lb. girl, I went from stiff leg deadlifting 55lbs. to regularly hitting 135lbs. with a max of 185lbs. Though I really wanted to hit 200lbs., my road trip and not being able to afford the gym for a few weeks after set me off track. Regardless, I improved so much and I can't wait for 2019 #gainz.
9. I took a cross country road trip
I've never been anywhere between California and Tennessee. This year, I went from Virginia to Tennessee to Texas to Arizona to Nevada and finally to California. I got to see the beauty our country offers and fall in love with the American Southwest. Sedona is officially my new favorite place in the world and I'm already itching to travel more. My next destination (sometime next year) is Utah to see Monument Valley, Zion, and Arches.
10. Tylar and I moved to California
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to get out of my home town. Though I miss the people there, I love this place more than anything. Everyone told us we were crazy to just pack up and move across the country without jobs, but we knew in our hearts that it would work out. And look at that... it did. My brother (bless that boy) found us a house and we all moved in together and LOVE it.
11. I made real money from blogging
This one is really fun to explain to older generations lol so here is a big, fat thank you to everyone over 40 that still says, "congratulations, that's amazing!" even though you don't fully understand it.
12. I started my first big girl job as a social media coordinator/marketing assistant
Like I said before, I should've had a different major than PR. On the bright side, I'm learning so much every day about marketing and graphic design that it's like I'm still in college. I work for a company in the interior design industry and run four different social media accounts while also serving as the assistant to the Director of Marketing. The company has welcomed me with open arms and I love my boss and coworkers more than anything. I'm so lucky to have found such a supportive environment so early in my career.
13. I won a trip to Disney Land and a shopping spree to Steve Madden because of an Instagram campaign
OOTD's really pay off sometimes. After participating in a campaign for Madden Girl and an upcoming artist, EZI, I was chosen as the winner of an internal contest. I honestly didn't even know about the contest, but apparently EZI liked my submission the most and now I get to go to Disney Land with her! I've been wanting to go so badly since I've never been, so it was like a dream come true!
14. Miranda & I won meet and greet's to Jesse McCartney at JMU
Y'all, I was his biggest fan as a kid. I had one of those link charm bracelets from Claire's that had a watch face that said "I <3 Jesse McCartney" in the middle of it. Each charm was a different JM poster from Tiger Bop. I had a poster wall. I had a clock. I had a freaking phone case for the Motorola razor. I was the only one who's hand was held by BOTH of his hands instead of just a regular handshake. It was a big moment.
15. I saw John Mayer for the ninth time
I have issues
2019 may have some big shoes to fill, but I'm ready for whatever it brings me. Hopefully it's just as full of happiness and adventure as this year was.Happy New Year!