2014 Recap!

I know my readership is still small. With hopes of it growing as I grow, I want to catch everyone up on my last year. 

2014 was a pivotal year for myself. There were so many goals that I set in front of myself. With a realistic approach and self-confidence, I was able to accomplish them all. 

Now, this is not to say that my self-confidence was not unwavering. There were so many times where I faced utter uncertainty towards my decisions. Yet, I can say for sure- I gambled on myself 4 times out of 5. That is big for me. It is HUGE. For the first time in my 'adult' life, I felt like things were falling into place. Like I had a semblance of a handle on my life. 

I ended 2013 working 60-75 hours a week between three different jobs while going to school full-time. I was running on fumes all the way through the 2014 New Year and I felt myself being spread thin. Between constant sinus infections, daily migraines and tummy issues, I knew my body was really paying the price as well. This was no good. At this time. I was also teaching group fitness classes and studying (going crazy) to become a personal trainer. I needed to keep my body and mind healthy if I wanted to help others.

At the beginning of the year, I took my first steps in betting on myself. First- I quit my full-time job. It was a good job and the bulk of my income. But, I needed to put my focuses on school. This meant a second job waiting tables. Fast-paced was definitely my pace, so I enjoyed the change. I was the awkwardly enthusiastic new girl when I started in early 2014. This was able to support me until I received my personal training certification and starting building an income from that. I did not leave my serving jobs until other things started to take place. I hit my goal as far as active clients and took on another role as a yoga instructor. All of the crazy hours and long days paid off. I was now working in jobs that I actually loved. It makes such a difference when you are doing something you love. The money almost does not matter- though it is necessary to survive. Helping others reach their goals really helped me reach mine.

After finding out that my school was no longer going to continue their women's cross country team, I was pretty upset. This was the biggest motivator in me joining this university. So, I started running local runs instead. First, I joined the intercollegiate 5K team through school. This really immersed me into a different side of running. Local races were so much more light-hearted and communal. I was able to just enjoy myself. Of course, my competitive nature always got the best of me. At the 2014 Peoria Run River City 5K, I ran right through the finish line and was carted over to the medic station because I ran the last mile in the throws of an asthma attack. They sent me my 2nd place medal in the mail.  I also started a running group at the gym I teach at. The women in the group ran the Women's Distance Festival with me and then we took a trip to the farmer's market! Being able to share my passions with others really boosted my own motivation. This really helped me later. There was a part of the summer that I could not keep my asthma under control like I had hoped. This was a scary and frustrating time for me. After a serious visit to the emergency room, I had to really cut back on my physical activity. This meant cutting back on my running. Once I was better (maybe a little bit before I was 100%) I got back into it and was able to get first place in two different races! Not only did I get back into running, but I finally enrolled myself into a 200-hr teacher training program for yoga instructors. I was already teaching. But I, myself was completely self taught. I wanted to have the opportunity to learn from a more classical approach about the many other aspects of yoga one can miss out on. This is ongoing and already serving such a great benefit in my life. I was able to pursue my passions full force because it is on my own terms. 

I was becoming the healthy, spiritual individual that I wanted to be. Yet, the combination of my turbulent emotions and being in a relationship that was not meant to last as long as it did did not allow me to reach a happy medium. We all have been there, holding on to grudges and harboring bad feelings because you think that you can fix something, anything. That was my issue. I was hoping to feel better about myself if I could fix my relationship. Soon, but maybe not soon enough, I realized that you cannot just chose who you are going to mesh well with. We as a society have a very shallow concept of what love can be. You put on relationship goggles and suddenly the world is half-full of unrealistic expectations. You settle for that person that buys you a box of chocolates and then eats all but two and tell yourself that you should be happy that someone spent money on you in the first place. That is not love ladies and gents. There were days where I would wake up and think, I deserve a whole box of chocolates. Everyone does- and that became my campaign for the 2014 vote that I should probably be single. At least for a little. Like every sickening sweet romantic comedy, I was in love with my best friend. The days that I was single were the hardest because, of course, he was right there to do all the best-friend/post-breakup duties. And of-fucking-course we had a best friend camping trip planned for the last few months that was taking place the upcoming weekend. Needless to say, I went for it. It was my turn to bet on myself again. Life can be funny and terrifying. But you realize that things work out. 

2014, I embraced my life. I started my dream job(s). I got what I wanted. I learned a lot (like that you need oil changes more often than every two years). I've gotten closer with my family. I ate bread. I even climbed a literal and figurative mountain with my best friend and other. I became the blade of grass that can withstand the wind. The truth is, there are always situations in motion. You will never be able to control that until it envelopes you. Then you have to decide whether you can whether the weather. You have to bet on your strength and stick it out. We all see ourselves like the blade of grass because of our weaknesses. We need to also embrace the strength to not only handle whatever comes our way, but bounce back.