Wow, I think December was the first time I went an entire month without blogging! I know I discussed it before, but I feel like motivating myself to blog when I am busy/happy/having writer's block is a lot more difficult than I realized. I have a few ideas to get that Blogger Funk to head out, which is a part of what I am talking about today.
Obviously it's a new year. And people make resolutions on New Years Day to make serious changes. However, I haven't had a history of being one of those people. I guess I just cop out to that old "I never keep them anyways" thought process. But just because there is a chance you might fail at something- doesn't mean you should just not even try. So I've been thinking about what resolutions I would go for this year... I wanted to aim for something different, but realistic and attainable. I've also missed making goals and seeing them come to fruition. I did that a lot at the end of 2011 and into 2012, and I think it was a really great way to make small monthly changes that I could complete and see in a matter of a few weeks. I am also a big advocate of self-reflection, and I think that looking back on lessons and changes from 2012 is a healthy way to move forward from the good, the bad, and the ugly from the past year. So today, there is a lot to talk about.
As far as the past year, it's been a wild ride. I don't know how much I've necessarily changed in the past 12  months because I think it takes a little more time to really get to a place where I could reflect on something like that. I will say that the first half of my year and the second half were drastically different. I was still in that weird funk for the first part of the year. I didn't take my annual vacation until pretty late (July), as opposed to going in the spring like I had done the year before. I was still putting up with a lot of negative people and just trying to "power through it" rather than do something about it. Which I know now was a huge mistake. I had a quote that I used to keep on my bedroom door for years and years which read: I knew if I wasn't happy with my life, it was up to ME to do something about it. For the record: if you're unhappy, don't wait to power through it. DO something about it. I should have done a number of things a lot sooner than I did in 2012. Maybe out of laziness, maybe I was scared of change. I honestly can't pin down exactly what it was. But I guess that could have been one of my biggest lessons of the year. After my birthday and Costa Rica trip in July, I felt like my life made a complete 180-degree turn. And it wasn't just one thing. It was meeting my boyfriend, moving back to Huntington Beach, cutting out a lot of the negativity and poor friendships in my life, and really just a culmination of events that stemmed from those three things. Because I was planning to travel more, I invested in a good camera. Because I got the camera (and had the good fortune to talk to my friend Drew about his writing gig), I got hired on as a writer and photographer for NiteGuide Magazine. Because I got that side-job, I was given opportunities to cover a ton of concerts and festivals across California. About that same time, I met my boyfriend and he (in his unyielding search for spontaneous adventure) jumped in a car with me on our second date and drove to San Francisco to cover my first big concert. We started dating after that and ended up where we are now, which is a pretty great place. I think that me wanting to have a place "more my own," to have friends and my boyfriend come over to led me to seek out my current roommates, who have made my life feel so crazy-blessed and peaceful and happy that it blows my mind on a daily basis. These girls are seriously some of the most amazing people that I get to share a house with and I love them both more than anything. Incorporating the two of them in addition to my boyfriend has changed a lot of things about my life. They've taught me that spontaneity and simply allowing myself to be fun-loving again can make all the difference in the world. For the first time in years, I feel like I am okay being 100% myself. I don't feel like I'm constantly needing to be on the defense for being quirky or making the occasional mistake. Life is a lot less serious these days and it seems so much easier when handled in that light. I'm learning more about myself as a friend, a person, and a girlfriend than I've ever learned before. And it's been a pretty great few months for those reasons.
For 2013, I'm hoping to continue that search for knowledge and adventure. I'm turning 30 this year, which is really wild to think about. There's my big trip coming up, hopefully in April. I wont talk about that until I actually buy my ticket because I don't want to jinx it. I also have a few other plans in the works that I will wait until I have concrete material to talk about them, but suffice to say that this year is going to have a lot of newness for me, and I'm really excited about it all. To make more concrete goals, however, I want to list them here.
1. Advance in my photography skills. I initially took most of my photos on an Auto Mode, which is sort of cheating. It took me a loooong while to even attempt to use manual settings, but I finally got into it over the Christmas holiday, enough to at least feel comfortable using my camera on manual. My pictures are a lot better, and I have to admit: it's a lot more fun! I was insanely spoiled over Christmas and received a new zoom lens that I'm also obsessed with- so this is the year of the photograph for me.
2. Start a new blog. I have some really great ideas for a new blog, which I will work on for a few weeks before sharing in order to make sure it's not just going to be a start-up-and-dump-it idea. If all goes according to plan (and what I'm hoping) this could end up turning into something I may even transition over to a book. It would be a good step toward pursuing my dream of writing for a living; something I'm realizing more and more is something I'd like to do as my career.
3. Change jobs. I'll have been working at my current job for 7 years this spring, and there really isn't much more I can do to advance here. Every year, I say I'm going to look for a new work adventure and every year I procrastinate. Certain aspects of my life are aligned that would allow me to kind of "start fresh," and I think that with me turning 30 this year it's a good time to get serious about what I do for work every day. This is my year.
4. Buy a computer. Because no writer uses an iPad to do their work. Plus I would ultimately like to have more flexibility with my career and be able to work from home if I wanted to. It's 2013- people just don't need to drive into work every single day.
5. Find a fitness routine that works for me and get serious about it. I change it up a lot, usually because of the seasons. I think that what this goal ultimately means is that I need to start going to bed earlier so that I can get up early and work out. It really is the only solution that I think would really work with my schedule and needs. This is also a great goal that can be gradually achieved starting today.

What are your reflections/New Years goals?

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