Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2015 Recap, Part I.

2015 is both difficult and easy to recap. There were a lot of big, eventful moments; those are easy to remember and document. I know, though, that I’m missing all the wonderful little things that filled in the blanks - mostly time spent with friends and family in small ways, like summer barbecues and drink dates. And also the fact that two of my closest friends had babies, WHICH I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT until now. (I didn't forget that they had babies, but that they only had them this year.) Those things are not forgotten. In fact, those are the things I probably enjoyed the most, but to cherry pick them out of my brain is too tedious a task to try to do at the end of an entire year. So here are the big, bold, defining things that happened this year.

The biggest and most important thing to happen this year was moving out of my parents’ house and into an apartment with Erik. I often forget the magnitude of this event, considering I was disappointed that I hadn't left home sooner and, conversely, wasn’t sure Erik was fully sold on the idea of living together yet. I remember starting the year with discussions about apartment hunting, and from there on it felt completely surreal.

In June, I went on vacation with Erik and his friends to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. We all rented a house for a week, spending our days at the beach and our nights being raucous and drinking too much. I have adapted to spending time with Erik’s friends and enjoy the occasional weekend party spent chugging beer from solo cups. But an entire week was a bit much for me, and I struggled. I spent a lot of time avoiding the drinking altogether and reading on the back deck, feeling happy that I was enjoying the vacation on my terms but guilty that I was separating myself from the group. Overall, I’m proud of myself for going - including having to endure an 8-hour car ride each way - because I proved to myself that I could. I just don’t know that I would push myself through it all again next year.

In July, I was honored to help my friends put together their dream wedding day. The bride - my friend Abbie, who is a long-time friend of Erik and Natalie’s - put together tons of DIY projects and pieces for her wedding, all of which were super gorgeous. (Seriously, she might have to help me one day when I get married…) Anyway, because she had such a specific idea of what everything would look like, she wanted someone she knew personally to help the event coordinators get everything just right. That’s where I came in. We staged things in her apartment a few weeks ahead of time, I gave her advice on finishing up some pieces, and then obviously I played a big part the day of the wedding. Everything tied together so beautifully and I felt really proud and happy that I was able to help. It was everything I love about wedding and party set-up, which is staging all of the tables and centerpieces to make sure it looks perfect.

August and September were filled with more summer and early fall activities - barbecues, a corn hole tournament, a belated apartment-warming party, and several fall festivals. Behind the scenes, though, Erik and I were struggling. I knew moving in together wasn’t going to be all rainbows and cupcakes, but I was thrown for a loop when Erik confronted me about some troublesome things of which I was completely unaware. From my perspective, things were going great; for him, not so much. There were rough, emotional discussions, something we don’t normally do (and probably a major cause of this all-of-a-sudden-things-are-awful meltdown). Through these discussions, however, we were able to actually communicate our feelings (what a novel concept!) and work through everything. And, as is usually the case, we are stronger because of our struggles.

Later this week, I'll be sharing the remainder of my year, which covers all of my year-end holiday festivities. (Because apparently, my 2015 recap is a lot more verbose than I expected it to be.)