Keeping It Real: Reflections

I got woken up at 5:50am by my co-worker calling me.  One of our aides texted that she couldn’t make it in today.  The weather is awful and the roads are horrible, I guess.  So I got online to check the schedule, made a bunch of phone calls with no success, and now I’m awake and have been browsing Facebook.  My browsing led me down the slippery slope of old pictures, looking at how much I have changed over the years, reflecting on my past goals and aspirations, and how different I am now than I was almost 9 years ago when I graduated from high school.

Wait, excuse me… WHAT.  Seriously?  Has it really been almost a decade since I graduated?

True story.

Back in the day, I did my blogging on LiveJournal.  Every year I would make a list of goals to achieve for the year.  The lists were usually pretty long and would include huge goals like going on a trip somewhere to small goals like going shopping at a specific store.  It is really interesting to see how my lists have evolved over the years, from these long, fun and silly lists to short ones with very important goals.

Another thing I did every year was fill out a “Year In Review” survey.  I did one in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010.  Since I’m still awake and curiosity has gotten the best of me, I think I’ll do a 2013 Year in Review Survey and compare it to my 2005 survey just for you ;)

1. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
2013: I bought my first car, and then bought another one.  I went through an annual state survey as a long term care dietitian.  I helped evacuate a nursing home.  I was in my first wedding as a bridesmaid (matron of honor to be exact).  And I bought my first home!

2005: Went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with the bandos and kicked serious butt… I was on the yearbook staff… I won an award for something other than band… fell for a guy at work… actually enjoyed wrestling and went to WWE Survivor Series… celebrated the longest relationship I’ve ever been in [one year!]… graduated from high school – man, I did a lot of new stuff!!

Me in Gatlinburg, TN back in 2005... whoa.

Me in Gatlinburg, TN back in 2005… whoa.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
2013: I didn’t really make New Year’s resolutions, I don’t really believe in resolutions because everyone always breaks them.  Too much pressure.  But I usually do make a list of goals, like I said, and I worked towards all of them but only really achieved a few.

2005: I don’t remember what my New Year’s resolutions were, but if I made them I probably broke them – everyone does. I want to start exercising and lose a little weight… yeah, I’m self-concious, so kill me. Mostly I don’t want to end up like my sister and mother…

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
2013: A ton of people.  So this is one HUGE difference I notice from back then to now… I can’t even really NAME everyone I know that had a baby this year, because there’s just that many.  That’s how I know I’m really a “grown up”.  As far as people that I would consider closest, two of my best friends and my niece (by marriage).

2005: She wasn’t really close to me, but my Rhetoric professor just had a baby.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
2013: This is actually a difficult question to answer, too.  In the line of work that I do, people “close” to me die all the time – residents that I have come to adore.  It actually has made me really numb to death, and I’m completely scared of what will happen when someone really close to me passes.  There is one resident in particular, though, whose death affected me completely differently than anyone else’s.  He is the only one that I have actually cried over.

2005: My grandmother died on April 7, 2005.

5. What countries did you visit?
2013: No change here… haven’t been outside of the U.S. since middle school!

2005: Just the United States – woo.

6. What would you like to have next year that you lacked in this year?
2013: Time spent with my family and friends.

2005: Hmmm… I think I would like to meet more new people at school.

7. What date from this year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
2013:  There are a lot, but there is one date in particular that I won’t ever forget… March 17, 2013… St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, and the day the state surveyors walked into our building for my first annual survey.  Of course a lot of other dates are very important like September 7, 2013: my best friend’s wedding and November 22, 2013: the 50 year anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination and the day we closed on our first home.

2005: The campfire at band camp. The day I got my first acceptance letter. Seeing the yearbooks in their final edition for the first time. April 7, 2005. The last day of school… and the all night party. Prom. Graduation. My graduation party. Celebrating my one year anniversary with Josh. The night we [me & Ken] danced in my living room. The day we [me & Ken] ended our friendship. My 18th birthday.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
2013: Buying a house.

2005: Graduating from high school. :)

9. What was your biggest failure?
2013:  State survey, but it also taught me so much.

2005: Ken. Enough said. [my, how things have changed!!! hehe]

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
2013: I had not missed a day of work since 2010 from being sick, and this year I got hit with the flu… TWICE.  Once was respiratory, and the second time it was norovirus aka stomach flu.  Ugh.

2005: I was probably sick a lot… I always am, but nothing serious.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
2013: My house!

2005: I guess my iPod, or my new scrapbooking stuff… or CDs… I dunno!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
2013: Ken for being my rock and support through all of the crazy-ness that I went through with work, and all of the huge changes we had to go through this year (buying two cars, buying a house, etc.)

2005: Josh’s for sticking with me even though he probably shouldn’t have [I could just puke reading this now]… and mine, because I graduated! So we celebrated!

13. Whose behavior appalled you?
2013:  Oh, jeez.  People at work, friends’ exes, family members’ exes… people are just silly.

2005: Umm… Ken. And Heather. [hahahaha]

14. Where did most of your money go?
2013: Bills, bills, bills.  Buying two cars and a house.  Yay!  Being a grown up is awesome!

2005: Gas. And to pay for phone bills. :P

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
2013: Oh man… the concerts I went to this year: The Postal Service, 311, Blue October, Nine Inch Nails.  My best friend’s wedding.  Seeing my brother and sister-in-law for the first time in a really long time.  Buying a house!!

2005: A lot of things!! Gatlinburg, prom, graduation, all-night party, my graduation party, turning 18, going to the 311 concert, the Big ‘n Rich concert, wrestling…

16. What song will always remind you of this year?
2013: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke and “The Wobble”… I’m totally picturing Kristine’s bachelorette party right now. :)

2005: Hmm, probably anything by Lindsay Lohan, Kelly Clarkson, or the Black Eyed Peas because that’s what I listened to the most often. And… “Zoot Suit Riot” because I danced to that song a lot this year. :)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
2013: i. happier or sadder? 
Probably about the same.  
ii. thinner or fatter? 
Slightly fatter, I think, although my size & weight really hasn’t changed too much since last year.
iii. richer or poorer?
 Technically poorer because of my debt (two cars & a house, duh…).

2005: i. happier or sadder? I think I’m about the same, I’m always happy around Christmas… but maybe sadder because this year things are funky with my friends and then there’s that Ken thing.
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. I wore a size 10/11 last year and now I’m in a 12/13. SUCK. Oh yeah and let’s not even talk about my boobs…
iii. richer or poorer? Definetly poorer… dammit.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
2013: Spent time with my family & friends.

2005: Gone to concerts, or hung out with my friends. Gone to Cedar Point. Gone to the cider mill. Gone up north.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
2013: Working such long hours.

2005: [I think this is better left unsaid!  Don’t get any crazy ideas… it is about my ex.]

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
2013: I work Christmas Eve, then will be going to “midnight” mass w/ Ken.  Christmas Day Ken plays in church in the morning and we’ll probably go to his sister’s house to open presents with her kids, then she is having the annual Family Christmas party that night.  Then I am taking two well deserved days off so I will actually have 5 days off in a row!

2005: Christmas Eve – work 10-4, hang out at my house until like 5:30, go to Josh’s cousin’s house for their family Christmas party, come home and sleep.
Christmas day – wake up really early and go to Josh’s to open presents with the kids, come back to my house to open presents there, make breakfast with my siblings, probably go visit my grandma’s grave.
Day after Christams – work 10-6! GROSS!

22. Did you fall in love this year?
2013:  I’ll be cheesy like I was in 2005… every time I look into my husband’s eyes, I fall in love again.  D’awwwwww…

2005: I was already in love… but as the saying goes, everytime I look into his eyes I fall in love again. :) [gross!]

23. What was your favorite TV program?
2013: The Walking Dead and Grey’s Anatomy… wow I can’t believe that show has been on for this many years!

2005: greysanatomygreysanatomygreysanatomygreysanatomy!

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
2013: No.  It isn’t worth my time to hate anyone.

2005: I don’t hate anyone, but I do dislike people now that I didn’t dislike this time last year.

25. What was the best book you read?
2013: Hmm… I can’t remember when I read books, I’ll have to say The Hunger Games series, I think I finished Mockingjay this year.

2005: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Currently reading Chamber of Secrets :)

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
2013: I can’t think of anything that I discovered this year… but it was so awesome to see The Postal Service and Blue October for the first time in concert.

2005: Man, I don’t know, probably rediscovering country music! And LL, BEP and KC.

27. What did you want and get?
2013: My own house.

2005: A lot of things I’d imagine… but one thing sticks out: My ring from Josh [that is currently MIA!].

28. What did you want and not get?
2013: A million dollars.  Haha.

2005: Hmmm… a new car? A friendship?

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
2013: Catching Fire, duh.

2005: Probably Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I can’t remember what other movies I saw.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
2013: I turned 26 and I honestly do not remember what I did on my actual birthday.  I know I had the day off because I worked the weekend before and my staff got me a birthday cake, so nice!! :)

2005: I turned 18… I spent the night w/ my friend Jacklyn, then woke up the next morning really early to fight with Josh but yet still ended up going to Cedar Point, had a great time at CP… yeah.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
2013: Not having such a crappy state survey.

2005: Ken never happening OR Ken not getting back together with Heather. [well, looking back on it now, everything happened for a reason!]

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
2013: Business casual during the work week, and comfortable as all get out when I wasn’t at work – aka yoga pants, leggings, baggy shirts/sweaters, lol

2005: Comfortable and a little trendy… some cowgirl thrown in there. ;)

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
2013: Trent Reznor

2005: Lindsay Lohan… I mean, duh. [I wish I could say I was kidding.  I wasn’t.  I was serious…]

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
2013: Healthcare reform.  Just typing the words makes me cringe.

2005: I don’t follow politics, so I don’t know. I just hate George Bush. [I was such an ignorant fool back then lol]

35. Who did you miss?
2013: My friends that I have moved away from.

2005: My grandma… people from high school.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
2013: Charlie (the dietary manager at my work) – he makes work so much easier to deal with.  And Mandy, my best friend’s sister-in-law – I had so much fun w/ her during all of my best friend’s wedding festivities and she even went to see Nine Inch Nails with me.

2005: Hmm… Sammy Joe! :) I can’t believe we’ve only known each other for like 9 months or whatever, it seems like we’ve been friends for year. I guess she wasn’t really new – I knew her in high school, but whatever. It counts.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year:
2013: Stressing out over things that are beyond your control only hurts yourself and doesn’t make the situation any better.  You gotta roll with the punches.  That is all easier said than done, of course!

2005: People change, and there is nothing you can do about it – you have to deal with it, whether you like it or not. Sometimes this means that friendships/relationships are broken… and that’s just life. You can’t force anyone to fit the mold that you want them to be.

38: Parting words:
2013: 2013 was a big year for me, my family, and my friends.  Just like in 2005, I hit several milestones: I bought my first car and I bought my first house.  I saw a once-in-a-lifetime concert (The Postal Service) with my best friends.  A band that we all thought was done (Nine Inch Nails) came back out on the road and I was fortunate enough to see them, too, with an awesome new friend.  I struggled through a state survey, thought for sure I was going to lose my job, and came out on the other side of it smelling like a rose.  I love my job, I love my friends & family, I love my new home, my new cars, and of course I love my husband.  I love my life.

2005: 2005 was a huge year. So much happened. I love you Nana. I hope that 2006 is as good as this year was, but I doubt it… senior year can only happen once. Oh, the blissfulness of high school. My advice to all of you still in high school: though it may seem like hell now, enjoy it while you can. You will probably never see half the people you are friends with now again – trust me. And live senior year to the greatest extent – take advantage of it! :) GO TO PROM.

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