My 2018 was interesting. My first thought is to say it was awful. But, looking back on it, I did some pretty cool things. Some things that will probably change my life for the better. I wanted to write them down so I don’t forget them, and so I don’t just remember the bad, stressful times.

January – (Apparently nothing big happened in January; I can’t be interesting all the time. 😉 )

February – I came to the realization that I wasn’t okay, and started the journey to getting okay.

March – I was brave enough to do my first offertory with my best friend; finished my first painting (which is still a huge hit somehow).

April – I got to celebrate the wedding of some super cool friends (which was my first wedding without my parents, being my first “big girl” wedding), and I got to do my second offertory with my bestie.

May – One of my besties and I stayed home alone for the weekend, Vacation Bible School set up at church started (including puppets, drama, and decorating), I started weekly movie night with my one of my other besties, and youth group finished for the summer.

June – VBS work days every Saturday, drama team meetings somewhere in there, and puppet team meetings; ALL the open houses, VBS week, and WordCamp GR that same weekend, where I spoke for the very first time.

July – My third offertory (which I believe I did by myself), and a week in Pennsylvania, at Summit University, for Teen Leadership Conference with my Youth Group.

August – I got to speak for the second time ever at WordCamp Jackson, MI, I got to scope out the town I may be going to for college in the fall, and I started a new job! I also stopped maintaining the social site I had been trying to build.

September – Turned 17, did an escape room with some friends for my birthday, and celebrated with another friend because we share a birthday; youth group started up again, and I went to my first big Halloween party with my cousins and sister.

October – Went on my first college visit, did my fourth offertory the day after (I really need to stop planning offertories after so many trips…), and officially joined my church’s puppet team.

November – Fifth offertory, got a fantastic new book, and went to comic con!

December – Had various parties celebrating Christmas, New Years, and “family” togetherness; was in a Christmas pageant with the puppet team (which was a huge hit), and babysat three little kids independently for the first time.

2018 was crazy, and hard, and fun, and a really great year. It prepared me for growing up. It taught me how to say no to things when I knew I couldn’t handle them. It reminded me that sometimes you just have an off day, and need some space. But, that you also need to go to others for help.

Throughout 2018 my artistic career really took off. I realized how much I loved art. And, I had the money, time, and freedom to learn a lot about it (thank you Bob Ross!).

It’s incredible how much you learn and grow in just a year. It may feel awful at the time, but when you get to the end, and look back at it, you realize it was all worth it.

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