a year in reflection: 2014

Ahh, another year in the books. Seriously, did 2014 go by even faster than 2013? I'm scared that I'll blink and it will be 2056, which is why I'm taking the time to reflect on the last year and express my gratitude for all of the kick ass experiences I was so lucky to have.

The first that comes to mind was opening the lululemon at the Edina Galleria. It was a blast getting to experience a new store opening and be a part of the whole process. The best part? The amazing group of lemons that I now consider my family--I miss you all every single day. You changed my life, truly.

Next up is graduation--it's hard to believe that I'm coming up on a full year of being a post grad this spring. Oy. I wouldn't go as far to say that college was the best four years of my life, because I have way too much time ahead of me to say that the best years of my life are behind me, but it was F-U-N. I made countless questionable decisions, but you can be sure I always (eventually) came out on top. I met some of the coolest humans that I now call my best friends and the distance from my childhood and high school friends strengthened and deepened our relationships more than I could have ever imagined. I suppose I did a little studying here and there too, ha! I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss it, but at the same time you couldn't pay me to do it all again.

Not too long after graduating, I celebrated turning 22 surrounded by all of my favorite people--it was definitely a benchmark birthday. It still makes me smile thinking about all of the people who made it special.

Then, Aspen happened. I knew from the start that moving to a town I had never been before and where I didn't know a soul was going to be a life changing experience--and boy is it ever. I've gotten to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and not one second of it has been lost on me. I'm grateful every single day for this rare opportunity and the support from my family that without, none of this would be possible. Through truly living on my own for the first time and working with yet another amazing group of lemons (seriously, how did I get so lucky?!) I have learned more about myself and how to be a human being in the real world than I ever thought was possible. It hasn't all been easy, in fact at times it has been really fucking hard, but I think that the best things in life are fought for. Right? My days left here in Aspen may be numbered (that number is still up in the air), but I have never once doubted that I was meant to come to Aspen and that this is exactly where I need to be at this time in my life. Aspen will always be my home away from home.

With that being said, I'm going into 2015 with an open mind. I have no resolutions. All I'm committing to is staying true to my intentions of always trusting my gut, strengthening my relationships and doing what makes me happy, all of which I'm carrying over from 2014. I have complete faith in the universe that I will experience exactly what was meant for me in the coming year and that anything that misses me was not meant for me.

Here's to the adventure ahead that is 2015. Cheers!

choose to see the good stuff

How much happier do you think we'd all be if we just shifted the way we looked at things? At the world?

Yesterday, I stood in line and couldn't help but eavesdrop on a father and daughter standing behind me. They bitched and moaned for probably 20 minutes--if not 30 or 40 (the line was reaaally long.) They complained about the buses not coming early, they complained about what people were--or weren't--wearing, they complained about how many people there were, and the list goes on. Honestly, it's a much shorter list to tell you what they didn't complain about than what they did.

Usually this kind of thing would affect my mood and I myself would start to complain and point out all the things that were wrong in that very moment--but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I was going to have fun, god damnit. The sun was shining, I was spending some quality time with two of my favorite people and was about to hop on a bus to one of the most beautiful spots in Aspen. And then there's the simple fact that we're in Aspen--one of the most beautiful places in the world. What the hell is there to be miserable about? Nothing.

In the grand scheme of things, nothing these two people were complaining about matter even the slightest, but they let it. I realized that instead of reporting back to their loved ones about how perfect the weather was, how beautiful the scenery was or how much fun they had with each other, they would probably talk about everything they had been complaining about all morning--and that made me sad.

This got me thinking...

I really do have control over my life. I have choice--I always have choice. I can choose to take on the negative emotions and feelings of people around me--or other things I cannot control--and let it ruin my day, or not. My happiness is just that--mine--and it doesn't have to depend on other peoples'.

Piggybacking off of that learning, the second takeaway I have from this experience is that we really must choose to see the good stuff. You might think it sounds stupid, but that's probably just because you haven't actually given it a try. It's a small, simple shift that could change your entire life. Seriously. We can pick out all the things that drive us off our rockers and be miserable for the rest of our lives, or--even in the presence of those not-so-great things--we can choose happiness and see something good. It's really that simple.