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!

that full moon though

We've all--perhaps tirelessly--heard the phrase "enjoy the little things" or a similar adaptation. Well, the little things are the best. Seriously. I've loved that saying ever since the first time I laid eyes on it, but I don't think I truly put it into practice or appreciated its true 'essence,' if you will, until now. It only took me 22 years and moving to a new town in a another state where I didn't know a soul.

When you're constantly living and breathing outside of your comfort zone, you begin to notice things you probably wouldn't have noticed otherwise or that you constantly take for granted. The other night I was walking home from a night out on the town and I couldn't help but ogle over the full moon. Sure, I've seen countless full moons, but that night I really couldn't a.) stop talking about it, b.) stop staring at it or c.) stop smiling. I mean I had this huge, toothy grin on my face and I was blabbing about it for the whole walk home--my friend must have wanted to duct tape my mouth shut or just completely knock me out. Oh, and don't even get me started on those stars. It was like I had never seen either of them before. The reason why I'm even writing about this now is that I truly don't remember the last time I took the time to look up at a starry sky and appreciate its beauty. It was breathtaking.

The next day when I woke up, I still had those damn stars and full moon on my mind. This got me to thinking about all of those other things that I may have been missing out on or not fully appreciating, and the list I came up with was truly infinite: The check-in texts from friends and family, people smiling as we pass on a trail or on the streets, the baristas at Peach's asking for--and proceeding to remember--my name, a good book, my brother offering to pick me up from the airport, etc.

Although small, when strung together these seemingly tiny things evolve into one big, continuous streak of happy. An endless supply of warm fuzzies--and who doesn't want that, right? Sometimes I get caught up in looking for those grand gestures that will take my breath away or flip my world upside down, but really they may never happen and that's just not a sustainable way to enjoy life.

The little things are happening all the time, everywhere you turn, you just have to be paying enough attention to see them. The choice is yours.