relative stability: a look back at 2014

2013 was full of change. 2014 was…not? Kind of?

I mean, things definitely changed. But they changed in much smaller ways than I’ve been used to from my last few years. There wasn’t a massive life switch at any point. Essentially, larger life categories stayed the same, while smaller things shifted within them. Does that make sense?

Oh well. Whether or not it does, here’s what I’m talking about:

LIVING

What’s the same: I’m still in Birmingham, a city I’m learning to love a bit more with every new thing I learn about it.

What changed: I did move apartments in May, which cut my commute to nearly nothing and granted me an extra half-hour of sleep each morning. I’m also much closer to the rest of my friend group and the places we like to frequent, which is quite nice.

Post-Snowmageddon 2014 rescue [Photo courtesy of Megan McElroy
Post-Snowmageddon 2014 rescue [Photo courtesy of Megan McElroy
EMPLOYMENT

What’s the same: I started the year as the project coordinator and yearbook advisor for Samford JMC. I’m ending the year at the project coordinator and yearbook advisor for Samford JMC. Still part-time with the same pay and hours.

What’s changed: I have a few more responsibilities and more connections across campus. I have also discovered the space heater that was hiding my office all along, so no more frozen feet in January for me!

Family hike in North Georgia [Photo courtesy of Nancy Long]
Family hike in North Georgia [Photo courtesy of Nancy Long]
CHURCH

What’s the same: I’m still attending Brookwood Baptist Church and working with the children’s choir.

What’s changed: I’m officially a member! I’m also back to running slides for the contemporary service once a month, and I’ve started attending a new Sunday School/small group for graduates and young professionals. I can’t be grateful enough for the Brookwood tribe and my community there.

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Best small group I could ask for [Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Bryant]
FRIENDS

What’s the same: I’m pretty sure all the friends I started 2014 with, most of whom I knew in college, are still my friends (Friends from January 1, 2014, we’re still good now that it’s December, right?).

What’s changed: I’ve grown closer with a lot of people. Our core group has established traditions and routines. Some friends got engaged or married, and others moved away. Essentially, we’re all just figuring out how to navigate the evolution of post-grad friendships. The iMessage group thread is a big help in that department (current name: VICTORIOUS AT LAST, in honor of our first trivia win in early December).

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#WigginOutForTheOvercasts [Photo courtesy of Rachel Freeny]
ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS

What’s the same: Still very single. So…yeah.

What’s changed: I had to confront some realities in February that I wasn’t the biggest fan of, but it was a necessary step in the right direction. I’m more confident by myself and in myself now, I think/hope. It’s become easier for me to celebrate the joy in others’ relationships instead of feeling down about my lack thereof, which is some pretty big personal growth for me, actually.

I’ve got to give some major kudos to Shea for being the absolute best roommate and sounding board I could ever ask for at this stage of my life. I’m very, very blessed to have this girl around.

Photo courtesy of Susannah Walters
SClub 707, generation 3 [Photo courtesy of Susannah Walters]
EVERYTHING ELSE (BY NUMBERS)

  • New Year’s Resolutions accomplished to a satisfactory extent: 6
  • New Year’s Resolutions completely failed: 1 (oops)
  • Books read: 36 + including the entirety of the Bible (first time!)
  • Books bought: 50-ish?
  • Books borrowed from the library: …oops
  • Days stranded by Snowmageddon 2014: 2
  • Completed knitting projects: 0
  • Taylor Swift songs played on the ukulele: 13+
  • Episodes of Gilmore Girls watched: ALL OF THEM
  • Episodes of 30 Rock watched: ALL OF THEM
  • Episodes of Scandal watched: ALL OF THEM
  • Percentage of self addicted to Netflix: 100%
  • Times awoken by a collapsing closet: 1
  • Friends returned from overseas: 3 (and another who ditched us to go back *coughcough* Caroline *coughcough*)
  • Cookies eaten to assuage emotional exhaustion: The exact right amount, thank you very much.
  • Terrible sunburns: 1
  • Broadway sing-alongs in my apartment/office/car: *This number may not actually exist in the natural world*
  • Trivia wins: 1 (and it was glorious)
  • Evenings with friends: All the best ones
  • Laughter: Plentiful
  • Tears: Useful
  • Cat cuddles: Never enough
  • Things I’ve forgotten to include in this year-in-review: Most of them, I’m sure

A very London/Long Christmas [Photo courtesy of Donna London]
A very London/Long Christmas [Photo courtesy of Donna London]
Things did change in 2014. They were small, and many of them weren’t easy, but they were important and taught me a lot. However, I can’t say I’m exactly upset to see a new year take its place.

I’m going into 2015 with plans. Plans that have actual, do-able steps designed to accomplish actual, very-wanted things. Obviously I have no idea exactly what the Lord has in store for my year, but I can at least give myself a concrete place to start.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me in friendship and prayer this past year. I have an incredible support system of encouragers, and I don’t think I’ll ever be grateful enough for that. So just…thank you.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2015 is everything you need it to be.

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