Another year, come and gone. 

I write that sentence with a mixture of excitement, anxiety and just a dash of confusion about the relativiry of the space-time continuium. Fear not, this post will only really explore the first two, I have no desire to dive into physics — honesntly, with my B- in highschool AP Physics, I don’t think I could. 

2018, what a year. These past twelve months have held some of the best times of my life, some of the worst, and some that were unforgettable. I am a firm believer in the pendulum theory, especially in regards to the happenings of life that may fall outside of our human control. Highs followed by lows, success tailed by failure, perfection (relatively) chased by missteps, as the pendulum swings from side to side, balance is created in polar opposites. Keeping this in mind helped me get through a lot of my less than favorable experiences this past year, and I’m sure it’s something I’ll be taking into the new year as well. Now I need to stop myself from going to far into depth about 2019, mostly becasue I intend to have a spereate post about my thoguhts for the new year coming soon. Today, in this surely lengthy rambling of nonsense, I want to focus on the year gone, the things I loved, the things I hated, and everything else inbewteen.

Ps. This is going to be a long one so grab a cup of tea, sit back, and relax. 

I’ve tried desperetely to think of a way to sum up 2018 in one word or phrase but to be completely honest, I’ve come up short. My year felt very fractured, and becasue of that, I don’t remeber large portions of it. I struggled a lot with myself this year. I spent the first six months unhappy with who I was, what I was doing, and just generally feeling lost in my body and mind. I wasn’t at peace with decisions I was making and I think an internal battle for control broke out around February. I spent a the end of 2017 in a terrible space of mind, I felt trapped and helpless becasue everything that I had worked on for the previous months seemed to vanish when I returned to my home town for the extended holiday break. I entered 2018 as someone who was not okay being alone, as someone who was struggling to let go of the past. I remeber how lonley I felt sitting at home on New Years Eve, watching the clock tick to midnight, all by myself.

I came into 2019 in the same way, physcially. I was home, alone, watching the seconds tick by as the golden hour neared. But this time I was doing so with a smile on my face, alone but not lonely. I was content in myself, becasue I spent a large part of 2018 learning how to be alone. I’ve spoken a few times about my struggles with loneliness as well as tackled the stigma that being alone seems to hold, but this year, I lived that narritive. I spent so much time by myself and for a while, it was dautning, isolating, and even tugged some concern out of the mouths of my family and close friends. There were questions, so many question. What was wrong? Why didn’t I want to be around people? Did they do something to upset or offend me? On and on and on.

The truth of it is, I felt like a stranger in my own skin. And I couldn’t fathom spending mass amount of time with other people when I hardly recognized the face that I saw in the mirror. I soent every moment alone learning about myself, some things I had forgotton, others I had never known. It was like I entered into a relationship with myself, we had a honeymoon phase where my hair always looked perfect, my skin was as clean as a fresh canvas and I could do no wrong. But then as every couple experiences, we fought. Hard. There were days when I couldn’t bare to look at my own face, not avoid my physcial apperence but becasue I knew I coundn’t stomach what was underneath. And then, again like all couples, there was the learning phase. Everytday I learned something new: a new taste I liked, a character flaw that hadn’t reared its head yet, or something that could make me cry in a instant. It eas only through all of it, that when I look in the mirror now, I no longer see a stranger, but instead my dearest friend.

Top 3 Beauty Products

IT Cosmetics CC Cream

Hourglass Lip Oil

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

While 2018 held a lot of trials a tribulations, I also had a fair amount of highs. I met a huge personal goal in March, which was something that I had been working on for three years. It was probably one of my top moments of 2018, the pride and relief I felt in the moment I realized I had succeeded was something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. A few others highs I had was finishing out my first year of school with extremely good grades, changing my major to Beauty and Fragrance (which has compeltely changed my feelings about school and I’m more exited to learn now than I think I ever have been) and helping my best friend organize our local March For Our Lives event.

March For Our Lives was the social movement that rose after the Florida school shooting at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School. It focused on increasing gun control laws so that such a tradgedy wouldn’t happen in the future. As I’m from Washington DC, I was gutted that I couldn’t go to the big march so along with two of my friends we worked (let’s be real, they worked, I was just happy to help in any way I was needed) to organize the march, as well as raise money that would be donated to the cause. We raised about $800 in a week, and had a fantastic turn out of over 1000 people.

Top 3 Fashion Faves

New Look Lepord Print Coat

Alex and Ani Horn Necklace

Fjallraven Kaken Medium Backpack

Runner up: H&M Flat Mules

As for changing my major, while it’s something I’ve done a few times before, I think I’ve finally settled on the one I intend to graduate with. Beauty and Fragrence Marketing and Management is in a sense what my degree entails. I take about 50% Beauty and Fragrence business classes, about 30% Fashion Margeting classes, and then 10% straight Business and 10% Arts and Gen Eds. I’ve also decided on a minor in Writing as it was orginally my major and I already had a bunch of credits and am toggling with a minor in pure Fragrance Marketing becasue I would only need a few more classes to complete it. I had a but of a crisis this past summer when I realized I no longer had interest in completeling my degree as a writing major and that spiralded down the rabbit hole to the point where I wasn’t sure if I was even going to stay at my school.

It was quite a horrible and daunting situation becasue I’ve had an idea of what I want to do once I graduate but it didn’t seem like there was an avenue for offer that would actually lead me where I wanted to go. Fast foreward to the end of August, about a week before I was about to go back to school (my mom made it very clear that there would be hell to pay if I dropped out) I saw an post on my college’s Instagram that was introduing this new major. I signed up right then and there, sitting in the whildy uncomfortable (and slippery?) airport chair and boarded my plane feeling more sure of myself and my decisions than I had for three months. Funny how the universe works, eh?

Top 3 Movies

The Hate U Give

Darkest Hour

The Spy Who Dumped Me

Runner Up: Boy Erased

 A big part of my 2018 — bigger than I was expecting — revloved around traveling. I hit two major destinations, only one of which was actually really planned. In June, my best friend and I hopped on a plane and headed to Greece. It actually finally hit me the other day, which is rediculous becasue it’s been six months and you’d think it would have sunk in by now right? I was sitting in bed, prepping to write this post, thinking about my year when it hit me like a pound of bricks. I’ve been to Greece. Greece was always a bucket list destination for me and so the fact that I can already cross it off well, you see that stuff on the wall? Yeah that’s my mind becasue it’s been blown apart. Graphic, sorry.

On top of Greece, I also some how managed to finagle my way to France in November and December. Like what? I still don’t really understand how I made that work but I did and I had a blast. Granted the France trip was technically for school but it was a specific fragrance class so it was fun school. I basically sniffed perfumes and shopped for three weeks. That’s my kind of school. If you haven’t read about either of my trips, I have three travel diaries up for each destination, which I will link below.

Greece 1 | Greece 2 | Greece 3France 1 | France 2 | France 3

Top 3 TV Shows

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Jack Ryan

The last think I want to share is about my consumption in 2018, and I’m taking material, media, food, etc. Starting with food, I wrote a post in July about my six month experience being a pescitarian (here) but I never wrote one tow wrap up my year-long expereince. I went meat free for a year and now, looking back I definitly have a few thoughts on it that I didn’t really express in my halway piece. First of all, it’s pretty damn easy. I feel like a lot of the arguments that people made in line with not giving up meat is becasue it makes eating to hard, it doesn’t. I do keep in mind that yes, I still ate fish which some people consider meat, to each their own, but even on the days where I wouldn’t have any meat and I was just straight veggie, it was absolutely fine. I also found that as someone who has a really hard time gaining an dkeeping weight on, taking meat out of my diet didn’t do any harm. I was still able to steadily put on some weight without gorging on Chick-Fil-A chicken tenders, which had been my process in the past. I also didn’t that I missed meat that much, there were a few times where I would get a craving for a buger or some bacon, but it was a very infrequent thing. Plus if I was deperate for a bugar, Shake Shack does a veggie bugar that’s better than any meat-based buger I’ve ever had. Not spon, it’s just seriosuly that good.

In regards to media, I’ve listed out my top three books, tv shows and movies but there are a few that I feel just deserve a little more than a bullet point. For movies, I would have to say that if you see any movie in 2019, you should see The Hate U Give. It stars Amandla Stenberg and follows her character Starr through her experience as a teenage black girl who witnesses her friend being shot by a cop and the aftermath that ensues. It taps into the topics of police brutaility as well as the Black Lives Matter movement. It was fantastically done, in just about every way. The acting was superb, it was impeccably shot and the story is one so relevent and essential to be heard.

This year’s standout tv show, in my opinion at least, was The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The first season premired in late 2017, but it seriosuly took the indutry by storm in 2018. The second season was released just over a year later in early December and while I do have to say I was a bit worried by how they would follow up such a masterpiece, all of my doubts were squashed and soothed. If you like to laugh, if you love female empowerment and are in the market for characters that are just slightly insanse, this is the show for you. I mean, it won 5 Emmys. Come on.

I got really into poetry this year becasue it became a way for me to read without having to commit a lot of time to actually getting through a book. As a college student, I think it’s really important that I still read for fun, even though I’m constently inundated with things I have to read for class but becasue of the courseloads, I don’t usually have the time to give a novel a read. Poetry became my little escape and I love it. I had read both of Rupi Kaur’s books and really enjoyed them so I expanded into different poets who have a similar kind of style. As I did travel a lot this year, I had a fair amount of time to read on planes and that was when I got to include a couple of actual novels into my library.

Lastly for media, music. I think that I expanded my musical horizon a lot this year, but I intend to do even better next year. I fell in love with the sort of alternative pop/rock genre, Bishop Briggs being a favorite of mine. I had loved her earlier work like River and The Way I Do but I would have sold my soul to her when Church of Scars was released. It was angry and dark but also powerful and unforgivingly honest, which was exactly what I needed at that moment in my life. Another album that I feel deserves a lengthier mention if Florence and The Machine’s High as Hope Album. I listened to this everyday at work anf it honestly became my summer anthem. My favoirte song is Big God, which I think I’ve listened to enough that it’s been permanatly engraved into my eardrums. And I’m not mad about that.

Top 3 Books

Flux by Orion Carloto

Sea of Strangers by Lang Leav

Six of Crows

Runner Up: The Hate U Give

To quickly wrap up beauty and fashion, I felt like 2018 was a year of growth and exploration. I’m still figuring out what my vibe is, and I think that showed a lot. I went from a completely black and white palette to all earthy neautrals back to all black. I have to say, I think the black is here to stay but I have to learn how to be more adventurous with cuts and textures if I’m going to do the one color thing. As for beauty, I didn’t really grow nor experiment. Honestly I felt quite stagnant and unispired by makeup but I did find a little haven of solace in skincare. I started taking better care of my skin in 2018 and that’s something I highly intend to take into the new year.

Top 3 Albums

Florence and The Machine High as Hope

Bishop Briggs Church of Scars

The Greatest Showman: Reimagined

The year is finally over and since I’m writing this four days later (it’s bloody long okay) I’ve gotten used to the idea. Looking forward I can honestly say I have no idea what 2019 will hold and that’s okay. The idea of flying blind comforts me a bit becasue I’m so ready to just do what I want and ride whatever consequences come with it. I think I went into 2018 tired and broken and that couldn’t be more different. Well, I’m still tired but that’s not the point. I’m going into 2019 swinging and I’m taking all of you with me. Buckle up. 

xx

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