2012 Closing Ceremony

To sum up 2012 in one word, I would say it was transformational. This year had some very tough parts, but was also filled with a lot of smiles, love, and personal growth.

The first six months of the year was filled with an inner sense of emptiness and sadness. The love of my life proposed to me in late December 2011, and unfortunately my family was not extremely supportive of or happy about my engagement. This was extremely taxing on my soul since I was elated to be engaged to my best friend yet I felt such distance and separation from my parents at this time. Eventually things got better: it was a slow process but now 12 months later everything looks and feels so much different. I wish I could change a lot of the circumstances, namely my dishonesty with my parents. I have made a lot of mistakes over the years, especially when it comes to the way I treat my parents. I have not given them the love or respect that they deserve, and I have not done my part to build their trust. Recently, this has all hit me in the face, and instead of being defensive and putting the blame on them, I am remorseful and seek their forgiveness. I wish there was a way I could take back all the years of hurt that I have caused them, but all I can do now is move forward and choose to treat them with love and respect from now on.  I feel like our relationship has begun to heal.

I struggled with female friendships. I crave close friendships with other women, but I have trouble feeling comfortable with other people sometimes. I let distance come into friendships, and then when distance happened, instead of trying to fix it, I pulled away more. I was not a good friend at times, feeling jealousy instead of happiness when great things happened to friends. I did not mean to react in this way and I regret it, but I assume this is where some of the distance was created. Additionally, sometimes I am very antisocial and would rather stay home and read than go out and see friends. This has held me back.

I struggled a lot with the way things ended at the bank – it was embarrassing more than anything. I regret the way that things happened. I like my new job but it’s very unstructured and I have become a little bit lazy and have trouble concentrating and prioritizing, which makes me feel guilty. I struggled with whether or not to continue pursuing my MBA because it’s so expensive. I decided to keep going. I will finish it in May 2013.

I paid of $9,000 in consumer debt but I still have an overwhelming balance on my student loans.

I nagged K too much and didn’t allow him to be himself at times.

I shed too many tears and let myself be paralyzed by crippling anxiety quite often. I watched too much TV and didn’t read or write enough. I have not been able to get my eating habits under control and I continue to struggle with binge eating disorder. I have low self-esteem and low self-confidence. These things hold me back.

Despite this list of struggles, I grew into a more beautiful person inside. I learned that change can be a good thing (even if it doesn’t feel like it right away). Challenging situations will not make me crumble, I can turn inward and find strength inside myself.  I have learned how deeply my family loves me and we have bonded in ways I wasn’t sure we ever would. I learned that K and I can go through hard scary times and come out stronger and closer than ever before. I grew closer to God and learned to turn to him to help me manage my fear, anxiety, or sadness.

I transformed my financial habits. My whole attitude towards money and spending has changed. I am no longer carrying any consumer debt and I built a small savings account for myself. My net worth is 200% higher than it was in December 2011. I realize the value of $1. I no longer feel like a serial consumerist. I have begun to live below my means.

One of the things that makes me happiest is that I can now say I feel close with my mom. I haven’t felt this way since the age of 10. I feel like she likes me and is proud of me. She has grown this year too. She has been kind to Keith in the past 6  months and I feel as if she finally accepts him.

2012 led me to a new job in a new industry that I might not have taken if I hadn’t had a push to leave the bank. I am so much happier now. Despite a large paycut, the upwards potential in the future is great, and I am confident that I have what it takes to succeed. A small business environment is much more suitable for my personality, and I no longer feel depressed and empty on Sunday nights (because I do not dread the week ahead any longer).

Despite all of the changes that happened, I stuck with a fairly consistent exercise schedule throughout the entire year. It is a natural mood enhancer for me and helps to keep me balanced. Exercise is now a part of my daily routine.

Travel continued to be a priority in my life. I traveled to London, Paris, and Brussels for 2 weeks with one of my closest girlfriends. Then I went to Ireland for 2 weeks with K and some of our friends.

I read some amazing books. I participated in succession planning for the family business. I tried to keep my brain active and engaged in my MBA studies.

I have worked on practicing gratitude and optimism. We can’t choose what happens to us but we CAN choose how we react to it. This is an area that is a work in progress for me, but when I have been able to practice optimism I can see what an amazing effect it has on my soul. We can create our own peace.

2012: thank you for the lows, for they have truly made me appreciate the highs. Recently I have been filled with an inner sense of peace, joy, appreciation, and optimism.  I am hopeful for what the upcoming year holds in store for me.

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