2017 in Review (A short story on why I’m really glad it’s over)

Wow. That’s the first word that pops into my head when realizing that 2017 is nearly finished. Though, I can’t say I am necessarily sad to see it go. 2017 was rough. It wasn’t rough just for me, but it seemed to be a difficult year for those around me and people all across the globe. From political debates (which I refuse to get involved in) to horrible acts of violence, God seems to be testing us in 2017. Here’s 2017 from my perspective.

It started out like any normal year. I was starting my second semester of college, working a part-time retail job, and kicking off the new year with my parents and sister by watching the ball drop on TV while sat next to the Christmas tree that would stay up until late February. I started my second semester of college and was eager to begin taking classes other than gen-eds!

The semester went on and I was adjusted to a new schedule. February rolled by with nothing big happening (at least it must not have had anything significant because I don’t remember it now).

March came and that’s when my health decided to take a turn. I got the flu. I had managed to avoid having the flu for my entire life up until this point. My sister and mom got it first and seeing as I was the one who had to take care of them it really came as no surprise when I got it and joined the party shortly after. It conveniently decided to come the week before Spring Break, meaning I had to go two weeks before I could get caught up on any of the work I had missed. We still managed to have some fun over Spring Break and took a family trip to Charleston, SC and Folly Beach. A lot of my childhood memories come from sunset walks along the Folly shore collecting sand dollars, so it was nice to go back and reminisce (do I sound like an old lady right now, or what?).

April and May flew by as the spring semester came to an end. My favorite class, that whole semester, had to be Multimedia Productions. It was my first step into the world I had chosen for my major and I fell in love.

June was a crazy month. It started with becoming an official communications intern at First Christian Church – Johnson City. I spent a good amount of Summer working, but I was happy to do it because I was learning so much about the field I’m studying! June 20th came and I said hello to my 19th year of life! It was a good birthday; I worked so a bunch of us at work went to lunch together to celebrate at my favorite restaurant, Cootie Brown’s. A week after my birthday we packed up and left for a family vacation to Washington DC. This was my first time visiting our nation’s capital and it was pretty cool!   We walked a lot, saw the monuments, visited Arlington National Cemetary, lots of museum visits, and if you want to know more about it check out my travel post! From DC we headed to Pennsylvania to visit family and meet my cousin’s second little boy, Noah, for the first time. It was a great visit with family but definitely not long enough.

July was a bit of a dark period. It was dark because I pretty much lived with the lights off because I was always sick. I had two sinus infections, back to back. The doctors said I am probably developing seasonal allergies and that is why I got so sick, but being the worrier I am I convinced myself I was dying. I managed to work through it and continue my life close to normal just carrying around a lot of Excedrin (for the constant sinus headaches) and tissues!

August was when school started again! I was looking forward to this semester as I was beginning some upper-level classes and getting away from the gen-eds. I started a class (Survey of Promotion) that would make me fall deeply in love with my major and realize just how amazing God’s plan is for each one of us.

September was a month filled with school. Finding the rhythm of a new semester and finding a balance between work and school.

October was a challenging month. It started out pretty silent (which is no fun because if you know me well you’ll know I talk a lot and fast) because of tonsilitis. I was up for a promotion at my retail job and trying to juggle the extra hours there, being paid for my internship and fitting in all of my hours there, and not letting my grades slip. It is always a challenge for me to not overwhelm myself because I enjoy staying busy, but also sometimes don’t realize how close I am to actually breaking myself.

November was the calm before the storm. Thanksgiving was a fun day with family and lots of good food, and I didn’t have to work on Thanksgiving! Black Friday came and it wasn’t as bad as I’d thought it would be. The real fun came the week after that.

December was a test of my sanity, strength, and a lot of other things that right now I cannot think of words for. We found out that the company I worked for (Charming Charlie) was closing 97 stores and filing for bankruptcy. This came out of nowhere and shook all of us to the core. Not to mention this also came the week before the most stressful time of year for college students….finals week. To say it was a rough couple of weeks is an understatement. I was worried about money and all sorts of adult things that I’d never worried about before! It was all very overwhelming. I managed to put it on the backburner to focus on finals and actually pulled up my astronomy 2 grade by two letter grades! Then, First Christian Church – Johnson City offered me a permanent job transitioning from intern to communications assistant! To say I was excited doesn’t even begin to cover it.

This year God tested my trust. There was a lot of waiting and uncertainties in 2017, and he knew that I needed to learn to trust him more. I am prone to worrying but it never fails that my worrying becomes pointless in God’s perfect plan.

I also learned that it is okay to open up to people when I’m struggling. I tend to pride myself on being known as a smiley, happy person, but the truth is we can’t always be that all the time. It’s okay to not always be okay. My mom said to me, “everyone always dumps there problems on to you and you listen, but does anyone let you do that?” That day I realized I need to be more transparent in order to maintain my own mental health.

2017 was a year of challenges and growth. I am thankful for the experiences I’ve gained. I can’t say I’m necessarily sad to see this year go, but I have a sense of optimism about 2018. I feel like this next year is going to be one of the best ones yet and I am excited to see what is in store for everyone.

Goodbye 2017.

x,

Bailey

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