Happy New Year everybody! Man, it feels so good to leave 2020 behind. New beginnings are always refreshing, and this one was so needed. That’s why I’m celebrating with an unexpected post!
In the last year, I learned the importance of setting goals and sticking to them. I was always one to make new year’s resolutions, and forget about them within a week. Drive hasn’t always been my strong suit. But I feel like 2020 was a huge year of growth and self-reflection for me, so I decided that I would make this year one of action. I actually want to stick to my resolutions this year.
To do this- I decided to give myself a bunch of little resolutions or goals in different aspects of my life. I spent a few hours and just brainstormed. I thought of things I didn’t like that I wanted to change, things I liked that I wanted to stay the same, and things that I’ve wanted to try but could never find a good enough reason to. I think I was able to create the best list that way. I really recommend you guys try it either for your new year’s resolution, or maybe even a random life audit. Here’s my list.
Stick to my upload schedule (Mondays and every other Sunday)
Redesign my site to something I love and will commit to
Work on sharing more photos with my posts
Spend more time with family and friends (COVID permitting)
Well, shit. 2020 was an eventful year, can we all agree? So much has happened globally that I can’t even begin to think about what has happened in my little life. But I guess I can round up some little things that made this year a little easier for me.
In March, my sister and I took a trip downtown to take pictures and explore Cleveland, which was something we hadn’t done since moving in August of 2019. It turns out that we went out at a perfect time because the city started closing down the next day due to COVID! Ah, the start of this hell-year. At least we got some pictures of us genuinely happy since those are rare now!
My sister and I chose to move back home once COVID came around and classes became remote. We still came back to the apartment from time to time but we stayed home for the most part. We didn’t expect the virus to be around for long, so we figured it wouldn’t be too long until classes resumed and we’d be heading back to the apartment. I considered it to be like an extended spring break. Boy was I wrong.
In August, my sister and I got new roommates! We knew one girl already, but the other was a total stranger. Now I can say that they are all some of my closest friends. Well, when you’re trapped in a small apartment together, I guess that’s bound to happen. Together we made the apartment a home. It feels so good to live with people who are respectful and not spiteful.
In May, I got a DM from a cutie and decided to pursue it. I wasn’t really thinking about dating, especially during a pandemic, but for some reason I decided to throw caution to the wind and give him a chance. Turns out that that was the best decision I made this year. That was how I met Colt. He was the first man to take me out on a first date, believe it or not. And although it was awkward as hell at the beginning, by the end of the day we felt like we had known each other for forever. And that feeling has carried on throughout our entire relationship.
September 24th- a day that I will always remember. It was the day that my boyfriend put a ring on it and became my fiancé! He had this whole plan for the proposal, but like we’ve been saying since the beginning of our relationship, “when you know, you know.” He ended up throwing all caution to the wind and proposing early because it felt right, and I don’t know about you, but I think that’s the cutest thing ever. Now we’re planning a wedding and we couldn’t be any more excited to share a last name!
In the final week of September, Colt and I began discussing moving in together since we had been doing somewhat long distance for a while and it was starting to put some stress on us whenever we were apart. We started loosely looking around on Facebook Marketplace and Zillow, but we couldn’t find anything that met all of our needs. We needed somewhere no further than 1 1/2 hours from his job, close enough to my campus, and at a good enough price range that we could still be saving some here and there for our future home. Everything we found that met the criteria didn’t look like places we’d be too happy to call home. The stress of finding a place to live while also planning a wedding was getting to me. I was losing my cool. But then we finally found somewhere that we both loved. AND NOW WE’RE ALL MOVED IN!
I found my beautiful wedding dress in early October. My whole life, I thought I would go for a really intricately detailed gown with lots of glitz. But I think my style really changed in the last year, so I opted for something way different. I chose a gorgeous lace gown with just the right amount of bling. I wish I could share a picture, but Colt reads my posts (especially the ones about him) and he refuses to see the dress before I’m at the other end of the aisle! Just take my word for it though- it’s beautiful.
In November, Colt and I found our wedding venue. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I’ve already been thinking about everything I’m going to write about it once the big day has come! We were so defeated in trying to find a perfect venue for our wedding because our families come from two different ends of the state. We wanted to give everyone an equal opportunity to make it out, so we narrowed our search to right in the middle, which made things even harder. But right when we were about to throw in the towel, Colt found the most perfect place ever on Google! And I have to say it- we couldn’t have picked a better location! The owners are the absolute sweetest people and their team has so far proven to be very helpful. Colt and I got a package from the owners not long ago and they had sent us a sweet letter, a marriage prep book, and a beautiful leather journal! Colt and I plan to make that the book of our adventures! I can’t wait to start filling it up once we’re finally husband and wife!
December rolled around and I finished the last semester of my junior year of college! It’s so hard to believe that I’m almost done with school. I finished this last semester with a 4.0, which was insane. I worked so hard to make sure that my schoolwork wasn’t falling behind with everything else going on outside of classes. I’m extremely proud of how everything turned out. It was the perfect high note to end 2020 on.
Although 2020 has not been the best year for many reasons, I have to say that it was a good year for me. So much greatness came out of this year for me personally. I think for the first time in my life, I am finally seeing who I am. I am no longer a girl wearing a mask to hide from the world (and even myself). I see who I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to do. After a year’s worth of self reflection, I’m so excited to see what 2021 will bring.
Thank goodness this is my last post of this bizarre year!
Everyone stay safe, healthy, and optimistic for the years ahead!
I know I’m a few days late to the Christmas Post Party, but I still had to make an appearance with two posts today (stay tuned for Paying Homage to 2020 coming at noon EST)! Also, while I’m thinking about it- happy last Monday of the year!
Usually, we have a big family Christmas party with all of my aunts/uncles/cousins, but with COVID that wasn’t possible. So, just like families all over the globe, our Christmas looked a little different this year.
On Christmas Eve, Colt and I decided to drive up to my parents’ house before the weather got worse and left us stuck at our apartment. We live damn near country roads, so even with the terrible snowfall the roads weren’t even touched. It made for a scary drive, so I’m glad we chose to leave when we did.
We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my parents’ house; opening presents on Christmas Eve when my grandma was available, and having family dinner on Christmas Day. It felt so nice to spend time with my family since most of the time I’m only able to visit for a couple hours. We also got to spend lots of time with the puppy, which was probably the highlight of the holiday season for me.
On the 26th we took a long drive south to see Colt’s side of the family. It’s always so great to see them, especially because we don’t get the opportunity to go down often. That’s in part because of my terrible car sickness every time we start driving around the hillier parts of Ohio. Every time we visit, they start to feel more and more like my family. Which I guess is the point, right?
While Christmas was different, it was definitely the most memorable year for me. I loved that we still got to see our family and spend some much needed time with them this holiday season. Hopefully next year we’ll get back to traditions and be able to safely spend Christmas time with all of our family members!
At the end of 2018, I wrote 2019 New Year’s Resolutions where I listed my goals for the incoming year. I’ll be honest with you- I forgot I even posted that until yesterday. I figured today I would go back and see if I succeeded with any of them.
“Give myself more time to relax”
I knew I needed a lot more me time so I did all I could to make that happen. I gave myself breaks from going out with friends and family as a way to decompress from everything. Sometimes that meant staying in bed all day watching tiktoks and other times it meant writing content and planning out upcoming months. Very soothing.
“Don’t push things off until the last minute (plans, school, etc.)”
Oh, I’m the best at procrastinating, so I promise you no adjustments were made here. Just this last semester, I waited until the day before a final project was due to even look at the assignment. Cool, right?
I sort of got there. I do a lot of walking, and I did some exercising for a little while, but nothing crazy. My sister, Rianna, and I have talked about going to the gym more this year, so hopefully I’ll get that squared away.
“Do something out of my comfort zone”
I tried my best in 2019 to do things I wouldn’t usually do and it was a lot more difficult than I expected. Anxiety is a bitch, as I’m sure a lot of you know. But I actually am very proud of myself for the progress I made in 2019. I went to concerts with my sister and made new friends, both of which are usually terrifying to me.
“Be more confident in myself”
In 2019 I learned that this may be up and down for a while. Some days I loved myself and had so much confidence and other days it pained me to look in the mirror. If I look at things accumulatively, I suppose I was a bit more confident in myself in 2019 than the year prior.
I definitely read a lot of textbook material this year, but not a lot outside of school like I originally wanted to. It was one of those things where I just couldn’t find the time to open a book that wasn’t poetry.
I gave up on that one pretty quickly. I journaled whenever I was going through things and it helped me get over whatever was going on, but I never really journaled about positive things.
“Take lots of pictures”
Oh, trust me, I nailed this one. I love taking pictures to capture moments. I have so many pictures from the past year! I also have a lot of videos!
I was back and forth with this one. Some days were good, but then I’d go into a dark hole filled with potato chips and chocolate bars. Yikes. I’ll do better this year. I promise!
“Drink more water”
After I got myself a cute reusable to take to all of my classes, I was never without water. I kept hydrated pretty easily and my skin thanked me. Now if I go a couple days without drinking lots of water, you can tell by the inevitable volcano-like pimples I get on my face!
“Stop using plastic straws”
I did really well for a while with this one by carrying my reusable metal straws with me wherever I went, but then it became a chore and- sad to say- I failed. I’m trying again in 2020, so we’ll see if I do any better this year.
“Follow a posting schedule”
I was able to do it for a while, but life got a little chaotic and I stopped. It was on/off for a few months, but I still got posts out at least a couple times a month, I think.
“Only post what makes me proud”
I’ve gotten better at making sure my content is something I’m truly proud of instead of what I think I should be posting for either clicks or approval. I think I’ve really narrowed down how I want to run this site and what kind of media should be on here. 2020 will bring a lot of changes!
“Be more confident in my writing”
Some days I was, others I wasn’t so much, but looking back at all I got posted in a year, I’m very proud of myself for keeping up with it more than I had any year before.
“Post at least once a week”
Haha. Well we all know that didn’t happen.
“Meet more fellow bloggers”
Yes! I met so many awesome bloggers who I’d consider good friends of mine now! They helped me figure out where I was wanting my blog to go and what I would have to do to get there. They’ve also given me a lot of inspiration and motivation.
“Take risks with my work”
I definitely took a few risks with things I wanted to do with my blog and some really paid off. I also made a lot of plans for things that I want to do that will take more time. But I guess the idea for said “risks” were made in 2019, so I’ll count those too.
Go to the gym
Devote more time to my studies
Gain more confidence in myself
Present myself in a kinder light
Donate a lot of my clothes that I don’t wear anymore
Can you believe this is my third year writing my yearly recap? I can’t!
So for those who don’t know, at the end of every year I like to highlight some of my highs and lows of the year (see Paying Homage to 2017, Paying Homage to 2018). I started in 2017 as a casual post, not thinking I would keep up with it the following years. I always consider the third time to be what establishes something as a tradition, so here we are guys! It’s officially a Megann Louise tradition!
In last year’s recap, I said I was going to make 2019 my bitch. Well, we win some, we lose some, right? Whenever I look back on this year I get a bad taste in my mouth. I know a lot of great things happened, but I also experienced a lot of heartache. I’d consider this year to be one of great growth for me.
At the start of the year, I got to see Cody Ko and Noel Miller live with my sister and friend James. Their Youtube videos were what got me through a lot of hard stuff so it was wild that I was in the same room as them.
In May I finished my first year of college at CSU. I ended up making the Dean’s List, which I would not have expected at the beginning of the year. I finally decided on the right major for me in that time too- communication.
I moved out of my first apartment in May, too. It was the ending of an era, I suppose. That place became my home. I made so many wild memories in apartment 509. As sad as I was leaving, I felt a weird sense of relief too. I was leaving behind a piece of me, which was sort of sad, but I knew I was starting a new chapter.
In July, I surprised my sister with a party for her 18th birthday. It was pretty last minute, but all her friends pitched in and helped me make things work. I was so grateful for everybody’s help in making it such a success. Being able to do something like that for my sister was so special to me.
Then there was a bump in the road. I said goodbye to a nearly two year relationship. Things just don’t work out sometimes and it’s for the best. I still have a ridiculous amount of love and respect for my ex. He’s a great guy…. just not my soulmate. And that’s alright. It took me a while to move past the heartbreak, which is to be expected when you were with someone for a long time. He is genuinely one of my best friends and I’m so lucky to still have him to confide in whenever I need him. While some would expect me to be sad that the relationship ended, I’m glad that I’m still lucky enough to have a friend in him.
For a while after the break up, I was in a really dark place and couldn’t seem to find the way out. I didn’t feel half as confident as I once did. I suppose it’s normal (but in no way healthy) to dog on yourself after a break up… at least for a little while. After I was finally able to get myself out of bed, I was going out to get my mind off of everything. That’s where the fun came in.
First, we went to see Granger Smith. The story behind that one is a little random. We had gone to Walmart and there were two tour buses in the parking lot (which obviously isn’t a normal thing). Turns out Granger was at Walmart! We didn’t get to see him there, but we took it as a sign that we should buy two tickets to the show that was only hours away. I have to say that that was one of the best nights I’d had in a while. The rush we felt after buying the tickets was insane. We immediately ran to get ready and blasted Granger throughout the house.
The very next night, we were invited to tag along to a Foreigner concert. I didn’t know too many songs (I know, what’s wrong with me?!) but I still had such a good time. I think that’s one of the first nights where I was able to fully drop every bad thought at the door and enjoy myself.
In late August, I moved back to Cleveland with my little sister for school. We got a new place with two other roommates that’s a lot nicer than the one I lived in the year before. I started what is the second semester of my sophomore year. Rianna, my sister, began her first semester as a freshman! The semester came with a lot of adjusting for us both and somehow we made it through all of the headaches.
For the second year in a row, my dad, sister, and I went to the Cleveland Air Show. When I was little, my dad always talked about taking us. Then finally last year, we got to go. I’ll be honest- I didn’t think I’d enjoy it all that much. But it was so much fun, that I was jumping up and down over getting to go again this year. I’d love for this to become a tradition!
To reward ourselves for kicking butt the first few weeks of school, Rianna and I went to our first Cleveland Indian’s game! I’ve never been a die hard baseball fan, but the atmosphere was so fun and I really enjoyed myself. I was still trying to recover from a lot mentally so that night was a breath of fresh air for me. Fun fact- I also bought my first legal drink at the game!
School got progressively more challenging and I went into a downward spiral. I started doing things I swore to myself I would never do. I just lost control of who I was. That’s when I reintroduced myself to faith. I let myself stray from religion in the past few years and by coming back, I felt myself finding closure and motivation to overcome everything I was facing.
Then I did something out of my comfort zone. After having several deep talks with my friend Kaleb, I found motivation to share my story. I went live on Instagram. I came clean about everything I had been feeling because I hoped being transparent would not only help me, but help someone watching. I was open about things that most people would consider taboo. Laying it all out on the table really helped me see the bigger picture. I even got some super sweet messages from people who watched to livestreams. There was so much support and understanding. It was beautiful. I don’t imagine I’ll ever get over that.
Shortly after, I reconnected with a friend I made during my first semester of school at CSU. We got lunch and caught each other up on our lives. We both had some wild stories to tell and a lot of laughs to share. I was really excited to have this friend in my life because he was absolutely hysterical and genuinely a great guy to be around.
I’m so excited to be saying goodbye to this transformative decade. I’ve got a lot of goals for 2020. I want to make it a year of hard work and big steps. I refuse to end 2020 in the same place that I start it. It’s time to grow, baby!
Thank you to everyone who stuck around for another year as well as those who stumbled upon my site this year! You guys make each and every year so special. I hope you all have a magnificent new year and get all you want and need!