As 2017 comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on my year. I wanted to reflect not only on big picture things, but the small things, too. To say that 2017 was a rollercoaster would be an understatement. It was both one of the best, yet most unpleasant years of my life. But through the bad times, I’ve grown as a person, and learned more than I had ever bargained for.
Through this post I wanted to take you through each month of my life! Not only for you, but for myself as well. We often tend to forget the little and meaningful moments that come our way, and this is a good way to rediscover those.
January seems like an appropriate place to start. In January I was still taking long bus rides on cold winter days. It was miserable at the time. There was nothing more I wanted than to have my own car, or to have my mom just pick me up everyday. On top of that, I stopped wearing my glasses for several months, and tried to convince myself that I wasn’t blind and struggling to see, which ultimately made things a million times worse. January was a really good social month for me. I had great friends at the time and we were actively doing things together. One of my favorite moments from this month was our little movie night. All four of us were there and we were watching The Purge. It was such a wholesome and nice night. Then when one person from the group left, we went to the park in the middle of the night to hang out and try and catch orbs on camera. Later in the month, me and those same friends went to our school’s TOLO dance completely underdressed and unprompted after we found that the bowling alley was packed. We bought pictures from that dance and we looked absolutely ridiculous. It was such a fun night and I’m glad we did that instead of bowling.
The good times continued into February, too. It was a less social month for myself, but I made up with it by spending a ridiculous amount of time with my dog, Lady. We had a small snow storm that left us with about 5 inches of snow and 2-3 days off school. In those days I spent it all outside with Lady. We built about 3 snowmen and trampled in the snow quite a bit. February was also the month I got soft box lights! Which if you don’t know what those are, it diffuses light so it’s nice, soft and even. They’re great for portrait photography and I’ve taken some of my best photos using them. It was actually a big step in getting me back into taking pictures. They also helped me meet a lot of new people and expand my skills. School wise, Sophmore year was tough. For some God awful reason I was taking an AP World History class. I have no idea why I ever thought that would be a good idea. But February was the month we got our AP Exam prep booklets. It was also the month I realized how incredibly unprepared I was. It was a rough month for APWH.
If we’re being real, March was an awful month for my mental health. My anxiety was getting progressively worse and there were some things going on that made it incredibly hard to deal with at the time. But I tried really hard to not let it stop me from doing things I enjoyed, although looking back I didn’t do much in this month. One good thing I did do was went on a cute little movie date with my friends. It was nice just being able to hang out and get my mind off of things. Later in the month, we actually got a lot of different people together and went bowling. It was such a random group of misfits and we had never hung out all together before, but it ended up being really, really fun. During that time, my friend accidentally put a $20 bill in the jukebox, expecting change. Long story short, we got to choose a LOT of songs. March was also the month I got to see Panic! At The Disco in Seattle. It was a really incredible night. I went with my step sister, Gabby. I kind of stressed in the beginning of the night because we were leaving later than I was used to for concerts and I was thinking we weren’t going to get a good spot or we weren’t going to be able to see. Every possible bad scenario was running through my head. But when we actually got there I found that I enjoyed being in the back much, much more than being in the middle of a dense crowd. It was an awesome night and I still remember all the good parts.
Ah, April. April was… an amazing month in the moment, but looking back it was the start of an awful road ahead. In the beginning of this month I was able to finally reconnect with one of my old best friend’s I hadn’t talked to in 9 months. Without going in to details, we just got into a huge fight and decided that blocking each other would be easier than working out our issues. But anyways, we were talking again, and things were good! We did lots of shoots and spent a lot of time together. Then by the end of the month, for some god forsaken reason, we started dating. This was the beginning of my first somewhat serious relationship. Besides that drama, I was being more social than last month, and was gaining more confidence in myself, and my progression in life. I was able to buy my first bikini and not second guess myself, and I was exploring a lot of different places. It was nice!
May was an awesome month for me. I spent a lot of time with my mom and Lady. One day we went out to Tumwater Falls and took pictures and explored. It was nice being able to spend time together without actually DOING something if that makes sense? It was really good! Another memorable time from that month was going out to dinner on Mother’s Day with my mom, grandma, and grandpa. We never really go out together as a family since we already live together, so it was humbling to be able to treat them to something that they really deserved. One of the biggest things that happened in May was that I got bangs and dyed my hair. Now, this doesn’t really seem like that big of a deal, but to me it was. Up to this month, so many things were happening that were completely out of control. I thought I was losing my grasp on different aspects of my life and it got me really, really down on myself. So to be able to make a dramatic difference with something as small as my hair, gave me that ability to control just one thing, and that meant a lot. One of my favorite parts of the month was my early birthday present. Me, my girlfriend at the time, and my mom all went up to Seattle for the weekend. We went and saw a comedy show with my favorite comedians, and then went out to dinner and just enjoyed the city. The following day we explored more and did tourist things. We did the Duck Tour, rode The Great Wheel, and explored Pike’s Place. It was an incredible weekend and I’m still so so thankful to have been able to do that.
June. I finally turned 16! I got my license on the 9th (after failing the written test 2 times), and was able to start driving myself to school (for the short time we had left), my dad’s house, This was also the month I started doing a ton of shoots. I started planning them more and more and I was really getting into it. I loved it. Every second of it. It’s such an incredible thing to be able to capture moments that otherwise would have just slipped by. It’s incredible to be able to capture someone’s true personality and character with just a snap of the lens. It’s something I’m so thankful to be able to do. School got out. I wasn’t sad like I usually am though, because I knew that I’d stay in contact with the people I wanted to. Plus, junior year was going to bring way more opportunities, and that was really exciting to me. But one thing I thought was funny and memorable about the ending of school was dissecting a baby pig in biology. It was interesting to say the least. But, the best part about June was probably going to Pride (refer to my “ People and Pets of Pride post if you’d like to see pictures). It was really cool to see so many people being represented and I’m so thankful that people let me take pictures of them and even their pets. It was really humbling to be there and it was just such a positive and happy place. I don’t think I’d change anything about that day.
July was such an active month for traveling, which was really hard because I was trying to keep up with the babysitting gig I had. In the beginning of the month was Lakefair. It was basically the same as it was last year, but a lot of my friends were actually working, so that was interesting to see. We hung out and had a good time and everything was really nice. The sunset was beautiful that night, too. I was lucky enough to actually go on two trips in July. The first being to the San Juan Islands with my girlfriend’s family. It was an awesome trip, and it was so gorgeous. We camped in a really cool campsite that was close to the water, and then moved to another one that was more in the woods, which was also really gorgeous. We also went on a whale watching boat ride, and it was cool to see and hear all of them. The worst part about this trip though was that I lost my #1 Dad hat on that whale watching trip. The second trip was to California, to her grandma’s almond farm. It sounds like a quirky place to visit, and it kind of was. But it was cool seeing almond farms. Sadly, I got food poisoning the second day of a week long trip. I feel so bad for her grandma, yet so so so grateful to have someone as amazing as here to be there during that time. Although I had food poisoning and activities were kind of limited at that point, I was still able to see and do some amazing things. We went to Pacific Grove one day and it was absolutely beautiful. Probably one of the most gorgeous places I’ve been. We also went to the 5th best aquarium in the world, and I was totally shocked. Every inch of that place was so incredible. The jellyfish and penguins were probably my favorite though. It was an awesome experience, food poisoning aside.
In August I was back home and out of a babysitting job because I was traveling so much. But that’s okay, I didn’t like the job anyways. The first week back we threw a surprise party for my friend’s birthday. Over the summer, a lot of us hadn’t seen each other since school, so it was super cool to be able to get the gang back together (minus one friend who moved). Later in August we went to Key West, FL. It was me, my girlfriend at the time, my step sister, my soon to be step mom, and my dad all traveling together. It was about a week long vacation but it was also for my Dad’s wedding. We had a few days before the wedding to explore and get settled in, and man did we explore. We walked around so much the first few days and went so many cool places. But a few days later was the wedding and it was amazing. It was on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean at (a dim) sunset. We also saw dolphins on the way out, and they followed the front end of the boat. The rest of the trip was spent relaxing and doing touristy things. My favorite thing was the butterfly exhibit less than a block away from the house that we were staying in. It was incredibly beautiful and something I hope I never forget.
Sadly, September came quickly and ended one of the best summers of my life. This was an awful month, socially. In the beginning, I took Lady to the dog park with a few friends and it was great! I loved socializing her, and meeting other dogs. I did a few more shoots this month, too, but not a ton. Nothing super exciting happened this month, honestly. However, I did start school at a community college near my house, and I’m on track to graduate with my AA. But later in the month I broke up with my girlfriend, and that was yikes. We stayed friends for a bit but it didn’t last long.
October was a decent month. I went to Arts Walk with my friend at the time and we went around to old antique shops and watched all the performances. It was a really cool night, but she wanted to go home when I wanted to keep walking around. I bet you can guess what we did. It was a short night. A few weeks later I snagged a working Canon AE 1 at an antique shop downtown. I got it for just $10 and I was stoked. We bought film for it and now I’m waiting to get it developed. It should be pretty cool, or at least I’m hoping it will. It should help me with my digital photography, too. You really have to take the time when you’re using film, because you don’t get two chances. Halloween was lame and depressing. I spent it by myself because me and the person I was supposed to hang out with couldn’t agree on plans (even though she eventually spent halloween with someone else but that’s none of my business is it).
November was awful. A W F U L. So much drama, lies, and broken trust. My ex decided that her life was boring enough to start spreading lies and starting drama. I lost a lot of friends over it and it was really pathetic on her part. I felt really alone in November, probably more so than I have in a really, really long time. But those are the times when your real friends start to become obvious, and for that, I’m grateful. Other than the drama and BS, I was working on my mental health more. I was doing things I wouldn’t normally, hanging out with new people, wearing what I wanted to without worrying what people would think. It was really nice and I think I needed it more that month than ever before. BUT everything got better and the holiday season came around. Nothing like the holiday season like watching your sister get wine drunk and pass out on the dog bed, with her new boyfriend here meeting the parents for the first time. Ha.
December was really good, too. I’ve almost fully gotten over the drama and issues that were caused from it, and I’ve even made new friends. I’ve been able to gain more self confidence and work on improving myself before worrying about other people. PLUS, we had our first white Christmas in 9 years! So that’s a plus! In the beginning of the month I was able to go to Seattle with my step mom, step brother, and his girlfriend. We also eventually met up with my uncle and his girlfriend. We did all the tourist stuff and we went on the underground tour, which was a really interesting experience.
And in 2018 I have some goals set for myself. Although they’re big goals, I don’t for a second believe that they’re impossible. I’m going to strive for my best and truly make this year about me, and put myself first. Because in the end, I’m going to be the only person who truly has my back until the end, and I need to acknowledge that.