Remember that bucket list I had for 2016? Gotta be honest here, I’ve been crushing it.
*At the end of this year, I will have gone on four international trips:
-I took my mom on vacation to the Dominican Republic, something I’ve always wanted to do.
-I’d been waiting to see South America for a long time, so I finally bought a ticket to Peru and Bolivia in July for travel that same month. (Which was a little crazy, yes.)
-I had yet to explore a new country with my boyfriend, so we booked a trip to Iceland in October.
– In less than a week, I’m heading to Thailand and then South Korea.
-I also traveled to Minnesota, Georgia, Delaware, and Illinois, among other places.
* This year I got serious about my poetry and started submitting my work, and it paid off:
-So far, I have had over 15 poems published in anthologies, literary magazines, and journals!
-I won first place at the 2016 Sigma Tau Delta International Convention for my collection.
-I had essays in Thought Catalog & Odyssey Online.
-I read with the Pittsburgh Poetry Roadshow & Voices From the Attic launch party.
-I celebrated my first year of blogging!
But, 2016 wasn’t all smooth. I also had some scary stuff happen with my health.
*I had a pacemaker put in, but was determined to keep running and I finished:
-Pittsburgh half marathon
-GNC Liberty Mile
–Erie full marathon
–EQT 10 Miler
I made this list not to be conceited, or talk about how great my life is (trust me- it isn’t always!) but because I’m incredibly proud of my accomplishments this year and have worked really hard to get to this point. It’s taken sacrifice, hard work, and admittedly, a couple breakdowns, but I’m so happy with where I’ve arrived.
I’m a big believer in being proud of your achievements, because why shouldn’t we be? If we don’t, who will? You’ve worked your ass off. Celebrate your victories. Don’t let jealousy in. Don’t be bitter. Don’t worry about coming off as “bragging.” Uplift each other. Support each other. You traveled to a new country? I wanna see! You committed to a healthier lifestyle? That’s awesome! You graduated? Great work! Go ahead & show it off. I’m proud of you.
For those of you feeling stuck: I was there. I promise if you focus on the things you love and make them a priority, they will become your reality. I stopped putting my dreams off this year, and look at what happened. 2017 can be your year. Go get ’em.
P.S. Happy holidays everyone!
I’ll check back in a couple weeks when I’m back in the States.