[Happy] New Year

It's hard to believe that it is already 2016. I'm not sure where 2015 went but it went fast!

While 2015 wasn't the worst year ever I also wouldn't say it was the best year ever. It was somewhere right in between. It had it's ups and downs like every year does. I started out the year at a new job in January. It was a struggle to get acclimated there and when I think about it I realize I never truly did fit in there. In April Matthew and I took a vacation to Austin and fell in love with the city. We got a puppy in May who has won my heart, hands down. We went camping and weathered a storm in which we had to order pizza instead of cooking, (that was a first!). We traveled to Missouri over the fourth of July to spend time with Matthew's parents and found a neat underground Irish Pub. In September we took another road trip, this time to Springfield with my parents. In October we celebrated our one year wedding anniversary and realized that marriage was a breeze, to us! We also started applying for jobs in Austin which lead to a job offer in November! We spent Thanksgiving with Matthew's family instead of mine for the first time. And then there was December. In December I got my official job offer, pending background checks. I have my two weeks notice at work and a huge weight was lifted. We celebrated Christmas and two days later my car was packed and my mom, Wrigley and I were headed south for Austin. Now it's January and here I am!

It was a year of learning. I learned a lot about myself and what my passions are and aren't. I learned what a good friend is and isn't. I learned more about what causes my anxiety and what can alleviate it. I struggled, a lot. But I had many good days, too.

As I have mentioned time and time again my job was not a good fit for me. I was not as happy there as I should've been. I worked up courage to stand up for myself and it blew up in my face. I spent lunch hours in tears, I left at the end of the day in tears, I felt feelings I didn't even know I had. And the hardest part about all of that was the fact that it wasn't my actual job or my job duties that made me feel that way.

I found out the hard way who my friends were. It was a sad, but not surprising, realization that I didn't have as many friends as I thought I did. It felt good to let go of people in my life that were toxic to me. People that didn't believe in me, didn't understand my anxiety disorder, didn't care as much as I cared. I don't miss any of those people and the way they were treating me, I don't miss having my feelings hurt because I was the only one not invited to girls night, I don't miss feeling like I wasn't good enough to contact when someone came to Sioux Falls for a weekend. I do miss wondering what was wrong with me. Luckily my husband doubles as my best friend, and my best friend and I won't ever leave each other..so I wasn't completely in the dust.

I learned more about what caused my anxiety and some more coping skills. I was surprised that some of my triggers were never noticed before. I believe that all of my triggers are clear and present, except when they are laying dormant. I spent more days being sad and not knowing why than days being sad for a reason that was obvious. I opened up more about my anxiety disorder and started posting these blog posts publicly. My number of page views has skyrocketed, even thought I only know of a few people who actually read them (because they've told me!). Writing and putting in in the public view is therapeutic and scary. I was introduced to adult coloring books and can't get enough of them. My collection of both coloring books and coloring utensils has grown. I have spent hours in those books. They work wonders for calming me!

Most of all the year of 2015 taught me how to love myself even more. It taught me to look out for number one. It opened my eyes to what a good, caring, loving husband is. It showed me that while people say they care, they don't always mean it. It was an eye opener professionally and I grew in my knowledge of social services. I had a dream and even though it didn't work out in the end, I followed it. I had another dream and I chased it. It was a year to grow, and grow I did.

I hope everyone has a very happy start to the new year and accomplishes everything they put their mind to. I did it. I realized I am braver than I believed. Here is to my new beginnings in 2016!

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