January 11, 2014

It's Out With The Old…And In With The New!

2013, I think it’s time that we go our separate ways. I know we’ve had some wonderful times together, but I don’t think that’s any reason for both of us to just keep hanging onto what we had or what we could have had. In all honesty, I was a bit more attached to 2012 and didn’t want to see it go, because it was like that book you wish to write your entire life, and it becomes a bestseller and now you’re trying to write something that is just as good, if not better and it kind of haunts you when if it doesn’t quite live up…You did a pretty fine job, I must say, but I must say, it’s time to say farewell.
I’m not a fan of goodbyes, and I think I’m in good company with that. Amy Poehler hates them a lot, and I’m sure many others of you who are reading this feel the same way. I don’t like finishing good books or saying goodbye to fictional characters on TV, when visiting relatives go back home to South Carolina or Utah, when certain seasons of life fade away, or when friends or family move to a different city. To me, it always just feels really awkward and uncomfortable to finalize words and feelings, like I might never see or hear from them again and that’s tough to carry around.
But, you know what I do love? Beginnings. I love the possibilities of what could happen, even if it doesn’t, to be able to set goals and dreams…To start over. And I realize that in order to get a new beginning, you have to say goodbye to another, so I’ve learned to accept that and enjoy it.
And now, it is that time of year again when we can reflect on everything we’ve accomplished, things we regret, things we wish we would have done or said, some of the hard times we’re glad are over, some moments we wish would have gone on forever, the lessons we learned about ourselves and just all of the experiences we’ve lived over the past 12 months.
This year, I started off in a really weird funk. Honestly, I was bitter that 2012 was ending. I was extremely attached to it, and thought 2013 isn’t going to live up to it, so I don’t know why we were bothering (which was the worst possible mindset to have). I left 2012 on a sour note and that carried over. I was a little depressed, which came from not spending much time with God, it seemed like all of my friends were starting to move on again and I didn’t feel like I would be seeing much of them, I had a lot of fear, doubt and uncertainty for the future and I was questioning a lot about myself. I only had one online class that I was finishing up with my community college and still hadn’t been accepted into the university yet, and I was extremely anxious about everything..And it gave me a lot of time to think, which I didn’t always care for. I felt like I was just wasting time and felt completely stuck with where I was at. I was also pretty (literally) sick off and on, for what felt like the first 2-3 months of the year, which had me feeling lazy and sluggish, and not feeling up for much of anything.
But, looking back, I think that “time off” was one of the best things that could have happened to me. If anything, it gave me a chance to do a little self reflection. It gave me a chance to reevaluate my life without a lot of distractions around me; to just be alone with my heart and to hear what God has been trying to tell me. It gave me a chance to look at some of my past journals to remember what I had come from and a chance to dream for the future and to hear what God was wanting me to with the dreams and passions that have always been on my heart.
This year, I had a lot of big moments and I had to overcome a lot, and even if I was terrified, I tackled them head on..Most of them were really exciting and big reminders that I am an adult now:
  • I was published in one of our city’s local magazines and got my very first official paycheck
  • I got involved with the youth band at our church, to help out as a leader. And even though it might not have been the direction for me, in the long run, it was a great opportunity. It gave me a chance to make connections I might not have made otherwise, made some new friends,  and by taking that first step and doing SOMETHING, God was able to show me the areas that I do want to help out in and that has opened other doors, which I’m excited about.
  • I turned 21, which is one of the BEST birthdays I have ever had (and I still haven’t had a sip of alcohol, and don’t really plan to anytime soon)…I am really getting old now!
  • I graduated from the Taft College and was accepted into CSUB! Woo!
  • Worked as a “staff writer” on the CSUB paper, and I’m going back in just a couple of weeks.
  • Finally got my license (yes, it has taken me this long…But, I finally did it; It’s a long story).
  • Passed my classes with 4 A’s and 1 B in my first quarter, which I was extremely paranoid about, and I made the Dean’s List.
  • Even though I’ve told myself that I don’t need a boyfriend after all of these years (and praying for that special someone since I was 13), it has been a process of truly believing that and not driving myself crazy with the fact that I am still single. There were times I tried to speed along the process and it didn’t work the way I wanted, because I wasn’t being patient and I wasn’t waiting on God’s timing. I also thought that if you were praying faithfully about it, that meant someone would just appear like *that.* I started seeing it as a bad thing, like there was something wrong with me, but I’m starting to see it as a HUGE blessing in disguise that I’m single. So many people have been getting married really early on in their 20s, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But, I do hope they know what kind of commitment they’re getting into and it’s something they’ve really thought out. And for the first time in my life, I’m really starting to come to peace with that. God has been working on my heart a lot in that department, and as I get older, my prayers have shifted a bit and my perspective has changed also. I really don’t need a guy right now and I don’t think I even want one right now, anyway. I want to focus on school, get a steady job and be able to become more independent/responsible on my own, before I start relying on someone else to determine my happiness. I’ve been there before, and I need to focus on God and my relationship with Him first and foremost. The right person will come along when he is supposed to, and maybe it won’t be until I’m in Nashville…And that’s okay. In fact, I’d prefer that…But, who really knows? I’ve learned that there is no “one” person out there for everyone, like we tend to think there is sometimes, and being able to see that with a new perspective helped take the load off of me, because I don’t feel like there’s a time frame or any routine that I need to be following. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing, and a relationship with someone will happen naturally, not because I forced it or tried to plan it out my way. Right now, I’m honestly just taking the time to enjoy my 20s, with my friends and family, making experiences, growing, maturing, figuring out what I want, and trying my best not to rush things. I seriously have the rest of my life to find someone and have a family of my own.
  • I’ve met a lot of wonderful people at school, after I was a bit worried that I might not really get to know anybody that well, depending on how classes were and how much time I’d be spending on campus.
  • Became a staff writer for the entertainment site “PopWrapped,” which has helped me get more familiar with the style of writing I want to do and to meet some cool people from all over the world, who are into the same things that I am.
  • Made some reconnections with close friendships that I hadn’t been able to spend much time with.
  • I’ve learned to accept things for what they are, instead of dwelling on things, wishing that they were different. You just accept it and move on, hoping for the best along the way and letting God take care of the rest.
And of course, there were just a lot of really fun moments, like:
  • Staying up until 3 a.m (or later) finishing a good book or starting a new TV series or just because I could…
  • First idol tapingWent to 3 tapings of American Idol, including the finale, becoming “friends” with some of the Idol contestants, Keith Urban signed my ticket and he said “Well, hi there,” when I turned around to wave and smile at him…One of these days we will get a picture together.
  • Meeting Lauren Graham at her very first book signing, and she couldn’t have been more awesome! One of the COOLEST people I’ve ever met. I met Maria Menunos while she was filming Extra at The Grove, and told her I was a journalism major and how much I liked her book. Oh, and then there was running into Austin Nichols in the parking garage on our way out! Then, he tweeted me back the next morning *MAJOR FREAKOUT DAY*
Lauren Graham signing
  • Dodger games throughout the season with my aunt and Viviyan, and just going with my parents!
  • Seeing where The Office was filmed and eating at The Smokehouse, where Jim and Pam’s rehearsal dinner was filmed!
  • Seeing McKinley High from Glee, which is actually a performing arts high school!
  • Heart to hearts over coffee with Viviyan
  • Dinner and The Office with Marissa on Thursday nights!
  • Meeting Chris Colfer with Viviyan at his book signing
  • 21st birthdayMy 21st birthday (Going to Disneyland, Vegas, SHAKING TIM MCGRAW’S HAND, running into BEN
  • SAVAGE in the Long Beach airport, getting to see the Kardashian Khaos store, while Kourtney Kardashian
  • Seeing Shania Twain for the first time ever live at Caesar’s Palace, and the show was phenomenal!
  • Monica Potter, LeAnn Rimes, Janelle Arthur, Paul Jolley, Burnell Taylor, and Lazaro Arbos follow me on Twitter, which gave me a chance to talk to them more :)
  • Going to a lot of fun concerts (Shania, Tim&Faith, Keith Urban, Amy Grant, Taylor Swift, Vince Gill, LeAnn Rimes,etc.)
  • Being able to read a lot, which I LOVE
  • Clive Davis Grammy Party (No, I didn’t get to go in..But, they let you hang outside and watch everyone come in, which is really exciting. I was able to meet Jordin Sparks, Scott Borchetta, and Karen from Little Big Town and we saw a ton of other artists come in like Miley, Katy Perry, John Mayer, Ellie Goulding, Sting, Dave Grohl, and many others) Grammy Party
  • Spending Valentine’s Day with my best friend (Watching The Office, eating Chinese food)
  • Getting to sing at church for the youth
  • Days exploring downtown with one of my best friends!
  • Taping of Conan with a big group of friends!
  • Helped out in the children’s ministry at church; I was Mary in the skit for Easter!
  • A LOT of good music came out this year (Kacey Musgraves, The Band Perry, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, LeAnn Rimes, etc)
  • Catalyst Convention with Febe (and we got to see KID PRESIDENT AND RAINN WILSON…AHHH! Everyone was laughing at how much I was screaming hahahaha) I was also able to meet Caitlyn Crosby, creator of The Giving Keys and talked with her for a few minutes about the organization, which I loved. And I really started to understand the concept of what it means to be a leader. Nashville
  • Finally got to bowl at Pinz in LA! So fun!
  • Went to Griffith Park at night :) So beautiful!
  • Went to Nashville (Met Kacey Musgraves, Chuck Wicks, Kellie Pickler and Two Story Road; Jason Aldean walked by me on the street; went to Carrie Underwood’s #1 party for Two Black Cadillacs, which fans are never really invited to; went to Hunter Hayes’ listening party, finally tried Frothy Monkey, and went to three Opry shows!!!!!)
  • My cousin and one of my really good friends got married this year!!!
  • I baked a lot more than I ever have before…
  • Toured WB studios
  • Random trip to Santa Barbara with family friends
  • Random trip to the beach to celebrate my parents’ anniversary and got to hang out with my cousin for a bit.
  • Rewatch of Glee, although it will never not break my heart with Cory Monteith passing away this year :((( Chris Colfer signing
  • Taylor Swift’s concert from the pit (!!!!!) (although, my mom passed out…So, that wasn’t so fun)
  • Trip to Bass Lake with family friends, and I drove a jet ski for the very first time! We bbq’d, made s’mores, and I spent a lot of time outside on the deck, which was perfect..I really am more of an outdoorsy girl.
  • I got to see the Friends fountain at the Warner Brothers Ranch lot, even though it’s closed to the public!
  • Went to the Hollywood Bowl for the first time ever to see Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch and Little Big Town
  • Went to the beach and spent the weekend with family friends, my aunt, uncle and cousin.
  • Went to Disneyland with one of my best friends for her 21st birthday, and we had the time of our lives!
  • Got really crafty for the holiday season (decorating the tables, making pinecones, baking)
  • I started getting back into making and editing videos, which is one of my hobbies that I had kind of neglected for awhile
  • I made time for more writing and being creative, and some blog reading and YouTubing…That inspires me!
And then there were some of those tough moments that I had to work through:
  • Starting at a new school and realizing that things are very different at a university than at a community college, which took major adjusting. It was kind of miserable for a little while. More work, different people, and a much bigger campus.
  • A lot of sleepless nights during the summer; driving myself crazy thinking (and worrying about the future)
  • Comparing myself to others; the path they’re taking, the way they write, the experiences they’ve had…I just need to focus on what I’m doing and who I am. God has a different plan for everyone. We don’t need to be like everyone else. We each have a unique story to tell.
  • Getting my license was terrifying! I’m not a big fan of driving, which is why I’ve waited SO long to get it, so having to take the test where someone is critiquing my every move was one of my greatest fears, but I passed and made it out alive :)
  • Doubt, uncertainty, fear, depression, etc. were all things that I had to shake off…Ain’t nobody got time for that! It was quite a process.
So, it was quite a year with moments I will never forget, and even though I am TOTALLY looking forward to 2014, I’m sad to see this chapter close. I feel like I’ve gotten to know myself better than I ever have before and I think that’s important for moving forward and seeing what else God has up His sleeve. And…Thank you to everyone who made this such a great year, whether it was a tweet or simply taking a picture with me (and you’re someone I’ve admired on TV for quite some time), giving me advice, laughing until we cried, crying because our hearts were broken, taking road trips together, watching marathons of our favorite shows, getting to know one another at school or church, giving me feedback on my writing, or maybe it was just a “like” on Instagram or Facebook. However our paths have crossed, I’m thankful for that memory, whether it left a scar or changed me for the better.
That’s all for now,
Shelby :)

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