2018 was the year of new experiences and this year was the year of change and growth. 

Hi friends!

I can't believe that it's that time of year again where I'm sharing my annual recap post. This has always been such a fun post for me to put together and I always get so nostalgic reflecting back on the past year. Yesterday I had read up on Annaliese of Southern Belle in Training's recap post and she had mentioned that the past few years had held significant milestones for her and as I reflect I can say the same.

A lot has changed over the past few years, as expected. In the past three years, I've graduated from college, started to work and save money on my own, did the Disney college program, end an overdue long term relationship, moved out of my parent's and landed a full-time job, not to mention all the little hiccups along the way. If you had read last year's recap post then you know it was one of the best years I've had yet. 2018 was filled with new friends, growth, travels, and experiences.

2019, on the other hand, was a different story. 2019 was filled with a lot of changes and adjustments. Even though I moved back to a familiar city, everything still felt different to me. With that said, here's a peek into the past year:

2019 started off on a high note as my old college roommates and I hit the town to ring in the new year. At the start of the year, I was still living at home and had driven to Charlotte to stay with my old college roommate for a week. This was my first time actually going to Uptown Charlotte to enjoy all of the New Year's festivities. At the start of the year was also when my now boyfriend started dating!

As soon as the festivities of the new year were over I started to hit the job application process hard again. I had managed to score three interviews within a month, one being at the current company I am now. I was very hopeful with all the interviews but unfortunately, they had all decided to go with another candidate. As discouraging as it was, I continued to remind myself that the right opportunity was out there for me. Between the job interviews, networking events, and visiting my boyfriend, I was making the four-hour trek to Charlotte every other week, and looking back on it now, I still am in disbelief that I traveled that much considering how much I hate driving. 

March started the snowball effect of everything changing all at once. In the midst of being stressed out over job applications, I had to hit with the unfortunate news of a family member passing. Everything hit me all at once and the next thing I knew it I was on a plane once again to Philadelphia. I had hinted in a previous post that I had never been to a funeral until this past March and it definitely shook me up. Sometimes it still feels like I had a really bad dream.

As soon as I had gotten back from Philadelphia I had found myself once again on the road again to Charlotte but this time for a wedding and to apartment hunt. At this point, I had made the decision to take the leap and move out to Charlotte without a job lined up to hopefully increase my chances of getting hired. My plan was to work in retail in the meantime. Little did I know I would find myself making the trip back to Charlotte a few days later to interview for the position I had been declined in February, but this time with a job offer.

Due to the urgency to fill the position, my employer needed me to start as soon as possible. I had interviewed for the position on a Friday afternoon and that following Wednesday I was packed up and moved out of my parents. I was fortunate enough to have relatives in town to let me stay with them until my apartment lease was finalized. In one week I packed up my life, moved to Charlotte, unpack in my temporary home, started a new job, and celebrated my 24th birthday. In April I also tried to jump back into blogging and explained why I had taken a hiatus for so long only to take another couple of months break after publishing that post. 

May was a whirlwind. I was still adjusting to my new job, trying to catch up with old friends that were still in Charlotte, and finalizing my apartment details. In May I made a trip out to Raleigh to watch my brother graduate. It was surreal seeing my little brother enter the "real world" and it really hit me that we were growing up.

May was also when I moved into my new apartment! The weekend of the move was a whirlwind in itself. I had gotten the keys to move in on a Thursday, had my old college roommates visit that weekend, and flew out to Las Vegas for work the next Monday. Having everything happen all at once seemed like a common theme for this past year.

At the start of June, my brother ended up moving into my apartment to stay with me for the summer! He had actually landed a job right out of college in Charlotte and it was perfectly timed since we were looking to sublease my roommate's room for the summer. It was the first time both of us were living under the same roof since I went out to college in 2013. 

July was an exciting month blog-wise as I started to consistently post again! Many of you know about my year(ish) long hiatus from my blog since I left for Disney and it's been fun getting to connect with you all again! I even started working with Deeana Kourtney Photography regularly and it's been fun getting to shoot content for you all again. July was also the start of my HelloFresh / cooking phase. I LOVED my experience with HelloFresh (read my review of it here!) and it's actually what got me into cooking again. 

August is when I really got back into blogging. I had met up with a few bloggers in the area, went to a masterclass all about YouTube and branding, as well as launched my #AMYIRL series where I opened up on my struggle with being in a weird cultural limbo. That blog post may be one of my favorite posts that I published on my blog and it meant so much that you all loved it as well. I've started brainstorming other topics to add to the series in 2020, so be on the lookout for those!

With a variety of changes happening, getting re-adjusted to living in Charlotte, moving into my own space, etc. I had put fitness on the back burner once again. It was a little disheartening knowing I had once again put myself 10 steps back after I got myself into a solid routine at the end of 2018. In September I had started getting into a variety of fitness classes and even working out in the morning regularly. Unfortunately, this only lasted about two months, and I'm still trying to find a good balance that works for me to have fitness as a main priority again.

September also included the first of many weddings to come. I had flown up to Philadelphia once again, but this time to celebrate my Uncle and my new Auntie's wedding! It was so great to see the family again and bond with my cousins. 

By October I was really starting to get the hang of my new job and found a pretty steady balance of work and blogging. I had my first "big" project for work in October where I put together a large photoshoot for my company. This was my first time putting on a full production shoot and it was definitely a lot more work than anticipated, but still one of my favorite projects yet!

Of course, I couldn't talk about October without talking about Halloween. Cara and I did another Halloween costume collaboration and I think it turned out so cute! It's always so fun partnering with her on these types of posts. For my own personal Halloween plans, my boyfriend and I had dressed up as a sushi chef and sushi and won the costume party that our friends had hosted! 
November kicked off all of the holiday festivities and busy social calendars. It all started with my boyfriend and me hosting our first Friendsgiving. This was the first dinner party I've ever hosted and it was fun decorating, finding recipes, and getting my space all set up. The following weekend we had gotten invited to a friend's Friendsgiving and once again stuffed our faces full. By the time actual Thanksgiving rolled around the following week, I think I gained a solid 10 pounds from all of the turkeys I've consumed. 

December may be my favorite month out of this past year. There was so much going on, but like I had said before, I thrive off a busy schedule. This past month we managed to fit in a visit to the Christmas Village, a company holiday party, check out the lights at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, birthday celebrations, a surprise visit, a White Elephant Party, family wine night, graduation celebrations, the opening of 16-bit/Pins and Christmas.

Even though it was a little stressful at the time having so much to do this past month, it was great being able to spend time with our friends and family. It was definitely a great way to end off the year.

WHEW. That was a lot. Even though looking back on paper it looked like it was overall a good year. There were more highs than lows and despite all of the sudden changes, everything seemed to work out. I will have to say, even though I was grateful to have had so many fun memories to look at this past year, this has been one of the worse years for me mentally. I struggled with feeling lonely all the time and this was the first time I really had a problem with my anxiety.

I'm not sharing this as a "please feel bad for me" cry, but more so to shine the light even though we share our highlights online, they're just that, our highlights. Yes, on Instagram it may seem like it was a great year being able to be back in Charlotte, but more often than not I found myself struggling getting adjusted to living in the city again post-grad.

Naturally, with it being the end of the year I've done a lot of re-evaluating and I'm excited to have a fresh start with the new year to get myself back on track mentally. Here's to taking better care of ourselves, growth, and a healthier new year.

With that, I wanted to end with a big THANK YOU to all of you who have been following along with me this past year. This little corner of the internet has been my little baby for over 5 years and it's been fun getting to share a little bit of my life with you all. I'm so thankful to have you all a part of my little Daily Amy family and I'm so excited for all the new content to come in 2020!

Happy New Year's everyone!


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