I kept my New Year’s Resolution
In 2016, in a very non-Beth fashion, I stuck to my guns and lost 40 pounds. I started off with weight watchers, then took things into my own hands. I completely changed my diet and my physical routine. Temporary diets don’t work. You have to make a lifestyle change. One that works for you! For me, “Everything in moderation” did not work… It definitely helped me to get started, but after that, until I got a handle on things, I needed to cut certain things out entirely. Eventually, I didn’t even miss them! Now I have treats every now and then but know that if I let myself, I could easily end up right back where I started.
I went on some amazing trips
In February/March, I went to Mexico with my family! We stayed at a resort on the Mayan Riviera and had an amazing time. I did a lot of relaxing and eating, but we went on a couple of day trips, too. Not only that, but the food was great!
For Thanksgiving, I traveled with my family to Alberta to visit extended family. It was so nice. For ten days we stayed with my grandmother hanging out and exploring Edmonton.
On the first weekend in November I went on a road trip to Boston with three friends! We all piled into my car and made the eleven hour trek to see needtobreathe and Mat Kearney in concert. It was amazing.
I made (and reconnected with) some great friends
Over the last few years, I had become somewhat of a hermit. I rarely left my house when I wasn’t working, always holed up with a book or on the internet. I would text my few friends sometimes, but I would never really make an effort to see them. The person I spoke to the most was my then-boyfriend. He lived in another province and we didn’t get to see each other a lot.
It’s one thing if you’re a hermit and you’re happy. But I was a hermit, and I was not happy. I thought it was just me being an introvert, but really, it was me giving in to my social anxiety.
The fall of 2015 was rough. My boyfriend and I split up and my beloved fur baby died. When all that happened, I realized how important friends really were–because I needed them but had let them all slip away. I became determined to never be in that place again.
Throughout 2016, I constantly made myself go out of my comfort zone. Not only did I make myself make and stick to social plans, I also made myself go places I didn’t know anyone, or only knew one or two people. It was hella scary, y’all.
I started hanging out with my friends, and started making new ones. I reconnected with someone I knew from years ago, and from there started going to her church on Saturdays. Turns out that a bunch of people I used to know went there! It was so great seeing them. I made it a regular thing and started building friendships.
The most meaningful friendship I made was with a red-headed gem named Maggie. We just clicked. One day after church I asked her if she was free and wanted to hang out. After that, we were almost inseparable for the summer. But there was a catch. She was engaged. To an American. And was moving to Oregon at the end of the summer. That was a huge bummer, but I had the best summer of my life. Maggie is in Oregon now, but we still talk basically everyday! I’m so glad that I met her. Even with her a million miles away, we’re still close.
It was really hard for me to not give into my anxiety, and it’s still hard. But I’m not going to let it control me. I have friends, dammit! Anxiety, you can go to hell.
I moved out
I’m a strong, independent woman, y’all! I’m out in the medium-sized city making my own way! This was a huge thing for me on many levels. First, it’s obviously a big thing for anyone when you leave home, and so it was for me, too. It was also clearly the right time. I was finally making (barely) enough money to afford living on my own. Not only that, but a girl I knew happened to be looking for a place, too. Together we found the perfect spot for us and have lived there (mostly) happily since. It’s given me independence, pride, and a lifestyle I love. I absolutely adore the neighbourhood I live in. It’s the cutest. I love living in the city. Everything is so close. There’s always something to do and someone to do it with.
I landed a job that I love
It’s been quite the journey since university. I’ve been working in the library system in my city for almost three years, and I’ve finally landed a job that I’m not super over-qualified for. Not only do I love the job, but I love the place I work, too. I work in a small community library. It’s such an important hub for the people who live here, and it’s a privilege to serve them! The staff is such a treat, too. Each and every staff member is a joy to work with. There’s not even one person that I don’t get along with. It’s such a great place to work. I could go on and on. It’s a dream. I count my lucky stars everyday.
I learned a lot about myself
2016 was a transition year for me. There was so much change. And that was a good thing. I needed that. I made a lot of mistakes but I learned from each and every one.
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.