I say it every year, because every year it’s true: This was my best year yet.
2013 was about dreaming, and 2014 was about ACTION. Dreams were coming true left and right. Some I’d held in my heart since I was a child, and some I didn’t even know I had until I was living them. Without a doubt, this past year I grew in every facet of my life. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually. I’m not the same person I was a year ago today, and as much as I loved (and love) 2013 Leigh Anne, I’m so glad. Although I’m so ready to look ahead to 2015 and find out how it plans to beat this year, I also think it’s important to look back and reflect on all that has happened.
My word of the year for 2014, the word I prayed over, wrapped around me and completely devoted myself to, was happiness. 2013 left me feeling a bit discouraged: I knew where I wanted my life to go, I was pretty sure I knew how to get there (I did), but I didn’t want to miss out on the in-between, the end of the chapter I was closing in a rush to get to the next. So I devoted myself to enjoying every moment in between the cover-letter writing and the late-night shifts at the job I had grown to hate in the city I had outgrown. I had a Pinterest board, a Spotify playlist, a good-things jar I added to every night.
Sometime in the fall, I realized that all of those things had fallen by the wayside. I hadn’t even thought about my happiness in months. Yet I was still happy – the happiest I had ever been. Happiness had become effortless, which I suppose was the ultimate goal all along. I’ll be carrying what I learned about happiness and about myself into 2015 and beyond.
So, what were the things that made me happy in 2014? Some highlights:
Moving to New York City
Well, obviously. This was the big one: The dream I’d been holding on to since I was too young to remember, the dream I decided I was going to chase when it came time to choose my next chapter. Back in January, I told my friend Christina “2014 is the year I move to New York.” I left in March, and it was the most stressful month of my entire life – but it was worth it. NYC is my home now in a way that no other place has truly ever been.
Finding a church family
I didn’t go to church my last year in Phoenix, because I didn’t want to commit to a new one just to turn around and leave. I was so, so relieved when I walked into Liberty Church for the very first time and just knew that I was at home. The people I’ve met here have become my family, and have 100% shaped my experiences in the Big Apple so far.
Amsterdam, Paris, Lucerne, Nice and Barcelona in May. Toronto in August. Dallas in September. Phoenix in December. 2014 was truly filled with my favorite kind of travel: A mix of old and new locations, of friends and family as my companions.
Too many other good things to count
I moved in with the perfect roommate. SO MANY people I love came to visit me. I launched this blog. My siblings both graduated – one from high school, one from college. I heard Amy Poehler AND Danielle Fishel speak at BookCon. I filled an entire journal. I saw the Yankees lose twice. I participated in two community groups. I got to go to two spring training baseball games before the big move. I ate more delicious food than I ever could have imagined. I went to a Saturday Night Live taping.
But mostly, I just lived. I cherished every moment, and before long I didn’t need to remind myself to.
Basically, it’s just been an incredible year. Tomorrow, we’ll look ahead to 2015. But today is about celebrating all that has happened! I’m off to Coney Island with the friends who have become my family.
How was your year, and how are you celebrating tonight?!