A Year in Review: 2021

2021 was a year I will never forget. I truly fell in love with life this year, and through the ups and the downs, I’ve gotten better at finding joy in the little things. I worked a lot the first 70% of the year, then moved across the world for a masters program. I discovered new favorite books, became a picnic person, and grew out my hair just to shave it off again. I visited my friends all around the US and made new friends in Scotland, flourishing every step of the way. I’m eternally thankful for 2021, and I’m so excited to see what 2022 has in store (hopefully no more covid).

January

  • I rang in the new year with friends in Joplin before driving back home! I slid off the road on the highway listening to “Cowboy Like Me”, it was a mood
  • I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my two younger siblings while they were both home for winter break- hikes, movies, dance parties, mini golf- we did it all
  • I read one of my new favorite books, East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • I dyed my hair blue and took myself on a really lovely self-date
  • I went skiing with Jaycee in Kansas City
  • I worked most days but still found time to read, cuddle my cats, drink coffee, and read
  • I met Unique and Lawrence in Springfield for dinner and then we went bowling

February

  • More self-love, quality time with myself, and making hard decisions for my own benefit. A huge month of growth
  • I started watching (and hyperfixating on) She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
  • I bought a lightsaber and took advantage of a big snow-storm to take pictures with it in a very low-key Luke Skywalker cosplay
  • Went to Oklahoma with Jaycee to search for her wedding dress (which she found!)
  • Lots of work, lots of cat cuddles, and lots of books

March

  • Dyed my hair purple!!
  • One of the best ideas I’ve ever had: I drove 10 hours to Louisiana by myself, listening to Taylor Swift’s entire discography in chronological order. I then parked my car on the beach, slept there for two nights, and spent an entire day on the beach in complete seclusion doing whatever I wanted. It was one of the best days of my life
  • I then drove to Texas to visit my childhood bestfriend for a couple of days!
  • I worked nine days straight at Panera and wanted to die
  • I watched Jurassic Park for the first time, which began my dinosaur obsession
  • I went to Oklahoma with Jaycee and spent some time relaxing with her sister-in-law and nieces
  • I discovered how much I love fun socks, thus beginning another obsession (hyperfixations are great to help with work burnout)

April

  • Drove 18 hours with mom and Ollie to visit Brenna in South Carolina (and leave Ollie there 😦
  • Read Jurassic Park and Lost World for the first time (and fell in love with Michael Crichton)
  • Got my first COVID-19 vaccine shot
  • Jaycee visited for a weekend!
  • I dyed my hair pink!!
  • Had a little birthday picnic by myself before work to celebrate my 23rd birthday
  • Drove to Illinois to spend a weekend with Chey, Mackenzie, and Levi. We had a Taylor Swift themed party (just the four of us) and it was one of the best nights of my life. The whole weekend was very incredible and made me feel warm inside

May

  • I only had four days off this entire month so it’s safe to say I worked my life away and that’s basically it (I don’t recommend)
  • I started a new job at a coffee shop (on Mondays) which was a nice break from Panera
  • I drank a lot of coffee
  • Both Ashe and Olivia Rodrigo dropped new albums that I listened to obsessively
  • Started virtual Disney movie nights with Chey and Mackenzie!
  • I got my second COVID-19 vaccine which was a very rough experience (not a good idea to get it while exhausted and dehydrated)
  • I finished reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy!
  • I (sadly) said goodbye to the colored hairstyle life and went back to brown (bleach damage isn’t fun)

June

  • I visited Brenna in South Carolina for a whole week! We drank lots of Starbucks, went to the beach, cuddled Ollie, watched movies, went shopping, and had lots of sister bonding time
  • I finally got some roller skating time in, although not much, because work was exhausting
  • I made dad and Briar get shaved ice with me (multiple times)
  • I went to Colorado for a weekend to spend some time with Jaycee! We drank coffee, went hiking, and did some much needed relaxing
  • I took a solo day trip to Crystal Bridges, one of my favorite places

July

  • I found out I was accepted into 1 Second Everyday’s first ever ambassador program! This is my favorite app and it has truly changed my life, I was so excited to be involved in something so exciting!
  • I was finally able to spend some time with friends- I got lunch with co-workers, spent a day painting and longboarding with Rachelle and Jonathon, went axe throwing with Unique and Lawrence, and saw Black Widow with Dad and Briar!
  • I read a book Brenna annotated for me and then annotated my favorite book for her! This got me obsessed with annotating books for people I love, it’s a new love language ❤
  • I drove to St. Louis and met up with Mackenzie for a super fun weekend! We explored the city and the next day we went to an animal sanctuary to pet cows, pigs, and chickens
  • The next weekend I drove to Indiana to spend some time with Chey, Levi, and Mackenzie! Such a pure, fun weekend with my best friends!!
  • I became obsessed with vegan cinnamon rolls

August

  • 1 Second Everyday’s ambassador program, The Un1t, launched, and I got to meet lots of passionate people all around the world!
  • Jaycee’s bachelorette party in Branson! We had such a fun weekend with laser tag, zip lining, Silver Dollar City, a day on the lake, dinners, and nights playing Werewolf
  • Both my mom and Brenna came home at the same time, so I got to spend a lot of time with family!
  • I started packing my life away as I prepared for my big move abroad. I had my last shifts at the coffee shop and at Panera and started saying goodbye to people, which felt very surreal
  • I went to Joplin for one last “goodbye” weekend with my friends. We went rock climbing and I spend a day with Jaycee before heading back home

September

  • I said goodbye to everyone and everything I know and moved to SCOTLAND!
  • I spent my first week in the UK in Edinburgh, staying in an Airbnb and bussing into the city everyday to explore. I went to museums, drank lots of coffee, read books at Princes’ Street Gardens, and getting lost. It was scary and stressful but fun overall!
  • I moved into my dorm/flat in Stirling! Once I unpacked my suitcases, went grocery shopping, and found my way around town, I felt much more settled. Moving to a new country is very stressful but I think I handled the transition well
  • I started to discover new favorites in my new town- coffee shops, walks, grocery stores, etc. I also explored the touristy sides of Stirling, going to the Castle and Wallace monument with my flatmate, Catherine.
  • I met new people and started making new friends, which was something I thought would be harder than it was
  • I officially started my postgraduate program!

October

I wrote a whole post about my October in Scotland, which you can check out here. A quick recap:

  • I went hiking many times, up Dumyat in Stirling and then again at Loch Lomond!
  • I spent Bookshop Day in Edinburgh with friends
  • I went to my first gig in two years- Orla Gartland in Glasgow! It was an incredible show
  • I had many Halloween-themed nights that were a blast. I hosted a pumpkin-carving night at my flat (dressed as Freddie Mercury), went to a Halloween party at a friend’s flat (dressed as Dr. Alan Grant from Jurassic Park), and had a few friends over on Halloween night for a movie and nachos (dressed as The Rock’s classic meme photo)
  • I got food poising and then had a cold right after that, so I felt awful for over a week straight
  • I went to Glasgow with friends for an afternoon and ended the night with drinks and mini golf!
  • I spent a lot of time doing school work and studying in coffee shops
  • I got closer with friends and had a lot of lovely days with them

November

  • The first week of November was reading week, so some of my friends and I headed to the Lake District in England! Read about our time here
  • TWO big assignments were due this month, so a lot of my time was spent working on those and then being mentally exhausted from schoolwork
  • I dyed my hair red! I was tired of brown hair, but knew I couldn’t risk bleach again, so I tried for a color that would show on top of my natural color and wash out eventually! It satisfied my itch to shave my head again (although that itch persisted into December)
  • I saw David Tennant and Michael Sheen through the window of my friends’ flat (they were filming season two of Good Omens right outside on the street!)
  • I celebrated the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) with a listening party with friends. I then listened to the album the entire rest of the month, it was a vibe
  • I got obsessed with homemade fries again
  • I went bowling with some friends from my program to celebrate turning in one of our big assignments
  • I climbed a mountain (Ben Lomond, 974 meters) and didn’t think I could make it but I did!
  • I met some friendly coos and it was the best day ever
  • I went to London with some friends for a few days and had an amazing trip! Read about that here

December

  • I had two big changes: I got the eating disorder recovery tattoo I’ve been wanting for ages and I shaved my head again!
  • I had lots of Christmas celebrations and festivities, most in small ways but all wonderful.
  • I turned in my final two assignments and had a big dinner celebration with my MLITT cohort! (we all had negative covid tests beforehand)
  • I went to the Edinburgh Christmas Market with friends and had a lot of dinner and movie nights with my friends before most of them went home for the winter break.
  • I spent a lot of time relaxing after turning in my final assignment- lots of reading, playing games, going for walks, and watching TV, which is just what I needed after a stressful semester.
  • I spent Christmas with my flatmates and a friend and we spent the whole day eating, dancing, playing games, and having a great holiday!
  • I got my covid booster which knocked me down for a day and a half (unfair)
  • I spent New Years Eve with great friends and rang in the new year!

Thank you 2021 for being such an incredible year of growth, love, and memories! 2022 has big shoes to fill, but I’m hopeful that it will be even better! Happy New Year!

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