2017 Memory Jar Review

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!!!

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As I reflect on 2017, sifting through my memory jar, my Instagram and my blog posts, I realize SO MUCH happened this year. At the start of the year I made a vision board that I framed. It was made of just cool funky colors and images to match my room, but it also had one main word in the center and that word was CHANGE. I wanted to change and work on so many things and I wanted to make that word my mantra. As someone who fears change, I wanted 2017 to be the year I embraced it. And even though I had my ups and downs, my tearful breakdowns, my stressed out moments, and I lost a very special person- My Grandma very early on in 2017, I still managed to make some incredible memories. 

I’d I have to say that I rose to the occasion and embraced change. I changed. And this year I’m hoping to continue to change. To better myself, my life, my relationships and my career.

So here are My 2017 Highlights.

(in no particular order-but categorized)

 

*FAMILY/FRIENDS* 

-I rung in 2017 with my dad’s side of the family- my parents, my cousins, my aunt, and my grandparents. We even got to skype my brother and sister in law who were on their honeymoon in Hawaii at the time. I dressed up, made glitter cups, ate fun finger foods, and lit up sparklers as we had an impromptu dance party outside. It was a blast. It was in fact the last Holiday I got to spend with my Grandmother before she passed in February. I’m glad my family got to have that time together. It was also a huge family reunion when she passed, family and friends from all over came to be together. Although such a sad time, it was beautiful to see how much love there is and how many people wanted to share in honoring her life. Read more about that journey HERE. 

-Many family dinners, my brother hosted a few holidays at his new house- memorial day, mother’s day, father’s day, Christmas 2017, and New Year’s! My mom also hosted a few family dinners too. A lot of time spent with my immediate family. ❤

-I became a Titi. (In Spanish it means Aunt.) My sister in law and brother found out they were expecting their first child, so we got to be apart of the baby kicks and all that, I even got to sit in on one of their sonogram visits! We were all there for the birth and for hospital visits and for her Welcome Home. We also got to be with her for her first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year! She’s precious. I’m obsessed.

-My family/friends welcomed a few new babies- my cousin’s baby girl, my brother and sister in law’s baby (my niece!!!!), and one of my oldest friends- Kate’s baby boy. 

-I attended special occasions like, my little cousin’s first birthday- it was a mickey mouse clubhouse theme!, my best friend Roe’s engagement party (where I was asked to be one of her maid of honors), I also went for several bridesmaids dresses, and got to see both my best friend’s in their wedding dresses during their hunt for the perfect dress! Attended my other best friend Jenny’s shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner and wedding, where I was her maid of honor and my other friend Kate’s wedding/baby shower and her wedding! 

-Took a Zumba class.

-I caught up with some friends I haven’t seen in a while! 

-Had a few girls nights/day in/out. Got to see my best friend Jenny’s new place. Had lunch with my mom and my best friend and her mom. Met up with a high school friend a few times, had some sushi and froyo with some work friends, and went to visit with old middle school friends. 

-I dragged my Aunt and my mom to the Mermaid Parade, in the rain and we ended up having a blast! Of course I dressed up! 

-I got to see my two little girl cousins in their Talent Show, my other boy cousin in his school play where he played Mufasa in Lion King Jr. and my God Daughter’s first dance recital!!! I love going to creative things like that, they are so inspirational. And I always end up tearing up. I love art!

-I read milk & honey.

-I went to the Polar Express again!

-My cousin moved back from Florida for a few months. So I got to see him, and it was nice because he hasn’t been home for that long in a long time. 

-Had a fun park day with my God daughter and her baby brother. 

-I spent the 4th of July at home with some family, we had food outside and then went on our roof to watch fireworks. 

-I got to treat my mom to another play- this time I took her to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then I took her to Olive Garden. 

-My family and I went to this old neighborhood amusement park we used to go to as kids, and we played mini golf and I beat my brother! HA! 😉 

-Had a fun Beach Day with my mom, cousins, and Aunt. I only made it to the beach once that summer, but at least it was once!

*WORK*

-Started doing holiday/festive themed bulletin boards for my classes to display their Creative Writing work.

-My job hosted a Talent Show and my class did a skit called “School Struggles,” and they did so good! 

-I got a bunch of last day of Summer cards from kids I work with. The word around my co-workers was I got the most.  😉 I was kind of super flattered and I felt all warm and fuzzy inside! 🙂

-A few movie projects were completed by my kids in my Film Making class. 

-Chaperoned a few trips- one was to see Captain Underpants (which was surprisingly really entertaining!) at this really cool theater with reclining comfy seats, blankets, pillows and food service! The other was to the Museum of Moving Image which was really cool! We even got a special viewing of Moana. 

-My job hosted an end of the year carnival- with blowup rides, a photo booth, DJ, and a Taco truck…can you guys what was my favorite part—T-A-C-O!!!!

*BLOG*

michelleleighwrites turned 4 years old!!!! (it turns 5 next week!!!!)

-I finished the short story series- Welcome Home! (Start the series from the beginning by clicking the title.)

-Started a new short story series MOVE (will be continued this year).

-Also posted two themed shorts- one for Halloween entitled RED THIRST & and the other for Christmas entitled A Husband for Christmas.

-I did BLOGMAS! (and posted to social media regularly.) 

-Someone made “She Said” into a little video and sent me it, I found out it was also used as someone’s monologue. 

-I created social media accounts for MLW!

^(Accounts are linked in the BLOGMAS RECAP! post.)

*TELEVISION/NETFLIX/MOVIES*

-I fell in love with Hallmark’s  When Calls The Heart and #JACKANDELIZABETH

-I started watching Supergirl

Stranger Things & Fuller House released new seasons and they are killing the game!

-That’s So Raven got a Reboot- Raven’s Home– the nostalgia is real! Raven and Chelsea still crack me up!

Will & Grace got a Reboot as well, and they haven’t changed a bit!

-Got hooked on and binged Scream the TV series

-Also got hooked on Riverdale…and fell in love with a new ship- #BUGHEAD

-Bethany Joy Lenz was in a new film on Lifetime- Snowed Inn Christmas, and my best friend Roe and I watched it during our “Best Friend Christmas” tradition we have every year where we get together and exchange our gifts and watch a Christmas movie and drink hot chocolate and Sangria while munching on snacks. And let me tell you this movie was AWESOME! It had everything- Christmas magic, humor, romance, heart, a handsome guy, and our girl Joy! Duh? 😉

-I found a bunch of good movies on Netflix!

*MUSIC*

-Bruno Mars “24 K Magic” Album (songs rolled over into 2017)

-Ed Sheeran “Divide” Album

-Sam Smith “The Thrill of it All” Album

-New Selena Gomez Music

-Demi Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me” Album 

-TAYLOR SWIFT  “Reputation” ALBUM!!!!!! (And Music Videos)

*PERSONAL/PARTY PLANNING*

-I fell in love with lighting candles, and wearing big comfy sweaters, which if you know me I used to shy away from because scents and fear of overheating myself would cause my anxiety to spike. I know that sounds like a weird highlight, but for me it means that I’m able to manage my anxiety in a way I wasn’t able to before. And do things people normally don’t think twice about. 

-I had a pretty fun fall- a lot of fall vibes, went to a pumpkin patch and got my fall goodies, lit candles, bought festive soaps and décor. Watched a bunch of Halloween movies, I even ordered Halloweentown on DVD, (FINALLY!). 

-Mini When Calls The Heart Premiere Party!

-I hosted a PUMPKIN PARTY! (Which I always wanted to do!)

-Had a Stranger Things Premiere Party (post COMING SOON!)

-I had a really special moment in confession this year. Read more about it HERE.

-I sent my god daughter and her baby brother (my second cousins) and my niece my special hand made, Santa Letters. It’s a tradition I started with my God daughter when she was born. I write a letter to her from Santa and mail it. So I continued it for her brother and of course I had to start it for my new little niece! ❤

-I was given a few special gifts in honor of my new role as “Titi,” two t-shirts, a bracelet and an ornament.

-I celebrated My GOLDEN Birthday! #26OnThe26th 

-I had some fun fashion moments! Palazzo Pants 

-I baked my butt off for this holiday season- for Thanksgiving I made Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter cookies with Reese’s Pieces, and for Christmas I made Chocolate cake batter cookies with Peppermint kisses in the middle and then White cake mix cookies with Milk Chocolate kisses in the middle and I also made a Berry Crumble.

-I’m learning my limits, and when to say no. I’m a fixer, and I realize rationally I can’t fix what I can’t control. And in this life there is a whole lot we have no control over!

-I finished editing a bunch of VLOGS!

-I put my birthday gift-Ninja bullet to good use and started making smoothies!

-I continue to decorate and organize my room. 

-Last Summer, I died my hair BLUE! and now it’s like a green/teal. I have yet to post pics, but that’ll be a post COMING SOON! After the last wedding I’m in, in July, I’m thinking of doing another color next Summer…maybe purple? 😉

***

That was my year in review as you can see, A LOT HAPPENED. And after my family was hit with a major heartache and loss early in the year, it’s an amazing thing to say that for the most part 2017 was a really good year. Looking back on all these memories, I realize that so much change happened and I managed to get through it all and make the most of it- at least I tried in most cases. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t hard, or scary, but I realized that a lot of the changes were good, happy things. And although they can come with stress too, I’m happy to say that I had so many good things to celebrate. I hope 2018 is just a celebratory for my friends and family but also for myself. 2017 was a lot about me showing up for other people, and although I don’t regret it, I realize I still didn’t get to do a lot of what I set out to do in 2017. So I hope to accomplish them in 2018. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue being there for my family and friends, it just means learning when to say no, and learning when to make myself a priority. Like Sophia Bush once yet,

“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.” 

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, 2018! May all your dreams for this year come true. Cheers! 

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Time Changes- Let’s Talk

summer-tag-copy[1]I think it’s safe to say, Summer is here and kicking. The 4th is tomorrow and that right there is the epitome of Summer to me. The weather is hot, school is out and life becomes this different existence. Everything is slightly more laid back- or at least it’s supposed to be.

For me, Summer is a bit of an anxiety stressor. My job changes a little bit and I get placed in a new environment, working with new people for the duration of the summer. So that feels like an uproot, and something new I have to get used to all over again. Last year it was actually a really pleasant change and so this year I’m hoping for the same. I’m pretty optimistic that it will be and that’s a good feeling. 🙂

I also don’t do well in the heat so that’s another reason why Summer brings upon anxiety for me. Along with having this extra time during this season, there’s a lot of pressure to make use of everyday and do fun exciting things, everyday. Raise your hand if you’ve compared yourself to anyone on social media lately? #Guilty. I’m sorry I don’t have that kind of money to just be jumping flights, here and there. I have a lot going on in my life that I need to be saving up for, so unfortunately vacationing isn’t in the stars for me. And that sucks, but it’s my reality and that’s ok. Everyone’s life is different.

I think I’m learning to balance my boundaries. Sometimes I know I can push through my anxiety and sometimes I know I have to pull back and give myself a beat. And knowing that has made an incredible difference in my life. This notion is certainly a work in progress, but it’s coming along slowly.

It’s ok, to take breaks. It’s ok, to push yourself a bit, you will learn what you can handle. It’s ok, to say no. It’s ok, to strive for change. And it’s ok, to be afraid of that change, and still go for it anyway. My whole life I thought that I couldn’t use the words risk taker to describe myself. I’m taking that back. Recently I died my hair blue. BLUE! (No not my whole head…they’ll be a post coming soon!) But I have freakin’ blue hair right now and I’m just doing things I’ve been wanting to do for myself.  Different things. I’m just going for it! Sometimes I feel guilty, like wait that’s too much money or I should be here or there or doing this or that. But then I think wait- why can’t if do this for me? It’s allowed! There’s nothing wrong with caring about yourself or the things your passionate about. 

I’ve also been thinking about huge life changes lately. Some will take a while to accomplish, but the building blocks can start now. The other day I was told; “you seem optimistic and seem to be accepting change.” This was an incredible thing for me to hear from another person who knows me and knows how my life is and the things I struggle with. Change is literally the reason why I realized I have anxiety. Anytime change is upon me, my anxiety can peek. It doesn’t always, but if I’m anxious it’s usually because of some change happening in my life.

I’m at a point in my life, where I can see things a tiny bit clearer and the things I want out of life. The things I want for myself. And sometimes that means being a little selfish and doing my own thing. I hate how some may take offense to that,  because it is not intention. But I think that now is the only time I have to be selfish. Other people do it, why can’t I? And that’s not a dig at anyone, it’s just an observation. Once I’m older, and have a family of my own things will be very different. And my husband and my children will be my priority. So now this is my time to sort myself out so that dream of having that life when I’m older can eventually come true. I don’t want to sit back 10 or 15 years from now and regret not going after the things I wanted. I don’t want to resent my family. So this is the time to get my  mind right and just do my thing.

I’m trying to tackle the things that scare me. Granted, I have my days when I falter and I let that fear hold me back, or I allow the laziness of summer overcome me. But I’m keeping high expectations for myself this summer. There are so many things I want to accomplish on a personal and professional level that I am making strides toward those goals already.

I’ve always wanted to write a pilot script for this tv show I’ve had running in my head for YEARS-since high school. The show is written in shifts and on random papers all over my house-some are on my computer- it’s all over the place. I’ve never written a concise first episode. There’s no organization and I am all about organizing this summer. My planner and inspiration notebook are my best friends! So that ish, is getting written THIS SUMMER. I’ve started to do my research, surprisingly I know a lot of the things I’ve found out which makes me feel kind of good. But there was also a ton I didn’t know- things I’m still learning, still researching. Oh you mean I have an excuse to watch television. Awesome! 😉 Your never going to stop learning, ever. Life is full of lessons.

So there’s that big change happening. Which is huge for me, because researching my craft has always been scary for me. I can’t exactly explain it. It was, I guess something I loved so much, that I was scared that if I researched it I would find out how little I know, or how far from my dream I actually am. But my mind set is different now and I realize that I can’t get there if I don’t try. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to where I want to be. I don’t know if I will ever get my dream of creating my own tv show. But the show is not ever going to leave my heart or my brain. It could be months, and then a story will pop into my head for one of my characters and I will have to revisit that world. Or a line will pop into my head and I will go-“Oh my god that would be the perfect thing for Travis to say to Sara.” (Shhh Spoilers!) 😉

I’ve been thinking more seriously about my next move. About my career long term. I love where I work right now. I know I haven’t given exact details of my work, but that’s because I truly believe in respecting privacy and I want to remain professional. But basically I do work in a school setting teaching creative subjects like writing, and film. And I think it’s been an eye opening experience for me. You really can learn by teaching.

I have a lot of creative projects I am tinkering with this Summer too. I’m not going to reveal them, because I don’t want to jinx them, or put extra pressure on myself to finish them all. I will overwhelm myself with an over extensive to do list, I know this. So let’s just say that my main creative goal is to get my pilot script written and keep learning more and more about writing and working in television.

I would love to track that process on here for you guys to see, but to also be able to reflect back on it and see how I progressed. I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me.

Happy Summer!

XO

Michelle Leigh