Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 In Review


Just a handful of hours left in 2016. So crazy! I don’t have any major plans for New Year’s Eve – just hanging out with my boss and his family since I have to be in Oxford Sunday for church.

I know lots of people are joking that 2016 was the worst year ever. I don’t totally agree with that (though I was heartbroken over the loss of Carrie Fisher this week). Now 2016 definitely had some of my lowest lows, but it had some of my highest highs as well. I figured this post would be a good place to recap all of that. The good, the bad, and the ugly. (Actually there's no ugly haha.)

The Bad
My ORP. I’ve never been so stressed out in my entire life. The last month of the proposal I didn’t sleep, hardly ate, and got the flu the week before I presented. I can’t put into words how terrible that experience was. Nothing ever could have prepared me for that!
Weight gain/loss. I’ve struggled majorly this year with losing weight. I trained for and ran a half-marathon but I’m still in the same size clothes as I was at the beginning of the year. I even talked to my gynecologist about it this summer and she’s pretty puzzled by it too because all of my blood work came back saying I’m super healthy. While it's kind of discouraging, I haven't given up! I'm going to keep eating healthy foods and I'm going to get back into a good workout routine...plus keep talking to my doctor!
Anxiety. My anxiety attacks came back in full force this year, thanks in large part to my ORP. I've always struggled with them, but stress and big changes tend to really trigger them. Thankfully, I've been meeting with a woman at my church once a week and it's definitely helped! So a quick soapbox: If you're struggling with anxiety, there's so much good that can come from talking to someone. Now I know friends and family are great, but I suggest finding someone who can be a little more unbiased. Their perspective can be exactly what you need! End soapbox.

The Good
My ORP. There was a good side to all the stress: I’M A PHD CANDIDATE! This is arguably the best thing to happen this year. It’s crazy to think that in just 8 months I’ll be Dr. Ashley. Four years of incredibly hard work and I'll have the best 3 letters after my name I could ever hope for!
Travel. I got to travel to so many new places this year: Michigan State (hey Justin!), Atlantic City, San Francisco, Philly. I absolutely loved being able to do and see so many things this year. Plus it was super fun to go from the east coast to the west coast in less than a week!
My blog. I didn't realize how much my blog has actually grown! From January to December I've tripled my monthly pageviews. I didn't realize that many people actually care about what I blog about! So to all of you readers, thank you! I know grad school gets in the way and I'm not always sticking with my schedule, but thanks for still coming back! Below I linked my top three most popular posts if you want to revisit them:

Overall 2016 turned out to be a great year. It started off pretty rocky and didn't smooth out until the end of April, but since then I've been pretty blessed! So here's to 2017 and praying for even greater and better things to happen!

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