26 was a surprisingly momentous year. I officially felt like a grown-up at 25 but now feel like I’m establishing an identity. I made definitive strides in some areas, while there is room for improvement in others. Overall, I’m very happy with where I am in life and look forward to the adventures that await me as I finish out my 20s.
Career: I knew this would be a big change but it definitely didn’t turn out like I expected. My employer is retiring and my position is leaving with him. I’ve known this for 18 months and have been trying to find a new position for most of that time. Clearly, it’s not fun or particularly successful. That said, it has been fruitful in other ways. I never considered myself ambitious, I thought I could be happy doing anything as long as I could afford my bills. This year I’ve discovered that that is not the case. I want a job that matters. I want to do something that allows me to make a meaningful contribution and I want to effect change (on a big or small scale). While this knowledge may not be practically applied, it’s nice to know what I want.
Fashion: For years I envied people who had a style/look. I tried to adopt any number of looks but it never worked because they weren’t authentic. I never had a strong enough sense of self to know what I wanted to represent to the world. Now I know. I want it simple. Purging most of my clothes was very therapeutic. It allowed me to embrace the person I am and discard all the other people I tried to be. I also have a color palette. My favorite colors are neutrals: blue, grey, beige, cream and a pop of subtle pink. I have a couple of red items I wear, I like how the clothes fit but I don’t love the look. I regularly considering packing them up but I haven’t yet. I’ve embraced gym shoes – which is pretty big for me. I use to despise them but now I appreciate their value. One thing that hasn’t changed is my love of dresses. I have more than I need but I can’t part with them. I always need to be able to dress for an occasion.
Beauty: A work in progress. However, I have started curling my hair and wearing make-up almost every day. The make-up area is something I want to figure out. I appreciate the importance of skin care but I don’t know what to do. I’m also frugal and need to figure out how much I’m willing to invest in beauty products. I plan to talk to different people in the field to get some ideas and figure out what works for me.
Home: My attitude towards minimalism expands beyond my closet. I’ve donated/discarded virtually everything that is not in frequent use. For all the items that survived elimination they have a specific place that is easy to access. The result has been an organized home. It’s amazing how good it feels to walk into our bedroom and see the bed made. Or go in the kitchen and see clear counters. The one area we really need to improve upon is regularly cleaning the shower. Unfortunately, we both hate it and put it off as much as possible.
Friends and Family: I hope I maintained the status quo in this area. It’s important to me to maintain my relationships but sometimes life does get the best of you. Regardless of my schedule or mood, I try to be available if someone needs something and to stay in touch often enough so that if someone does need me they feel comfortable letting me know. Admittedly, seeing people in person was probably on a slight decline this year but I’m trying to figure out the time management business.
Personal Growth: In the aforementioned areas I’ve done well; however, in certain ways I’ve experienced a decline. Fitness and healthy eating is virtually non-existent. We make good meals but I eat too much sugar! I’ve read more this year but I also marathoned too many television programs (The Closer, Major Crimes, Game of Thrones, etc.). The biggest personal accomplishment is definitely the blog. The decision to actively pursue a Detroit blog was not an easy decision and there were definitely a lot of rocky moments. I’m happy to say I really like where things are right now. The appearance of the blog is a big weight off my shoulders and the work I put in to make the improvements were really rewarding. Creating original content is fun but also time consuming and I continue to strive for balance. Part of that balance will have to come in the form of new sleeping patterns. I want to wake up earlier and use those extra hours to get more done. I also want to collect more time by using my cellphone and the internet less.
One thought on “Reflections on Year 26”
Congratulations, Carrie, on getting in touch with what really matters to you–and writing it down. You are a very generous, caring person, who has already made an impact. I am sure you will continue to touch lives, and I hope you soon find work which can be a vehicle for your efforts.