2020: A Year In Review

It was a weird and hard year to say the least.

Honestly, that is a major understatement: it was a wild, wacky, devastating, life-changing, year. From start to finish, it was a long twelve months.

This was the year of COVID-19 and heightened systemic racism, but it was also the year I started law school and became a dog mom. This year I wrestled with singleness, but also gained wonderful friendships. This year I was out of a job for nearly two months, but I eventually returned to the climbing gym–a job I absolutely love!

This year I was reminded of the intermingling between joy and sorrow, love and loss, mountains and valleys. I was reminded Jesus is good and loyal and loving toward us no matter our struggles, battles, or hardships. I was reminded that giving while we grieve helps even while we hurt.

2020 had its highs:

  • Getting into and starting law school!–the journey to becoming an attorney has been filled with ups and downs, but I am so grateful that I committed to pursuing this dream.
  • Becoming a dog mom!–my sweet pup Jack has changed my life for the better–his unconditional love and never-ending cuddles fill up my heart.
  • Learning how to lead climb– and continuing to practice this special type of climbing. Saying no to fear and yes to bravery and yes to trying new and hard things!
  • Celebrating one year on desk at Summit–a job I enjoy and excel at and love! And landing a promotion over the summer was a wonderful surprise.

2020 had its lows:

  • Getting rejected by plenty of law schools (but ultimately winding up at the one that was best for me was a high).
  • Moving back home–I love my family and am grateful for their generosity, but I miss my alone time and being messy! Hehe.
  • Coping with systemic racism–I live a very privileged and blessed life, but I know that is not the case for every American (or person, for that matter). It’s been a learning and growing and mourning process, it’s been an eye-opener to consider my colored friends and their daily struggles and hardships.
  • Surviving COVID-19–just like everyone else, it’s been a hard and life-changing year: having to adapt to wearing a mask everywhere, to staying at home as much as possible, to taking virtual classes.

Despite this weird year, I feel blessed.

I feel blessed to have made new friends at the gym and welcomed so many new faces into our climbing community. I feel blessed to have built new relationships, but kept the life-giving ones. I feel blessed to have consistency in my life: with Jesus, with my family, with my well mood.

I feel blessed to have learned and grown and refined who I am. I feel blessed to have loved and lost. I feel blessed to have grown in strength and independence during a year of singleness. I feel blessed to have continued writing stories and sharing my life and learning more about content creation.

It’s been an odd and life-changing year, but I am grateful and thankful and happy and whole! I hope that despite the lows and recognizing the highs, you feel grateful and thankful and happy and whole, too!

But if you do not, I hope you know you are not alone in sadness and struggles. You are loved, you are treasured, you are a delight in the Lord’s eyes. Go in peace and love, go in grace and mercy, and may you have a better 2021.

A Heart Full Of Thanks: My 10 Top Blessings Of 2020

Thanksgiving is here!

My favorite food, my favorite people, my favorite holiday all wrapped up into one day and given to me in a pretty little bow! This Thanksgiving will look drastically different, smaller, and quieter than years’ past, but that doesn’t mean it will be a bad one–just different.

This has been a hard year for everyone, but I know we can still give thanks. We can count our blessings, we can remember the good things, we can share the highs and lows and in-betweens. We can be glad for what we have, sad for what we don’t, and still feel blessed.

I’m full of thanks this year.

Here is my list of my top 10 things I am thankful for:

  1. A well mind– I haven’t struggled with depression in over two years, and I cannot express just how huge of a blessing this is. It is a gift to pursue dreams, be happy, and laugh genuinely.
  2. A healthy body– A body that can stretch and dance and move and bounce and CLIMB.
  3. My climbing community– Truly the most welcome and inspiring community, I am thankful for strangers who turn into friends so quickly. They are kind and inclusive and just plain fun!
  4. My church community– The ones who keep me rooted in Christ and point me to what matters, the ones who love me deeply and fiercely and wonderfully.
  5. My family– My new roommates! They have welcomed me into their home, given me reason to laugh, and supported me every step of the way of my law school journey.
  6. Taylor Swift’s Folklore album– It’s a bop! The end.
  7. My pup Jack– The light of my life, the center of my world: he is small and cute and fluffy and scruffy and scrappy and the best thing that happened to me in 2020.
  8. Coffee– The fuel that gives me life!
  9. My job– I get paid to welcome people into the climbing community! I get paid to love people! I get paid to climb! (Ok, not really, but kind of).
  10. My education– Perhaps the most concrete evidence of God’s faithfulness in 2020, I am so thankful that I was able to return to school this year to pursue a law degree. Virtual learning has not been easy (and neither is law school in general), but it has been such a gift.

I encourage you to consider what you are thankful for this year.

Maybe you can’t come up with ten or even five things, but I bet you could find at least a few: maybe it is your health, your family, maybe it is your community, or favorite hobby.

And come Thanksgiving day, you can share what you are thankful for with whomever you may be celebrating the holiday with. You can sit around the table, eat, drink, and be merry, and remember the good things, remember the blessings.

The Monthly Update: June

June highlights:

  • I went to the Boho Market at the Dallas Farmers Market with my sweet friend Lauren and my darling pup Jack in tow. The Boho Market includes a bunch of locally made goods from wonderful, local people. It was nice to approach shopping in a safe and fun way.
  • I got in some good quality time with my darling fam bam for Father’s Day and the weekend after. My crazy, cute, high energy nephew Mason turned two and we sang “Happy Birthday” together. And I got to hold and snuggle Mason’s tiny and wonderful, new baby brother, Westin.

June lowlights:

  • As the potential of starting law school in the fall approaches, my stress and anxiety increase. This dream has been a longtime in the making, and I just want to make sure I am doing it right.

This month, I was filled by:

  • Some friends came over for dessert and conversation in the middle of the month. We talked and laughed and drank wine and laughed some more. We dove into some hard topics, like coronavirus and how it’s changed us, systemic racism and what we can do, but handled the conversations with kindness, grace, and transparency. It was the most magical evening, it left me feeling encouraged and empowered.

This month, I was emptied by:

  • George Floyd’s death was a catalyst for a movement that our nation desperately needed: a movement that highlights injustice, brings darkness to light, and gives a voice to the voiceless. I have been encouraged to see my friends support their Black brothers and sisters, but simultaneously heavy-hearted to see the many injustices that are present in our society today. Though my heart aches and breaks for the BIPOC community, I know a feeling of complacency only leads to inaction and neglect.

In July, I am looking forward to:

  • Even though I am late in the game in posting the June update, I was majorly looking forward to Fourth of July this year. And my high expectations were met! I will elaborate more in next month’s update.

2020: On A New Year + Decade

2019 was a big year.

I left my very first adult job, started a new one that I subsequently quit six months later. I became a part-time nanny (again) and a part-time front desk worker at my climbing gym.

I began to take the dream of going to law school seriously, took the LSAT (twice) and submitted several applications. I moved into an apartment of my own, now I am free to dance around pant-less and it’s great.

I was in my very first romantic relationship, we made it eight months before we called it quits. I said “yes,” to dream-chasing, “no” to people who crossed boundaries, “yes” to fun things, “no” to selfishness as best as I could.

2020 may be even bigger.

This is the year I am going to (hopefully) get into law school and start classes in the fall. This is the year I am going to learn how to lead climb (a specific type of climbing) and become less afraid of heights.

This is the year I am going to try to be fearless as I dive into the unknown–unknown plans with law school, unknown future with where I’ll live, who my friends will be, who I will become.

I don’t really do resolutions.

I never have, and probably never will. My mindset is, “Why would I need a change in the calendar year to push me to be better, when I can become better at any moment in time?” New Year’s resolutions just don’t make much sense to me.

But I do have goals for this year: become physically stronger, eat healthier, take the Sabbath seriously. Be less afraid of getting hurt when I care for others, and more confident in loving people outside of my comfort zone.

I want to be kinder, braver, lovelier, softer. I want to make big moves and do big things and not look back, all while feeling secure in Jesus Man’s love for me. I want to care lots in little ways and become a safe house to those who feel lost and scared and empty and sad.

I’m really excited! I’m really nervous!

I’m excited about heading into a new year and a new decade. I’m excited about all of the potentially great things the unknown has to offer. I’m nervous about heading into an era of newness: new school, new friends, new place. I’m nervous about trying and falling flat on my face.

But even if I do end up falling flat on my face, I know that I’ll be okay. I’ve got the best family, friends, and support system around. I’ve got the best Father who loves me in ways I can hardly fathom.

I have a feeling it’ll be a great year: one of growth, renewal, refinement. I have a feeling it may be an even bigger decade: ideally attending and finishing law school, making it into my 30’s, and more.

So here I go, trusting God in the waiting and in the unknown. Let’s do this!!