A Love Letter To The New Year: Hello 2016!

Dear 2016, 

I am so glad you are here! I just met you a couple days ago, and I already adore you. Let's just say that I am rather ambivalent about how 2015 went. Well, that's not entirely true. So many amazing, good things have happened over the past 12 months. But I have learned so much about myself, the world, and my place in it this last year that I am feeling so very ready to get the hell on with 2016 and not look back!

I believe one of the most outstanding highlights of this year is joining my soccer league, the Goal Diggers. Not only has this given me the opportunity to enjoy a sport I played so long ago, I've also been able to make some of the most amazing friends I never expected to have in my life. I've met most of these ladies before, but now that we've knocked each other over a number of times on the soccer field, shared humiliating dating stories over post-game beers, and sustained numerous gnarly bruises together, I can say that they're some of my favorite people in this damn city. Thank you to Caitlin for organizing this hysterical hullabaloo that happens every Sunday.

My blog has grown, expanded, and taken on some great new contributors. Abby, I can't thank you enough for joining me on this wild adventure and always being up for taking photos at the drop of the hat. Justin, you've been such a great supporter, and you really let me have fun with those pinup photos! Allan, thanks for being able to pop up for random blog photos and delivering some of my favorite images to date! Meade, thanks for joining my mani madness team and always following through. Gina, you rock for supporting me and pushing me to be more creative with my content, as well as treating me to a fabulous NYFW experience this past September. Lindsay, I cannot thank you ENOUGH for how you've encouraged me to be better, more efficient, and to really reach for my dreams with SOSM. The blog won two awards this past month from the Midwest Influencer Network for Best Beauty Content and Best Personal Style Blog – Alternative. I can't wait to see where SOSM goes in the new year, but I bet it's going to be absolutely fabulous.

My DJing has given me a creative, fun, and rewarding outlet that has allowed me to really explore my love for music. I always joke that I was never any good at playing a physical instrument, so DJing has given me the chance to enjoy music in a way that I didn't think about before two years ago. My growth in this aspect of my life makes me incredibly proud of myself. I'm able to do something that brings me joy, and with that, I can help others enjoy their lives when they're out and about while I happen to be there. I'm also proud that I did this mostly on my own, without asking for too much help. That makes me happy - to know that I can persevere doing something without having to call on backup. 

2015 brought a lot of learning experiences as well. I learned what a lack of support in a relationship looks like, and how to spot the signs that you and a partner really aren't going to make it in the long run. I learned about letting go, and healing. I learned about sharing stories with new best friends, and finding that many of my thoughts and reactions were not that crazy after all. I have also learned that dating is a big fat flaming pile of annoyance. 

I learned what it was like to be let go from a job as a young adult. To suddenly scramble to keep any semblance of an appearance that can persuade the general public that "I have my shit together." I learned how to file for unemployment and how to not look back. No more trying to come up with answers and falling short. Sometimes the cards just fall a certain way.

I have learned that my body will tell me what it needs. After losing my job, I, in just over 4 months, packed on 20lbs. I learned very quickly what it is like to have friends not believe you and to tell you not to worry, but they don't see you crying in your bedroom because you can't pull several pairs of pants above your thighs. With little to no exercise, my body fills out into a wonderful fluff with thicker thighs, around midsection, and soft back. Bras stop fitting, and shorts I wore constantly last winter over tights won't even button. 

I have learned what a renewed sense of determination is. To fully understand what hard work can accomplish, in both the gym and in life. I'm excited to be active again - I am actually doing a 30-day yoga bender at Southtown Yoga in order to get my ass back in gear. I can't wait to see how my body changes for the better, and how my mind becomes more quiet. 

So, thank you for following along on this journey of mine. Look for bigger, better, and more from me and the blog. I'm hoping to expand immediately and take on more contributors. I want to not just be a blog that comes from me, but instead has a small yet fertile community with many thoughts, dreams, and ideas. I can't wait to see where 2016 takes us!