2016: A Year in Review

I’ve thought long and hard about if I wanted to do this or not…but then I figured why not? But, in usual Mary fashion, it will be awkward, and I’ll try to make it funny and interesting…and probably fail. Haha šŸ™‚

Ready? Ready. Let’s go.

2016 started and it seemed like it would be any other year. I was still relatively new at work, so I was still sort of getting my bearings there, I was still meeting new people at church because I was new to the ward, I was still new to really everything in my life. Relatively speaking. So the beginning of the year was just a lot of working. It turned out it would be a lot more than that.

2016: The year of doing what I wanted to do

This past year, I did so many of the things. A lot of the things I did because I had a built in travel buddy, but a lot of the things I did because I realized that I am now an adult and I can do fun things for the sake of doing fun things. I don’t have to do fun things because I’m avoiding homework, or because I’m required to for a class, or I am out of money. I can do fun things that cost money (!!!) because I can!

What things did I do? Hmmm. LIST TIME! I heart lists.

  • I went to Comic Con. That was a ride. But, like, a fun ride.
  • I went to the salt flats.
  • I drove to Idaho for pizza.
  • I bought a Polaroid camera.
  • I participated in Questival. (24 hour scavenger hunt)
  • I bought my own plane ticket home for Memorial Day. (Like…say what?! Only big kids do that…oh wait…shoot)
  • I went to so many of the hockey games. The Utah Grizzlies are NOT good, but that doesn’t mean their games aren’t fun. The Utah Skatin’ Utes ARE good, and that makes their games so much funner.
  • I went to my first actual Symphony concert and saw one of my all time favorite symphonies performed. It was completely wonderful.
  • I bought the tickets for that symphony concert.
  • I bought tickets and saw the Nutcracker at Christmas.
  • I went on the most spontaneous of road trips and saw my dear, dear friend, Jessica, when she was visiting family.
    • No really. It was so spontaneous. I was talking to her on Tuesday and said I would just come party with her that Friday. So I did.
  • I went to Kansas for a family reunion. It was hot. But so fun.
  • I went go-karting.
  • I played tourist in my own city. This was to help Ann with a school project, but still.
  • I took full advantage of work relationships and somehow managed to go to 2 Jazz games in suites and a Utah football game for my BIRTHDAY.
  • I saw Jon McLaughlin not once, but TWICE in concert. (AND WE GOT TO MEET HIM AT THE SECOND CONCERT!)
  • I went to the batting cages, and learned that I’m still really not that great of a batter.
  • I went to a driving range (also taking advantage of work relationships) and learned that yeah, I’m real bad at golf. Well, not that bad, but bad.
  • I asked for books for my birthday and so incredibly ecstatic when I got all of them. (Shoot…that big kid thing coming back to haunt me again. I suppose I should just accept it at this point)
  • I floated a lazy river. I need to start doing that every year.
  • I went ice skating for the first time (and yes, I know how odd that must sound, considering how much I love hockey)
  • I bought a new TV.
  • I constructed the stand for that new TV. (It took FOUR HOURS)
  • I turned 25. I still don’t really feel old…most of the time. (But then I remember, 25 is still a baby)
  • I went to Lagoon…twice.
  • I rode my first upside down roller coaster. (Something I told myself I would NEVER EVER DO)

It was a really good year. I did so many fun things. I did a lot of not fun things, but I also did so so many fun things. I’m choosing to focus on the fun things. Because that’s really all that matters.

2016: The year of the…relationship (I had The year of the Boyfriend, but that felt too pathetic…so I went with this instead)

Okay. So. I have to admit something that I’m not really proud of. I’m just really kinda embarrassed about it. Everyone I’ve talked to about this has told me not to be embarrassed about it, but I still am. Whatever. I’ve passed this stage of my life now, so I suppose I can admit it without too much embarrassment. Anyway. When I first moved into my apartment, I realized I wasn’t dating anyone, and I didn’t think that would change under my current circumstances. So, I did something about it. I downloaded Tinder. It was such an experience…both good and bad. One bad thing is it was sort of addicting, and I realized that. So I tried to limit myself. But, I was finally going on dates, which is something I wanted, so that was good, right? Sure, yeah, right. I mean, I hadn’t been on a date since high school, and for some reason, that all of a sudden mattered to me when I moved into my new apartment.

Anyway. Anyway anyway anyway.

In March, I started dating a boy I met on Tinder. At first, it was just a casual thing, but we always went out on Tuesdays. I don’t know why Tuesdays, but those were the days we went out. For months, my Tuesdays, and just my Tuesdays, were spent with this boy. Tuesdays turned into Wednesdays, which turned into a lot more time spent with this boy. In June, we decided to be exclusive and “official”. It was a ton of fun. We spent a ton of time together and it was so much fun. We did everything from the mundane, like the grocery store or Ikea, to the exciting, like when I dragged him to Idaho for pizza from the place that is also down the street from my parents’ house in Montana.

For 7 months, I dated this boy, I fell in love, I had so much fun. I don’t want this to be a post aboutĀ justĀ my relationship, but we were together for the majority of the year, and he was a huge part of my year. And, unfortunately, the majority of my stories from this year involve him for some reason. But then, in the beginning of November, I realized it was time to move on. There are a thousand different reasons I thought we should break up and a thousand different reasons I thought we should stay together. But, when it came down to it, and this is mean, but it was my reality, I realized I was spending more time frustrated and upset than I was spending in love and getting to know my boyfriend.

I will tell you right now, it was one of the hardest things I’ve done. I don’t like upsetting other people, and the fact that I still cared for this boy and his well-being absolutely crushed me when I actually thought about what I was about to do. If I’m being completely honest, I considered not doing it all, just to spare him…and myself. Not only did I not want to hurt him, I didn’t want to hurt myself in the process. But. I broke up with him, despite knowing how much pain I was causing.

2016: The year I learned my mother is the smartest, most loving, and most patient woman ever. I mean, I knew it already, but it was really solidified this year.

It hurt. A lot. At the time, I thought it hurt me a lot more than it hurt him. I’m not sure if that’s true, but that’s what it felt like. I left his house, newly single and sobbing. I called my mom and told her what had happened. She told me she had thought it was going to happen, and that I needed to cry but not cry too much, but instead be happy I had gotten to know him and move on. “Well, be sad, but don’t feel sorry for yourself,” were her exact words.

2016: The year I started to realize what “Trust in the Lord…and lean not unto thy own understanding” meant

I cried for 6 days. I cried myself to sleep, I cried myself awake (that one was weird), I cried at just about everything. And then, on the 6th day, I realized how much I didn’t need to cry anymore. So I stopped. I also stopped because I realized I could give my pain to the Savior and forget about it. I didn’t want to become bitter, I didn’t want to be angry at this boy for x,y,z, whatever. I didn’t want to continue in the pain I felt. I honestly wanted to forget the pain and move on. I realized I could literally have the pain taken away. Now, does this mean it is gone forever? Unfortunately not. I am still human and I have bad days sometimes. But, 9.75 days out of 10, I am not sad. Because someone else has felt my pain and He helped my through it. I truly, truly believe that because it became my reality.

Honestly, also because I am human, giving my burdens to the Lord and then forgetting about them is one of the most difficult things to learn. It’s so hard to just forget about something because memories still exist. But it is possible. It takes patience. It takes trust. But it does work, trust me on that one.

And trust me when I say I am still working on it. But, now that it has become my reality at one point in time, I can better utilize it. At least I hope so. At least I’m striving for that.

2016: The year of the Penguins

The Pens won the STANLEY CUP!!! I cried. So much. Happy, happy, happy tears. Pascal Dupuis was forced into retirement for health issues and I cried when he hoisted the Cup. I also smiled like an idiot. People said that Sidney Crosby would never win the Cup again, and I laughed and smiled along with him when he threw the Cup into the air after winning. This is cliche, but I really don’t care: Phil Kessel is a Stanley Cup champion. Some said that would never happen, and yet there he was, standing with a beard on a sheet of ice in San Jose, laughing and smiling and just being in general his Phil-self. I smiled so much my face hurt. Every single time Lord Stanley was passed to a new player, I stared in awe that the team I watched with such frustration and such agony and so much fear that they would lose it all actually went all the way and had engraved their spot in history. I still can’t believe it sometimes. That’s really it for this section. Except, THE PENGUINS WON THE FREAKING STANLEY CUP!!!!

2016: The year I learned a lot about myself

I learned so much patience this year. I learned how to care for another person who isn’t family, and how to support that person no matter what. I mean, I knew how to do that already, but you know what I mean. I learned how to rely on another person for a lot of things. I learned how to pick myself up, and how to be strong when I don’t want to be. I learned that it’s okay to be sad, but it isn’t okay to dwell on sadness for yourself. I learned how to use an Apple Watch. Comically, and embarrassingly, I learned that Angry Mary has a tendency to swear. Oops. I learned that I love my parents with a ferocity that won’t ever go away.

My parents came to Utah for Christmas. It was a lovely time and I was so so so excited for them to come. We celebrated Christmas, went to a movie, played games, went skiing, just enjoyed each others’ company. But then came the sad time for them to leave. Well, I had to leave them. I had to go back to work. As I trudged all my stuff to my car to take it back to my apartment, I tried to push aside how heartbroken I was to be leaving my parents again.

When all my stuff was packed, I went inside to say goodbye to everyone. I said goodbye to my dad and then went upstairs rather quickly. I was already choking up. I hugged my mom for one final time, then spun around and walked away, because maybe that would stop me from crying. I shut the door to my grandma and grandpa’s house, and a tear rolled down my face. I brushed it aside, got in my car, and let out a sob.

Once I got settled in at my apartment, I texted my mom, and said, “One of these days, I’ll be able to leave my mommy without crying. Today is not that day.”

I learned that this is because I love my mom so much. The saying goes, “Home is where the heart is”, and at the end of this year, I learned that home is still where my mom and dad are. I also learned that is fine, as long as I don’t let it dictate my life. I can miss home, as long as I don’t become bitter about being an adult who lives on her own.

2016: The year I lived by myself (at least for the summer)

Ann went to Spain during the summer. I was alone pretty much all summer. At first it was lonely, and it still was to an extent at the end of the summer, but it was also a little refreshing. (No offense Ann) It was actually pretty fun to just be me, but totally lonely to sit by myself at church every Sunday. I completely missed my sister and the conversations I have with her, but I was also so excited for her to go that that sort of outweighed the missing her.

2016: The year I learned to be me, no matter what.

And so, with that, I say goodbye, 2016. You were horrible at times, but you were also the best at times. And so, to you, I say, “So long, and thanks for all the fish.” (Oh and also good riddance. I hope this year is better. It already is. I’ve been working on complaining less, and working out more. And so far, I have really, really sore quads, and no complaints…except stairs. I hate stairs right now…)

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