Looking back on 2018

It’s taken me awhile to really sit down and pull together this blog post, but here we are. I think it’s because 2018 was such a significant year for me. A lot happened.

An overview of the year:

  • I started off 2018 completely single, which was huge for me as a serial monogamist. I finally learned in 2018 to take myself seriously and stop settling for less than I deserve. I even wrote about getting over toxic relationships.

  • I met my current partner, Cam, in January, after having spent some much needed time alone. He was my TA for a very hippy dippy class (Bi Sci 3) in which I spent a lot of time reflecting on myself, my beliefs, and my experiences. We started talking in February and have been together ever since.

  • I landed my first serious internship at URBN in Philly. I spent my entire summer at the most beautiful, inspiring campus and learned so much about myself and the ways I can improve. I was often anxious and tired from all the work and my long commute into work, but I wouldn’t have changed a second. It challenged me so much and helped me grow in ways that I never would have otherwise.

  • My summer also consisted of a lot of weekend trips with Cam. We went to NYC, the beach, visited each other back home, and more. I missed him a lot during the time in between our trips, but I felt so happy to be able to afford these stolen days together.

2018 reflections 2
  • I moved to DC at the end of August and worked as a communications intern at Asian Americans Advancing Justice. I learned so much more about the diversity of the AAPI community and the privilege I have even within that group. (I also learned that acronym and what it stands for: Asian American and Pacific Islanders.)

  • I picked up another gig with P/Y/T Beauty as their influencer relations intern while I was there, which I’m still doing now. It’s been a lot of emails and a true struggle to keep organized, but I’m learning to work even more on my time management. It’s been so rewarding to hear from influencers that they truly love our products and I love being able to work on the other side of things.

  • I landed a lot more paid opportunities for my blog than I ever have. Some of this was definitely just the business of the holiday season, but I started to see that I have more potential to make this work than I initially imagined.

  • In November, I was selected out of over 1600 applicants to attend the inaugural Fohr Freshman Class. I flew out to NYC for an unforgettable weekend and met the most amazing individuals.

  • In December, I went back home for winter break before moving back to Penn State earlier this month for my second to last semester here at Penn State.

I grew into myself in 2018. I still have a ways to go, but I find myself believing that I am someone worth looking up to. I’m becoming the kind of person that I use to admire myself just a couple years ago. I’m more level headed, more grounded, more at peace with myself. I still get anxious and I still have a ways to go, but looking back at who I was just two or three years ago, I’ve grown so much. Even reading my reflection post from 2017 made me realize how much I’d grown in just a year.

In fact, he even took these photos!

In fact, he even took these photos!

Just four years ago, I was thinking about switching colleges because I was so miserable, seeing someone 5 years older than who had half my maturity even then (don’t worry, that barely lasted a month), and had yet to even begin my journey of healing my past traumas.

This past year, I’ve been working through my trauma a lot more and am able to speak about it more openly. In counseling, I’ve moved from calling various events nonconsensual sex to sexual assault. I can talk through what’s happened without blaming myself and have developed coping mechanisms to bring myself back to reality when I’m feeling panicky and upset. I’ve become a stronger person and a better advocate.

That said, I’ve also skipped classes to cry in my bed, broken down in tears while showering and worse. The first time I slept over at Cam’s, I started crying because my body was in full on panic mode, worried that he was going to sexually assault me, even though my rational mind completely trusted him. This coming year, I hope to keep working through this and hopefully talk to you guys a little more about sexual assault and healing from it. I know I’m far from the only person who’s gone through this, and I’d love to help some of you begin or further your healing process.

Photo Jan 01, 5 27 51 PM.jpg

Here are some of my other goals for 2019:

  • Get organized. Make better of use of my time by properly organizing my time, tasks and goals for the week, and actually sitting down to complete these tasks when I plan to.

  • Head to the gym once a week outside of my jogging class. I used to be nervous about setting gym related goals because of my body image issues, but I’ve gotten so much better since high school. There’s no reason not to take care of myself by getting some endorphins going during a good workout!

  • Hit 10K on Instagram. This is admittedly a goal I’m sure I’ll fall short of by about 1000 to 2000 followers, but I’m aiming high. I just want swipe up!

  • Publish blog content once a month. I got better at consistently posting to my blog when I was in DC since I had more time on my hands, so I want to keep this going in 2019. I have so many ideas for content, I just need to discipline myself (see goal 1) and get it DONE!

  • Get more creative. Most bloggers work with just one or two photographers or have their friends help them with photos. My approach, however, has been to collaborate with a number of talented photographers to create stunning content. In the coming year, I hope to get more creative with my content and work with photographers to create content that pushes both of our boundaries.

Drop me a comment, friends! What are some of your goals for this coming year? How have you grown since 2018?



Annabelle Schmitt2 Comments