The Story of 2018

It’s the last day of 2018. I’m sipping coffee and deep in my thoughts about how this year has turned out. I’ve realized over the past week how much I reflect. Some say that causes anxiety, but honestly it keeps me revising and striving. Although it’s not educational, I want to write down all of the good, bad, and ugly from this year to share my 2018 story. This is a year I will absolutely never forget as it was the most challenging year I’ve ever had, but also the most rewarding year. I’ve loved many things and hated many things. But most of all, I’ve learned many things.

I was all into bullet journaling at the start of last year. I’m glad I was because I honestly couldn’t remember what my “quote of the year” was or any of my resolutions I had planned. Every year, I pick a quote that is my motivation for the year. It’s similar to this year’s hype of “one word” to describe the year. I’m a quote type of person so I always stick with this and put it as my background on my phone or display it where I can see it. Apparently I thought journaling it was enough at that time and I completely forgot what it was until looking back at it.

When I look at it now, all I can think is, “The irony!” If I’m completely honest, 2018 tested me in a way I had absolutely never been tested. When I think about this year, all I can think is my car accident that happened February 8. I was on my way to work when someone ran a stop sign on a road where I did not have to stop, and they plowed into me. I broke my ankle on both sides, my collar bone was completely shifted, and I had a collapsed lung. I had to immediately have surgery on the broken bones where I have plates and screws that holds everything back together now. To this day, I’m still not completely cleared from the doctor because my ankle was so difficult to put all the little bones back where they belong.

“Everyone’s problems are big in their own word.”

There were a lot of firsts from this situation- first time being in a car accident where I was driving, first time breaking a bone, first time having surgery, and most importantly, the first time having to rely on other people. To say it was a traumatic experience for me sounds so silly when there’s people living and dealing with so much worse, but in my world, this has been the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced. I was home for 2.5 weeks in a mentally terrible place. I forced myself to go to work after that because that was my light. I was on a knee scooter that I could only handle with 1 hand because my collar bone was still very sensitive, yet I made it happen. I was on that scooter for the remainder of the school year. I was given the okay to be in a walking boot by the time field day and graduation rolled around, I was in a lot of pain doing that, but I wanted to be with my kids for those memorable moments.

And now I look at my quote of the year and think, “Amber, how did you know?” Acceptance was the hardest part of the entire experience. I am a very independent person and absolutely hate asking for help. However, I learned how to say no, how to ask for help, and how to rely on people because I was literally forced to do just that. There was no way to understand all that I was going through, but I learned a deeper appreciation for the people in my life. So many people stepped up and helped me and I’m forever thankful for them.

Of course 2018 wasn’t all bad, it just stretched me to be a better person all around. Even though we had to postpone it from the spring, my husband and I still got to go to Tulum, Mexico in the summer. I went to New Orleans to the Get Your Teach On Conference with my colleagues and developed a deeper bond with them. I didn’t get to go to Pennsylvania like I had planned for my college roommates master’s graduation in May, but I did get to go to California in the fall to visit my sister and her family. My husband got to finally go to a Disney park on that trip and is a converted Disney-park-crazy-person.

I’ve read more books, loved deeper, gotten another cat, been to more concerts, developed my Teachers Pay Teachers store even more, and celebrated my first year in the teacher-instagram world. I finished my masters in Reading Instruction and passed all of my certification exams, which is an enormous achievement for the girl who was in remedial reading classes throughout school. I celebrated my first anniversary with my best friend/husband. Oh, and I got tenure! What a beautifully amazing year!

-Rachel Hollis

Oh, but 2019 already has a pretty high title of being the best year. God willing, there will be a lot of traveling happening and a lot of personal and professional growth. That’s why my quote for this year is Rachel Hollis’s “Don’t make yourself small so others feel more comfortable.” (I read Girl, Wash Your Face this year and I’m now in love with all of Rach’s stuff. My husband makes fun of me because I’m a little too obsessed.)

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year! I hope that you all set goals and find motivation to keep yourself moving in a positive direction! This life is too short not to appreciate fresh starts every year. Make this one count, y’all!

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