There are tops of "Top Whatever" lists floating around... I want to share with you a few perks of my year:
Top Moments of 2011 (In no particular order):
- Epic Friend Moments. I got to be a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding, read a Bible passage in another, anticipate the birth of a baby, and then keep the secret of friend's pregnancy until she was ready to tell everyone. I planned showers, drove hundreds of miles, spent tons of money, and got to see all of my best friends in one place more than I ever do in one year, which made it all worthwhile.
- When I thought there was no more room in my heart for more music, I fell hopelessly in love with the Avett Brothers and Bright Eyes.
- When I really thought nothing was ever going to come my way and make life a little easier, I had my faith renewed in the form of a new job. I also conquered some major career goals in my former job.
- The day that I sat in a friend's car and got to hear the rough copy of his record, which was a huge personal accomplishment for him.
- This was a huge year for forgiveness and reconciliation. For a number of folks, as well as me personally.
- I got to see some really epic live shows and knock a whole bunch of concerts off of my bucket list: GNR, Bush, The Avetts at Turner Field. Fleet Foxes. Bright Eyes three times!
- Getting LASIK surgery and now having better-than-perfect vision. And realizing later that it was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. (For someone who often experiences buyer's remorse, that's a big one.)
- I overcame a huge fear of living alone and actually learned to relish it.
- I had the great honor of being asked by my friends Raleigh and Christen to write as a guest blogger on The Uncontainable Truth.
- After having my heart broken by Ryan Adams's announcement in 2009 that he was retiring from music, he announced earlier this year that he was releasing a new record and TOURING! (January 30th in Louisville can't come soon enough!)
- I got to participate in some truly epic musical moments, meet new friends, and enjoy the best parts of living in Nashville on Laurel's front porch.
- I think I finally... finally... made some strides in the whole "letting go of plans" (Let Go and Let God) thing. I think.
- Trying my buddy Nick's Hot Chicken for the first time, and actually crying (from the heat or joy, I'll never know) while eating. Then being proud of him when his recipe won the Hot Chicken Festival contest a few weeks later!
- Sara Beth moving to Nashville and getting to experience this city I love so much through a fresh pair of eyes.
- The East Nashville Tomato Festival... always a favorite thing to do during the summer, and this year did not disappoint.
- Traveling to Raleigh/Cary/Chapel Hill to spend a weekend with two of my favorite people I rarely get to see at the same time.
- WRASSLIN'. About a month ago, I discovered through my friend Nick (same as above) the indescribable perfection that is amateur wrestling in Nashville and probably had the most unique and outright most fun experience since I've lived in this city. Let me tell ya - you learn things about yourself when you enter the Stadium Inn on Interstate Drive and stare a man named Bocephus in the face. You become forever changed when you look back at the night before and recall a raffle to spank wrestlers with chains, sneaking in minis to mix stadium-style in a bathroom stall, dodging a turkey leg thrown by from a lady wrestler in the ring, high fiving JT (your favorite wrestler) as you meet on the street walking back and forth between the hotel and the German restaurant/bar across the street, and vaguely remember at one point standing on a chair yelling profanities you didn't know could come out of your mouth.
Some of the best things I encountered in the entertainment world and blew up Facebook and Twitter talking about:
Parks and Rec
The Head and the Heart
Friday Night Lights
American Horror Story
Ashes and Fire
Favorite new blogs: Jon Acuff, Tyler Stanton, Tripp Cosby, and Kevin Kiegley
My Bucket List for 2012, plus some things I'm excited about:
- The Blue Like Jazz movie will be released in April!
- Ryan Adams on tour! I also hope to catch The Head and the Heart and the Avetts again.
- My friends Andrew and Blount's new musical project, Great Peacock. Give their song "Desert Lark" a listen. It's just gorgeous.
- Beach trips - Southwest is going to be getting a lot of my money this year.
- Trips to New Orleans - I'm a groomsman in a friend's wedding this June (more on that later), and I anticipate many trips South and lots of time spent with family there as well.
- Chicago - Never been. I want to go. I'd also love to go to New York and Charlotte this year as well. Lofty goals, I know.
- Read more, watch TV less.
- Officially join my church.
- Write.... something. I have several projects in the works. And by "in the works," I mainly mean "in my head and have said them out loud to someone else." I do have an outline going for one, though.
- Lose weight - get healthy. For real. Seeing my grandmother and father go through the Hell of having Type 2 diabetes has scared me into submission. Goodbye, carbs, sugar, and Diet Coke!
- Get a tattoo. I'm going to do it this year, dammit.
- Get rid of stuff and live more simply.
- Do more cooking and experimenting with recipes and less ordering takeout. Even though Chipotle now has brown rice.
- Convince family to forego gifts and do a "pay it forward" Christmas.
- Not buy any more clothes or books without throwing out/donating something I rarely use.
- Maybe learn to enjoy running? Nah. Not gonna happen.
- Improve my tennis skills.
- Spend less time on my couch and more time out and about in the world (while also not spending more money).
- Be a better friend/daughter/sister/worker.
- Quit wasting my mornings hitting the snooze button.
- Get a dog! That's a big one. I need a pup to call my own.
- Save money. I want to either buy a house or hit up Europe. Something big since...
THIS IS THE YEAR I TURN 30!