2019 has been a rollercoaster of a year. It’s been undoubtedly a good year, filled with numerous wonderful experiences while simultaneously providing me with much needed lessons.

My job at the thrift store this year is, and continues to be, an ongoing life lesson for me. While some might suggest that working in a thrift store isn’t glamorous, I beg to differ. After all, take a look at this picture of me in our backroom, the embodiment of our backroom goofiness!

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One of my new fondest memories in my thrift store. The hat and the dress matched so nicely!

You see, our team is a family, and when we’re in high spirits, antics like these naturally occur. I am honored to be part of this group.

At my job, one of the biggest lessons I’ve continued to learn is how much diversity is respected in not just our team, but in our customer crowd. I’ve been blessed with customers from so many different countries, and thanks to the kindness of my Muslim customers, I’ve even started to learn a few phrases in Arabic!

Memories

2019 has been jam-packed with multiple awesome experiences.

In March, my family and I went to Walt Disney World to celebrate the life of my grandpa, who passed away in October 2018. Over 30 of us attended, and it was so heartwarming to be together, sharing our memories of him and knowing how happy he must have been to see us as one.

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In June, I attended my first ever Pride Parade alongside members of my United Methodist Church. I’m so glad I finally attended that this, and I’m still elated remembering the hundreds if not thousands of beaming faces that greeted us as we marched down the downtown streets of my city. So much love, and so much unity!

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Later in June, our family returned to Hilton Head Island, arguably our favorite vacation spot. While I was there, I gained a newfound appreciation for sunrises on the beach. During the Friday morning of vacation, I was lucky enough to get a snapshot of this glorious view!

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2019 was also the year our family had to say goodbye to Maggie, the fluffy sass queen of our household. It broke our hearts when she passed away, but we all inherently know that she’s no longer suffering. While our grief runs deep for her, we each know that we will see her again.

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Lessons

On top of all of this, 2019 ended up being a personal year of confronting nasty memories. On multiple occasions this year, God cleverly used certain dreams to help me address recent times in my life that I’d been avoiding because of the negative feelings they provoked. One of the highlights of this year was, after God helped me finally acknowledge the reality of what had happened back then, that our ex-stepfather was absolutely emotionally abusive towards us. Dredging up those times with him was extremely uncomfortable, but necessary and so incredibly cathartic.

With this in mind, my ultimate goal for 2020 onward is to stop myself from constantly over-analyzing things from the past. This has been a fatal flaw for me for years, and has been the gateway to numerous grudges that I’ve held against people, a terrible mistake on my part. It’s also been an error that I’ve made after fully remembering and acknowledging how negative some of my past experiences have been. While I wish that none of that had happened, constantly replaying those scenarios in my head won’t change the past.

I’m grateful for the lessons and experiences that 2019 gave me, and I look forward to what 2020 has in store for me!

Random, but 2019 was a year that inspired me to take pictures often. Here are a few of my favorite pictures that I’ve taken from various moments this year.

And as the final addition to this post, I’d like to share my favorite song of the year: “Ashes” by Celine Dion.