I lived it up a lot this year. I allowed myself to pursue a few dreams and try things for the first time. I think I am working harder now than I ever have (if that’s possible), but it doesn’t feel like a burden most of the time because I am truly enjoying everything that I am doing. I am trying to enjoy it as much as I can, as I am not sure how long this lifestyle can last realistically. I am hoping that by the time my life changes, my desires will have shifted and I will have new dreams to pursue. I suppose time will tell what the Lord has in store.
Although my year was fantastic in nearly every way, I had some dear friends and loved ones suffer from horrible loss and heartbreak. Their hardship weighs heavily on me, although I am not the best at expressing my grief for their loss. I pray they find peace and new beginnings in 2015.
Year of Many Firsts and Personal Triumphs:
- Wrote an article about classical music audiences that got over 10,000 hits
- Accepted into graduate school for cello performance
- Played in a very prestigious wedding here in town, dubbed “The Royal Memphis Wedding”, which was beautiful and touching
- Finished up a year and a half with a wonderful company with coworkers I sorely miss to head back to school
- Started school and was blessed with starting my ministry at Orphanos and the RD job at CBU, very flexible and part time positions
- Voted in as Board member for an awesome local music organization, PRIZM Ensemble
Travel Based Highlights:
- Traveled to 8 new countries and 3 new states
- Traveled to Las Vegas, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon with my mom
- Went to South America for the first time for my first missions trip to Colombia
- In Europe I had the opportunity to go to the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Norway, The Vatican
- Traveled to some familiar states
- Went skiing for the first time ever in Colorado
- Annual Eastman reunion in Chicago at one of my closest friend’s wedding
- Traveled to Santa Monica to visit my eldest brother and his wife over Fall Break
- Christmas in Houston with family to meet the new baby; quick trip to Florida to bring in the New Year!
- Took a 3 week trip to Europe with my husband to see our closest couple friend, Westerling, and did a lot of adventure sports for the first time
- Did my first ever Discover Dive off the coast of Italy in the sunken city of Baia
- Went Canyoning in the foothills of the Alps
- Climbed to the mouth of the active Mount Vesuvius
- Walked the entire way up the Eiffel Tower in Paris
- Hiked to Pulpit Rock in Norway
- Officially started compiling my favorite photos onto a photo portfolio
When I look back on this year, I think I need to write a memoir or something. I’ve got a lot of stories to tell, a lot of life that I have lived in this one year. I feel exceptionally grateful, like a gift has been granted to me.
What’s 2015 going to look like?
My 2014 goals were to travel the world, focus on music, focus on God, and commit to my health. I definitely accomplished the traveling and the music. Since I joined a ministry I suppose you could say I am more focused on God, but I am acutely aware of how much I fail to focus on God. I’d call that spiritual progress, as strange as that sounds. I was doing pretty well health-wise, but then I spent a week in Italy and used that as an excuse to eat like an Italian for the rest of the year. So here’s what I propose for 2015:
- Get serious about my health. I even joined a PiYo BeachBody program out of desperation. It is currently kicking my butt.
- Continue to focus on my relationship with the Lord
- Caleb and I are actively working on our relationship with God as a couple with our mentor friends
- Survive this whole juggling school / juggling work game
- Travel whenever possible, but make more of an attempt to capture and share my memories via stories and photos.
- Plan on going to Colombia for a missions trip
I think that’s plenty to work on for one year. One of my friends made a New Year’s suggestion of choosing a word as my “theme” for the year. I thought about it, and a few words crossed my mind: Survive, Efficiency, Productivity… but I settled on Thrive. If I am to thrive spiritually and physically and personally, I will need efficiency and productivity. Thriving is much better than merely surviving. Thriving is embracing life and all its ups and downs, surpassing expectations (both personal and public) and achieving something monumental in light of the difficulties of this beautiful, chaotic world we call our own.
I desire to thrive in 2015. What’s your theme for this year?
Nicole, I love this!! I can’t wait to see where God takes you this year. ❤
Thank you, Rachel! I am just glad God has kept me in your life, I am definitely a better person because of it! ❤
[…] I had the opportunity to take a ski trip to Colorado I would take it. If I had the opportunity to gallivant around Europe for 3 weeks just for fun I would do it. It just so happened that this mission trip lined up […]