Lifestyle: 2019 Reflection + 2020 Resolutions

Welcome to my second ever lifestyle post since I migrated Cierra’s Cynosure to WordPress! This blog truly has become true to its slogan: “books and a little bit of life.”

Today, I’m giving you a little bit of what my life has been like in 2019. It is safe to say that this year has been amazing to me for so many reasons. I have surmounted so many challenges and pushed myself to do so many new things. Agh, 2019 has complete heart eyes in my personal life’s book.

Side note: I know it’s easy to look back at the year through rose-colored glasses if it was good to you. Though I’m about to go through some highlights, know that there were also plenty of lows that won’t be featured. But I got through them, and that’s what I want to remember more than anything.

Also: all screenshots from here on are from my 2018 reflection + 2019 resolutions post!

So let’s recap.

2019 Resolutions

In 2018, I made a looong list of resolutions. Though I was successful on most of them, I wanted to try a new approach for 2019, so I chose two themes for the year and decided that anything that came my way for the next 365 days would be addressed under one of them. The themes were:

This theme was inspired by the fact that I am a person that gets overwhelmed really easily. When the going gets tough, my mind automatically wants to retreat to safety. I wanted to challenge myself to do more things and to do them fully in 2019. In other words, for anything I’d get myself into, there was no turning back. The only way out was through.

I applied this to multiple things: classes I took, opportunities I applied for, challenges that came up, etc. And as I’m writing this, I can wholeheartedly say I accomplished this goal/stayed true to this theme.

When I chose this quote as a theme for 2019, I didn’t really know how I’d apply it to my year. I had a general idea that the overall concept I was going with was trusting that everything happens for a reason, and that if something bad or generally unpleasant happened, something better wasn’t far behind.

365 days later, I have found that this general approach worked out well. When a challenge came up, it was easy to firstly recognize that it was temporary, and secondly, trust that there was something to be learned from it.

But if I had to dive into how I found these three forms of trust manifested in 2019, I’d say:

1: Trusting the universe meant having faith that things were working in my favor and not against me, even if it was unpleasant.

2: Trusting myself meant having faith that only I would truly know if I could or could not handle a situation I was experiencing, and trusting that I was capable of either working through it or removing myself from it with grace.

3: Trusting the timing of my life meant having faith that my existence is timed perfectly and that I can be successful in the situation I’m in, from the background I’m from, and as the version of me that I am. It was a challenge to not blame forces that are out of my control for any shortcomings or missed opportunities.

General goals I had for 2019

Ya’ll, I FINALLY got my license this year! 😂 If you go back on my blog and read my resolutions for 2017 and maybe 2016, you’d see that I had a goal to get my license for the past 3 years. Well, on June 24th, 2019, I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST 🎉 It was great. My godmom and best friend were there, nervously awaiting the results, and it was such a surreal moment to celebrate with both of them when I passed. I wish I had pictures.

As for calligraphy/hand lettering: I did and didn’t achieve this goal. I practiced pretty frequently over the summer, but besides those few months, I didn’t really act on this goal. Can’t get them all, am I right.

Blog and take photos more: mission totally accomplished! Migrating the blog from Wix to WordPress was one of the scariest and most rewarding decisions I’ve made in awhile. I was risking losing nearly 5 years of history if anything went wrong, but luckily everything turned out fine. Cierra’s Cynosure now has 140 followers and I am so grateful for each and every one of you for being here with me and reading my words. It’s completely surreal.

2019 Highlights

1: I got through one of the toughest college classes I have taken to date

See: my first year of college reflection post!

2: I said yes to adventures with my friends

A Seattle, WA weekend road trip:

A totally unplanned night trip to the Oregon Coast (that began at 11 PM and ended at nearly 5 AM the next morning):

There was also a not pictured train ride day trip to The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles with a friend this summer, as well as a day in Hollywood with my best friend!

3: I flew 1,500 miles for a weekend trip to my boyfriend’s junior prom

4: I migrated my blog

5: I started my booktube channel

6: I became a #PenguinTeenPartner

7: I got my driver’s license AND my first car

8: I left the country for the first time on a study abroad to Costa Rica

See: a photo of a very sweaty me on a trekking day that began at 7 AM and ended at 6 PM. (Also: I’m still editing all of the photos from this trip and I’ve been home for a week).

There is so, so much more I could talk about in this post. So many moments and memories that I simply don’t have the time to transcribe from my mind into this blog post. But if I had to wrap up the last 365 days of my life in a pretty little bow, I’d say that 2019 was a year that I really pushed myself to get out and do more. I am so proud of the person I’ve become since January 1st, and it only gets better from here.

Personal 2020 Resolutions

Besides my bookish goals for 2020, I have three main personal goals that I’d like to implement and maintain in the year ahead:

#1: Continue to push boundaries.

As I mentioned, 2019 was a year of so much growth for me. Even though there were many moments that I was uncomfortable, scared, and overwhelmed, I pushed through it all and have come out on the other side grateful for every challenge. I am speaking the same energy into existence for 2020!

#2: Resume practicing yoga.

I first stumbled into the world of yoga in January of 2018 by participating in Yoga With Adriene’s True 30 Day Yoga Journey. I did it and was hooked. So much so, I came back for another one in January of this year with her Dedicate 30 Day Yoga Journey.

But since January, my yoga practice diminished slowly. It got to the point where I didn’t even own a yoga mat at the end of June. Yikes.

I’d definitely like to rekindle this hibernating passion in 2020. YWA is doing yet another 30 Day Journey this year and it is called Home. I will participating to get myself back on the mat and regain the flexibility I have lost over the months, and I am so excited!

#3: Launch my secret passion project.

This is by far my most ambitious goal for 2020. Always save the best for last.

I have spoken not a peep about this little project I’ve had brewing since August. Sometimes, you have to decide to commit by yourself before you can announce it to the world.

Firstly, let it be known that every year I try to get into something new, whether it be a hobby or a passion project like this one. So at the end of August, I was already thinking ahead to what my 2020 project would be.

What am I talking about you ask?

Here are some ingredients that may help you take a guess:

1: I love environmental science and news

2: I love talking

3: I have access to Adobe Audition, which is a software for audio editing.

4: Come to think of it, I do listen to a lot of these already on Spotify…

If you still have no idea what I’m talking about..

My 2020 passion project is launching an environmental podcast on Spotify called The Speak Environment Podcast!

This summer, I silently started preparing for making this project a reality. I started taking podcasting classes on Skillshare to learn about the basics of how to set up a podcast. I started my “first 30 episode topics” list in a notebook, so I already have a good idea of the things I want to explore in the first 30 episodes. I searched and found an awesome platform to make infographics on called Visme, and much more.

I even secured my podcast’s intro music with an artist and emailed him for permission to use his song under the AttributionNonCommercial Creative Common’s Copyright License.

In other words, I am serious about making this happen.

Listen, I have no idea what the state of this project will be by December 31st, 2020. All I know is I’m giving it a shot. And I am so excited to see where it leads.

With ten minutes to midnight and a thumbnail that still needs to be made, that is there this post ends. Thank you for reading this long, sappy, annual tradition featuring me being in my feelings and being hopeful about what is to come.

See you next year!

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