13 Accomplishments, 14 Goals

An Essay By Madeline // 1/2/2014

When you think of a year as a whole, in the scope of things it doesn’t seem like a lot has happened. I mean, you’ve basically just spent 365 days watching a bunch of television and checking a bunch of email. Or, in my personal case, watching a bunch of television, a bunch of One Direction videos, and checking a bunch of email.

I wish I were kidding.

But when you break it down piece by piece, as I just did a moment ago composing this blog post in my head (it probably won’t translate very well) you did, well, a lot. Here’s my list of the top 13 things I did in 2013:

1) Sang my own original song for voice. In front of a good-size crowd, too. Since then, I’ve been writing like crazy. Learning chords last year changed my life, in a way. I now have the freedom to write music whenever I please. And it’s an awesome feeling.

2) Started to bike again. No matter that I hadn’t ridden one in two years and wrecked so badly my first day trying I now have scars. Now I can coast around the streets of ______, looking totally cool in my helmet. No, really.

3) Became completely One Direction obsessed. So maybe this isn’t the sort of thing you should usually include in your Things I Did In 2013 lists. Big deal. I’m kind of proud of it, actually. I mean, I was just starting to find out who they were this time last year. Now I’m practically a seasoned pro. I’ve seen, like, every interview. The movie. Listened to practically all the songs. I know the quotes. You jealous yet? Because you should be.

4) Went Gluten Free. I mean, I never planned this. I loved bread. Pasta, cakes, younameit...but in September necessity called for me to give it up. And…I don’t miss it. At all. It’s really refreshing, actually. I feel lighter, less negative, more thoughtful. (Okay, confession: I cheated on Christmas and ate two bowls of my Grandpa’s chowder. But until that point, I hadn’t had a drop of gluten in about two months).

5) Got my permit. Never mind I’ve only used it once since then, I GOT MY PERMIT. And that’s all that counts!

6) Wrote stuff that mattered. To me, anyway. It was strange, this year, because writing really took a backseat to music. For the past few years, telling stories has been everything I ever wanted to do, and all the sudden it wasn’t anymore. In August, the poetry bug struck, and I couldn’t cure it for the life of me. I filled up a whole pink notebook with embarrassing thoughts and then amplified the aforementioned solitary embarrassment by posting everything online. People figured me out, and now I cringe reading it back. But what can you do? They were my best poems yet because they meant something, never mind the fact that I sounded ridiculous.

7) Helped my mom baby sit. For a whole, semi-torturous month in June, life was insane. I was up at 6:30 every morning, ready to carry a baby. I fed little kids. I helped change their diapers. I played with them at the pool. I carried a newborn baby and didn’t break it. That long month of work gave me a good sense of accomplishment, and I wouldn’t take it back. Although now I have reconsidered having kids until I’m in my thirties. Probably mid.

8) Cut my hair short. Being homeschooled, the repercussions of this were not nearly what they would have been had I woken up and gone to school the next morning. There wasn’t a lot at stake. I did it back in February, and it’s just now starting to grow out. I loved it. Well, at the time. Looking back on pictures from then I cringe a little bit. Everyone thought it was cute, at least. Now it’s down to my ears, and I’m loving it again. I even got a blonde streak put in that my Grandparents find weird.

9) Volunteered at the animal shelter. I did that for the whole summer with a friend, and I really enjoyed it. I miss it, actually, sometimes. I gave it up because I decided to try the library instead, and the procedures weren’t what they should have been. But it was so much fun. I walked dogs and played with cats, cleaned a bunch of cages and laughed a lot. Sometimes I want to go back, but we’ll see.

10) Learned what it takes to have a friendship. I had a friendship this year that was fun and fleeting. We had such a good time, but it didn’t last. So, yes, you’re left standing wondering what happened, and you want closure, but things are occasionally best left open-ended. I also learned that even when lives are a different and you’re up and down and you kind of even fight, you’ll always go back to that friend. You know, the one that has been there for you forever. The one you can't imagine your life without. So maybe some friendships don’t always last, but there are the others that can't bring themselves to end. And that’s what matters… *cue sappy music*

11) Won NaNoWriMo. I’m still happy about this little victory! Well, kind of. It just seems strange that I wrote 50,000 words in a month, but I did. November was a blur with that thrown in, but at the end it was worth it. My little book is still unfinished–it has another 20,000 words to go (or so)–but it’s a little book I’m proud of, thus far.

12) Interviewed for a job. That, my friend, is an event I look back on and cringe. Everything was going fairly well until I got asked to tell a story about a funny thing that had happened to me. And I…came up blank. Completely wiped clean. So me, being the brilliant girl I was, asked the interviewer to define funny. No, I really did! Then I spilled some lame story about how our dog got hit by a car but we got a better dog and wasn’t that funny how things worked out? Then she tells me she was looking for something actually funny. So I told a story that happened all the way back in sixth grade. It wasn’t until after that I recalled something good. But that’s a moot point. I’m a writer, for pete’s sake! Why didn’t I just make something up?!

13) Turned sixteen. Turning sixteen has a lot of I’m Thankful For’s you could stick beside it. Like: I’m thankful for and I love my family. I’m so thankful to have a Mom that loves me and a Dad that loves me and two brothers that are, um, crazy but love me. I’m thankful and lucky to have a my cat boyfriend and my overweight (not really) dog. I’m thankful to have my best friend and my wonderful cousin and my experiences and my life. Really, it’s all quite an experience.

So. Looking back at this list, I’m actually quite proud. I did more than I thought I actually did, which was nice. Now, onto next year’s resolutions and goals:

1) Get my license. After driving more than just one time, preferably.

2) Finish my book. And then edit. Ugh.

3) Work on singing and songwriting. Build up my YouTube channel and get a following. Maybe I’ll even try to audition for an overproduced singing show. You just never know, do you?

4) Be less hypochondriac-ish.

5) Figure out what I want to do after high school. Career-wise.

6) Learn French.

7) Go on vacations. Maybe even plan travelling outside of the US for 2015.

8) Meet some new people! Join clubs, or volunteer and put myself out there so I can make some more friends.

9) Grow my hair out.

10) Finish my diary. This thing has been going on for a year and a half. I am ready to finally fill one up for the first time in my life! And then spend a really long time selecting a new one, because the old was just perfect.

11) Bike a lot. Walk as well. Enjoy the trail with my family.

12) Discover some new music and honor the old by attending a One Direction concert.

13) Get a job I’ll actually enjoy.

14) Have a lot of fun and new experiences.

And it's a lot to look forward to. Happy New Year!

Comments

Haha, we posted our New

Haha, we posted our New Year's stuff at the same time. Anyway, long hair is overrated, driving is awesome, and good for you for going gluten free!! I'm not intolerant, but my mom and brother have celiac disease. We've been doing it for about five or six years now. Luckily my dad's a good cook, because it can be really hard. :) soooo if you ever want tips on brands and really delicious things to try, let me know lol. Anyway, happy new year!!

Erin | Thu, 01/02/2014

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

"I filled up a whole pink

"I filled up a whole pink notebook with embarrassing thoughts and then amplified the aforementioned solitary embarrassment by posting everything online." Sounds like someone else I know, except her notebook is covered with owls and only 2/3rds full. It's massive. ;) But dear, writing about what matters to you is important, and if you look back and cringe, well, hey, hopefully you learned more about yourself in the process.

Oh, friendships. Yeah, this has been a big year for me too. Or rather, this entire senior year has been different, and will probably continue to be so. Forget 2013.

Yes, driving is incredibly exciting! Maybe it loses some of its glow when you still can't go to that party or you have to drive sibling around for ages, but hey, the girl who isn't allowed to be out past 10:30 is somehow allowed to drive a massive implosive chunk of metal. xD

Good luck with your resolutions!

little woman | Thu, 01/02/2014

The most astonishing thing about miracles is that they happen.
-G. K. Chesterton

Well, i also really want to

Well, i also really want to learn french. My brothers are always making fun of my obsession/interest with anything that has to France in general, but i still really want to learn. I don't care what they say, it is the most beautiful language. And btw Erin, i don't mind people having short hair in the least bit, but long hair isn't over-rated. It is actually under-rated. And i aint judging anyone for having short hair. I'm just proud of my long hair, thats all. :)

Susannah | Thu, 01/02/2014

"Even if the sun crashes into earth, I won't let go, I won't let go. I can be your light, stay with me tonight, I won't let go, I won't let go."

Oh, I didn't mean that long

Oh, I didn't mean that long hair isn't pretty! I meant that it can be a huge pain to take care of (especially when your hair is as thick as mine) :). I'm actually growing mine out anyway lol.

Erin | Thu, 01/02/2014

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Thank you for your comments!!

Thank you for your comments!!

Erin--We did! Haha! I will comment on yours soon, I promise! And thank you for commenting. I've had long-short-long-short hair so it's time I went back to long. Too bad it'll probably take me a year. :P Or so. I did like driving but it's really...complicated. A lot more than I thought it would be! LOL. We're not celiac, (my mom and I are the gluten-free ones), but it still makes a huge difference! And as for brands, we usually get Udi's bread. How about you?? Oh, and have you heard of glutino? I'm sure that, since you've been (semi?) gluten-free the past few years, you've heard of this but they make GLUTEN FREE OREOS. We've only had them once, but they were awesome! That's really all I need, anyway. :P Water, shelter, and oreos.

Little Woman--Mine was a hot pink composition book. :P Maybe that's what prompted all the fluffy thoughts? LOL. Yours sounds really awesome! I need to find a good, designated poetry journal. My actual journal is Paris-themed, really rustic-looking, and I love stuff like that. Love owls, too! ;) I definitely think I did learn more about myself, definitely! It helped me in writing a lot. Oh, and thank you for being such a loyal reader of my poetry. :) As for friendships, I agree with you: Oh friendships. :P Luckily I have Kass, and we've pretty much stuck with each other for almost four years now. :D It seems increasingly rare to find someone so wonderful, so I'll keep her. (you reading this Kass?? Love ya!) So you're a senior? I can't imagine. Must be really exciting! I'm looking forward to it. And as for the driving, I'll definitely be driving something massive! LOL! I'm with you there. I'm going to need a big car as insurance so if I crash into something I'll just streamroll right over it. :P Thank you for your comment! Happy New Year!

Susannah---Salut! Comment-allez vous? I love France, too! I still have a lot to learn, though. So far I've just scraped the surface. As in, I want to go to Paris, but I need to learn the history and the culture and the language first...haha. Someone told me that if I never get the chance to go to Paris to go to Quebec City in Canada. Look it up! It's really beautiful and entirely French speaking. Thank you for your comment! Au revoir!

Madeline | Thu, 01/02/2014

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

I'm a total

I'm a total journal/stationary nerd. I love them all so much. My poetry journal is ring-bound, which is the best thing ever, because it's so easy to write in. But anyway.

Poetry is definitely my favorite way to work through things. And of course! I love reading your writing! And thank you for reading mine. :)

Yup, I'm a senior, I'm OLD. Grey hairs and all. Jk xDD But yeah, it's exciting and terrifying all at the same time!!

Haha, my dad had the same thing about driving, and started me in our giant old Suburban. But after I scared him to death with my lack of driving skills, he switched me to the small car, the reasoning being that that way I had less surface area with which to hit things. xDD

little woman | Fri, 01/03/2014

The most astonishing thing about miracles is that they happen.
-G. K. Chesterton

Lol, I'm the same way with my

Lol, I'm the same way with my hair. I'm lucky it grows fast, because I have had some tragedies hahaha. Yeah, we like udi's and glutino. If you want to try and actually bake stuff, the bob's redmill flours usually work pretty well. Pamela's has THE BEST pancake mix! The Enjoylife cookies are pretty good! So are Larabars, if you haven't tried those. You'll get used to driving-it's not that hard once you get used to it :)

Erin | Fri, 01/03/2014

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Awwww!!!

Aww!!I'm seriously so thankful and blessed to have such great, wonderful, and inspiring friend like you!!!! So much has happened this year, it's crazy! I loved reading this, I'll have to do one! It's hard to believe that we're sixteen, and your driving! Ive loved being a part of your year! XOXO! You sound so accomplished, really you have done A LOT! I love your short hair, but I'll be interested to see how it looks again grown out (growing my hair out too)!
Can't wait to cheer you on with your goals for this year! "Goooooo best friend GO!" :P
Ps. Keep the poetry up! Love it!

Kassady | Fri, 01/03/2014

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
---
Write On!

Thank you!!! The same to you!

Thank you!!! The same to you! Thanks for always being the best friend I could ever have! Love ya!

Madeline | Fri, 01/03/2014

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

I liked this! I love long

I liked this!

I love long hair. And I only write in college rule notebooks. I don't like composition notebooks, because they seem so difficult to bend, and when I flip over the page, it's all just...I don't know. I write in a relatively large, college rule book that my mom bought for me. It's red and has a smooth plastic-material cover. I also write small, and I love very thin point pens. Pentel RSVP's are the best! Except I got a whole 5 pack of them recently that wasn't fine tip enough for me, even though it's fine point. But I write alot (letters, essays, math, etc) so I'll buy the right kind soon. :)

Susannah, what's there to make fun of an interest of French? I think it's pretty too. I think it would be cool to read Les Miserables in French.

Lucy Anne | Sun, 01/05/2014

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!!

Hi Homey! Wow, I seriously cannot believe how in common your resolutions are with mine!
Good on you for going gluten free. I have a cousin who has celiac and yeah, can't have eggs or gluten. And my brother's intolerant to diary, and I'm sure I have an intolerant-cy to SOMETHING because bread and preservatives make me feel garbage. Anyway. This is about you, not me.
One direction obsessed: That's nice. Actually, I'm going to blame you for making me secretly and slightly obsessed with them. After your poems and all that, I decided to look them up. WELL.....yeah.
You got your permit? Awesome!!
" I filled up a whole pink notebook with embarrassing thoughts and then amplified the aforementioned solitary embarrassment by posting everything online."
Heh, love that. I also love this:
" I carried a newborn baby and didn’t break it."
Cut your hair: COOL!! Blonde streak is even cooler. I'm growing mine out too, because I had a season of having it "short" (really only up to my shoulders, but still freaky because I'd never had it like that since being two years old....).
Friendships: Hmm, a little mystery there...
Learning cords: On the piano? That's cool. I have just started learning guitar, and it is SO amazing because I can actually play and write my own songs. SO AMAZING.

HAHA!! Your interview is hilarious. How bad are those mental blanks? You've just got to get over them. One interview I was asked what I wanted to do later on in life, and I DID NOT HAVE A SINGLE CLUE because my mind went blank.

French!! Like you girls, I also love everything related to France, Paris, Eiffel Tower. And basically anything vintage, to add to that.

Travel!! That's so exciting! I was hopefully going to Israel this year, but it failed because my job at this new buisness got huge cancellations and yeah...that affected me. But all the luck to you in the world for that, Homey.

Diaries: Oh boy. Yeah, once I filled one up, and it was perfect. There are still a few pages left, so whenever I have something drastically amazing or defestating, I go there and write it all down. It was the perfect one. Good luck selecting a new one!

Wow. That was one heck of a comment. Phew! Okay, well forgive me, and have a really awesome year. So long, my name twin ;)

Maddi | Tue, 01/07/2014

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Replies-- little woman--Thank

Replies--

little woman--Thank you! And haha...yeah...there's that too. "less surface area with which to hit things". We have a small car as well, so I'm looking forward to trying that. :D

Erin--Thanks for the recommendations! I make crepes from scratch a LOT instead of pancakes because they're less dense with all the extra eggs. I may have to try that, although at our store Pamela's is something like $6 and I could get two boxes of the baking flour for that. haha. We use Hodgson Mills but I think they have the Redmill too. Anyway, always awesome to find fellow gluten-free people! Especially when they're Apricot Pie-ers you've "known" ;) for, like, three years! haha

Lucy Anne--Yes! I do, too. And short, after I tried it, but I always like to do something different. Problem is, my hair is crazy, so I can't really grow it much past my shoulders or else I fear it would take on a mind of its own and possible take over the world. :P Perhaps. And I LOVE college rule! That's the problem with the composition book--it's what I had lying around, so I used it, but I'm with you--spiral bound and college rule. I actually think I have the notebook that you're talking about...somewhere.

Maddi--Aww! Thank you for your reply! I shall reply back. Beware...it'll probably be long...maybe....

That's probably gluten then, I'm guessing. If you ever want to try going without it, do a week and see how you feel. It's really easy. If your grocery store has them, just pick up gluten free flour and bread/whatever you usually eat and substitute things in your menu with those when you have gluten. I set out to try it for a week and now it's been almost four months. Truly, I don't miss it at all. :) It especially helps if you like cooking because then you can experiment with making your own things.

I laughed out loud about the One Direction thing! It's especially hard to not like them if you start watching their interviews. :P They're hilarious! And anyway, it helps if you somewhat like the music as well. (and okay, I do--it's fun. Although some songs are either just plain wimpy ;P or poorly written. It's like, where was I when they were penning this? Or any of us Apricot Pie-ers, really. We could do a better job. haha)

Yes! And like I said--only been used once. xD But at least I have it! Do you have yours??

Thank you! Well, it was meant to be a blonde streak....and it is if I park it on a certain side. But if I do the other parting--which is what I usually do, it becomes more like a huge chunk of hair. Ah, well. I'm gonna leave it. Same here with the short! Except my short was above-my-ears two-years-old short, and I went back to that for a short time! (no pun intended).

It is, isn't it? I love it! That was about....two years ago now? You should check out UltimateGuitar.com. That's where I get all my chords off of. They're for guitars, obviously, but it translates just as well to piano. You can look up and find most any song on there. There's an a really great app for it if you have an iTouch/iPhone/Kindle Fire/tablet of any kind that's only three dollars. I want to learn guitar! Are you self-taught or did you learn online or have a teacher??

Ugh. They're the worst. (-_-) Haha. In the end, it worked out that I withdrew my application and I'm glad. They wanted me to work 20+ hours a week and it was just too much at the time. And LOL!!! I can't decide if that's worse than mine or not! But then again, it's perhaps a bit forward to ask a young girl that. My interviewer kept saying how I wasn't going to have as much time to write and other stuff and I was just like, "Uh-huh. That's okay." Erm...not...really. And then she asked me what historical figure inspired me and I was blank again. In the end I sputtered about people in the eighteen hundreds because of their drive (??????) and work-hard ambition, or something. I honestly couldn't think of anybody.

Whoo! Yay! More French lovers!

Thank you! I have a small list of places I want to go, so...hopefully I can get started on that after I turn eighteen. Good luck to you as well!

Now, MINE was a loooong comment. Thanks to all you girls for commenting!!

Madeline | Wed, 01/08/2014

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

So, I'm just going to reply

So, I'm just going to reply back. :)
Gluten, you think? I know, I should cut it out for a time period, just to see. But I'm really lazy, so my holidays aren't the time to do it. But I should.
One direction: yes...
No, I don't have my permit. I'm fifteen now, and I can get my learner's at sixteen. So a little while to go, but I've already learnt s bit at friend's propertys.
Okay, I shall check that out, thanks. I have a lovely teacher :) are you self taught?

What historical figure? Wow. Haven't heard of that one!
Did you end up reading the last chapter of my story? I posted it ages ago. And I will probably do a post on my resolutions and accomplishments, which some of them, surprisingly, are similar to yours. Go figure that!

Maddi | Fri, 01/10/2014

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Replying back as well! haha!

Replying back as well! haha! I promise to make this short--

I mean, I really can't say! There's no way to tell unless you just cut it out. :D And it's not like it'll hurt one way or another--you may even feel better without it. Totally understand about the holidays, though.

I hadn't driven anything (except a go-kart) until I got my permit, so...at least you have some experience! And here, I could have had it at fifteen and a half, but then I would've either had to do an online or in-person course, and that's where I was too lazy. :P Good luck for when you do get it! Driving is challenging (as you probably already know) but a lot of fun. And it feels reeeallly grown up. haha

You're welcome! :) And no, I'm not. I took piano lessons for about 4 years, I think, with two different teachers. So I can play some intermediate pieces, too, and I can read music--but I really caught on to the chords and writing songs. I absolutely love it. :) So I took a break from piano--I think it's nearly been a year now--to focus entirely on that. :D I need to find a guitar teacher! I don't think I'd be very good at teaching it to myself.

I know! haha! It caught me off guard.

Yes! I did, but I didn't comment at the time--I meant to later--and then I completely forgot. Thank you for reminding me! And yay! Hope to read your resolution/new year input soon! And of course we have some of the same, haha. Must be the name twin thing. :P

Madeline | Mon, 01/13/2014

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

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