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I think it’s pretty customary for those blogging for personal reasons to look through old blog posts to see how much their lives have changed over the course of time. In a world that revolves around so much social media to archive the major events in our lives, we often grow too dependent upon old Facebook statuses, Twitter updates and blog posts to remind us how life was a year ago. Who needs to remember anything when you’ve probably jotted it down in 160 characters or less, tagged all your friends in it and linked it to every one of your social media accounts? God, that’s horrible. As the capabilities of the Internet and the multitude of social outlets grow, we tend to log our lives in our mobile uploads album on Facebook so we can recall them later, without actually remembering the now.

Don’t get me wrong – I have no lecture for you on how to stop this never-ending cycle. I, too, log most of my memories in the form of status updates and mobile uploads; with Facebook’s newest Timeline option, I can now apparently view my drunken statuses from years ago, and I’ve enjoyed reading through my archives as far back as when all statuses read as “[insert name here] is looking forward to the weekend!” So in honor of such dependency (or so I affectionately refer to it as – “socialmediaitis”), I was sifting through old blog posts to see just how much my life has changed from this time last year.

The beautiful thing about discovering my 2010 wrap-up post was reading the part that specified my one and only new year’s resolution: to make 2011 better than 2010. FINALLY, damnit. I’ve actually stayed true to a new year’s resolution! Bring out the red carpet, because this is probably a once in a lifetime chance for me. It feels so good to actually be walking out the door of 2011 with the knowledge that I’ve bettered myself this year. Those of you who know me can see a drastic change in my lifestyle from last year to now. And to highlight this very fact, I’m going to utilize Facebook’s newest “Activity Log” option, and compare statuses from each month in 2010 with this year. My, how things have changed…

January 2011: “preparing for an epic beer pong showdown tonight.”
January 2010: “glad that 2010 starts with a 3 day weekend so I can recover from last night’s ridiculous festivities.”
….okay, so maybe some things don’t change. Sorry.

 February 2010: “bad juans and high heels.”
February 2011: “Space Jam is on TV. Best. Sunday. Ever.”
…I’m pretty sure that I spent too much Sunday time at the bar in 2010 to ever even realize I had a tv.

 March 2010: “feel like shit. I wonder if I’ll ever grow up enough to realize that drinking until last call on a weeknight is not a great life choice.”
March 2011: “4 miles and 600 calories…before the sun even rises. Hell. Yes. And my encore treadmill performance to Eminem on mile 4? You’re welcome, Urban Active. It’s going to be a great day!”
…apparently I did not learn until 2011 that it is possible to do something productive before work other than slam some Tylenol, order a venti and pop enough mints to hide last night’s tequila breath.

April 2010: “that’s why your dad is so stressed out all the time… he has to please all of these people…assholes, shitheads, democrats…” – my grandmother
April 2011: “Steve: ‘that burp smelled like an abortion.’ Ballz: ‘where the hell has your mouth been?’”
…okay, so maybe the level of inappropriateness that stems from every single person I know has not changed, nor will it ever.

 May 2010: “contractors will be done with my house in ONE WEE! J AHHHHH, painting all day, then Sunday funday later!”
May 2011: “officially only 4 more car payments away from owning my pretty little Jetta, and having an extra $300 every month. HOLLER.”
…the level of stability I’ve gained in the past year, both financially and personally, is unbelievable. I officially own my car, I have a mortgage and have moved beyond the world of renting. There are still some financial kinks that need working out, but it is such a relief to have this under my belt.

June 2010: “I fully intend on karaoking, binge drinking, and most likely doing the Cupid Shuffle after impulsively buying rounds of shots. SCORE.”
June 2011: “[replace notorious friday night drinking status with workout/carryout/movies/boyfriend status] …don’t worry, fellow alcoholics, i can still party.”
…this is pretty self-explanatory. I think the most shocking part of this 2010 status is suggesting that I buy people shots. Because I hate buying people alcohol. Also, I acquired an additional person in my life, other than Scout. His name is Rob. He is my boyfriend. We live together. Please lift your jaw off the ground and get past the shock factor, please.

 July 2010: “I want to go to a concert every single day of my life.”
July 2011: “enjoying coronas on the river, pre-Kenny Chesney concert.”
…so glad this is one thing that hasn’t changed. Music, especially when paired with beers and the summer sun, is one of my favorite things in the world, and will be until the day I can no longer drink beer in the sun (at this point, you should just kill me). Also, how lucky am I to be dating someone who also enjoys this luxury?!

 September 2010: “Marco Island in 5 days!”
September 2011: “Hilton Head bound! Can’t wait to spend a week at the beach.”
…so apparently I like to vacation in the fall? I think it’s because summer is so crazy at work, and vacations directly following busy season are the only way to keep myself sane. Also not mentioned in this month: I registered for my first half marathon in September 2010, and one of my dear friends from college got married in September 2011. Turns out September is a monumental month for both years… despite the fact that a year after registering for my half, I can barely push out 3 miles. How sad. I see a new year’s resolution in the works.

 October 2010: my feet are feeling the effects of wearing my beloved calvin klein heels to work today. my stomach is battling one of the worst food comas against j. alexander’s that it’s ever seen in its lifetime. and my ability to function is temporarily disabled as a result of a 3 a.m. bedtime and an even shittier hangover. you bet your ass i’m in my sweatpants.”
October 2011: “Instead of working, I’d really like to go home, put on sweats, drink spiked hot apple cider and carve pumpkins while watching Casper (yes, the one featuring 90s teen heartthrob Devon Sawa).”
…I’m pretty sure I made it a fulltime job to test the limits of my body last year. I pushed it past exhaustion, past any type of appropriate level of alcoholic intake and consistently left my switch in the “on” position, leaving me in a total physical meltdown at least once a week. Needless to say, I’ve found a ridiculous sense of balance in the past year – a serious accomplishment, since “moderation” was a word I didn’t quite understand, let alone know how to implement. One thing stands true though: I love sweatpants.

 December 2010: “I very strongly dislike Taylor Swift.”
December 2011: “Taylor Swift should not be allowed to sing Christmas songs. Ever. It’s painfully awful.”
…I’m kind of impressed by how much time passes, and I still dislike the same artists. Proof that I’m not just “not giving them a chance.” They actually are awful.

Okay, so I didn’t include August or November. Mainly because nothing dramatic happened in either of those years for me to reference, and also because I’m lazy. And I also apologize if I bored you all to death. I know it’s a pretty cliché way to compare your life, and feeds straight into the Internet dependency we’re all trying to break ourselves free of, but I feel like the transition from 2010 to 2011 has been the biggest one yet in my life. I think there were a lot of people last year who tried to tell me I was doing something horrible – that hanging out with certain crowds, living in bars, not taking care of myself physically and mentally would never lead somewhere good. To those people? I am pleased to announce that you’re wrong (LOVE when I get to do that).

To those of you who judged, looked down upon my choices, or condemned me to a life of adolescent rebel, I relish in the opportunity to tell you I’m damn proud of every choice I made last year (minus a couple). Without it, I wouldn’t be here right now. I wouldn’t appreciate the slow life – the settled down phase I’m finding myself settling into. Without the rebelliousness, without the crazy nights followed by horrible mornings, I might not be able to fully appreciate what I have in front of me now. Without the craziness behind me, I might be questioning whether or not there’s more out there. Am I missing out? Have I sewn my wild oats like I had intended? Did I do it all? Get it out of my system? The beauty of the clusterfuck that was last year, is that I can now answer “yes” to all these questions with confidence that leads me into the future. My refusal to settle down, abandon my crazy lifestyle or vacate my regular seat at the bar has paid off, and for that much, I’m thankful.

I have no idea what 2012 will be. From the looks of things, I might as well expect the apocalypse, since no one will shutup about it. But the truth is, all I can hope for is to build upon this year. To grow, improve, and be able to embrace every ounce of happiness without taking any of it for granted. And hopefully do a lot of awesome shit that tops the hell out of 2011 (sorry. I’m getting greedy). Oh, and to get a puppy friend for Scouters.