We have made it to the end of 2018 everyone! Whether this year was one of your best or one of your worst, you’re still here, breathing, and ready for the new year. Although I’ve already posted a New Year’s Eve Lookbook and have made personal reflections to wrap up the year on my Instagram, I want to take a thousand words or so to reminisce on all the amazing experiences and opportunities 2018 has brought me. If you’ve been following along for a while, you know this year had its challenges and obstacles for me, but I haven’t gathered you here today to touch on topics I already have.
For this Year in Review, I am going to share my favorite blog posts and Instagram posts of 2018, major moments, smaller moments, and fun times with friends. This post is just to give you all a peek into the times of my life I might not have shared, so that you can feel like you’re more apart of it. Let’s get into it!
MY FAVORITE BLOG POSTS
5 Ways You’re Wrong About Women’s Rights: For this post, I set out to be a myth-buster for all women’s rights topics that are wrongly portrayed in the media and by word of mouth. By addressing everything from the wage gap to “what about us men,” this tribute to Women’s Equality Day was one of yours (and mine) favorite posts on Absolutely Olivia this year.
Dealing with and Getting Rid of Toxic Thoughts: Someone requested me to write a life update not the blog, so I did. It quickly turned into a vulnerable story about the top 5 toxic thoughts that the events of October created in me, how I got rid of them, and how you can too.Needless to say, this was one post out of all 200 on my blog that I was actually scared to post, but I’m glad I did!
Anything Goes: Let’s Talk Periods: In October, I kicked off an exciting new monthly series on Absolutely Olivia that revolves around taboo topics and breaking the stigma around them. The first installments was about period poverty, which refers to the womxn who are unable to afford the right products and adequate care needed when on their period. I got the incredible opportunity to interview Chelsea VonChaz, the founder of Happy Period, an organization working to reduce period poverty.
How to Find Your (Girl) Squad: Last year, I formed some of the strongest friendships I’ve ever had, and for once I could and can still say that I have made the most genuine friendships I ever have. As I myself had gone through a period of confusion and frustration when it comes to making friends, I decided to compile a few pieces of advice into one post to help those of you who haven’t yet found your “squad.” This is one of my most viewed posts, which makes my heart so happy!
Hi, I’m Insecure: This post is my inner thoughts on an Instagram photo that I almost didn’t post due to my insecurities surrounding my legs. I always feel as if I’m supposed to be this perfect, confident person on the blog, so this post is a reminder to you all and to me that things aren’t and don’t always have to be that way.
7 Lessons I Learned From Harry Potter: As those who have been following me for awhile know, my Harry Potter obsession runs rampant throughout my daily life. September marked the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and is Back to Hogwarts season, so naturally, I wrote a post that talks about a lesson that I learned from each book in the Harry Potter series. I truly poured my heart and soul into this one (because my heart and soul is Harry Potter), so all my fellow Potterheads, go give it a read!
MY FAVORITE INSTAGRAM POSTS
Follow me on Instagram (@absolutelyolivia) for more 2019 adventures.
March for Our Lives: The year got off to a stressful and scary start, especially for those of us currently in America’s public schools. The horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida and the many that followed along with the discovery of hidden guns and shooting threats at my own school created an unsafe-seeming atmosphere for everyone at my school. However, with these travesties came the rising of the teen activist. Teens began to find their voice to speak out against gun violence and speak up for better gun restrictions in the US. A nationwide student-led protest took place on March 24th where my peers from around the country marched in their respective city in protest against gun violence. I’ve never felt more powerful than I did this day, marching alongside my friends to my state’s capital building. These events taught me how to own my voice as a teen and inspired me to bring my activism to Absolutely Olivia.
Read What It was Like to March for My Life to learn more about my experience this day.
ELCA National Youth Gathering: In June, I had the opportunity to participate in America’s National Lutheran Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas. I got to go with my church to learn about world issues and how to advocate for them from a multitude of incredible speakers. Each night was a giant party and during the day we got to grow our understanding for the world around us. Also, one day we got to go out in the community for a service day. All in all, there were about 30,000 kids from all over the US (I met people from 22 states and 3 territories!!). It was an eye-opening experience that introduced me to different ways of living, loving, and just how powerful people can be when using all their talents for good.
Read Week In My Life: Houston, Texas for more on my experiences!
Family Vacation to Northeastern US: Every year, my family takes a road trip to somewhere new in the US. This year, we headed to Boston, Massachusetts then Newport, Rhode Island and ended the trip in New York City for a quick 7 hours. In Boston we visited many Revolutionary War sites/monuments, we shopped, visited their AMAZING library, and visited the Boston Commons. Newport was the most beautiful place I had ever been; previously, I had believed places like it only existed in the movies. This coastal town had unreal sunsets and you could walk everywhere, which was a dream come true for me! In NYC, we did a quick college tour and hung around the campus for the rest of the day. We barely even saw the city, but being near the hustle and bustle was enough. By far, this was one of my favorite family trips.Read Day in the Life: Newport, Rhode Island to get a view into a day on our family vaction.
Music Midtown: My music festival look book is always one of my most favorite to shoot for every year, but this year was the first I actually got to experience a music festival for myself. It was better that I ever could’ve expected! I thrive off of crowds as I’m extremely extroverted and love being around people. I got to see some amazing and talented artists like First Aid Kit, BORNS, The Revivalists, and Thirty Seconds to Mars. Experiencing the festival fashion and makeup in person was so exciting; I always love seeing people embrace their funky side! I even cried a little while watching Thirty Seconds to Mars because we were in a field of about 80,000 people, which was so incredible to me that it pulled at my heartstrings 😉
Read Music Midtown (my most spontaneous decision) to see more photos from the best day of 2018!
Football Homecoming Week: Homecoming week never fails to make it on my list of best weeks out of the whole year. It’s a week full of fun school spirit days like ‘Merica Monday and Tropical Tuesday while we get ready for the big football game that Friday night. This year, just like last year, all my friends and I got together after school to work on our grade’s float. Each grade had a different sport for their theme, and ours was soccer. I always have a great time taking photos at lunch and spending extra time hanging out with friends this week. I’m already looking forward to next year’s football homecoming week!
Carolina Point YoungLife Retreat: One fall weekend in November, I got to go on my third YoungLife weekend retreat to Carolina Point in North Carolina. These weekends never fail to leave me happy and refreshed for the rest of the fall semester. From go carting to zip lining to dancing and singing at the top of your lungs until your body aches, these are some of the days I live for.
Crowder’s Ridge Weekend Retreat: In early February, I went on a small weekend retreat with YoungLife once again. It was so fun being able to spend 48 hours with a lot of my friends. We also hiked a completely uphill mountain; my muscles were throbbing!
Beach Trips: Although the beach isn’t faraway from my home, visiting the beach twice a month during the summer never fails to make me happy. This summer I went with friends and family and I just feel like a happy clam wearing my breezy sun dresses after spending the day with sand in my toes 🙂
Imagine Dragons Concert: My whole family loves Imagine Dragons and their music, so when we found out they were coming to my city, of course we went! I loved dancing the night away to songs that I always dance to in my car.
Head to my Photography page to see more shots from this incredible concert.
Friendsgiving: As a pre-cursor to Thanksgiving, my friends and I held our second annual Friendsgiving! All we do is eat, dance, and exchange small presents, but I always leave feeling fulfilled and content with the supportive and caring people surrounding me.
FUN WITH FRIENDS
And that, friends, is my 2018 in a nutshell. I hope you enjoyed this post and that it inspires you to look back on your own year. Leave a comment below with your favorite moment of this past year and feel free to drop any questions or blog post ideas you may have while you’re down there. I wish you all the very best in 2019 and I hope it is an even better year than this one. Thanks so much for reading!