12 Things I Didn't Know Would Happen in 2014

"12 Things I Didn't Know Would Happen in 2014," Lynn Daue I find the online world interesting in December.

There are gift guides, year-end roundups and mashups, and post after post after POST about getting ready for the new year.

But there's something cathartic about reflecting on what's already come to pass.

About two years ago, we started a New Year's Eve tradition: we sit down as a family after dinner and talk about what's happened in the past year. Then, we write down everything that we want to happen in the New Year and put it away. For the year. No peeking.

That's it. No ball drops, no parties, no frenzy or frivolity ... just a quiet, peaceful slide into a fresh 365 days.

Our frame of reference is what we wrote down the previous December 31. Did that thing that we wanted to happen happen? Did we do what we set out to do?

The tradition doesn't touch on the things that came out of left field, which is what I wanted to reflect upon today.

I didn't know I would ...

... START—and then stop—consulting on social media for small brick-and-mortar businesses.

... BE invited to present two sessions on social media at the 2015 Bay to Ocean Writers Conference.

... ROAD TRIP 2,000 miles to spend a week at the beach with my family.

... WELCOME my brother into our home ... and then bid him farewell as he moved to the Midwest.

... DANCE all summer, from shows ranging from a doll convention to our hula studio's hōʻike (exhibition).

... VISIT Monroeville, Alabama, to help my husband's aunt check off a major item on her bucket list.

... RETURN to hand-crafting jewelry.

... BE officially (and honorably—woo!) discharged from the U.S. Air Force.

... PREPARE to sell our first family home.

... START The Dilettante Diaries.

I know there are things I'm forgetting, but these are the things that made an impact on my life this year.

There were opportunities that came up that we had to take advantage of. I learned more about myself and further refined myself into the person I am meant to be. I reached out, I supported, I loved.

It's been a pretty amazing year, y'all, and 2015 isn't looking too shabby!

What surprised you about 2014? Share in the comments section below!

(Note: A version of this post originally appeared on The Dilettante Diaries and was inspired by "15 Surprises in 2012" from Dean Street Society)