The Girl Next Dore: Looking Back, Moving Forward

This year I’ve learned, and subsequently blogged, about many things. Along my journey, I’ve walked countless laps around Vanderbilt’s campus in my Stan Smith shoes, reminding myself with each step that no matter how dull the soles of my shoes get, the things I’ve experienced in them won’t fade. I’ve begun to see that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, and that detours are sometimes the perfect escape — and that these realizations don’t require me to stop the planning I am so accustomed to, but rather to accept the ways that life presents itself to me.

Along the way, I’ve written some journal entries, tried to get my paragraph right and begun to prioritize taking the next right step. I’ve watched some football games and some episodes of Friends, and sung along to “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

I’ve read some phenomenal books and lamented over my Art History grade through GIFs. I’ve fallen into the midterm slump, hit submit, and tried to pull myself out of the non-Christmas daze of Nashville. I’ve recognized the kindness in humanity, had crazy nights watching Netflix and drinking Brita on the rocks, and even gone line dancing. 

In time, I’ve started to consistently challenge myself to evaluate my perspective and to potentially make some changes if that perspective is not conducive to my growth. And, in turn, I’ve challenged you to do the same. Throughout some of my posts I hope that you’ve been able to see the ways in which I’ve begun to acknowledge that vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness, and that it is okay to tell each other our stories.

Whether you’ve only seen the cover photo of my posts, or whether you read every single one, or maybe read just one along the way, I hope that in some way you may have benefited from my journey, and, if nothing else, that you’ve maybe paused to consider your own. 

Probably without knowing it, you’ve given me a platform to say things that usually I would only think in my head. The ability to say something out loud, to write it down and actually reach an audience, has given me more joy and experience than I could’ve ever asked for this year. Thank you for that and for so much more. 

I hope you will continue to come on this journey with me! If you would like to do so, you can follow me at my website

Thank you for an incredible year, MyCommonsLife.

As always …

Anchor Down,