2014 in Review

New Year… new blog?

Here we are, about to venture into 2015! I’ve often thought that the best way to celebrate the New Year is to appreciate the highs and lows of the year before. I feel like I’ve told this story about a dozen times this year, but it really is the best way to demonstrate how truly unpredictable 2014 was for me.

On the morning of January 1st, 2014, I woke up next to my best friend. We had gone out with friends for New Years Eve and ended up bunking together at a friend’s place. As we grumbled and mumbled our ways into consciousness, we started talking about what we thought 2014 would look like for each of us. 2013 had mostly been comprised of working three co-op terms, so I was looking forward to something new. I had a few key items that I thought would provide a rough framework for the year. I thought I would be…

1) Working part time with United Way for a few weeks to help them with a project
2) In class full-time from January-April
3) Working over the summer to help fund…
4) Spending the Fall semester in Scotland

Fast forward to January 9th and that plan flew out the window, though certainly not in a bad way. I walked into the United Way office and found out that I wouldn’t just be helping them with a project, but that I was actually being hired for the full-time position I had interviewed for a few weeks prior. I was ecstatic, as I love the organization and the people who work there. Suddenly I was juggling 8-hour days, 3 courses, and a Private Practice binge-watching marathon. Definitely not what I had anticipated for the beginning of the year! It meant that I had my feet in two ponds: One in the “student world” and one in the “real world.” At times it has been interesting to navigate between the two, though I have mostly found myself saying a sad farewell to the former and getting more comfortable in the latter.

The only real drawback of taking on the position was that it made me unable to spend four months studying abroad–something I had always envisioned myself doing at some point in my university career. I still had the itch to do some travelling, so in May I took a couple of weeks off and flew to Europe to travel around with total strangers. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I landed in Rome and spent a few days by myself, then joined up with a group to visit Pisa, Viareggio, Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice, Vienna, and Prague. I made some amazing friends and memories in some amazing places. I also came home to a nice surprise…

If I hadn’t expected my professional life to change so drastically, I certainly hadn’t prepared for the changes to my personal life. When I met Mike at the beginning of 2013, he was tall, charming, handsome… and in a relationship. We became friends, though we only saw each other at work-related events. By March of 2014, Mike was still tall, charming, and handsome… but no longer in a relationship. I should probably include some kind of disclaimer that states that I had nothing to do with that, nor was I hoping for it to happen in any way. We hadn’t actually talked in about half a year when we got back in touch via Snapchat of all things. And no, it wasn’t THAT kind of Snapchatting… get your head out of the gutter!

When I arrived home from my great European adventure, I was welcomed by Mike with flowers. We had been dating for a couple of months, but after that we became “official”… which mostly means that we now post adorable Instagram selfies, take turns feeding the cats, and sleep in on the weekend together. Falling for Mike has been an adventure in itself. It is somewhat disgustingly poetic that our first kiss was on the first day of Spring, because having him in my life has really felt like warm sunshine on my face after a frosty Winter. If I am to continue the sappy metaphor, there have been occasional rain clouds, but they have ultimately served to make the flowers grow brighter and stronger. I have never felt so at home with someone as I do with Mike, and I wish I could explain this… pulling sensation I get in my chest when he smiles at me. We have both grown a lot this year, as individuals and as a couple, and he has kept me laughing and head bobbing (he has reawoken a love of early 2000s pop punk).

2014 has been a blur of balancing work, online and night classes, making new friends, and keeping in touch with old friends. I think I’m entering an interesting phase of life with my peers… a couple friends have gotten married, some have moved away for work or school, some have jobs, some are still in school, and some are doing nothing at all. I would say we’re at a crossroads, but it’s really more like the maze in the third challenge of the Triwizard Tournament. I’ve realized that no one really has it figured out, so the occasional bit of self-doubt is just part of life. I really don’t know what 2015 will bring, other than my graduation (finally!) and maybe a trip or two. Whatever comes my way, I hope that I will be able to take it in the half-skipping, half-tripping motion I call my stride.

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