I’ve been on break these past few weeks so I haven’t been inspired to blog. I finally overcame my laziness when I read a year in summary post by another blogger whose post I now cannot find (if it’s yours, let me know and I’ll give you the credit you deserve). This has been quite the year for me in a good way, and I thought it would be interesting to document all that has happened.
Note: This isn’t a fancy photography post. This is a photos for memories sort of post so don’t judge my iPhone photos.
I started out the year with my last semester, and I only had class 2 days a week. This enabled me to have a lot of fun, especially before work picked up. I ordered a LOT of photos for Project Life – 4 years worth of photos. I have since done nothing with them. I also shot a gun for the first time and went to the beach. I made salsa dancing and Hispanic food a more regular thing (this continued throughout the semester).
Two of my goals for my last semester in Orlando were to eat a wider variety of veggies and to explore the cool things nearby. I was successful in both. In February, I cooked fantastic pear and parsnip fries that have now become a staple. I also went to Leu Gardens, Orlando Museum of Art, and the Shakespeare Theatre. I bought new toe shoes (little did I know how much I would use these over the summer) and I went through a baking phase.
I continued exploring and March included Nacho Mama’s, Nerd Nite, TEDx, and the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. I was really enjoying the English class that I was teaching, and I was also private tutoring one of the students. I learned a lot about English (and Spanish) through this. I was trying to decide which school to go to for my MA, and my family helped by taking me to Atlanta to explore GSU. At the end of March after a lot of debate and number crunching, I turned down my acceptances at American and Colombia and decided to go to Georgia State.
April was such a busy month that I needed two photos for it.
A friend introduced me to an amazing Colombian bakery that stole my stomach and my heart. I went to Casa Feliz. I took senior portraits with an artist friend of mine and couldn’t keep a straight face. I also helped students through my favorite section in anatomy and covered the board in flow charts about blood supply.
At the end of April, I finished my undergrad finals (and my degree!). My family came to Orlando to celebrate my graduation. I refused to walk and participate in traditions set up by someone else and we celebrated my graduation with great food, individualized lightsabers and the Lego Store. I also got a summer internship at a Turkish cultural foundation.
I continued celebrating graduation with a roadtrip to Miami that included a Color Run. I spent the first half of my summer working as an SI leader and as an intern at the Nile Foundation. The Nile Foundation showed me how fantastic Turkish culture was, especially the food. I FaceTimed home for my brother’s birthday and got a tour of the ceiling and his Lego hobbit hole. I hung out with my roommates a lot – we went to a beer garden and did other artsy things.
In June I secured housing in Atlanta. My sister came up to visit me in Orlando and we drank coffee and saw lots of art. I threw a bachelorette party for my friend. I discovered a speakeasy bar almost too late (I managed to go there twice before I moved). I also successfully read a few novels in Spanish which was a milestone in my ability in the language. I said a bittersweet goodbye to my job of three years. At the end of the month, I packed up everything and moved most of my stuff to my parents’ house. I started my summer camp job on the 30th.
I spent July living at an English summer camp in Orlando. They housed me in a gorgeous million dollar home with lots of teenage girls as my housemates. I spent a lot of time at the Drunken Monkey planning lessons. I also watched my best friend get married to the man of her dreams.
In August, I had a lull after my Orlando job which I spent with my family. I threw my sister’s bachelorette party and bridal shower. I then moved to Atlanta and started graduate school and my assistantship. I also accidentally went gluten free again and decided to stick with it.
I spent most of September studying. I went through a bit of culture shock, but I adjusted quickly. I began taking public transportation regularly which was a constant source of amusement. I also went to a leadership conference that showed me some of the amazing things happening in Atlanta. I finished my Fulbright application including essays, interviews, and transcripts. I began running with a nonprofit, and I found a welcoming church with a beautiful community of people.
In October, my lovely sister got married, and I threw a bridal shower for my friend. I discovered a nearby coffee shop that made Atlanta feel like an actual home. We had our first actual cold spell, and I panicked. I realized just how unprepared I was for the weather. I also found out I loved hiking (who knew forest outside of FL was beautiful?) and I felt that I found my groove at work. It was around this time that I realized that I enjoyed writing which came as a surprise to me, because I wasn’t sure what had won me over.
November involved a lot of final project writing, but I made time for fun too. I reveled in the vivid colors around me and obsessively took pictures of trees. I finished out my wedding duties for the year at my friend’s wedding, and I discovered one of those bookstores that is magical. I went to Eddie’s Attic (finally) and ran my 1st “real” 5K. I also went home for Thanksgiving and bought a winter wardrobe.
I finished out my semester with good grades and good feelings. I ran a tacky sweater run and another 5K. My book buying and reading increased greatly bringing my total for the year to 56 books read. I spent vacation time in both Atlanta and Sarasota.
2013 has been a great year for me. I am healthier and happier than I was at the beginning of it. I hope that it has treated you just as well.
Here’s to 2014 and all that it will bring!