a year in review 2014

january. I returned from my holiday vacation with one determination: to ramp up my grit and get through my work days. Things were not going well with the job that brought me to Boston, but I came back fresh and resolved to be positive at work and simultaneously start looking for my next move. Two weeks later, I was laid off from that job. Life has a funny way of giving you exactly what you need.

Things I loved in January: I took a leap of faith and signed up for a half-marathon.
Books I read and loved in January: The Interestings

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february. Or the first month of “recovery.” This was my first layoff. The first time I’d been asked to leave a job, for any reason. I had a few interviews, went to a lot of midday yoga classes, spent a weekend dog-sitting Wingman (the best!), and generally just tried to deal with my new reality.

Things I loved in February: The Olympics!, #gobooksorgohome book club

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march. Still unemployed, I began really training for the half-marathon, trying new (local, organic) vegetables in my cooking (and cooking more often), and just generally trying to survive the last gasp of winter. I splurged on a viewing of the Veronica Mars movie. More resumes, more interviews, no luck.

Things I loved in March: Meeting Sarah Kay and awkwardly (but bravely!) telling her just how important her work has been in my life.

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april. Despite continued unemployment, my birthday month was such a spectacular few weeks this year. I celebrated my 32nd birthday with close friends at dinner, a warmly lit and warmly felt evening. A week later, I cheered on a few friends at the Boston Marathon and more deeply understood what it means to have “grit.” 

Things I loved in April: the all-night dance party at the Chromeo concert (thanks, Shannon!)

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may. I traveled to Wisconsin to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day – totally worked! As the month ended, it was clear that I wasn’t going to have a new job very soon, so I let my lease expire, put my things in storage and headed out to travel with a small suitcase and a backpack.

Things I loved in May: I ran a half-marathon!
Books I read and loved in May: We Were Liars, The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Luminaries

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june. Adventure: a long weekend in Maine, a few days in San Francisco, a month in Mount Shasta, and a family vacation in the Midwest. Bus rides, longer train rides, several flights scheduled as the trip unfolded. I cooked, I hiked, I read more books. I interviewed more and took an online class. I met great new people and forged deeper friendships. 

Things I loved in June: Hiking with Anna (#worthit), hiking alone once — how did Cheryl Strayed do it?!
Books I read and loved in June: Vivian Versus the Apocalypse, Everything Leads to You, Americanah

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july. I left Mount Shasta too early, but needing to get to the Midwest for a family vacation. Three early, solo days in St. Louis brought me baseball games, an art museum, a day of eating down a trendy street, and a 5k. A glorious week at the lake and a whirlwind 24 hours in Chicago flew by and I arrived back in Boston to an exciting job interview.

Things I loved in July: My first jury duty – not selected!
Books I read and loved in July: Longbourn, The Sound of Things Falling

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august. I have a new job, but no home. Once again the lucky girl I am, I spent the month house and pet sitting for various friends on vacations while looking for an apartment. 

Things I loved in August: This one perfect movie night in the park; new job new job new job!
Books I read and loved in August: Making Masterpiece, finished Tiny Beautiful Things

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september. I mean… I don’t know… I barely remember, between moving and being a month into a new job, anything about September other than being tired and overwhelmed a lot.

Things I loved in September: I went on this one great hike, and got this one great hair cut. (Yeah… that does stand out that much.)
Books I read and loved in September: Radical

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october. The fall was really just about working and trying to settle into my new apartment. Living in a city neighborhood again was great, but things just weren’t clicking easily. I think I spent most of the month wishing I had a dog and looking up adoptable puppies after work. 

Things I loved in October: Being on the periphery of Rocktober again!
Books I read and loved in October: Brown Girl Dreaming

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november. And now into the holiday season, things started picking up. I launched my first product at work (lots of late nights). I spent Thanksgiving at a wonderful dinner with friends.

Things I loved in November: Hanging out at the Markey and Healy election night parties!

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december. Ah, December, my favorite month. I spent an entire week around the Christmas holiday in Wisconsin with my family and it was absolutely perfect. So much time with my nieces and nephew, listening to Serial while working on crafty gifts, traditional trip to a family movie (every other year it’s a musical). Despite being terribly sick on Christmas Day, it was an ideal holiday trip.

Things I loved in December: What a stellar work holiday party!
Books I read and loved in December: Wild (re-read)

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What have I learned this year?

I read something earlier this year that lingers in my mind: If it’s both terrifying and amazing, then you should definitely pursue it. The latter half of the year has been so different than the first six months, and both brought new challenges.

The terrifying and amazing things I tackled: running a half-marathon, being patient with my job search to find the right thing, traveling around the country and returning to Boston with no solid plans (the scariest!).

When thinking about resolutions for 2015, I initially thought I wanted to structure some goals around a theme: Be brave. But, in writing this and really thinking over the last year, I actually feel pretty good about my level of bravery. I say yes to a lot of opportunities. This year brought more “opportunities” that I think one year really needs, but I met most of them head on, and I’ll mark that down as a success.

To another great year!

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