December 31, 2013

Looking back on 2013 ...


I think after a while, you don't really feel older or different on your birthday. Sure, there are the obvious milestones like your sweet sixteen or becoming legal at 21 but I don't think I've ever woken up and thought, I feel different today. But knowing I was turning 30 this year made me want to change all that. I wanted it to be different. To be my year. The one where I stopped talking about the things I wanted to do and instead actually did them.

And I did. 2013 turned out to be both the best and hardest year of my adult life.

Number one on my to-do list was move out of my parents' house and it was the best decision I made. It was exactly what I needed and even though it wasn't easy to tell my parents (who are still adjusting), it was the right choice for me. This probably sounds funny but moving out made me feel like an actual adult. Whenever I'm at my parents', it's as if I'm 16 again except I go to work instead of school. But at my apartment, I don't feel that way. I like the peace and quiet. I like that this is mine and all the responsibilities it comes with. I like drinking wine with my dinner or stupid things like walking around in my underwear or having late night TV marathons from my spot on the couch. It's surprising what I've learned about myself without my parents and grandmother constantly looking over my shoulder.

But no matter where I am, family and friends will always be a big, if not the biggest, part of my life. There's been so many changes this year. Changes that were simultaneously wonderful and complicated. I don't know but I still get surprised by how much a friendship can change, even in the span of a year. You can get closer or further apart. Life gets in the way. The type of drama you think you've left behind in high school makes a reappearance. Then some people remain a constant force in your life, even when it feels like you barely have time to see each other. I've spent the past year experiencing a mix of all of the above. And also learning how to juggle the changes that come with growing up with making time for one another. It's not easy but it's worth it. In this past year alone one of my best friends got engaged, another got married, a close friend from high school had a baby. And I don't doubt there will be more changes to come.

Then my family - I don't even know where to start. Only my close friends know about this but my mom got really sick in the beginning of summer. I don't want to get into the details of the diagnosis but needless to say, nothing can prepare you for watching someone you love suffer. Most of all, someone like a parent. My mom is supposed to be superwoman. She selflessly takes care of everyone, immediate and extended family alike. She may have a tendency to drive me crazy and I don't need her to take care of me but.. I do need her to be there. To have to step in and take care of her and not know what would happen next is something I won't ever forget. But despite everything, I feel really lucky in a way. She's doing much better now. She looks great. And I had my entire family all helping out on a daily basis. I don't know what I would do without any of them.

Now the other major item on my to-do list for this year was finding a new job. I say this all the time, I know. My problem was that I never did anything aggressive about it. I'd make tiny updates to my resume and apply here and there but that was it. In the last month though, I got serious. I got advice from a friend, re-worked my entire resume and cover letters, applied to jobs, reached out to references and finally went on interviews. And guess what - I got a new job! A part of me still can't believe it's real. It was this unexpected bit of good news that snuck in at the last minute. I just gave my two weeks notice yesterday and I feel great. Excited and a little scared but change, even when it is scary, is also good. I'm ready to move on.

So like I said, 2013 has been a year. I'd like to think I've come out of these experiences a better and stronger person. And I just want that to continue in 2014. Although hopefully, more of the good stuff and less of the bad. But what I've learned most of all this year is the importance of making time for the ones you love and taking that leap to go after what you want in life.

***

Of course, I couldn't look back on 2013 and not mention my favorite books from this past year.
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas  //  A Darkness Strange & Lovely by Susan Dennard  //  Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi  //  Champion by Marie Lu  //  Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout  //  Me Before You by Jojo Moyes  //  How To Love by Katie Cotugno  //  The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler  //  Just One Day by Gayle Forman  //  Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia  //  Winger by Andrew Smith

Thank you for reading my blog and hope you all have a Happy New Year!

5 comments:

  1. Congrats on the new job - woohoo!!! And the new apartment. I hope you totally rock 2014 too.

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  2. Congratulations on the new job! And I was really excited to see a few of my favorites - Crown of Midnight, Just One Day, Through the Ever Night and Me Before You - in your picture! Yay for fabulous books in 2013 and hoping there's many more to come in 2014 :)

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  3. AHHHHHHH! Congrats on the new job! I'm so happy for you! I'm pretty content in my job, but it isn't remotely my dream job. I did luck out and get one in my field. It's hard to find that medium at our age, y'know? Which is where I also agree with you. There's a point that birthdays stop feeling like milestone. There is a sort of irony on me commenting on New Years Eve where there is that change in time.

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  4. Congrats on the new job! It's always hard to move on, but in the end, it's usually worth it. Also glad on the apartment - again, hard to do, but I think you learn a lot about yourself when you do and one of the best things you can do for yourself. Sorry to hear your mom was ill, but glad she is a lot better now. Here's to a fab 2014!

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  5. Happy New Year, my dear friend! I am so happy that you were able to accomplish the three things you most wanted for yourself at the start of this year -- and that I got to be there every single step of the way. So proud of you, and excited for what's ahead... particularly with that new job! Congratulations again, and I'm looking forward to more adventures and hangouts in this year to come! <3

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