December 31, 2014

Looking Back on 2014 ...


If 2013 was the catalyst for major changes in my life – turning 30, moving out, new job – then I'd say 2014 was the year I settled in to those changes and embraced them. But more importantly, I think in general I embraced me more. I said yes to things that I'm typically scared of, held my ground when I needed to do what was right for me and found a balance in my life between professional and personal, family and friends.

When I look back on 2014, here's what I remember most:

+ Getting on a plane 9 times. And 8 of those times, I was traveling solo! I've been spent most of my life being deathly afraid of planes. I used to be that person gripping their seat and saying a dozen Hail Mary's (I wish this was an exaggeration). And the few times I did travel, it was usually with someone who knew how I felt and calmed me down. So no one was more surprised than me when I asked my cousin in California if I could come out and visit her since I had time off in between jobs. I don't know what changed but I was pretty calm and now, I love flying! I've travelled for work and for pleasure and I have the wanderlust bug more than ever.

+ I started a new job. This was a huge, huge step for me. I was at my previous job for 8.5 years and unhappy for most of it. But that didn't mean I wasn't terrified of starting somewhere new. I'd have to start from scratch, prove myself all over again and work with brand new people. Luckily, the job switch turned out to be really great! It took some time for me to settle in but I did. I realized I really do enjoy being a UX designer and I learned a lot. Being around such talented individuals (love my team!) pushed me professionally to be better. Still does.

+ California, Texas and Chicago. I went to Los Angeles twice, Dallas and Austin three times each and Chicago once. Los Angeles was all about spending time with my cousin Rhia who I hadn't seen in years and my newborn nephew Julian. I did some sight-seeing (and eating) of course but really, it was about reconnecting and family. I think the most important thing that came out of those two trips was that it doesn't matter that my cousin and I are on opposite ends of the country. I mean, I wish we weren't. But we can just pick up and I'm planning to visit every year from now on if I can. If anything, I miss her more than ever. Then all my Dallas and Austin trips were for work. And if you ask me, I prefer Austin over Dallas. For one thing, I feel like I can get around more without a car and the hotels we stay at have so many awesome boutiques nearby. The other reason? Magan is in Austin and meeting her (and baby E!) this year was a highlight! And lastly, Chicago. It was the first time my cousin Jackie and I travelled together and it was so much fun! The city was beautiful and we saw so much in four days. The architecture, the food, tourist sights, art. I can't wait for another trip like this.

+ One year at my apartment. I passed the one year mark at my place and I'm only 3 months shy of two. I don't know where the time goes!

+ Revlon Walk for Women. I asked my cousins and friends to form a team with me to participate in the Revlon Walk for Women. It was my first time signing up but it was really important to me to get involved somehow. I really wanted to honor my mother's struggle and her strength. Looking at her now, you'd probably never guess what she's gone through. She's so amazing but best of all, healthy now. I want to participate in this walk every year if I can.

+ Friendship. I keep thinking this part of my life will get easier as I get older and usually something happens each year to make me think otherwise. But even though it's no less complicated with age, who and what I value in a friend has gotten clearer. Thanks to some very special people (you know who you are!) I have memories from this past year that include countless dinners, concerts, going to the movies, just being together talking, trips to NYC, birthdays, museums, horseback riding, laughter. The list goes on and on. I am not only grateful for those times but everything you all bring into my life.

Goodbye 2014! Even though it feels like you flew by too quickly, there's always something about the fresh start of a new year that I can't help but look forward to. 

***


It's impossible to look back on 2014 and not think about books and blogging. I read a lot of amazing books. I met Jennifer L. Armentrout and Stephanie Perkins for the first time. I got more creative with features and collaborations. I met more authors, more bloggers. It's been so great and I'm excited to do even more with my blog next year!

Stronger Than You Know by Jolene Perry // Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan // The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith // To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han // Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perks // Open Road Summer by Emery Lord // Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally // Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas // In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken // Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch / Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay // The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski // Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi // Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley // Strange & Ever After by Susan Dennard. Not pictured: Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo // The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes // Love, in English by Karina Halle

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

3 comments:

  1. Austin IS better than Dallas :) I love the vibe there! I grew up in the Dallas area and went to college down by Austin, Texas is near and dear to my heart!

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  2. How awesome that you conquered your fear of flying. I want to do the same.. but I haven't got on any plane yet. It's good to hear you are happy with your new job :) Happy reading with all your new pretty books. HOF is epic, The winner's curse is pretty good and I can't wait to read Princess of thorns.

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  3. I loved hearing you talk about your 2014 as a whole, Rachel! You got to do so many fun things, and your life has changed so much from where it was at the start of last year. So proud of you for conquering fears, the new job + all the adventures you got to go on!

    Can you believe we've only been friends for roughly around 2 years and a few months give or take? I feel like we've known each other forever <3 I love getting to regularly chat with you, and hang out with you. And I look forward to sharing more awesome memories together in 2015, starting with our Apollycon trip in February! Lots of love for you, always <3 <3 <3

    P.S. I think it's awesome that I have read almost all of your Best Books of 2014. The only exception is Princess of Thorns, which I do intend to read (thanks to you, hehe). LOVE. IT.

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