Reflecting on 2017

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A lot has happened this year. Some things were good and some were bad, but every event has led me to be where I am, and for that I am most grateful.

I ended 2016 and began 2017 with friends from various groups who were all beautiful souls. New Years Day filled my home with many family friends who I cherish deeply. It’s safe to say that 2017 started on a very high note.

Throughout January, I attempted to prolong this positive energy. A day that broke me was the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, whose name I try my best not to say out loud. That day was mostly lived in silence and worry. Frankly, I wasn’t even worried for myself. I was worried for the millions of people in this country and even the world that are affected far deeply by this political climate than I will ever be. However, the next day, I felt an emotion of immense support from women around the world. The Women’s March served as an explosion of unity and love. Women were heard, appreciated, and finally had the attention on them. I felt inspired to remain strong for the rest of the calendar year.

February was filled with some of my favorite memories of the past year. I visited one of my best friends in New York. During my stay, I went to a restaurant called Annie Moore’s (I did research to find this place), spent an entire day frolicking around Manhattan and Brooklyn with two pals, and had two sleepovers with one of my favorite people in the world. Although I am not a born and bred New England sports fan, I have developed a great appreciation for the teams. I was happy when the Patriots won the SuperBowl especially because I got to see a parade in a winning city, which is something I have yet to experience with Washington, D.C. as my hometown. The Beanpot Hockey Tournament brought all of the Boston schools together at TD Garden. I got to share a little piece of my life story with a Dear World campaign, speaking more openly about a battle of depression and my learning to cope with it by walking and taking in the beauty of the world around me. Living in Boston makes this very easy.

March brought about a new adventure. I participated in an Alternative Service Break through Boston University and came across some beautiful humans with even better souls. Most of the people on this trip were complete strangers to me, but this experience bonded us together with an amazing memory. In our “trip full of firsts,” we knocked a couple of things off of our bucket list. Caving at various depths underground allowed me to tackle claustrophobia and a fear of darkness head-on and repelled down a rock wall. I went horseback riding at sunset and went line dancing in Nashville with a smile that reached both ears. As the month continued, a good friend came to visit Boston for her second time and we got to explore the city and various college’s social lives. In the last week of March, I became closer to an amazing young women who became my little in my sorority. I also started this blog to update people on my life and share lessons that I learn along the road.

April brought the most jam-packed weekend I’d ever experienced, and there were two weekends in high school where I had two proms within one weekend. In the weekend from April 14 – April 18th, every day was filled with something. I got to reveal to my little that I was her big, attend a Red Sox game with my aunt and brother on the four-year anniversary of the Boston bombing, attend Easter service at BC, experience another Marathon Monday, and turn 20 years old. This weekend was filled with a lot of love and appreciation for those around me, and reminded me how grateful I should always be to the people in my life.

May brought about change. Earlier in the year, I had talked with my mom on the phone about potentially staying in Boston over the summer. It was something that she had predicted and fully supported. I had said that I didn’t want to return home ultimately out of impulse, but knew in my heart that it was something that I should do for my own sake. I did return home for a couple of days before embarking on my journey of living on my own for the summer. These days included DC trips, walks/hikes on the Billy Goat Trail, and quality time with friends. Not being at home for the summer might seem like an easy choice for some people. But this meant a summer without a core group of people in my life, people that I had spent the past 20 summers with. The decision to leave home was scary but worth it. This past summer is something I would not change.

June brought about exploration. I was living in Boston during the warmest months of the year. Typically, I had about three weeks of heat before cooler temperatures arrived. I finally went to Brattle Book Shop, an adorable used bookstore in Downtown Crossing, finally kayaked on the Charles River with my cousin, and FINALLY visited family in Maine for the first time since going to school in Boston simply because I didn’t have time to before. I frequently visited the Boston Harbor and looked at the Tall Ships. I traveled to Cape Cod to visit one of my dearest childhood friends and we went to Martha’s Vineyard where one my college friends showed us the island where he spends his summers. This trip with my childhood friend was something so wonderful I cannot put into words. Both of us were feeling lonely during our first summers away from home and found solace in our weekend together. We knew that we had each other. We did a road trip all around The Cape had a picnic dinner on the beach at sunset. It was a beautiful weekend getaway. I also had finished my summer course and got a job!

July brought about travel and fun. I went to the beach in Boston, showed a close friend from high school around my city, and celebrated the Fourth of July in the the most historic city, Boston. I returned to New York, visiting the same friend. I was able to catch up with a friend from high school and visit some college friends at their summer jobs as well as attending various meetings at PR firms. It was my first time visiting the city where it was above 50 degrees outside. Although New York gets hot, the energy in the summer is something that is simply unbeatable. In Boston, I was able to show childhood friends and my dad the city that I love so much. I returned home to see familiar faces of friends whom I had missed so dearly. I returned back to Boston, but would soon come home again for our annual family vacation to Bethany Beach, Delaware.

August brought about appreciation of simple things. It’s something I think the beach teaches you because you spend your day simply watching the waves as the sand seeps through your toes. I spent the week with family, a childhood friend, and friends whom I had met the year before, one of whom has become like family. I woke up for the sunrise and was eager to spend more time actually at the beach than any beach vacation before. August also meant saying goodbye to this beautiful summer of self-discovery and acceptance as well as movie marathons with my roommate and our friends.

September brought about a whirlwind that I was sad to see fly by so fast. I moved into a new apartment and began a new school year. I traveled to New York yet again for fashion week and fell in love with the city all over again. I felt like I had some sort of importance and purpose while being a fly on the wall, backstage at various fashion shows. On this trip, my friend and I had poetry written for us by two men with turquoise typewriters in Washington Square Park. I asked for my  poem to be about nostalgia and the beautiful poem told me that as wonderful as it is to hold on to things, you have to let them go. I carry this poem in my planner and read it frequently. I attended my first tailgate at BC (and another one after that), went to an Ed Sheeran concert (I am a hard-core fan), went to the SoWa market with a good friend, and attending this amazing conference, Inbound, where I heard from many inspirational people, including Michelle Obama, Roxanne Gay, Ed Catmull, Piera Gelardi, Brit Marling, Issa Rae, Elaine Welteroth, Rowan Blanchard, John Cena, and many more. Most of their advice shared similar themes: be authentic, anything is possible, listen to the world around you, and speak up about what you believe in. On the second-to-last day of September, I was accepted to Study Abroad, a journey which I am leaving for in just two weeks.

The rest of the months are a blur. I was engulfed in a constant stress of balancing schoolwork, jobs, and getting enough sleep to survive with my no-caffeine diet. Although October, November, and December have had wonderful moments with loving friends, I fell down at some points. However, I was lucky to have people help me back up, no matter how hard it was. No one ever tells you that your junior fall semester sucks, but it does. So, you’re hearing it from me, I guess. However, I survived and am living and thriving and I have people in my life to thank for that. You know who you are. That being said, I was able to enjoy a trip to Salem, a few date parties, lunches and dinners with friends, *** phenomenal roommates ***, and a wonderful winter day filled with snow, some of Boston’s best places, and one of my best friends.

This post is more than just a self reflection of the year. To those who were there to experience life with me, thank you for making it one of my favorite years yet.

I am excited for what’s to come with 2018. I know that the abroad experience will change my perspective on the world, and I cannot wait to come out of the experience as a wiser and more-cultured human being. I will need to remind myself to put down the camera and social media and actually experience life. I hope to be a more relaxed person by the end of next year who has a better grip on the actually important things in the world.

If you’ve made it this far. Thank you for caring so much about my year and reading these words about reminiscing. You are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for livin’ life with Annie and I hope to see you in 2018. 🙂

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