I however, totally flaked when it was my turn. I am being completely honest when I say that I blanked and said something stupid that did not at all describe how great 2013 was. I may have indicated that "not much" happened in 2013. Lies! Completely and utterly false. I mean, really! 2013 was an awesome year! I clearly just needed a few more
Here are some highlights from a memorable 2013:
- Joe and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary and while "dating anniversary" sounds like a really weird thing, 2013 also marked the fifth year we've been together and the sixth year we've known each other. With a year of marriage under our belts, I've become very aware of my life existing in two phases - the life, growth, and experiences I had before we met and the life, growth, and experiences I have lived and continue to live with him in my life. They mark distinctly different versions of me and honestly, I think I like the me he has helped me become more than the me that existed prior to his presence in my life. Reaching this first year milestone is what really got me to the point where I stopped, reflected and began to appreciate and accept the profound impact another (romantically linked) person can have on your life. Especially because for as mature and grown up as I thought I was at 23 (my goodness), the last six years have been pretty intense in terms of personal development - with a lot of that coming in the year preceding and following our wedding. Being married and letting someone occupy that much space in your existence is both exhilarating and terrifying on a daily basis - often with both feelings spurred by the same realities. This year was full of a lot of quiet moments full of no thought other than holy shit, I'm married! Being married is a pretty exciting adventure.
- I read 36 books (yea, weird transition from the above, I know)! Not nearly my goal of 50 but I am proud of myself for not letting my job (and various other obligations) consume my life. Those 36 books represent time I took to enjoy myself and enrich my life.
- I turned 29 (eek!) and for my birthday, Joe took me to see Beauty and the Beast at the Pantages. It was my first time at the Pantages and seeing Beauty and the Beast got me closer to my goal of seeing 50 Broadway shows by the time I turn 50. (I have a long way to go on both of those.)
- Because the Harry Potter series may have ended but still lives on in my heart, I went to Irvine with Joe and my friend Tara to see Potted Potter. Tara and I spent a lot of time deciding what Harry Potter attire we'd wear and ended up being the only ones at the show fully embracing the fandom. I was disappointed in all the alleged Harry Potter fans at the event.
- I made my first post graduation trip back to South Bend and realized how much I love and miss Notre Dame. Is it normal to love your graduate school as much as your undergrad university? Well, I don't care! I do! This trip also allowed me to regain my winter weather credibility, as it was snowing and cold the entire time we were there. I walked around campus (in the snow!) like a boss - in a dress, heels, and no nylons. Take that Midwestern winter! (Side Note: I'd totally die in this polar vortex business you guys had going on. The winter weather we experienced in South Bend during our visit was a joke compared to what people experienced a few weeks ago). I also got to see some people I miss nearly every day of my life. You know who you are.
- I made my first and second trips to the Hollywood Bowl, seeing Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes for the first time and my homegirl Kristin Chenoweth for the second time. Both concerts were spectacular and the Hollywood Bowl is amazing. It is one of my new favorite summertime destinations.
- The Dodgers made the playoffs and I went to TWO division series games. I got to see them clinch a spot in the NLDS and saw Brian Wilson (swoon!) and Clayton Kershaw pitch. I had a great time experiencing my first ever live postseason and hope the Dodgers make the postseason every season.
- I fulfilled three dreams decades in the making and saw the Backstreet Boys, Everclear, and We are Scientists live. Actually, I saw a lot of concerts in 2013. I also saw Bruno Mars and Ellie Goulding at Staples Center. So worth all the late bedtimes and standing out in the hot sun.
- I started out 2013 by meeting Sonia Sotomayor and she signed my copy of her memoir! I managed to tell her .0001% of how much I love her before the very scary bodyguard (secret service? US Marshall?) barked at me and told me to keep the line moving. Also, I highly recommend her memoir. It was a great read.
- I helped plan two fundraisers for two organizations I care for deeply and attended a handful of fundraisers in 2013. My jet setting also resulted in my picture appearing in local publications more than once.
- I was slated for a leadership position in the Junior League and invited to serve on an ad-hoc committee. True to form, I accepted both and spent 2013 serving on several committees. It has been a lot of work but these committees have been two of the most rewarding endeavors. I've learned so much and gained the support of so many amazing women. Taking on these roles has made me a better (and more organized) person.
- I found the courage to chop off all my hair and get a pixie cut! Which, now that it has been almost a year with this haircut, I almost can't believe I ever had hair longer than this. Seriously ladies, short hair is where it's at. Along the way I also realized that really, it is just hair.
- I visited San Diego and Nashville for the first time and LOVED both. Long vacations are great but 2013 taught me that sometimes you really need to just get away. If you can't take an entire week off of work (or afford an entire week away) sometimes a three day weekend is all you need to recharge your batteries and explore a (little bit of) a new city. We already have our first weekend trip of 2014 planned - Phoenix, AZ in March!
- I ran (and partly walked because I actually hate running) my second 5k! It was a lot of fun and is quickly becoming a family Thanksgiving tradition. I hope later this year I'll be saying 2014 saw me running my third 5k!
- I joined a CSA and have expanded both my cooking and baking horizons. I really love the fresh produce available in California. It might be one of my favorite parts about living here. In joining the CSA, I not only expanded my cooking repertoire but also learned the difference between delicious fresh organic produce and the junk you sometimes find in the produce aisle at your local supermarket. Leaps and bounds, you guys!
- I started spinning and weight lifting - my quads and triceps have never been happier. I've seen the light and I am never going back!
So see, despite my mental freeze, 2013 was a pretty amazing year! 2014 is already off to an interesting start with lots of possibilities and a few accomplishments already under my belt! I can't wait to see what it has in store for me.