Well, it’s that time of year again. The time to look back and reflect on all that’s transpired this year. I have to say, this year was WAY better than last year. If I had to sum it up quickly – I travelled a boat load, got a promotion, paid off my student loans, lost some weight, gained it back, started a side hustle, and might just end this year as an Aunt!
I kicked off the new year with a trip to Antigua. I love me a beach vacation.
Then I travelled a little for work, and luckily mixed in some pleasure. I cruised to Bermuda aboard Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. Seriously, Bermuda has the prettiest water I’ve ever seen! This was the trip that totally derailed my diet and it was all down hill from there. Whoops. Work had its annual conference in Columbus Ohio. I wasn’t excited about going, but it ended up being a lovely city. They have tons of cute shops, bars, and eateries. I could picture going there for a girls trip for sure!
The highlight of the year was a trip to Greece. I am SO spoiled. Nana and her sister took me and my girl cousins to an unforgettable trip to Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos. While there, we road donkeys, chartered a sunset sail, visited ancient ruins, hit up the beach, ate and drank A LOT, and so much more. If you haven’t been, add this to your bucket list.
Just before my trip to Greece, I flew to Miami for an interview! While there, I explored Brickell and Wynwood. I envisioned a future there. I obsessed over apartments, made new budgets, and explored extracurricular activities. I saw myself getting fit, walking on the beach, taking road trips to all these Florida cities, and hosting my home peeps for a visit. I was hopeful, but scared as heck that my life could change so drastically especially with a niece on the way! Anyway, it didn’t work out because I was out of their budget. BUT they reached out months later to see If I was still interested and things were moving quite fast.
As I was re-interviewing for that position, I was also being considered for a promotion at work. It was such an anxious time, because my future was up in the air. I had two excellent options on the table – what would I do if both worked out? How would I feel if none did?
In the end, I stayed at my current job and was promoted to a Senior Manager of Program Strategy and Experience. It’s nice to finally be recognized for hard work. This year, I’ve grown a tremendous amount professionally. For starters, I was given a platform to connect with our Representatives on Facebook Live. I love being in the spotlight and shooting videos is super fun for me. I also learned to articulate my opinions and back it up with data, stick up for myself, and think bigger, badder, better. I have to be honest though, I was super stressed at times and let it spill into my personal life. I cried often, became depressed, and even wrote my resignation letter- I was seriously 2 seconds away from quitting. I stuck it out, and I guess it all worked out. That in and of itself was a big learning experience for me. I know that the tough times are there to make you stronger, and they pass.
I also started selling Avon. I made a few extra hundred dollars from this endeavor, and I love trying out all of their products. If you’re interested in shopping – check out my online Avon store.
As if you didn’t hear enough about my jet setting life I took yet another trip. I did a European tour with two girlfriends. We met a friend we previously studied abroad with in her home town of Copenhagen. We then went to Budapest and ended the trip in Iceland.
In November, I went to Asheville North Carolina with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. We visited the Biltmore (Vanderbilt’s home) which was beautifully decorated for Christmas. We ate a lot, shopped even more, explored the many breweries, and enjoyed the night life. This trip happened to coincide with a huge milestone for me. I finished paying off my student loans! I wiped out my savings to do this, but it’s such a relief to not carry that burden anymore. Next year, I’ll focus on replenishing that. Speaking of student loans… I also had my 10 year college reunion. Holy smokes… where does the time go?
I celebrated by 33rd birthday this year. For some reason, I felt old this year! I didn’t really plan any celebrations but my friends kept surprising me with dinners and nights out. I think people sang “Happy Birthday” to me the most out of any other year. Just prior to my birthday, my parents had to put our family dog Roxie down. I’m glad I got to see her just before at Thanksgiving.
Entertainment-wise, I saw the broadway play Beautiful. Finally checked out Oktoberfest and Bear Mountain, saw the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, checked out the Liberty Science Center after Dark, saw my first outdoor concert at PNC (Lady Antebellum & Darius Rucker), took a weekend trip upstate to Troy New York, went to the San Gennaro Festival, checked out the Pizza Museum… sensing a theme that I like italian food LOL. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I ate out this year. Especially by the water. That seemed to be a recurring theme, I always wanted to be by the water! I also enjoyed my parents boat – hi light of course … taking it out to eat on the water. I also got back into crafting, reading, and baking more. Finally, this may have been the first year I didn’t have any weddings to attend in like a decade. I certainly attended my fair share of baby showers though. Speaking of which….
I’m hoping to close out the year with the arrival of my first niece. I can’t wait until Savannah makes her appearance in this world and I get to see my twin sister become a mama and me an auntie.