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2017 Year Wrap Up! I actually survived...

In my post Pics or it didn’t happen: Why I Got an Instagram, I wrote: “At the end of the year, I want to look back at all my [Instagram] posts and appreciate everything in my life. It’s an easy way to remember all my experiences and see the places I've been. I've never been good with New Year's Resolutions; hopefully this will be a good way for me to reflect on 2017 and put things in perspective for the next year to come.”

I need to live up to that promise I made myself, so welcome to my life in 2017 told by my Instagram!

My first non-introductory post was a shout out to my friend Kathryne who let me stay at her house for a month when I started working at my first major job (which would end in tragedy, just like the previous one). The picture is from a couple months before at Chowda Fest, a convention/competition dedicated to the thickest and greatest of the soups. Our university band played the event every year and this was our first time back as alum. It was a lot of fun. And delicious. We ate 28 of 40 chowders. We were so stuffed we couldn’t finish! But I was extremely grateful to her for letting me stay with her as I tried to get my life on track and adjust to a job that I should have never taken... in hindsight. But if life was easy, it’d be boring and the chowder is great.

For my first job, I ended up traveling a lot for training which almost made taking the position worth it. I went to Phoenix, Chicago, Grants Pass OR, and Laguna Beach. It was a whirlwind of travel! I had never been to any of these places and exploring after work was exciting! I went through the Chicago Institute of Art and saw famous paintings, put my feet in the Pacific Ocean for the first time, and got to eat Oregon duck! Ever since I was young, I was always curious about the world. I want to see as much of this awesome planet as I can before my time on it is up. So traveling to all these places in the U.S in less than a month was both overwhelming and incredible! I wish traveling could be my real job.

This picture documents a really important day for me. It was a few days after I got laid off from my job. I just signed a lease for an apartment I could no longer afford, just got comfortable in a job that I lost, and spent my days alone in my apartment applying like a madman for new jobs. I was down in the dumps, to say the least. And then, my friends decided to have a get together which I went to since, you know, I had all the time in the world as an unemployed millennial. And it was really good; it was just what I needed. At this reunion, I told my closest college friends that I lost my job. They did nothing but encourage me and cheer me on for my next adventure. The photo is of me (hamming it up, per usual) and my two college roommates, Michaela and Rachel. It was the moment I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started getting back on my feet. I’m super grateful that I have such good friends in my life. The caption defines it: Friends are the best medicine.

Again, anime is right. Friendship is amazing and my friends are my power.

This was a 23rd birthday party that I threw for myself. It was five days before I started my new job (the job I currently have) and I wanted to de-stress and get ready for the big change. 2017 was hard for me— most changes in my life were big changes— and I was sick of it, so I decided to buy myself a cake, get all my friends together, and welcome my change in age as best I could. We had a blast! My college friends are the best and I don’t see them often anymore; any excuse to get together is good enough for us. We played Puyo Puyo Tetris, cornhole, and Jackbox, ate raclette, cake and beer (not together), and talked anime, life, and memories. My mom was bummed that I didn’t go home for my birthday to celebrate with my twin brother, but I don’t regret it. My birthday gave me the boost I needed to take the next step. And aren’t we just a fine looking bunch?


Anyway, moving on. Even though I was working and getting used to my new life as a “marketing professional,” I still had a pretty bomb summer! I went rock climbing with my friends, saw some pretty awesome concerts (as you know from my breakdown), and finally went on vacation with my boyfriend’s family. Every summer, Mike’s family goes down to the Jersey Shore for a week of summer fun; every summer for the last four years, there was a reason I couldn’t participate in this fun. But I got to go! I don’t remember the last time I had a beach vacation…maybe when I was 16? This was a much needed trip! I got to experience the childhood stories Mike always told me about. Plus, saying you went on a vacation with your boyfriend is pretty kawaii, am I right?

For some reason I’ve always had it in my head that Rhode Island is beautiful in the fall. I don’t know if someone told me that in high school or if I formulated it in my mind from looking at pictures, but it’s always been there. I want to go to Rhode Island in the fall. So I did. There was no more band or school to stop me. Mike and I packed up the car and went to Providence the first weekend in October. Was it beautiful? Well, it was humid and rainy…and the trees hadn't changed colors yet so it might have been a tad underwhelming, but it was beautiful to me! It doesn’t take a lot to please me. The zoo had giraffes (my favorite), the city had a cool/hipster bookstore, and we had a wonderful dinner on the riverside. I really can’t complain. This trip was important to me; it showed me that even when you’re a full-time adult dealing with work and rent, you can still make time for adventures. Maybe small-scale adventures, but adventures nonetheless. That realization meant a lot. I could be slogging a nine-hour day in the office, but as long as I make time for fun, I can have it.

I had a crazy year— easily the hardest of my life— but I think I turned out okay. I feel like I'm a few steps behind the post-college curve, but life is supposed to be turbulent. I thought that, after graduation, I would have to be on my own; move out, get a job, pay your way, and become independent. But I was wrong. And boy, am I happy I was wrong. If there's one thing I learned from 2017, it's that no journey is long with good company. Times may be hard, but the people in your life make it worth. We live, struggle, and grow...but we do it together and I think that's pretty darn great.

I'm not gonna miss 2017, but I'm still glad it happened. On to bigger and better things!


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