2014: A Year in Review

I’m kind of cheating by posting this on the 30th, instead of New Year Eve, but I wanted to take the time to jot down my thoughts about this year. All I can say is this: wow. It’s been a wild ride, but somehow, I’ve managed to survive it. To honor this momentous occasion, here are my top moments:

– Graduating from university. While it’s cheesy, I struggled a ton during my four years at UMW. Honestly, there were some times where I didn’t think I’d make it. The fact that I manage to write my thesis, took part in a broad spectrum of experiences, managed to steadily improve each semester, and walked on stage, well, that was easily the highlight of my young life. I’d also like to extend the biggest, most massive thank you to my parents, as they gave me the strength and support needed to push on in both times good and bad; they stuck with me despite my egregious mistakes and bruises, and for that I love them to the moon and back.

– Similarly, I’d like to thank every single person at UMW. I met some amazing people, be it through music, my classes, sports, and through friends. While I regretfully never got to personally thank you for making my academic life the best it was, trust me when I say that your company was amazing. To all of you, and if you’re reading this, thank you.

– Breaking out of my shell. For those of you who know me, I’m pretty shy. At the time, it was awkward and intimidating, but seeing myself become more social and increasingly more confident, that painfulness has long since been rewarded.

– Winning a cruise, and subsequently taking my wonderful mom along, was easily one of the best things I did this year. I entered the Holland America sweepstakes on a whim, so I was absolutely blown away when I got the email saying I won. For both my mom and I, it was an amazing week up in the Last Frontier! We saw many unique things and got to spend time in gorgeous Alaskan nature. Not only that, but I met some awesome people on the trip! To Taylor, Hayley, Darcy (I”m still proud of you for your finish in Dancing With the Stars At Sea!), and Jordan, thank you for being awesome friends; please, please, please keep in touch!

-Finally, getting hired and moving to Moscow to teach English has been the highlight of the year. It wasn’t easy, deciding to move away from the comfort of home to a part of the world where uncertainty constantly looms over your shoulder. However, having an amazing roommate/co-worker, amazing friends, a happy work environment, and some of the best colleagues I could ask for has made this a fantastic experience! From my boss going absolutely out of her way to make Brent and I’s lives that much more comfortable, to my other coworkers making it easy to get out of bed every morning, to my awesome students, I’m without a doubt blessed to be here! I’ve said this in previous posts, but living semi-independent far away from home has matured me for the best. Plus, I’ve started learning Russian, which has long been one of my life’s goals. All in all, I’ve gotten through four solid months of teaching, and I absolutely cannot wait to see what the next five, at a minimum, brings!

Well, here’s to a great 2014, and an even better 2015. Cheers!


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