2017 was a really, truly busy and hectic year for me. I travelled like I’ve never travelled before, I experienced some major life milestones, and I made some progress in my attempt to become a better person. Here’s a brief recap of my year.
January: To get away from DC during the madness that was the inauguration, I logged a weekend trip to Montreal and a day trip to Quebec City. Canada was snowy but not terribly cold. I spent a lot of time walking around, taking pictures, and drinking hot cocoa. I also watched the finale of Goblin from my hotel room in Montreal, which was a very weird, surreal feeling, given that the show actually ended in Quebec.
February: Not much happened this month. To calm my anxiety about job searching, I went on a lot of walks and explored the Gallery of Art, the Renwick Gallery, and the National Zoo.
March: I spent a week in Colombia, doing field research for my capstone project. The Monday after I got back, I went to the courthouse in front of a judge and legally changed my name.
April: This month was–naturally–insane. I hustled to get all my final papers done, and my capstone presentation ready. I got awfully sick for about two weeks and cried while I was on the phone with my mom. She came up and took care of me for a couple of days. (And I cried again when she left.) I saw Matt Damon speak in person at a work event.
May: I graduated with my master’s degree, and my family came to DC. Commencement took place on the National Mall, and Sen. Tammy Baldwin was the speaker. Afterwards, we went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant.
June: We spent three busy weeks train-ing around Europe, hitting up the countries we hadn’t been to previously (Spain, Germany, and the UK), in addition to Paris. My favorite memories are looking at Neuschwanstein Castle from a bridge, and walking around the church in Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare is buried. At the end of the trip, I got a phone call–with a job offer. I quickly began searching for a new apartment and landed the perfect one within two weeks. I saw Bernie speak in person, again.
July: I began learning the ropes at my new job. I visited two museums this month: Hillwood Gardens, and the Hirshhorn for its new Ai Weiwei exhibit.
August: After 4 years in DC, I moved back out into Virginia so that I could afford to rent my own nice little studio apartment. My mom came up for a few days to help me move. I got a trial Blue Apron box for a week but decided it wasn’t worth it. I got two plants from a cute little nursery in Capitol Hill–both of which are alive and well on my window sill to this day. Apparently all you have to do to keep plants alive is to water them when they look dry.
September: I continued to furnish my new apartment. I developed an interest in brewing coffee with a moka pot, but gave up after a few weeks because the coffees I made always sucked. I cooked a lot and got better at cooking as a result. I started Korean classes to prepare for my trip to Korea.
October: I voted for the first time in Virginia. I saw a lights show at the Freer Gallery’s re-opening that was so beautiful that I watched it twice. I worked Europe hours from DC for three days in a row, which absolutely wrecked me.
November: I spent a lovely Thanksgiving vacation in Asia. It was marred by the awful cold and allergies that the air pollution in Seoul inflicted on me, but ultimately saved by the sunny, lighthearted weather and amazing food in Taipei.
December: I amtrakked up to New York and spent three exhausting days working nonstop and taking an exam that lasted nearly 5 hours. I did have the best slice of NYC pizza, though, and some amazing doughnuts from a coffee shop, so I can’t complain too much. I spent Christmas with my family in Miami and then back home in Atlanta, which caused a lot of stress and unhappiness (that I managed to internalize until I went through security at the airport, and then I cried silently on-and-off until we were in the air).
It was a difficult way to end the year, but I felt much better when I woke up this morning. It was less than 20 degrees out, but I bundled up and went out to buy groceries, then came back and cleaned the entire apartment while listening to the new Chappelle special on Netflix. 2018 is going to be another life-changing milestone year. I can feel it.