So to help me keep this post "short" I will limit myself to only share with you 13 things that happened this year.
1. I became a substitute teacher:
This was significant for me because it was my first "big girl" job after graduating college. It was the first job I had that actually used my degree and education training. While I was subbing I lived with my friend Derek in central PA and he subbed as well. It was my first taste of "adulthood" or life after college.
2. I almost was in Legally Blonde:
While living in central PA I auditioned and was cast in Legally Blonde as Kate.We spent weeks dancing and singing and learning staging. I met some amazing people and had a seriously great time- that was until a week before the show when #3 happened.
3. I was in a very serious car accident:
February 1st I was headed to work one morning and my car slid on a patch of ice, right into a tree. The accident was pretty severe and I ended up with a broken knee and hip and 2 surgeries. The accident completely annihilated my mobility and independence. For those of you that were around and there for me during this extremely trying time in my life- I can't say thank you enough.
4. I spent several months of the year relearning how to walk again:
Like I said in #3 my hip and knee were broken, I couldn't even get out of bed much less walk. I spent about a week in the hospital and then several more weeks at a rehabilitation center in PA. My roommate at the rehab center was 94 years old- as you can imagine most of the people there were much closer to 94 than 22. I worked with amazing doctors, therapists, and nurses and eventually was approved to go home. "Home" mind you, switched from being central PA with Derek to Western Massachusetts with my parents. Once I was home in Mass I started visiting a physical therapist several times a week, I moved from using a wheel chair, to a walker, to crutches, to nothing. I have an amazing amount of love and gratitude towards all the doctors and specialists that worked with me. Without their commitment and training I would not be walking today. I also could not possibly thank my parents enough for all their love, patience, encouragement, and support. It's hard to believe that less than a year ago I could literally do nothing without help from someone.
5. I started my own online greeting card business:
While I was at home recovering I was bored. Like really, really bored. You can only do so much when you are confined to sitting on the couch all day. In March I came up with an idea to start a craft business- I invested what little money I had into some supplies and began creating greeting cards and started up my own business called "Everyday Hello". I'm proud to say that after looking into my Christmas time sales I actually have made some profit off of the business- not much, but still :) To see more everyday hello pictures explore #everydayhello on Instagram- or go to the actual site!
6. I applied for countless teaching jobs all around the East coast:
Applying for jobs is one of the worst things ever. It takes so much time and effort to apply to jobs and then most of the time it ends in rejection. I applied to many jobs and interviewed for several. By the time August hit I still hadn't found a teaching job. I can't really explain how defeating it feels, but I'm sure many people can relate in today's economy.
7. I was hired for my first full time teaching job: Mid-August hit and I got called for an interview for a middle school music position in central Massachusetts. I did the interview and shortly after was offered the job. I cannot even explain my excitement and gratitude I have for this job.
8. I moved out of my parents house and got my first studio apartment in a city I've never been to:
In the beginning of the school year I lived at home with my parents and drove an hour to work everyday. That was killing my bank account, and making me lose out on a lot of sleep so I decided to move out! I found a lovely studio apartment in a city not far from my school. I'm completely in love with the apartment and I had so much fun decorating and moving out on my own. At first I was really hesitant about living by myself, but it's honestly not so bad. True, it can be lonely, true it sucks to have to do all the housework and pay all the bills, but really I quite enjoy living alone. (Well I do have a sweet kitty to keep me company- that certainly helps).
9. I was given teacher of the month my first month at school:
I was so nervous that I might fail miserably at teaching or disappoint the school. What if I wasn't what they wanted? What if I actually suck at teaching? What if I don't know enough? Well it turns out I was doing just fine. The administration noticed me and awarded me teacher of the month. I was surprised, honored, and truly grateful to receive positive recognition for what I was doing. Since then I've gotten pretty good reports from observations etc. and although teaching can be extremely challenging and hard at times it's also extremely rewarding.
10. I conducted my first chorus concert:
During my student teaching I never was able to conduct at an actual concert so the very first time I conducted was this December with my middle school chorus. The students did an amazing job and displayed their abilities well. I was really proud of them and am really looking forward to the spring.
11. I met and started dating Dan:
Making new friends and meeting people has been a challenge this year. It's hard to meet people when you live in a city where you know no one. I decided to give online dating a try and met Dan. He lives in the same city, we have a lot in common, and we hit it off really well. We've been seeing each other about 2 months now.
12. I lost and kept off about 20 lbs:
Throughout this whole year, especially spring and summer time I focused on being healthier and trying to lose some weight. I did the 17 day diet with my mom- all 4 cycles pretty diligently. We even came up with this complicated rewards system to keep us motivated. Even during the school year I managed to continue eating healthy, it wasn't until the holiday season that I really started tripping up. After the year ended I can proudly say I managed to lose and keep off 20 lbs. I am looking forward to working towards being healthier this next year too! I've already delved back into a more strict diet to recoup some of the holiday gain. After the first several weeks I am feeling great, healthy, and am looking forward to seeing continued positive and healthy changes in my body!
13. I had the opportunity to take trips, see friends, and experience a lot of great moments:
I would be remiss if I didn't mention how lucky I am to have had multiple opportunities to take trips to Lockport, Mansfield, and other places this year. I was blessed to be able to take trips with family, with friends, and to see family and friends. One of my favorite trips this year was when I went down to SC. I traveled with friends going down, and then got to see even more friends once we got there. I have many amazing memories with friends this year- even though they might be fewer and farther between than during college they still mean so much to me!
So much for "short".... at least I limited myself to only 13 things.
In conclusion I'd say that 2013 has been a year of growing up, a year of appreciating, a year of refocusing, and a year of new beginnings. I'm excited to think of what 2014 may hold! Wishing you all the best as we begin this new year.