My one-year anniversary in New York was a celebration of new things, all I’d tried and embraced for the first time and how I’d learned along the way. It was an ode to spontaneity and ambition, ideals I carried with me into the following 365 days.
My second year became a battle song, the onward fight to secure a job somewhat close to a career and the continuation of self-discovery. More than anything, my time here continues to be a love story, the pages of which now include so many characters pivotal to the plot.
In the last year I served my last Upper East Side lunatic a Blue Plate Special, tossed in the apron, and applied to web internships to expand my experience. I tried my hand at HTML and CMS for a respectable few months before transitioning into travel writing where I’m progressing now. In perhaps the biggest sign of maturity I accepted that working at a magazine wasn’t as important as writing and traveling, and that I’ve already exceeded what I came here to do—a conclusion I’m still reminding myself of daily.
And travel I have, with at least 10 trips to Florida, vacations in Canada and Costa Rica, weddings in Montgomery and Nashville, and work in Jersey, LA, and Chicago. I indulged in three football games, four concerts, a gala, a Broadway show, cooking class, a winery day trip, and so many outings around the city…all chronicled here. It was a year of adventure, adrenaline, and accomplishment.
It had its valleys and disasters as any year would, but I learned so much from the dog days. I learned who will always be there, how invaluable true friends are, and what matters to me. I made some progress on who I’d like to become and grew closer to my God. Through break ups, complication, and uncertainty, I truly experienced heartbreak and may not have overcome it anywhere else.
My family reinforced that we support and defend each other to the death and reminded me I am never alone. Both of my grandparents conquered near impossible health blows and God answered so many prayers from the Days this year. Anniversaries simply offer up a dated opportunity to recognize how blessed we are year after year.
And this one was celebrated with Nadal and Serena at the U.S. Open. More importantly, I savored the occasion with Jessica, the friend God gave me this year, at an iconic New York City affair. We were completely swept up in the competition and simply had such a fun night out.
In the year to come, I can only hope to learn, see, and share even more in and out of this city, and to cherish every second of the experience. I am unabashedly giddy about the potential and unpredictability of it. And can’t wait to write it all down.
What have you learned in the last year?