2012: Settling Into Things

2012. What a year.

If I had to come up with a theme for the year, it was a time of getting into a groove here in NYC and figuring out where my place is. To think, a year ago at this time I was still unpacking in a new apartment, I had never been to a Meetup or taken a class at GA, and I was fresh out of a serious the only relationship I had ever known. It goes without saying that I’ve met a lot of wonderful people over the course of the year, but I want to reflect on a few of the accomplishments that I am most proud of in 2012. Shameless navel-gazing ahead, you’ve been warned!

Stayed in one apartment for an entire year

This may not seem like an accomplishment, but this is the longest period of time that I’ve stayed at one address since moving out of my parent’s house in 2005. Apartment number 17 (and Queens) has been good for me– the stability of not feeling like I am constantly getting my bearings in a new living situation has been a relief and has allowed me to focus on make bigger changes in other aspects of my life.

Ran A Half Marathon
Entering the lottery for the NYC Half was honestly a whim. I have always wanted to run a longer distance race, but I wasn’t terribly motivated and historically I don’t keep up with running during the cold winter months. This is going to sound like I drank the runner kool-aid (I did) but I liked the kind of person I was while training. The threat of running 13.1 miles got me out of bed at the crack of dawn 6 days a week to run. The shame of not running 13.1 miles after I had told everyone about it got me out of bed even earlier for physical therapy sessions three mornings a week for a few months. All of the early mornings forced me to drink less, sleep more and eat healthier. Overall, I managed my time better and was incredibly productive. The system fell apart a bit over the summer, but with an entry into the lottery for the 2013 Half and a guaranteed spot in the NYC Marathon next fall, I expect that my system will only get better.
Stopped Hating Marriage So Much
I went to my first wedding of a peer and it was far and away better than anything I could have expected. I tend to be very negative when it comes to people in their early to mid twenties getting married, but C&B’s wedding proved me wrong. It was truly beautiful and I strive to find that kind of love in my own life. It is easy to be cynical or a Bitter Betty about my own relationship prospects, so I am glad to have such a beautiful example of why marriage really is a good thing.
Gave My Parents The Best. Present. Ever.
As I’ve gotten older it has been fun being able to actually buy gifts for my parents that aren’t from the Christmas fair at school. This year, I had the opportunity to give my parents 2 tickets for the Red Sox 100th anniversary game at Fenway Park. It was also against the Yankees, so they have now seen Sox Yanks at Fenway, which makes me incredibly jealous. My family (in particular my Mom) are die-hard Red Sox fans, and Mom live-tweeted the entire day that they spent in Boston, during a cookout at NU and throughout the (sadly dismal) game. My entire family and every Red Sox fan I know was jealous of my parents, and honestly I don’t think I’ll ever be able to top that gift (though I will certainly try!) It felt awesome to be able to give my parents such a unique experience, small repayment for everything that they have done for me over the years (and they are still talking about it!)
Kappa Advising & Convention
True Life: I was in a sorority in college. I joined later on in my college years, choosing it for the leadership opportunities and networking connections that it offered. Since graduating, I can credit the alumni association for introducing me to some of my dearest friends in NYC. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of advising the chapter at NYU and working with the women to help establish their new chapter. This year I was asked to serve as the Chair of the Advisory Board and traveled to Jacksonville, FL to attend the biennial convention. The chapter has grown to 91 members and I have gotten so much more out of Kappa after graduating than I ever could have imagined.
Band of Misfits
One of my favorite things I have done since moving to NYC is to start playing soccer. After an unsuccessful attempt at recruiting a team, I signed up as a free agent and was placed with a group of 11 others without a team. We formed the Band of Misfits (natch) and  haven’t looked back. We have a lot of fun, and after 2 seasons we went from winning a single game the first season to an undefeated regular season record in the fall. In addition to getting my soccer fix and having an outlet that is completely unrelated to work, they are just a stellar group of people and I’m so glad to count them among my new friends here in NY.
Found a Calling
It started as a challenge from a relative stranger– you want to learn more and be a part of the tech scene? Then go to these specific classes and meetups. Once I had a reason to start showing up to these events, I wondered what kept me away for so long. Directly related to my silly challenge and the classes I started going to, I’ve discovered a passion and talent for User Experience Design. I could (and should) write an entire post on why I’m obsessed with UX and how much fun I am having learning all about it. It is scary being at the bottom of the career food chain once again, but it feels so validating finding work that is deeply satisfying.
Accepted that My “Home” Will Always Be Everywhere
I’ve always struggled a bit when answering the question “Where are you from?”
Am I from Connecticut, where I was born, grew up, and lived for 17 years?
Am I from Boston, where I last lived, went to college, and lived for 6 years?
Am I from Queens, my current borough of residence?
Am I from New York City, my current city of residence?
Depending on the situation, I usually cobble together an answer from the above options. I used to feel weird about how I didn’t have a succinct answer for the above question, but I’m coming to realize that all of those places are home and occupy unique pieces of my identity. I love that I can say I’m going “home” on both ends of a trip to CT or MA– I’m heading home in a figurative sense when I hop on the train to visit CT or MA, and I’m heading home in the literal sense when I get back to my apartment.
As for 2013? Who knows. I don’t do resolutions, but as always I have big plans.

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