Monday, January 25, 2016

Favorites of 2015

I am taking advantage of snowstorm Jonas to catch up on some of my year-end blogging. (As I write this, we are snowed in - at least as much as you can be when you live in a walkable neighborhood in an urban area. I trudged over to the Giant earlier and it was pretty well-stocked and pretty well-staffed, and half as crowded as usual, so that's a net win.)

The first couple weeks of January were busy for me, so I decided that January 13, the first day of the new year in the Julian calendar, would mark the beginning of my personal new year. (Sort of a joke and sort of not.) Since then, I have been enjoying the slower pace and the chance to reflect on what's happened and what's next. So to celebrate, I present you with a few of the highlights of 2015.

Favorite place to travel to for fun, international edition: Central America, especially Guatemala and Belize. (I never did sort through my hundreds of photos to put a post together, so this is perhaps the least blogged-about highlight of 2015, but trust me on this one.) It was a super easy, super fun trip with a great mix of culture, food, adventure, and relaxation, and I can't recommend it enough.

Favorite place to travel to for fun, US edition: California. It is probably news to exactly no one that California is a great place to travel. But I seriously cannot wait to go back.

Favorite place to travel to for work: Mauritania. In 2013, I traveled to five African countries for the first time, including Tunisia and Mauritania for work and Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya for fun. 2014 was the year of Tunisia (three trips) and 2015 was the year of Mauritania (two).

It is such a cool place, even when it's 90 degrees at midnight and the forecast is "dust." If you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend it. I'm still hoping I'll get to venture to Parc National Banc d'Arguin for incredible birdwatching, to the former caravan town and current UNESCO World Heritage Site at Chinguetty, and across the river to St. Louis in Senegal. I am excited to see what kind of personal and professional adventures 2016 will hold.

Favorite place to not move away from: our apartment in Columbia Heights. It's been the first time in three years I haven't moved and I am so glad for the chance to nest a bit, to get to go month-to-month on our lease, and to get what feels like an extra month of my life back. (Sorry if I have mentioned this ten times already but I cannot overemphasize how big an impact it had on my year to not have to deal with apartment-hunting in DC.)

Favorite distance to run: 10k. I ran my first 10k in May with my friends (I'm the one derping around on the left) and then a solo 10k in November. The first 10k gave me some major jitters but was packaged in a fun girls' weekend, and I finished feeling accomplished at having done something new. The second 10k was the race I didn't knew I needed, one I tackled despite not having exercised in months due to some surprisingly intense lower back pain. It was a gorgeous day during a stressful time, and I finished with the reminder that I can dig deep and do hard things.

Favorite leisure activities: listening to podcasts, going on walks, and managing my holds at the library. Extra points for walks to the library while listening to podcasts.

Favorite get-togethers: monthly dinner club parties. This was the brainchild of my BFF, or technically of her mom when she was a twenty-something new to DC. Loved having a standing date to get together with girlfriends and to come up with new stuff in the kitchen.

Favorite regular craft project: the daily card project. I have written more about this than I'm sure anyone needs or wants to read, but it still amazes me that something I did on a whim on January 1, 2015 turned into such a big part of my year. This will be something I remember about 2015 for sure.

Best intentions: Get Messy. I love the six weeks of art journaling I stuck with and I'm going to try again in 2016.

Favorite TV shows, friend edition: The Bachelor. Preferably accompanied by brackets and yelling at the TV.

Favorite TV show, couple's edition: True Detective (the first season). Delightfully spooky, atmospheric, and thought-provoking. We actually haven't finished yet so I'm looking forward to that. And depending on how long we're snowed in it may happen sooner rather than later.

Favorite listening: Hamilton. The obsession traveled from Austin to me to my parents and I am so excited about our plans to see the musical this spring. I think the soundtrack will always remind me of this phase in my life.

Overall, this has been a year of digging in deep, putting in the work, trying new things, asking for what I want, taking on new responsibilities, expanding my creativity, and thinking and talking and figuring out the future. It has fewer flashy accomplishments than some other years might, but I felt like I laid some groundwork for my future self. I am heading into the new year feeling more confident in who I am and in where I am going - or at least more confident that I will figure it out as I go along. And that is a very good feeling. I am so excited to see what this year will bring.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like 2015 was a great year for you - I hope 2016 is headed the same way! xo