Thursday, January 5, 2012

Be Carefree and Sparkly in 2012

So, Shoot for the Sun in Twenty-One-One ended up being a really great theme for 2011. The year started off in the most amazing way possible---my incredible boyfriend Eddie told me he loved me at about 1 in the morning on New Year's Day :) (and I said it back since I'd been holding it in too!).

In February I spent the first Valentine's Day I've ever had with a boyfriend (well, with a *real* boyfriend, since the only guy I dated in high school during v-day COMPLETELY ignored it) with my sweetie, and it was super duper fun! We also celebrated Eddie's birthday, and I dug my car out of the snow when the blizzard hit (ugh!).

All the while I was working hard in my classes and shooting for the sun by applying to an internship program at the Library of Congress, never dreaming that I'd get in. Eddie and I also had a BLAST when he took me with him and his friend to go see Monday Night Raw live at the Allstate Arena.....never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would watch WWE wrestling, let alone be seeing it in person, but it was SUPER FUN! :)

Spring finally came, and I again spent my birthday with my incredible friends and boyfriend! I also got some unexpected news: I'd gotten into the Library of Congress internship program! Thanks to the most amazing best friend in the entire world, I was able to go to DC and spend the summer working with some of the most intelligent and professional people I have ever met, learning SO much and seeing some truly remarkable things. I earned my Master's Degree, and right before I left for DC I took a super fun trip to Florida with my family :)

And after Florida and a somewhat tearful goodbye, I set off for DC not knowing what to expect from the Junior Fellows program. I had a BLAST!!! From seeing Abraham Lincoln's draft of the Gettysburg Address to making pigment samples to experiencing my 2nd 4th of July in DC, it was a wonderful summer. Another highlight was definitely getting to show Eddie all my favorite places and spaces when he came to visit for our exhibit at the end of the summer :)

So, shooting for the sun was going pretty well! I had a couple of job interviews and was feeling confident that by the end of the year I'd have a job and be able to reach my goal of starting to pay off my loans and becoming fully financially independent. Then, in September, I experienced one of the most exciting events of my life: the birth of my nephew! Little Judah was born on 9/10/11 (so easy to remember, awesome! lol), and it has been so much fun watching him grow up so far. I can't wait to read him so many stories!!

And then life started hitting me a little hard. I hadn't been getting any job interviews, and so I decided to go back to working at Barnes & Noble. I also had tons of super fun fall times with my man and my bestie, including going apple picking and especially carving pumpkins together!

So, even though I hadn't gotten a "real" job yet, I was surprised and delighted to get a holiday job working at 1 of my favorite stores, Lush! I also LOVED bringing Eddie to Thanksgiving and continuing to get to know his family as he got to know mine. Spending our 1 year anniversary downtown was definitely one of the highlights of my year, as was spending Christmas together :) Finally, for Eddie's Christmas/anniversary gift we got to go see Monday Night Raw AGAIN, making it the 2nd time I've been and the only time Eddie has ever been to see it twice in one year. Score one for my present buying skills! lol.

Overall, I feel that Shoot for the Sun in Twenty-One-One was a success. I learned that no matter how hard things seem, they could always be worse. I learned how to lean on my friends and family during hard times, and to celebrate with them when good things happened (which was a lot!). I somewhat failed at my goal to eat better and to exercise more, but I'm learning a lot about what discipline means in that respect and hope to improve this year. Even though I am not fully financially independent yet, I continue to strive for that goal and feel that I did everything in my power to meet it this year. Like my friend Holly said, shooting for the sun is not about being perfect, it's about doing everything in your power to make good things happen for yourself.

This brings me to our theme for 2012: Be Carefree and Sparkly! I'll leave you all with what Holly said on her blog ( about our theme, because I could not agree with her more!

"I can worry & obsess over my future all I want, but I only have so much power. If something is meant to happen, it will happen. Being carefree and sparkly is about enjoying life for what it is. It's about working hard toward my goals, of course...but it's also about giving myself a break. If my plan B doesn't work out, hey, at least I did everything in my power to get there. And if plan C doesn't work--then I'll come up with something else."

LOVE it!! 2012, here we come! :)