2013 is drawing its last breaths and I’m sitting in my kitchen marveling at everything that’s happened. It’s been a wild ride and I’ve learned a lot of things to take with me into the new year.
December 2012 saw me leave the safety net of my mother’s house and head back to the city for a fresh new start. To say 2011/12 were difficult would be a gross understatement. In fact, looking back, I would say they were the hardest two years of my life. A difficult relationship had broken my spirit and I had moved to Keswick to heal and try to find myself again. In early December I started working at a new cafe and ended up meeting some of the people who would become the best friends I’ve ever had (although it pained me to leave behind so many amazing people in Newmarket).
I moved into my very first solo apartment in January 2013. I’ve lived with roommates since I was about 18, but I’ve never had a space for which I am completely responsible. At 25, it was a fantastic way to build myself a sanctuary and reassert myself as an independent person. Considering my penchant for being financially irresponsible, I’m proud to say I’ve been here for a year and my rent checks have never bounced! I just resigned my lease because I love this place (and my landlords) so much. In that respect, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Apparently I very much enjoy living alone.
2013 was probably my most social year. I’m not going to lie, I’m a loner-homebody-hermit kind of person, but I resolved to make an effort to go out more with people and try not to be alone so much. It actually worked, and I find that while I REALLY love staying inside with Netflix and a bottle of cheap chardonnay, it’s also really satisfying to go out and see something besides my own four walls.
I started writing for Wait(er) magazine in July. Because of my regular service-industry-related blogging, I was asked to contribute. To my surprise, it was a paid gig! I put a lot of effort into my articles and told everyone I knew about it. It was exciting for me and reignited my passion for writing. I learned earlier this month that Wait(er) had to go on hiatus until further notice, but I’m still incredibly proud of my involvement in it and I intend to take that experience and move forward with seeking out writing gigs in 2014. In fact, earlier this month my poem “Grandmother” was featured on We Poets Show it. I plan to get back to writing poetry in 2014.
In August, I was transferred yet again to my current location. Same job, different people. I was absolutely terrified, and instantly regretted agreeing to the transfer. The first couple months there were incredibly stressful and it took me awhile to find my stride as a supervisor. Luckily for me, once again I ended up with another crop of fabulous coworkers who became some of my best friends. Those people are the only reason I manage to show up every day. My work issues will probably take up an entire separate post, so I’ll digress for now.
November 2013 saw me fail at NaNoWriMo. My day job was insane, my stress levels skyrocketed, and in the end I had committed myself to something I wouldn’t be able to accomplish. On the bright side, I did write 1000 words for my novel and since the story’s not half bad, I plan to continue at my own pace. I’m hoping to participate in NaNo next year — maybe I’ll save my vacation hours for the first two weeks of November!
I just turned 26. I’m finally getting my apartment organized the way I want it (although I still have so many plans for it). I’m in a good place mentally. Some of my goals for 2014 include learning how to better manage my stress, manage my money in a way that actually allows me to plump up my savings account, get back to regular weekly blogging, make healthier choices (living off expired work sandwiches is incredibly bad for your waistline, FYI), and take more time for myself. Work has been very very stressful lately and I’ve been letting it get to me, so I’m resolving to remember why I became a barista in the first place: to make drinks and make people smile. I’ve always enjoyed an easy rapport with customers and in the last year I’ve let it slip. That’s disappointing (and results in fewer tips). I’m also resolving to set aside time to work on music. In the last two months I’ve written eight new songs that are just begging to be fleshed out and recorded (not to mention, performed live) so I’d like to make ’14 the year I get back to doing what makes me truly happy.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and my wish for everyone reading this is that you have a wonderful, warm, bright, satisfying, happy new year.
I’ll see you next week.
P.S. As a parting gift, here’s my 2013 Christmas photo. It got 30+ likes on Facebook, so I know I’m in the big time now. (Ha!)