My memory is decent, but my recollections don’t easily fall on a chronological time table. Most of them are just muddled into a period of life – a vague reference to When I was in middle school or A few summers ago. I do have this funny pattern going with odd years, though. I will always know that the trying experience of marching band was in the fall of ’07, that I counseled at Camp St. Christopher for the first time in ’09, that I graduated from high school in 2011. And now 2013, the year of travel. But the year I was twenty years old was a lot of other things, too. Self-discovery, new friends, lessons, independence. I’m not finished yet, but I grew up a lot this year. Most of this has already been written about in previous posts, so I won’t go into great detail. Regardless, here’s a recap of living the dream in 2013.
January: New Orleans Roanoke Habitat for Humanity Trip
A reminder of how much I love hard manual labor and serving the poor. It was also my first consideration of participating in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps after college.
February: Sweet Friends
It’s already a blur of school and work, but because of that, the quality time I spent with friends is even more treasured. After a rough week and frigid bones from the snow outside, Janie and I treated ourselves to an intimate dinner of laughter and relaxing at Mac & Bobs. Afterward, we created the infrastructure for this blog. For Valentine’s, Kayla and I shared a typical meal in the Commons together, but instead of jetting off to the next responsibility, we lingered and enjoyed each other’s company. A weekend in Clemson followed with two of my best Charleston friends, Lizzy and Anderson.
Shorts in unexpectedly cold weather, tea time and high society, clear water, bars, and dancing. Best spring break ever.
In the wake of exams, exploring Devil’s Marbleyard and a spending day on the AT with Nick, my loyal trail companion, is a pleasant memory.
Gotta throw in swing dancing with Joel every other Saturday throughout the semester. So fun.
Poverty and corruption, beautiful landscapes and more beautiful people coinciding in a seemingly impossible harmony. Writing. More writing. Existential moments and minor faith crisis.
June: Taco Mamacita
I learned I want a job that gives me a little more dignity, challenge, and purpose someday.
July: Costa Rica
Excursions, no transportation, and rainy afternoons. The best family vacation ever.
My favorite Roanoke family came down to Charleston for the weekend. Josh, Jen, Tessa, and Luke Yerton make my surrogate family unit, my home away from home. It was a pleasure to be able to show them the original one in the Palmetto State.
Speaking Italian, making friends, cooking meals, walking everywhere.
October: Only Child Life
Solo time with BOTH of my parents in Tuscany and Cinque Terre. Memory of a lifetime.
November: Weekend Travel
I perfected my Europe travel skills regarding trains, planes, and lodging. Dolomites, Venice, London, and Budapest. All in one month. There was some schoolwork. I promise.
After travel, I spent winter break perfecting my relaxing skills. I’m not really good at that, though, so if I’m lying around, I’m reading. I finished The Betrothed and am working my way through Cutting For Stone. Yours truly also got a Kindle for Christmas (thanks Georgia) and registered on Goodreads, which certainly cements my developing status as a dorky English major.
So 2014, you are certainly a chapter. I do not challenge you to live up to this past year; that would almost be impossible. I don’t have the grand plan I confidently lived by in 2013. I have no New Year’s resolution and very loose goals, which freaks me out. All I know is that I’m not going alone; I have friends and family all around. I walk with arms wide open, an ear turned toward the Lord’s voice, and a heart ready to serve, awaiting the unexpected.