Cheers to a New Year

Well. That’s it. 2017 is in the past and 2018 is now the present. And as the year itself changes to be one year older, so do I. 19 is in the past, and now I enter the years of my 20s. I’m no longer a teenager – and that’s probably one of the weirdest things to say.

Thanksgiving to the New Year is always one of the busiest times of the year. Whether you’re going to parties, hosting parties, or finishing up a semester at school, it tends to fly by. But for me, that period has always culminated with my birthday and not only do I get to reflect on the past year as a whole but also the past year of my life. So I figured I’d share that with you and look back on how I changed and what I learned.

The second half of 2016 was a difficult time for me, and that rolled directly into 2017. It was during the beginning of this past year that I struggled a lot with anxiety and depression. I had to learn to deal with these two entirely new things – things I had helped my friends through before, but never actually had to experience on my own. It was a learning process. I spent more weekends home than at school because it was where I could actually breathe. And I wish that wasn’t the case, but it helped me to learn a lot about myself.

So as I worked on myself through the Spring semester, I was able to finish up with coming out of that year a stronger person. And as the Summer rolled around, I was a lot happier. I still struggled, and still do struggle, with anxiety, but it’s no longer something that I allow to control my life. I stopped letting the things that don’t matter, or the things I shouldn’t care about, bother me. I stopped putting so much of myself into people that I wasn’t taking care of myself enough. And as a result, that allowed me to put myself first a lot more when I need to, which is something I continue to work on. I recognized the fact that despite the fact that I’m still a work in progress, I’m still the person I’m supposed to be at this very moment. It’s funny because one of the biggest reminders I constantly had with me that I’d figure things out in the end was my tattoo, which reads, “You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.” That quote has meant the world to me throughout everything.

This past Summer was one of the busiest, to say the least. I was working two jobs, and on some days was working those jobs back-to-back, which meant I had 15 hour days occasionally. One of those jobs was with the Staten Island Yankees, where I worked on their production team and was eventually promoted to marketing & digital media. I had such an incredible time doing so, and when I was promoted, my creativity was given free reign and getting experience doing what I intend on doing with my career only further cemented me in my choice because I loved it wholeheartedly.

Along that same sports route, I found a love for hockey this past year that I didn’t have in the past. That doesn’t mean it’s taking over my absolute love for baseball – that will always be my number one – but it’s nice to have a sport in the offseason to watch. My dad’s a New York Rangers fan, but I’m still not sure where my allegiance is. Though I am a huge Mat Barzal fan and you just can’t beat cheap tickets at the Barclay center, which has allowed me to see the Isles play a lot more often. So maybe I’m an Islanders fan… I mean, being a fan of the orange and blue is kinda my thing… so now it could work for both baseball and hockey.

The Mets, on the other hand, unfortunately, had a terrible season plagued with injury after injury, but let’s not dwell on that.

2017 brought a lot of adventures. Whether it was a day of hiking with Kelly (who also started a blog this past year – you should check it out), trips down the pier with Alyssa, where younger children thought I was someone famous because at the time, my hair was blue and we were doing a photoshoot, or late nights out with Tom and Alexis, who have become two of my absolute closest friends – we’re a little family at this point – there was always fun to be had.

I finished off my semester with going to Florida with Tom to visit his family, which landed me in Fort Lauderdale for a weekend, which was so much fun and a much-needed vacation after all of the stress from the year. I can vividly remember the sense of relief I felt. And that was the official turning of a page to better things.

I also got to see Blackbear in July with Tom, and that was by far the best concert I’ve ever been to. Maybe it was that the venue was small and general admission so it was more intimate, or it was the fact that I absolutely love his music, but it was a blast. He’s only getting more popular as the months go on, so be sure to go check out his music because it’s great – especially the stuff from the beginning. It’s good, I promise.

Not everything was fun and games, though. I knew I had to focus on furthering my career and started applying for internships. I went through a few interviews and made it to the final selection process for two, which resulted in me ultimately not getting the positions, unfortunately. But then I landed a position at the American Museum of Natural History in November and I’ve been there since. It’s a lot of fun working for such an amazing institution, though my schedule has certainly gotten a lot busier.

And that’s not just because of the internship. I was also elected to the e-board of Her Campus Hofstra for the upcoming semester as secretary, in addition to earning assistant sports editor for the Hofstra Chronicle, which I’m thrilled about. It’s going to be a busy half of the year, but one I’m very excited about.

If time (and money) allows it, I’d love to add a new place to the traveled list for this next year. I got to visit Nashville since Kelly goes to school there and it was an absolute blast. I’m still working on a blog post for that (I know. It’s extremely late being that I went a month ago), so look for that soon. That was a fun adventure that included lots of good food and live music – what more can you ask for?

And I’ve waited this long to include it in this post, so I might as well throw it in here – I met a guy this year who has completely won my heart and makes me the happiest person. It was a nice surprise because I wasn’t expecting to have a boyfriend anytime soon, but that’s when the best things happen right? And I’m very glad it did because it’s been a lot of fun having someone by my side through all this for the last bit of the year. I’ve always been a very independent person, and I think he’d argue that I still do try and be quite an independent person, even within the relationship, when it comes to certain things. But there’s just something about getting to share things with someone that makes everything that much more exciting. A little word of advice to all of you out there who maybe aren’t sure if something can work, but things feel right: Go for it (😉). It’s better to try and learn than to not try and regret or wonder.

How can I forget starting my own official blog? It’s certainly still something I’m working on and trying to balance, but hopefully, in this new year, I’ll be bringing you more content at a more scheduled pace. At least that’s my goal.

This past year’s been quite a ride. I’ve grown as a person, and I’ve also been able to make moves in my career field that I only hope will propel me forward even more. And I’m excited. It’s brand new decade. Not exactly one I wanted to begin shoveling this ‘bomb cyclone’ of a blizzard, but things happen. Regardless, it’s time to make some more memories and go on new adventures. After all, they say your 20s are supposedly the best years of your life, right?

And I can’t wait to see what they have in store.

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