What a year! I can safely say that this year was a combination of the best and worst moments of my life. A year filled with firsts, losses, and challenges. Maybe it’s because this was my first year as no longer a teen, but I believe I really grew up this year.
From running my first half marathon to embarking on a 3.5 month long international adventure, there was a little bit of everything. I lost both of my pets, Dewey and Faye, which were two of the greatest challenges I had to overcome. I also started my first internship at the University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology, ran my first Color Run, started my major advertising courses, and the second semester in my first apartment.
Now that it’s 2014, I’m back to work and the normalcy that I left behind in September. The holiday scramble is over and it’s becoming a little more real that I’m home for good; back to making money instead of spending it, English instead of Spanish, study weekends instead of travel weekends, and negative temperatures instead of positive ones.
Right before Christmas, I was thrilled to welcome a new kitten into my heart forever, Trudy. She has made the transition to being home that much easier and makes the thought of moving into my apartment in a couple of weeks that much harder. For the most part, I have adjusted well to my life in Minnesota. It has been great to re-unite with friends, some even from my Spain trip. I feel very thankful that I had a great group to travel with as well as a great one to return to. It has also been great to reunite with a lot of my favorite restaurants and foods! Although I am doing well, I still think of my experience abroad constantly.
There are many moments that I reflect on often, from awkwardly meeting my future friends for the first time at MSP airport and quickly forgetting all of their names, to standing on the bridge of San Martin in Toledo on my final night, looking down at the river and the lit up city behind me and sharing hugs, tears, laughs, and stories with many of the same people whose names I didn’t even know 3.5 months before. It’s memories like these that keep me going during the less memorable days.