Friday, November 1, 2013

Five Years and a Bit of Change

Pictured above from left to right: Flight to New Orleans; location of the Battle of New Orleans; my signed copy of Neil Gaiman's book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane; my friend and I outside the Capitol Building during the Fourth of July; my roommate and I further away from the Capitol; myself on a boat off the coast of Virginia Beach; Poseidan statue, Virginia Beach; and the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington while President Obama spoke.

Busy. That is the simplest term I can use to describe the past several months -- busy. Somehow, since I went off to college, my busiest seasons are late spring, summer, and fall. Every year spring rolls around and I think, "Wow, I really have nothing planned," and every year I am proven wrong. What's crazier is that it seems every year I'm becoming more and more busy with those seasons. Last year I experienced "the August that never was" which is literally that. August flew by and I know I was horrendously busy but I still can't for the life of me tell you what I was doing that entire month unless I go digging through journals or stalk Facebook posts. By autumn of last year I thought, next year will be easier, next year I'll actually remember what I did from month to month.

Well, it was easier in that I can easily recall all the things I did this summer. But it was also much more busy. I packed a lot into my day-to-day schedule and this summer has been a blast, as has this fall.

I called this The Year of Travel but I hope there are many more and to bigger destinations. For the first time in my life I could really afford to go from place to place and that's exactly what I did. New Orleans, Virginia Beach, Tampa, Boston with various other adventures sprinkled through out. I realized with my most recent trip (to Boston) that I've finally become familiar enough with airports and flying that I am no longer over thinking every step in the process. I also flew home for the first time without feeling an ounce of panic during the flight. Beforehand, flights home always had a moment where I'd get nervous. I think it only happened on the way home because my excitement for the vacation ahead was diminished.

Besides travel I've been busy working my full time job, running, and taking a copyediting course at home (which I am taking a break from this fall with hopes to continue it in December/January). And most recently, enter Bruce, my adorable boyfriend who is capturing my attention and time too.

Pictured from left to right: In-flight to Tampa; the clouds from my cousins back yard in Tampa; a picture of myself with a pickle at the Maryland Renaissance Faire; the jousting field at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire; Paul Revere Square, with the church behind his statue that is a part of his history; myself with the statues of Make Way for Ducklings; the Witch House in Salem, Massachusetts; the Boston Public Library Reading Room; and my boyfriend and I while attending a bonfire (roasted marshmallows!) at a Field of Screams attraction.
All in all, I've been trying to better my life with this year. It started out rather terrible with a lot of pain and misery in my family. It taught me a lot about love and loss and the impression you can have. This year has been a year of growth for me. I'm proud of the person I'm becoming and I hope that I can continue on this path and become a better person and live a better life. Not that my life was horrible before, but I feel I didn't see quite as clearly and if I had to answer the above questions a year ago I would have had to say that I wasn't satisfied with the life I had lived. I want to change that, I want to be excited and proud and live a life worth talking about.

Well, within reason, because I've also discovered that doing what you want costs. But that's neither here nor there.

This year I've tried my best to better my life and I am progressing along quite splendidly. I've learned more about myself in this past year than I have in the majority of my 20's. I've learned that I really like some aspects of life and... not so much others.

For one, I love to travel.

When I graduated from college it was the start of the economy downturn. There weren't any jobs, I had thousands of dollars in student loans to pay off, and I was feeling rather helpless. There went my dreams of traveling and doing so much more.

I began to write book reviews because I liked to look back at my thoughts on books later on and see how my opinion had changed but also because it was an escape. Through books I could travel while I wasn't doing much in real life.

Jump forward five years and my book review blog has taken on something else for me. It's a job but an enjoyable one. In the past year I've realized that the void that this blog filled was slowly being replaced by something I had always wanted to do: travel. I still read like a fiend but I was finding I had less time to write reviews. That's not a problem though, I still find the time, even if it means writing off a few weekends at a time and focusing solely on writing my backlog of reviews. But finally I was achieving some of my dreams, I was traveling.

Then came classwork and a boyfriend and I'm finding that while I love to travel and most certainly do, I don't have to go far to find enjoyment. I'm quite happy at home as well but my free time is still shortening.

Where will this next year take me? I haven't a clue. But I'm excited to have been here chatting about books for the past five years. Will I do another five years? I don't know. Will I travel more? Surely. Will I still read? Of course! I obviously haven't had as much time to devote to this blog in the past number of months but I hope those of you who still read this understand. I'm just finding my place in this great big world and settling in.

So happy five year birthday, my dear little blog. You've been my constant companion through thick and thin since I've entered this "adult" world. 

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