Boy am I glad I ended up blogging consistently again this year. I was a little more active in 2016 but fell off in 2017. I didn’t mean to really blog a lot this year, but it just sort of happened, and I enjoyed having an outlet where I can share my thoughts and what’s going on in my life. And I got to meet some great new people this year!
I think January felt like it was three months long. I think that’s what happens when it’s dark and cold for 31 days. This was my first post of the year, and it’s about how someone I knew from college followed me on Instagram out of the blue. Other than that, not much was going on in my life. I was ~three months or so into looking for and applying for new jobs. So I came into the year unsure about a lot of things in my life.
I did finish the story I was working on. Those characters are still special to me, and I hope one day to give them a sequel.
My Valentine was purr-fect.
March + April
I officially got my master’s degree! I finished the online program in December 2017 but walked at graduation in May of this year.
I was the last person to graduate because of how the programs were organized and my last name. But I was excited that it was officially official, and I hoped having it would help me with the job search. Yeah, that was still going on, and I had a few prospects, but neither of them worked out at that time.
My dad and I started our brewery tour for his birthday, with our first stop at Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield, CT.
I also turned 24! We didn’t do much for my birthday—which I share with my mom. Since it always falls around Memorial Day, I make a five day weekend out of it and spent time outside reading.
This month was just running and scooping at the ice cream shop. I think this is when I started working more there during the week, which quickly escalated into 20-25 hours there a week.
My mom and I visited her best friend who fosters kittens. She is who we got our cat, Stella, from. She had a few litters of kittens over the summer, and we went over her house to see a few.
My dad and I hit our second brewery of the tour: Connecticut Valley Brewing in South Windsor, CT.
I went to my first Hartford Yard Goats game of the season! I went with my parents and one of my mom’s good friends. The Yard Goats played the Portland Sea Dogs, the double AA affiliate of the Red Sox. I knew of two of the Sea Dog players—Tate Matheny and Nick Lovullo—because I know who their fathers are: former St. Louis Cardinals manager/current Kansas City Royals special adviser for player development Mike Matheny and Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo.
The Yard Goats won 5-0, and there were fireworks after the game. And, of course, I avoided the mascots at all cost.
My dad and I finished up our brewery tour at Powder Hollow Brewery in Enfield, CT.
I went blueberry picking for the first time, and it’s as tedious as you think it is. We ended up with about ten pounds of blueberries, which were yummy and great for me to bring to work as a snack.
I ran my first 5k in the middle of the month. Since you’ve all heard about it a million times by now, I’ll just link you over to the post.
I went to my second Yard Goats game of the season with two of the girls from the ice cream shop—Jill and Meg—and Jill’s boyfriend. It was all of their first times going to the park, and I was excited to get to go back. We grabbed dinner at City Steam Brewery in Hartford and avoided the spot thunderstorms that were sweeping through the city.
The Yard Goats were playing the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. And guess who I got to see play?!
Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio.
I was way more excited than I should have been.
The Yard Goats lost 3-1, and it was Whaler’s Alumni Weekend at the park.
The Whalers were before my time, but they’re still a big thing in the state. The Yard Goats’ colors are the same as the Whaler’s to honor the team, and the players wore jerseys that looked like hockey jerseys.
I went to the movies for the first time in like three years to see Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again with my mom and her best friend. I had gone with them to see the first one when it came out ten years ago.
It was really good and would recommend watching if you’re looking for an up-beat musical. (But don’t get me started on Pierce Brosnan…)
I caught up with a friend from college, Ben, during our yearly meet-up, which happens whenever I realize, “hey I haven’t seen Ben in a year” and then I text him and tell him that.
We met at the bar across from where we went to school (aka where I work now). There’s a little pizza place that’s connected to the bar that makes specialty pizzas and have them by the slice. I always get the french fry pizza: it’s french fries, cheese, ranch dressing, and bacon.
I went to Boston for a marketing conference for work and realized that I need to get out to Boston more. Or just explore more of New England. Plus we were right next to The Lawn on D.
I ran my second 5k race at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Yeah, I’m just as surprised as you.
I also went on my first and only date of the year. It didn’t end up working out because he realized he was busy and I basically had to ask him what was going on after he ghosted me to get any kind of answer. I wrote a post earlier in the year about dating and another about dating apps. I just don’t think it’s worth my time. I don’t want to spend time on someone who’s just going to stop talking to me or it won’t work out. (And I get the whole “You need to take the chance” thing but I really don’t want to waste my time. Because I always regret it in the end.)
In the middle of the month, I applied for a job at my old university and within two weeks had a job offer to which I asked my now-boss, “Are you serious?” (Thankfully he laughed, and I don’t think he thinks I’m crazy.) I put in my two weeks notice at my old job the last week of September and was set to start my new job October 15.
My parents and I went apple picking, and this time it wasn’t 80 degrees out like it was last year. That was weirdly uncomfortable.
I dragged my co-worker/friend Kristen—the one who runs the 5k races with me—with me to Connecticut Valley Brewing since they released an apple ale, and it was really good. I’ve had some of their other fruity beers before and liked them. It was pretty packed on the Friday night we went, and there was live music and a food truck, too.
I left my first real job on October 11, after two years there. I came into Red Sox balloons, gifts and a card, brownies, and an iced pumpkin chai latte from Starbucks. Kristen organized everything, and after work, we all went out to a local pizza place as the last hurrah.
I’m so excited to be back at my old university and working there. It feels like I never left, and I wasn’t nervous to start because I was already very familiar with the campus and its culture and knew a lot of people on campus.
I have my own office, I can run the track in the field house after I’m done for the day, and I get to go to events and take pictures for social media. My first weekend there was homecoming, which maybe was a little fitting for me.
Kristen and I went to a local winery, because I made her go with me to CT Valley. We went to Brignole Vineyards in Easy Granby, CT. We did a tasting before each getting a glass of their pumpkin spice sangria.
THE RED SOX WON THE WORLD SERIES. THAT’S LITERALLY THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY YEAR.
OH and I finished watching The Blacklist on Netflix. Best thing I did all year. (Still really mad I Googled something about the show and then found out a spoiler to season five. I won’t let myself live that one down.)
I participated in all of the fun seasonal festivities, including getting our Christmas tree, decorating my office, rekindling my love/hate relationship with Hallmark movies, and complaining about how much I hate wrapping.
Dogs came to campus! One of the student organizations brings therapy dogs to campus before finals. My boss and I went to take some pictures and of course get to pet some dogs.
The event is always a big hit with the students, and the dogs are so calm. There were a few Golden Retrievers, a few mixed Doodles, two Greyhounds, and more, with about ten or so dogs in total.
I just really like how festive my office looked with the Christmas lights, okay? Some days I would sit with the big light off and just the Christmas lights on.
So that’s my 2018 in a nutshell. Or rather a really long blog post. The beginning was gloomy and I didn’t really feel like myself, and my year definitely got better. I got out more, went more places, and did more things. The job search was what wore me down the most this year, as it took me just about one year from when I started last fall and 50 applications to find a new job. It definitely took time, and I think the universe was waiting for the right opportunity for me.
I checked out my blog stats for the year, and I had 153 posts and wrote 76,661 words with an average of 500 words per post. I’m happy with how my year ended, and I’m looking forward to 2019! I’ll have a resolutions post out on New Year’s Eve.
What was one of the best things that happened to you this year? What’s one place you went that you really enjoyed? How did your year start vs. how it ended?