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Here we are at the beginning of one year and the end of another year. It goes by so fast and with the best of intentions. Some things went my way, others did not. People came into my life and left my life just as quickly. Jobs ended so that new opportunities could be explored. Turning the page into a new year always puts the past year at the forefront of my mind. This isn’t a good or bad thing, but I’m always driven to look back at my social media feeds to look back on the good (and some of the not so good) things that may have happened.
It’s pretty safe to say that 2017 was NOTHING like I expected it to be at this point last year. I really mean it. I expected to be in different surroundings and with different people. Nonetheless, for whatever reason, here I am and I’m glad to be here.
Here’s my #2017BestNine like everyone else’s on the Internet. I only had to change out one picture, it was also a Tony Awards night photo, but I subbed in a better one.
I find it pretty interesting and awesome that my top nine photos of the year are from one of my favorite performance projects of the year and from my travels. There’s one random text quote that made it on there, but I’m alright with it because I’ve got some pretty solid upper body strength. But I think the fact that it is mostly travel photos says a lot about my year. Those weeks of traveling were really the parts of my year that I felt most “alive” and not just like I was powering through my day to day experiences.
But, more seriously, I look at this collage of nine photos and I see some amazing stories to share from 2017.
Starting with the top row:
1. Me & the horse at Forest Acres! I had arranged for a little photo shoot with my junior girls and the equestrian staff. Each one of my tiny campers (and my counselors, too) got their photos with a horse and then we decorated horseshoe frames for the photos. It was like 45 degrees on that July morning – hence why I was wearing a fleece, long pants, and boots in THE SUMMER. The photographer also got a really fantastic shot of me throwing shade that morning.
2. Road trips to Millikin always make me so happy. I have the fondest of memories of my time on campus. Visits are never dull and they’re always doing new shows I’m interested in, so I grab people and go!
3. One of my NYC collage posts! That was a fun day! We went to the Golden Girls Cafe, ate at David’s restaurant, and sat front row for Groundhog Day. Not to mention we played with that puppy for an hour at the pet shop.
1. That’s Stonington Lighthouse Point in Stonington, CT. I would have never made it over to this beach if my wonderful Couchsurfing host hadn’t pointed it out to me. The sunset views here were breathtaking and relaxing.
2. Damn straight that I’m no Victoria’s Secret model, but hell yeah, I lift some heavy stuff. Do you even lift, bro?
3. AH! The summit of Mount Washington! I almost didn’t do this. I had a day off and knew that this was a popular thing to do nearby. I was not about to hike it, but I was intrigued by the fact that you could drive your own car up the mountain. So, why not? I did it. I got the bumper sticker to prove it and everything. Another chance to remember just how small we are in this world.
1. Another NYC collage! This day was a treat! Lots of firsts. David and I got up so early that day to be in the audience for The View. We went backstage at Miss Saigon and got to see the orchestra pit, percussion room, and a bunch of other goodies.
2. Ah! Mrs. Pearce & Colonel Pickering during My Fair Lady at Beef & Boards, most likely staring at Henry Higgins with some sort of terror or panic! I got to embrace my inner matronly self and it was always a joy to bring some calm to the chaos.
3. Another first, David & I went to the Tony Awards! Happy 30th Birthday to us! I may never do another awards show, but I was glad we did this one! Celebrity sightings, Radio City Music Hall, seeing old friends there — just wild!
I look back with more fondness than anything else for 2017. I’ve already had plenty of thoughts about the year and I’ve done a lot of reflecting. That said, there are plenty of things for me to be proud of and a lot of lessons that I’ve learned.
So, in light of that, here are a few “Top Ten” lists of things that happened in 2017.
TEN PLACES I TRAVELED:
- New York, New York
- Niagara Falls, New York
- Salem, Massachusetts
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Fryeburg, Maine
- Portland, Maine
- North Conway, New Hampshire
- Concord, Massachusetts
- Mystic, Connecticut
- Decatur, IL
(…and I could add more! WOW!)
TEN NEW EXPERIENCES:
- Directing TWO kids shows simultaneously. That’s tough but worth it.
- Going to a live awards show – Tony Awards, June 2017
- Going backstage at a Broadway show
- More job hopping than I’ve ever done in my life between contracts.
- Yuletide Celebration!
- Buying myself fancy jewelry, because WHY THE EFF NOT!? Doesn’t always have to be a gift!
- Sending multiple friends to new lives OUT of the country.
- Writing medical web copy. Not thrilling, but pays nicely.
- Doing My Fair Lady at Beef & Boards and loved every minute.
- Organizing multiple large group field trips. Full-time teachers, bless you all.
TEN LESSONS LEARNED:
- I’d like to think I’ve always been a decent manager/leader of people. That said, my counselor staff this summer taught me so much more while I was being the “adult-ier” adult.
- Space out coming home after your vacation from the beginning of a 20-hour road trip. Whew.
- From watching my friends, don’t let a job define you. You’re always more than that.
- Dye your hair a new color at least once every now and again. See what it’s like on the other side.
- Step out of your comfort zone at least once a day. It’s the only way to grow. Say hello to that stranger. Go places alone. Work with kids (if you don’t normally). Do whatever is out of your comfort zone – that’s where the good stuff is.
- Keep learning.
- Don’t settle – in relationships, at work, on anything. Keep going.
- Be vulnerable and let others in. It hurts if it doesn’t work out, but that’s how you know it mattered.
- All the stuff you have, you can probably ditch half of it and be just fine. I lived in a cabin for two months with a lot less stuff and survived with no issues.
- Remember all of the good things that happen. There are always light in dark situations.
TEN THINGS I’M LEAVING BEHIND:
- Clutter. I’m already good at keeping stuff out of my apartment, but now, it’s game on 24/7. I’m just tired of stuff.
- Situations that don’t serve me. That means people, commitments, and material items.
- Worrying about impressing other people. I know what I’m good at and where I should improve.
- Grudges. They take too much energy.
- Overthinking. This is easier said than done. If you catch me overthinking, I’d appreciate you pointing it out to me.
- Not recognizing my worth.
- Saying yes to things I really hate. Nope. Sayonara. Read more of my thoughts on “no.”
- Trying to do it all.
- Trying to be perfect.
- All of the “shoulds” – You should do this, I should do that, and they should do this. Should is a mess of a word. Too much pressure gets placed on the things we “should” be doing.
Wow. 2018 is here. Another year of opportunities. Another chance to do something amazing or crazy. It’s gonna be whatever you make it. Make it a good one for you & yours. I’m rooting for you.
What are you hoping to leave behind in the new year? What are some things that you learned? Tell me in the comments!