Monday, December 30

2013: the year of answers

How horribly cliche is the title of this post?

2013 was undeniably the best year of my life. It was reminiscent of 2010, when I felt like I was passionate about the path my life was following and figured out how to cut my bangs to fit my pumpkin shaped head. Which of course means that I will probably hit another identity crisis this time with a college degree under my belt but at the moment, 2013 was the year I think I figured myself out again. I made big choices. I learned to appreciate the present. I felt at peace with myself and what I was doing again. I found my place with my friends. I achieved goals that I didn't think in a million years last January I would possibly stand a chance of doing. 2012 was simply a bad year. 2013 allowed me to start over and reground myself as I changed my major, lived in a city alone for a summer, and gained back a confidence in my future I have never experienced in college so far.

The fact that so much can change in a year is terrifying. Who knows what it will look like next year? But the fact that so many things can change, if you want them to, is also sort of amazing. It's inspiring. To think that with courage and the ability to assess your life to make what changes you know you need to make to be happy even if it is 180 degrees opposite of where things are going now you can change your own fate is a liberating and reassuring thing.

Mostly what that meant was choosing a major that allows me to do all my homework in the bathtub with a glass of wine and live in a city as an unpaid intern, but you know, those are still life changing things. I'm gonna be a poor writer and get by with wine and no matter what, I will be way happier doing that than reading Biology textbooks.

Instead of doing a month by month overview like usual, I'm just going to make a list of highlights. Because, well, that really does take forever. And maybe I'll regret changing it up this year, but I also have a sister to hang out with beside me and I just want to go hang out with her as soon as possible.

highlights of 2013!!!!!!!
  • I went on a day trip to the mountains with my mom, dad, and grandma where I learned to catch a fish and appreciate being completely isolated from civilization as a kid. It was a memorable and emotional trip together in the middle of winter and I did, in fact, wear jeans hiking through two feet of snow. Oops.
  • I got to meet Abbi, the sweetest and most genuine person I've ever met who I first met on the internet. Now she is ENGAGED to the love of her life and it inspires me every day.
  • I started to find the way to my own happiness.
  • I conquered commuter life in Seattle as an adult with a full time job and felt EMPOWERED by my own abilities. It was sweeeeet. 
  • I met Josh Ritter in Missoula while I was randomly walking around downtown Missoula. Stupidly, I didn't ask for a picture during our three minute conversation when I totally could have. But awesomely enough, he REMEMBERED me from past times I've met him and from the tweet I sent him the night before. I also got to attend the show front row with my mom who came all the way from Idaho. It was the best weekend of my spring semester.
  • My Missoula family became my roommate of three years and the cat we shared together in the most boring brand new apartment I will ever live in. But it was a fantastic year nonetheless.
  • I planned an inaugural event for 250+ people. I organized the volunteers. I made hundreds of phone calls to potential donors and begged for their generous donations. I wore heels for an entire day and night. I attended the event on a yacht. I felt AWESOME. I drove around Seattle by myself for the first time and rode the ferry back after the longest most stressful day of my life at 10pm. I found my way to a hamburger place I'd only been to once and stumbled upon Kerry Park where I ate a grilled cheese. It was one of those nights I'll never forget.
  • I went on the worst date of my life with the worst hipster of my life. For those who still ask what happened, we did not end up dating. It was the THIRD scenario. And stupidly I ended up going out with him again this fall where he left me while I went to the bathroom on our date. The next night I met the boy I'd realize I was met to go on a few bad dates with so I could appreciate what the best date of my life felt like.
  • When I realized that at some point, Seattle just became another place to me. Full of beautiful and perfect things, but at the end of the day, it didn't have the people I loved. It was a hard lesson as I cried on the steps I walked past every day after remembering where I sort of grew up a little in the city. 
  • I went to the East Coast for the first time to visit my star sister who goes to school in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was the experience of a lifetime to see Monticello and experience some history of our country. 
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  • I turned 21 and it was the best birthday I've ever had. Can every day be your 21st? On second hand, maybe that's a really poor idea. But it was fun nonetheless to dance with cowboys, get free coffee at Starbucks, run my own meeting at work, eat with all of my intern friends at Pikes, and drink legally.
  • The three sets of sisters were in the same place for the first time and it was the best celebration of the coolest friendship ever made.
  • I went to Hawaii for spring break with my roommate because her aunt and uncle have a house there and we did nothing but explore jungles, the ocean, and beaches without running into a single tourist for a week.  
  • I met Dillon in March for the first time IRL and then got to hang out with him over the summer in Seattle.
  • I declared my Idaho roots once and for all. 
  • I developed a girl crush on someone who hooked up with my ex and it was super awesome. 
  • An enraged Panamian broke my glasses at a Mens' USA National soccer game.
  • I wrote a letter to my 18 year old self.
  • I went to a One Direction concert and Sydney came to visit me in Seattle all in the same week. 
  • I realized, even after the best first date of my life and then best second date of my life ever the very next night followed by two weeks of effortless laughter and conversation, I was over-thinking the start of the best relationship I've ever had because I was scared to be vulnerable again. It's easy to close yourself off. It's harder to be open.
  • I met fantastic friends in my English classes and learned how to accept compliments and believe in myself a little more.
Thanks, 2013. This year ROCKED.
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Abbey said...

Great post, Maggie! Loved this.

Natalie said...

This is amazing. I'm so glad that your 2013 was the best ever, and I can only hope that 2014 will be even better.

Z said...

I'm gonna get a bit sappy. I love your blog so much. You always take the most wonderful pictures and have the best reflections, not only on the year as a whole, but also as a fellow English major and college girl. Your posts always inspire me and make me want to make my blog (and life!) even better. So glad that 2013 was wonderful to you and I hope you have an even better 2014.

Dillon said...

Aw I made it in! You should check out my year in review too.

Seems like quite a year it's been! Here's to 2014!

Emma Jane said...

You are sincerely the cutest human alive and I am so happy you had such a wonderful year. Yours was one of the first blogs I found when I started my own blog and reading about your time in Seattle and all of your adventures kept me inspired and motivated. You are amazing and I bet your 2014 will be even better :)

Tightrope to the Sun

Maggie Shirley said...

I love all of your pictures. I'm glad you've had a good year. I've had a pretty good year too. Hopefully one of these years we'll actually get to meet. <3

Jamie Rose said...

I'm so glad 2013 was such a great year for you. I'm honestly envious of your great year and hope next year is actually one I can be happy with. Happy new year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

Ebony Campbell said...

I think my 2013 was probably closer to your 2012 but damn, I had some great times squished in the mush :)
So glad you are still blogging.. look at us go. And although I'm only 22, I feel like you maintain an innocence I no longer have. I want my innocence back. I think. I dunno. It's early and I lost my phone yesterday. I care about you a lot Mags. So happy you had a brilliant year and I got to pop in & out of reading it.