A 2013 Recap: Maybe This Year Will Be Better Than the Last

Sunday, December 29, 2013

This year...

I was published in the New York Times, even though I forgot to tell you about it here. I was honored to remember my grandmother in this way, both highly public & painfully personal.

I went to Israel for the third time, & it was just as incredible as ever.

I accidentally paid more than $200 for a haircut.

Like so many twentysomethings, I expressed the cliche but real fear that I'm not doing enough with my life.

On the eighth anniversary of my ex-boyfriend's death, I finally began to feel some distance & healing.

I took a trip to Ohio, where I saw my brother for the first time in more than a decade. It was just as wonderful as it sounds.

I attended SXSW Interactive for the first time, & although I again forgot to blog about it, it was a truly unforgettable experience. A party bus was involved.

My friends & I mourned the death of our dear friend Elissa - but more importantly than that, we celebrated her life.

The season finale of HBO's Girls spurred me into some real-talk about mental illness, including the main character's & my own.

Six months after Hurricane Sandy hit, I visited the storm-ravaged towns of Asbury Park & Seaside Heights. The haunting Ferris wheel you see in these photos was taken down that same week.

No blog post for this one, but I lost more than 20 lbs. with the help of Weight Watchers & a few sessions with a personal trainer.

After years of hoping & wishing, I finally attended Bloggers in Sin City, a Las Vegas gathering of the Internet's finest.

I visited my cousin in London! We went to the Harry Potter set & took a million photos, & I didn't want to leave.

Surprise spring fireworks led me to write this post on gratitude & acceptance & living in the moment.

I visited D.C. & wrote this piece about it that I really, really love.

I was honored to be a presenter at my friend Emily's 30th birthday conference. Yes, birthday conference.

There were at least 29 great things about my 29th birthday, which I celebrated with my boyfriend & my mom on a sunny summer day at the beach.

On a regular old workday at Starbucks, I met two totally unrelated celebrities in downtown Red Bank. Who says nothing exciting ever happens in suburbia?!

I ruminated on the emotional difficulty of living 14 months in New Jersey without any friends.

I launched a new blog, leaving SuburbanSweetheart.com behind after six years & welcoming GreatestEscapist.com. Here's how I chose the new name.

I was really rattled to realize that I'd stumbled upon the scene of a suicide attempt. (When I wrote this post, I wasn't sure if that was, indeed, what I was seeing, but a later newspaper article confirmed it.)

I kept a list of all the times I apologized in the span of one week & committed to not being so damn sorry all the time.

I moved back to D.C. & admitted that I'm having a really hard time.

It was a good year, a terrible year, a hard year, an emotional year - a year that taught me a lot about myself, in the most painful of ways. I don't know what 2014 brings, but I do know that "Long December" has been playing in my head for weeks now. May this new year bring some healing.

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