It’s ironic how much I’ve been agonizing over my 2020 post and feeling so lost on what all to write, and I hadn’t given a thought on my 2019 recap post. However, I always find my words forward when I look back.
Man, how to even encapsulate it all?
- I went to Ireland
- I knew going into 2019 that it was going to be a pretty busy year with regards to my career. I was still new and learning an entirely different industry and had no idea what would happen if I left for an entire week. I know that when you earn PTO hours you’re allowed to take them, but for my own sanity, it’s better that I take vacations when I feel like I can truly let go and relax knowing that my tasks are sufficiently covered. Thus, I wasn’t sure that I would make it out of the country for a trip. However, with Thanksgiving upon me, I realized I had more PTO than I had planned on having and a new analyst who could cover some of my responsibilities. And thus, I booked a trip to Ireland with BFF for relaxing.
- I was so depleted physically, mentally and emotionally by the time that trip came that all I could really focus on was just being. Existing in a space where there were no demands, no requirements. I’m grateful for a best friend who can role with an unplanned, relaxing trip, who’s up for meandering around and sleeping in and drinking beer at lunch.
- We spent the majority of our time in Galway, and then just a couple days in Dublin. It was the perfect fit. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in Dublin more than that, and Galway fit my needs to a T.
- I connected with my family
- Living within a 3 hour drive of my mom has been a surprising blessing. She came down 4 times over the year and each time we had a good time. I think we’re still learning each other after our long break apart, but it’s been really nice to have her close, especially during the holiday season. It definitely makes me miss my sister though and wish that her and her family were closer so that we could round out the group.
- I also had a chance to reconnect with my dad and his side of the family this year, though it wasn’t under the best of circumstances. My grandmother passed away after a pretty long battle with respiratory failure (she smoked like a sailor). I had a rocky relationship with my grandma once I moved to Seattle. In my teenage years, we were actually quite close and the last year of her life, I really struggled with the decision of trying to make amends or not. At the end of the day, I made my choices, she made hers and I know she loved me just as I still loved her. I made the choice to attend her funeral even though we hadn’t been close to be there for my dad and it was a pivotal moment in my adult life. I’ve written about my difficult relationship with my family before so there’s no need to rehash it but, what I didn’t really realize is that there had been years between the traumatic events of my childhood and the 37 year old that I am now. Being able to be with my family and stay grounded in who I am now was a life changing experience for me and showed me that I don’t need to fear being with them any longer.
- I visited New Orleans with my cousin
- This is kind of a piggy-back on the last one. Oddly, the weekend that I was supposed to head West for my annual cousin trip to Los Angeles, our grandma passed away the Tuesday before. Luckily, we were both able to rearrange the trip and head to Louisiana instead. We built in an extra day and a half to spend in New Orleans together, just the two of us. It was really a wonderful time and I loved being able to share that with her. I’m only sad that I missed out on the incredible art scene that is down there.
- I made it to Seattle
- Going back to Seattle is becoming a necessity for me for not only maintaining friendships but also for my own health and sanity. It’s the equivalent of going home and resting, reviving and drinking really great wine.
- I went to Louisville
- A bucket list item for me from the past few years. And I did it with the friend who introduced me to the whiskey life. He came to visit me in Detroit and we road-tripped down to Kentucky for a quick 2 day trip. It was definitely a lot of driving for a very short period but it was worth it. Louisville was spectacular and I cannot wait to go back and explore the city more.
- Had so many friends visit
- Oh man, yes! Having a guest room is such an amazing thing! Having it filled with people I love is the icing on the cake. I have so many amazing friends and being able to house them and show them this city that I’ve fallen in love with is such a privilege.
- Went to my first treasury summit
- While my job is really stressful and my boss has his moments of good and bad, he does firmly believe in sending me to a yearly conference in Chicago to further my networking and career. It’s the first time that I’ve ever attended any type of CPE on this scale. I won’t lie, I was pretty overwhelmed with everything going on, but being in Chicago was a definite up-side. I’m looking forward to a better experience in 2020 now that I understand how it all works.
- Went to Toronto
- Piggy-backing on the conference in Chicago, I had BFF fly into Chicago and spend a night with me before we headed back to Detroit for a day. After work the next day, we were off on a roadtrip to Toronto, another city on my long-standing travel bucket-list. We had a long-weekend of strolling, shopping, eating, karaoke, and just vegging out in front of the tv (yeah, it’s totally ok to do that on vacation).
- Went to DC
- I took a trip to DC to visit the guy I was…FWB-ing with. It was such a fun weekend. He took me to some of his favorite spots, he took me to an art exhibit he knew I’d like and we ate, drank and partied our way through the city. It was…really fun. We saw street art and watched crime shows (not normally my thing, but I had his dog cuddled next to me so I was ok) and before I knew it, it was time to get back on the plane. What was an incredible realization is that DC was barely over an hour flight. I love living so close to the East coast.
- Back to IL
- Heading to rural Illinois for a visit to one of my longest girlfriends was a perfect weekend to end 2019. We drove country roads and drank cheap beer. We visited the local bar, drank more cheap beer and flirted with country boys.
- Ginger had some scary health issues
- My girl is getting old. It’s a hard fact that I definitely was not ready to face. A random reaction to a certain brand of dog treats landed us in the vet’s office where I learned that she has a mass in her chest. An episode similar to a seizure landed us in an emergency vet a couple months later and learning that she now had an affliction like vertigo for dogs. It was definitely a rough year and I’m so thankful for friends who have lost pets before, sharing their wisdom, guidance and strength. I know that when she goes, it will be really hard, but I feel a little more prepared now. She’s turning 15 this year so I know we’re probably getting close. I just try and treasure each day now (even when she drives me batty), and capture lots of moments on camera. I’ll be forever grateful to her for choosing me to be her forever home.
- Grandma passed
- see above.
• Ended things with DC guy
- Took on so much responsibility
- When I started my job, I was a shell of a person. Or at least, that’s how I felt. I was so beat-down and anxiety-ridden from a boss who wielded power as a weapon and who constantly made you feel like you were the crazy one because she said one thing one time and then said she never did. Ugh. She was the worst. But I digress. My new role is so much larger than I had ever taken on. And it has only grown. I am so happy to be sitting here confident in the job I’m currently rocking, but also in the ever-expanding role. I have an analyst now (welcome to people management) and I interact with so many departments across the organization on a consistent basis. It gives me so much pleasure to know that when I go to my next role, I’ll be that much more confident to demand my worth and know my capabilities.
- I have been so incredibly thankful for my house this year. It has truly been my sanctuary in the most stressful times and my hiding place when I needed solitude. And let me tell you, I have NEEDED my downtime this year.
I know I have a thousand other things that happened in 2019, and I’m sure most of them are amazing, but as I stated at the beginning of 2019, I don’t want this site to be a scorecard of my life. Some things are better suited as it’s own post or not even mentioned.
So, this is what I have to wrap up 2019. I faced a lot of relationship challenges, got VERY comfortable being alone, bought some incredible art, and realized over & over what a privilege it is to live this life.