This year has been eventful, hard, challenging, and cheerful. Its amazing to look back on the last twelve months. A lot has changed. A lot has happened. And I am very grateful for the loving people in my life. So, as a fun little activity, I decided to pick 12 words that most accurately depict the last 12 months of my life.
It was a cold January. I remember shivering with chills as I had the flu and dreading the return to snow covered Wald-Michelbach. I made it back and, after three solid months of snow, the students had finally lost interest and I was tired of constantly being chilled to the bone. It was a cold month and I remember spending mornings, afternoons, and nights not wanting to leave the warmth of my cozy bed in my little German apartment.
They say experiements in aloneness are good for the soul. And looking back, I would agree, but the feeling of lonliness hurts. It always struck me at the strangest of times. I left a lovely weekend with Kate and Lisa on February 1st and I did not see friends/English speakers again until mid March. February brought tears and lonliness, but also time to ponder and be alone. It was a lonely, tough month.
After a long two months, visitors (aka my best friends) arrived in March and the fun and adventures ensued. I traveled more this month than any other in my year abroad, which is saying a lot! And the adventures were delightful, for the most part. From sledding the ski slopes in the Alps to getting lost in Slovakia, from seeing Mumford and Sons in Florence to nearly freezing to death in Poland, March was a fun filled month of never ending adventures.
I maintained the crazy travel schedule and the visitors for the better part of April, but by that time, I was in a state of pure exhaustion. I was tired of dealing with various languages and various currencies. I was sick of constantly being on the go. I was missing all the alone time I had grown accustomed to. And, in all honesty, I think my body was shutting down from lack of sleep and lack of warmth. I needed the spring and I needed it badly.
On the first day of May, I boarded a plane to America for the first time in five months. I wasn't actually going home and my stay was only a few days, but that weekend was a beautiful celebration. Eleanor and Kevin's wedding was a dream. The rest of May, to my surprise, followed suit. I took a train to the south of France, which quickly became one of my favorite places in the world. The smells, the markets, the language, the food, the people...all of it is simply beautiful. Spring finally reached Odenwald, and, as promised, it was beautiful. And, to close out the month, I saw the beautiful Beyonce perform. May was beautiful.
I was worried that it would be a tough two months after returning from Eleanor's wedding, but it could not have flown by any faster. June was gone in the blink of an eye. Most of the month was occupied by visitors and travels, with trips to Switzerland, Sweden and the South of France all packed in. I spent countless nights with my two German guy friends, but also loved the visits from Loin, Elisa, and Eleanor and Kevin, showing them my stomping grounds and proudly displaying that I could finally speak German.
July was an interesting month. I was sad to say goodbye to my sweet students and the life I had established in Germany, but I could not wait for America. It was stressful packing up to move across the world alone, but it was a sweet reunion when I landed in Nashville. It was wonderful to be welcomed by so many friends with parties and a girls trip to see all my Wake friends, but I was sad that my year long adventure had come to an end. It was glorious sleeping in my own bed again and waking up to my moms homemade rolls and my dads foot rubs, but I did miss the idenepdence and alone time I had grown accustomed to in Wald-Michelbach.
This was my respite before going back to the grind. I was living at home, relishing in the fact that I had nothing to do. I slept in everyday and really just took some time to process all that I had seen and done before I moved into my next venture. I spent some time at Lake Michigan with my family, which was relaxing as always. I felt like I took the month to rest and recover. August was good to me.
Returning to academia came easier than I anticipated. Sure reading long articles and preparing for quizzes isn't my favorite pass time, but learning about counseling and studying how to help people is intriguing. I quickly dove into the school mindset, making friends with classmates and attaining respect for my professors came easily.
October was incredibly, incredibly busy. From moving into a new house and throwing a bachelorette party two days later, to midterms and the tragic, sudden death of a friend, to some of the busiest work weeks, I felt like I did not get to catch my breath this entire month. Some people love October, I just felt like it was all I could do to keep my head above water. I took a trip back to Wake and reunited with college friends. I wrote more papers than I can count. I tried to get settled, but most of all, I just tried to manage the busyness enough to get through it all.
November was a blur. I was busy with school, work, friends, family and everything in between. The month flew by as one activity ran into the next. Days merged together as I tried to accomplish everything I needed to do. I often felt there were not enough hours in the day, which is quite the contrary from how I had been feeling the previous year. November was full to the brim, so much so that It is hard to pinpoint what even occupied all those hoes and days!
The final month of 2013 brought quite a variety. From cramming for finals to shopping for gifts, I felt like this month encompassed it all. It started off busy, but the break was restful and relaxing. I loved having the whole family in Nashville for Christmas, but, as always, I wished it would have been longer. The days after Christmas were relaxing because I had little responsibility, which was a nice change of pace. December combined restful days and sleepless nights. It combined fun celebrations and frustrating work days. Nashville saw both snow and 70 degree weather. All in all, the combinations that December brought were the perfect way to close out a year that had brought countless types of emotions and experiences!
2014, be good to us!