All 24 year olds should have exciting Fridays like this. Seriously.
No, but really...I'm going to take a break from all this fun stuff and do a nice little re-cap of 2011. Because HOLY COW, it's almost over!! So let's all say a big huge HELLO to the year 2012!
This has been one hell of a year for me. So much has happened and so many changes have made their way into my life. First and foremost, I graduated college. After spending five years in one place, feeling like all you're doing is repeating last year over and over again, the end seemed so far away. But then suddenly it came out of nowhere and here I am with a fancy diploma and the ability to check "yes" in the little box on job applications that ask if you graduated. It's a fun feeling. Have I used my degree to my advantage at all? Nope! Will I someday? Probably not! But the people I met and the skills I am now able to apply to my work are very worth the ginormous amount of student loan debt I put myself into. I've made lifelong friends at DSU and so many memories that will stick with me through 2012 and all the years to follow.
In 2011 I moved 400 miles from home and into a city that pretty much scares the crap out of me. It's been an experience already, and I do enjoy this city with its bazillion amazing places to eat. (Philly Ted's, Schlotzky's Deli, Jake's BBQ, Firehouse Brewery, Arnold's Diner, and Black Hills Bagels, just to name a few.)
I had an internship with a really fun company and was called a "professional photographer" for the first time in my life. I met lots of cool people and read lots of cool books during these days. I visited George, Tom, Ted, and Abe (aka Mt. Rushmore) every day, and got to witness lots of people seeing it for the first time. My favorites were the older ladies who would gasp "Ohhh my, look at that!" and I realized that I had the coolest job in the world.
I met some incredible people while working in Keystone. Three crazy Canadians, and Ally, who grew up 20 miles from me, along with Robinn and Genny and Don and everyone else who we worked with all summer. I gained lots of confidence in myself and my abilities and was able to make friends with people who I would have otherwise thought I had nothing in common with.
On some less serious notes:
This year I had my first three photos published in a real book. I also had my very first photography show. I spent a summer away from home and missed my brother's entire baseball season, including his State Championship game, complete with his late-inning home run hit. I met someone who changed my life, and because of that, met some people who I know I want to be a part of my life for as long as possible. I lost my grandma, but I still keep her voicemail on my phone so I can listen to her any time I want. I saw some great musicians play in concert at a county fair and had the time of my life with new friends. I held hands and I hugged. I cooked lots of meals, I drank lots of tea, and I ran lots of miles. I fell in love with a new band (Mumford & Sons) and I fell in love with a new song (Head Full of Doubt.) I made plans for my future. I smiled and I cried and I laughed and I prayed and I realized that my life is my own and I can do whatever I want.