I don’t remember much about January besides it being quite a difficult month. At the time, I was a senior in high school and therefore feeling the weight of everything that comes with senior year. I had quite a heavy school load and with finals coming up, I was feeling a little more pressure to perform. In the midst of all the madness, on January 21st, I marched with individuals from over 75 other countries across the world as a part of the Women’s March. Being part of such a powerful movement with so many marvelous people involved lifted my spirits and made me feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself. This was the first time I really put myself out of my comfort zone when it came to my political beliefs which was mildly uncomfortable but extremely rewarding. I think it really solidified the concept of standing up for my beliefs no matter what anyone else has to say.
The next big part of my year came on March 30th when I traveled to Florida with one of my best friends, Hannah. I had been to Florida before but this time was a bit different because it would be my first time flying as a minor without an adult with me. I was a bit nervous but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. I was just ecstatic to get out of the bitter cold of Michigan for a week. This was actually my first time going to Florida not in the Disney bubble which, although I missed Disney, was refreshing. We spent the week doing the normal Florida things; beach hopping, airboat tours, hanging out by the pool, etc. Every time I travel to Florida the experience is a good one. No matter where I go, traveling always recenters me by reminding me that there is, in fact, a world outside of my teeny Michigan bubble and it’s worth every penny to see it.
On May 13th, I was off to the infamous high school prom. For me, prom felt like more of an obligation than anything else. I was excited but somehow missed out on the idea that this would be the most exciting night ever. I knew it would be fun but I also knew that once prom was over, I’d be more than ready to go home, put on some pajamas, wipe my makeup off, and go to sleep. Overly stimulating environments with lots of people both physically and mentally exhaust me. As I’ve said 400 times before, I’m an introvert to the max. In the end, I liked my hair, I liked my dress and I ended up having a better time than I expected but prom is one of those things I only need to do once. Check.
At the end of the month, I spent a week in the Outer Banks, North Carolina with my family. Though I frequently call myself “not much of a beach person”, this would be my second trip to the beach this year and I wasn’t mad about it. It was a week of relaxation and fun all while failing at trying not to get sunburned. Somehow dozens of layers of sunscreen still can’t protect my pasty skin from the sun. Again, the beach and I don’t get along.
At the end of the trip, (as per my request) we headed home by way of Washington D.C. We spent the first day at Mount Vernon in Virginia and then headed into D.C. where we spent the next day romping around the city trying to find the best free museum without a line out the door. It was a quick but enjoyable few days with my mom and sister. One of my most vivid memories from that day was eating ice cream in a random “park” (does concrete and iron tables and chairs count as a park??) and watching the sunset behind the buildings. Little moments like that are what keep me going.
That July is when I officially launched this blog. I had been toying around with the idea of having a blog but the time never felt right until that summer. On July 28th, I nervously announced to my friends and peers on social media that I had started a blog. I remember feeling so nervous yet so relieved that I finally did it. I received more support than I could have ever imagined and even met a few new blogger friends along the way. This space represents who I am and what I love which is why I hold it so close to my heart. The last 6 months of this blog have taught me so incredibly much. Thank you to anyone who’s showed me even a tiny ounce of support, it means more than you know.
The weekend of October 6th was one I had been simultaneously excited and nervous for. I was going to visit Lydia at school in Chicago. Obviously, I was more than excited to see Lydia but the train ride there would be my first ever time traveling somewhere by myself. To someone else, the idea of traveling on a train alone to another city wouldn’t be a big deal but I was feeling apprehensive about the idea. However, despite all of my anxiety, I got onto the train. Much to my surprise once I was actually sitting down all of my anxieties disappeared. I think a lot of the time when we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone we are surprised by how easy it is to do the things that scare us the most.
On October 27th and 28th I was blessed enough to attend the inaugural Women’s Convention in Detroit. I spent the weekend sitting thorough panels and sessions where I learned about local, national, and global issues that currently exist. Me and thousands of others from across the country spent our weekend listening, taking notes, and being inspired by the leaders of our nation. It was a room full of inspiring, powerful, and loving people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Being amongst such a diverse group and hearing so many of their stories was truly a privilege and an honor. One of the most powerful lessons I learned that weekend was that power is, in fact, in numbers and no task is too small to care about or too large to tackle.