Another year, another reflection…

Sooo, it’s been a while.  My bad.  I started a new position early in 2013 and put the blog to the side.  It’s been a crazy year.  Mostly fabulous, a few dips, and lots of newness.  Let’s see…yes, I am in my third job at the Academy in less than 3 years.  You know how I feel about consistency.  Crazy to think that three years ago, I moved to Chicago with a few of my belongings and the support of fabulous siblings…and very little else.  How’s that for dramatic.  The job market was bleak, but I was lucky enough to get into my dream suburban job, ha :).  So, tobacco isn’t my primary focus these days.  I’ve moved into global child health full-time (!!!) and have switched my attention to vaccine-preventable diseases (and anything else my bosses tell me to work on).  The topic is fascinating and I’ve learned SO much.  The position had its rough spots, but 10 months in, I think I’ve finally found my stride.  My newest boss (I have 3, wtf, I know) is fabulous – our love for snark, cat memes, colorful pens, and doing good has really made for a great relationship.  How many of you have traveled to the Southern Hemisphere with your supervisor and taken a selfie with a roo?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.  She, I’ll call her Cat Lady, is also just a swell mentor.  All in all, good stuff.

In the past year, I’ve also learned a lot more about what I like (programmatic, creative, advocacy-related work) and don’t like (administrative, bureaucratic, uppity projects) when it comes to my career.  That’s crazy…saying, career that is.  I mean, I’m but a child who likes to think of her jobs as a bunch of fancy internships.  Perhaps, I am growing up.  The llama, 50 colored pens, and Justin Bieber notebook strewn about my cube beg to differ.Image

Travels!
This year I was super fortunate to see a famous Abbey in London, the River Liffey in Dublin, the shipyard of Titanic in Belfast, a stuffed donkey’s head floating in a(n STI-filled) canal in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, a roo in Featherdale, a perfect beach at Bondi, and the most gorgeous alley-graffiti in Melbourne.  All in all, it was a beautiful year to capture memories.  Locally, I caught the sights in Lima, Starved Rock, Atlanta, Orlando, DC, and I am sure a couple other places.  This is the first time in my 29 years I’ve had a real, for realz, vacation (London/Ireland).  And I gotta say, I HAVE BEEN MISSING OUT.

Chicago…
I still manage to love this city more and more each month.  Despite the runny nose and salt-stained boots, I can’t get enough of it.  Three years ago, I moved here for a change, a newish beginning, and to be closer to my bestest friend.  Now, I feel like I am practically a Chicagoan living the city life, master of the CTA, identifier of the newest random “must-do’s,” and still not a parallel parker.  The weirdos on the train no longer phase me, seeing a fried egg on the blue line is the picture of normalcy.  In fact, perhaps, I am morphing into one of those weirdos myself.

Final Thoughts
I’ve learned more about me and what it takes to keep me happy…copious amounts of sushi.  I kid, I kid.   Though I have grown fond of fish oil.  2013 was definitely a rough year, globally, despite some really sparkly fabulous moments.  So rather dwell on the waah waaah, let’s spend a few moments on the good!

  1. It’s redonk how close we are to ending polio (only the 2nd disease to be eradicated…ever).  SO CLOSE.
  2. Yeah, so the ACA roll-out wasn’t exactly perfect.  Okay, it was a shat show at best.  BUT good things take time.  Smallpox wasn’t eradicated in a day.  Seat belts took some time for buy-in.  Doctors used to endorse cigarettes.  Patience.  I was driving a dear friend home the other day and she told me how ObamaCare [<– click on this link for some Ryan Gosling!] was going to benefit her.  And that was more than enough for me to know it’s better than what was once the status quo.
  3. Marriages in Utah, Illinois (effective 2014), Hawaii, New Jersey, Delaware, Minnesota…and some others!  Hooray.  Let the Big Guy(s) do any of the ‘judging’ He/They see fit.  Here on earth, let’s just love and let others love.  Peace out, DOMA.
  4. The Noles are going to the BCS Championship Bowl for the first time in forever (hooray), the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup (I care!), India won some cricket match.
  5. This happened: http://www.reasonsmysoniscrying.com/.  And this, too: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-40-most-insane-things-that-happened-this-year-in-florida.

Happy end of 2013, minions!  Here’s to hoping 2014 is epic in the best ways possible <3!

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