2019 is here and I am having a hard time believing it. It feels as if 2018 just started. If I am honest, it feels like 2016 just started. I don’t know where any of this time went. This year has been a crazy one, to say the least. A year filled with a lot of new changes and frustrations and good things too. But I find in myself that when the year starts to come to a close it takes a lot more work for me to focus on the good, instead of the negative things of the year or the things I have already started stressing about for next year.
In order to start the year right, writing a post about some of the best things from my 2018 seemed like the perfect thing to do.
The very start of the year I flew back to school only to get in a van with others from my Theatre department and drive to Indianapolis for KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.) KCACTF is a theater conference held every year that has workshops to attend, productions put on by other colleges and different categories to compete in. I was really hesitant to attend because I was worried about being overwhelmed especially with it being the first week of the semester. But I am so glad I made the decision to go. It was really fun to hang out with other people in my department I don’t get to interact with much, as well as attend a ton of workshops put on by people who work in my career field. I had never been to Indianapolis before so I had a nice time visiting somewhere new and having it be my first real trip without my parents.
Last minute I signed up to Assistant Stage Manage this year’s Fyoo Zh En production, that is a cultural dance production put on at my school with a different focus every year. Late nights, long hours, and some puddles along the way allowed this production to be something I would never forget. It is always nice to be a part of an aspect of art and theatre that I am normally not associated with. Our dancers were amazing and my co-ASM and I had a lot of fun putting it on and having our routines of getting a juice and sweeping before the show. It was also my first time working with a fly system and boy were my arms sore after.
For the beginning of my spring break my grandma made a girls trip for us to Chicago. We both flew into the city (her from California, me from Ohio) and met at the hotel to spend about three days of exploring the city together. We did a double-decker bus tour seeing things like buildings Ferris Bueller’s Day off was filmed at and the historic buildings. I wanted to go to the Art Institute to see the pieces they have of Monet (who is my favorite painter) as well as have my Ferris Bueller montage moment, but instead of going there while I was getting ready my parents face timed me to surprise me with the fact I had tickets to *wait for it*
It has been 9 months since this happened and sometimes I still have to remind myself it was real.
I did still get my montage moment the next day but Hamilton was oh so worth it.
My nineteenth year of life came around in April. Turning 19 felt like a rollercoaster. I flew back to California for my cousin’s wedding. Which just happened to be the weekend before finals week. The wedding was really fun and I was thankful that I was able to come home for it. Family moments like this are ones where I will gladly skip school for. They don’t happen all the time and it is important to me that I get to be there, and then the next day, poof, I was 19. My last year of being a TEEN. I was glad to spend the day with my family instead of being at school studying. Although the next day I was up bright and early to catch a plane back to school for 3 days to take my finals.
May was my busiest month of the year. I finished finals and headed home for the summer. It was the month I started my blog. After almost 3 months of planning and prewriting and researching it happened, and while sometimes I feel stumped I am really glad I started it.
For Mother’s Day, I took my mom to see Stars on Ice. We both love the Winter Olympics, especially the ice skating, so we had a great time watching some of our favorite Olympians. Then the next weekend I went to the Taylor Swift Rep Tour. My third time going to see her in concert, my second time going with my friend, and both of our little siblings first time seeing her. When I think her concerts couldn’t get better she somehow proves me wrong and tops herself yet again. We made matching teeshirts and we spent the night singing at the top of our lungs.
Last, but certainly not least of the month we had a family reunion with my dads side of the family and I (FINALLY) got to meet my Irish cousin. It only took us nineteen years and plenty of emails and skype conversations. We had a great week and I was not ready to see her go.
We went on a family vacation to Northern California. Spending a few days with my grandparents up in Lake Tahoe, going to the lake and jet skiing, before going to San Francisco for 24 hours to see the SF Giants game.
You can read more about my vacations here
My mom has been talking about doing an “Iron Chef” type day were the kids cooked for the parents for what seems like forever. This year it finally happened and became lovingly known as Ultimate Worst Cooks Chopped Chef America Kids. We had our basket ingredients and our time and a video camera and we were off. Though much time was wasted with us arguing over what to cook and the little cousins doing “dramatic confessionals” into the camera instead of helping. It all turned out fairly well. With the boys creating a dessert of giant cookies with apples and caramel sauce, as well as Dr. Pepper slushies, and the girls making a salad with a vinaigrette topped with breaded ravioli, and chicken stir-fry.
Before going back to school for the new semester I had my belated birthday gift of going to see the Gloria Estefan musical “On Your Feet” with my mom and my uncle. We had a ton of fun, even being row before the last. We went out to lunch before the show at a taco joint. Which was so yummy, my uncle always finds some of the best food places.
Click >Here< to read more about my time at the show.
I told my mom over the summer that I wanted to go on a retreat like I did my junior year of high school. I needed to go and have time to get away from everything bringing me stress, and my time came in September. The Newman Center at my school was holding a weekend retreat to a place in Pennsylvania. It was a great time to reflect and find a bit of focus in my life. I came back feeling light as air after spending a weekend where I didn’t think of any of the things I had to do or anything I was stressing about. It was amazing, and I had a great time hanging out and telling stories with others from my school. We had a huge bonfire in the woods that got so huge we couldn’t even get close enough to roast marshmallows because it was so hot. We still tried. RIP to all the marshmallows that didn’t make it to our mouths.
The end of the month my Grandparents came down to visit me. After 3 months of being away from home, it was great to see some of my family. We went to go see Hello Dolly! Which was really fun and a musical I didn’t know too much about except for some of the songs. The cast was amazing and I was astonished watching the ensemble dance.
Halloween came a few days later and my roommate and I accomplished our costume idea of being Wednesday Addams and Cousin It.
For my roommate’s birthday, her parents surprised her with two tickets to Les Mis so I got to tag along. The song we always use when something we have been waiting for is about to happen is “One Day More” so you can imagine our excitement to actually go see it live. I think it exceeded both our expectations. The cast was phenomenal and the use of screens and the giant set was fantastic.
Then when I went home for Thanksgiving break and the day after my uncle took me, my brother, and our two little cousins to see Wicked. Which he took me to for my tenth birthday, and it is my favorite musical.
It was just as amazing the second time.
I wrapped up the semester and headed home for winter break and as a Christmas gift my brother, dad, aunt, and I went to Disneyland for a day. Christmastime is one of my favorite times of the year to go to Disney because the park feels extra magical. My aunt hadn’t been in around 20 years so it was fun showing her around and all the new things that have been added since she last went. My feet and legs were sore the next day but it will always be worth it.
It can be hard to not spend a ton of time thinking of all the bad things that happened over the year or all the things you wished you would have accomplished or the things you wish you could have changed. So I challenge you to end the year and start 2019, by taking the time to recap all the things that brought you joy this year.
Let me know in the comments one thing that brought you joy in 2018.
Happy New Year! May 2019 be the year of brilliant discoveries.