I originally posted this photo on May 6, 2013. It was a Monday evening, like today, and I was sitting out on my parents’ deck, watching the birds with my dad. It was three days after I graduated college, the day before I started my new job, and my first day in this yearlong blogging adventure.
As I look at this picture and think back over the last 365 days, all I can think is this: how on earth did one year fly by so quickly?
This year, I started my first full-time job, bought a car, moved to an apartment in Royal Oak, and became an aunt. I went running a lot, spent many nights in reading or watching Friends, gushed about my love for snow and nature, and took too many pictures of my food. I spent many weekends at Rondeau, visited friends in East Lansing and Grand Rapids, ran a 5-mile race in Baltimore that ended in wine and soup, and took more trips to Wisconsin than anyone would think is possible. I rarely blogged about this, but there were plenty of days where I felt lonely, I felt frustrated, and I felt scared and unsure about my future.
But above all else, I felt happy.
In the months leading up to graduation, all I could think about was what I was leaving behind when I crossed that stage at the Breslin Center. I thought about my friends, my sorority, my internships, and that campus that I love so much. I tried not to think about what came after, because I didn’t know what would come after; it was just this foggy abyss, with no clear direction and no end date. Finding a small piece of happiness every day this year kept me from getting lost in that abyss; it was the rope guiding me through the fog, even if I didn’t know where it was taking me.
So, today’s happiness is this: I made it! I came out of my first year in the real world with my sanity in check. And to all of you 2014 grads, know this: you will, too.