I made a list the other day of all the changes, accomplishments and important events of 2017 and I’m still blown away by the amount of growth I was able to pack into this year. Looking back, it’s surprising even to me that I managed to fit it all in. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and I’m even more excited for 2018. Here’s a shortlist of some of my best moments in 2017.
The University of King’s College
I haven’t talked a lot about my University experience but it definitely had a lot of ups and downs. I am so grateful to the faculty at King’s for motivating me to continue through the Journalism program and even more thankful to my best friends. Everyone expects the work to be challenging, but for me, the hardest part was finding a community. I tried so hard to find a version of myself that I thought people would like that for a long time I was pretty lost. It took four years to find a group of people that felt like home and I think they changed me in the best way possible.
If you follow me on social media or even just read my blog from time to time you’ve probably heard of Harbour Magazine. Harbour was a passion project that grew out of the advanced magazine workshop at King’s. I spent months helping my friend, Patrick Fulgencio, develop the idea and along with 4 other friends we created a magazine. Harbour was all about celebrating everything that Halifax had to offer; We were a beacon for the people, who like us, had trouble finding their community. It was my first time working with InDesign and I fell in love with the process. Laying out every single one of those 72 pages was such a labour of love and I learned so much. Creating Harbour and working with my wonderful team was my favourite part of my four years at King’s
I’ve wanted to travel around Europe for as long as I can remember. Once I made the decision that it was going to happen after graduation it was all I could think about. I saved up for a couple of years to have the trip of a lifetime and this summer I made it happen with my favourite person by my side. It was a life-changing experience. I still think about our trip every single day. I think it changed the way I see myself and the world because I know that there are possibilities everywhere.
We saw so much beauty. In nature, architecture, art, food and most of all people. Most importantly, I connected with family I’ve only known through Christmas cards. I’m still amazed at how deeply the bonds of a shared last name can connect people and I think I left a piece of myself in England with them.
When Adam asked if I’d consider moving to Ottawa with him I said ‘yes’ in a heartbeat. Moving hasn’t been without its challenges and I think about Halifax every day. I miss the city, and the people, more than I ever thought possible. But Ottawa has been good to us. I’ve had to lean on my family and it’s brought me closer to them in the best way. The city is beautiful and thriving and has so much to offer; I’ve barely scratched the surface. It’s going to take some time to get used to it, but it’s starting to feel like home even though it’s so cold here that my limbs feel like they’re going to fall off within two seconds of being outside.
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to do what I love: write. At the moment it’s just the occasional story and a lot of social media work but I’m enjoying every part of it. It’s validating to know that I’m actually able to use my degree and pursue a career that I love. 2017 was a great year because it showed me that I’m capable of so much more than I thought. This is why it’s fitting that I recently quit my 9-5 job to pursue writing. I’m still on the hunt for a part-time job so I can get out of the house and hopefully make some friends (okay, and money). I’m just so relieved to be done with work that made me unhappy. I’m working towards bigger and better things and even though quitting a stable job is terrifying my gut tells me that I did the right thing.
If 2018 is anything like 2017 I’m in for a crazy year. Even though I wish I had plans to jet off to Europe again or do something crazy, I’m also content to just work my butt off. I know where I want to be and even though I’m still working out how to get there, I’m excited to take this year to focus on myself and my goals.
Happy New Year! I wish you all the best.