January: I rang in the new year over a traditional English dinner at Louise’s house. The majority of my EOG co-workers were laid off and their offices vacated. The new Florida Governor was inaugurated. (I was working at the Florida Capitol at the time so it was memorable.) This month, I wrote my 30 Before Thirty list and began a self-designed weight loss program. My friend Erin came to Tallahassee for my 26th birthday, and I celebrated with friends at my favorite Tallahassee restaurant, Food Glorious Food.
February: My brother, parents, and grandparents visited Tallahassee for a late birthday get-together, and my brother bought me a sorely-needed new mattress set. Valentine’s Day marked the 2 year anniversary of Shiloh’s adoption. I saw Anthony Bourdain (hilarious!) speak at the newly renovated Ruby Diamond auditorium. I also saw Geoffrey Gilmore present the film Win Win at a sneak-peak, exclusive movie screening. After 26 years, I stopped biting my nails. <— A major accomplishment.
March: This month mainly consisted of frantically applying to jobs and multiple interviews. The last Florida Suicide Prevention Day (planned by me) was held on March 30th.
April: I saw David Sedaris give a talk, and met him at the subsequent book signing. He was incredibly kind and down-to-earth. I went to a psychic fair with my friend Kellie and received some rather confusing advice. In late April, I left the EOG and began a new job in the education field. Inspired by a dream (literally), I began outlining the plot for a young adult novel.
May: This month I made a trip to Washington, DC for my friend Erin’s birthday, and saw my other friend Erin while I was there. (Yes, two of my best friends are named Erin.) We went to the Smithsonian, one of my very favorite places.
June: My brother and grandparents visited Tallahassee and we went to St. Mark’s Lighthouse and Appalachicola to try their world famous oysters. Later, I made trips to Viera, FL and Lakeland, FL for work.
July: I drove to West Palm Beach for Independence Day celebrations. While I was there, the (wrongful) Casey Anthony trial verdict was decided. (I was obsessed with this trial.) My good friend Kellie moved to Tennessee, I started volunteering with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Borders closed (super sad).
August: I made an attempt at the C25K program but had to stop due to plantar fasciitis. I spent a lot of time volunteering at the Humane Society, and also began graduate classes at FSU. I took a work trip to Orlando to scout out hotel venues for a conference and had dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in several years, Ritu. An old supervisor, Rosey, with whom I had parted on bad terms passed away of ovarian cancer.
September: Tailgated at the Florida State v. Oklahoma game with my good friend Shari who flew in from Los Angeles. I ushered at a Zakir Hussein concert, who is apparently a very well-known percussionist. Met the first Make-A-Wish child whom I will be granting a wish for!
October: Took Shiloh to be blessed by a Franciscan monk at the Mission San Luis Blessing of the Animals. I volunteered (dressed as Bellatrix) for the Humane Society Fur Ball fundraiser which was themed “Hairy Pawter and the Goblet of Fur.” Made a trip to Daytona Beach for work and my rental car was a brand new candy apple red Mustang (seriously awesome car). Shiloh turned 3.
November: Several meetings with FSU faculty about the PhD program and I made the decision to apply for summer admission. Attended the Greek Food Festival (yum!). Went on my very first Caribbean cruise which included Mayan ruins and swimming with dolphins. An absolutely unforgettable experience!
December: Studied my ass off for finals and ended the semester with a 4.0. Unfortunately, I had to go to the ER due to a kidney stone and was prohibited from traveling. My brother and parents came to visit for Christmas and I took them to the Tallahassee Natural History Museum and Wakulla Springs (where we saw manatees in their natural habitat!). My brother surprised me with a very generous Christmas gift – a new flat screen TV. I ended the year 95 pounds lighter than when it started.
Happy New Year!
– An American Twenty-Something