New year. New hopes. New ambitions. New opportunities.
As every year passes, I spend a lot of time reflecting on how the previous year went. I also reminisce about the moments that made the year special. Because no matter what, even when bad things happen, there are so many positive moments that make life special.
I wanted to share my favorite moments of the past year. Keeping in mind that there infinite moments that I have enjoyed, some I have forgotten, many that I could have done without, but all making a piece of this thing called life.
My Top 10 of '10:
10 (tie). Jingle Bell Run - It's not very often that personal accomplishments make me proud, but this one does. My first 5K. My first race. Decent time too! To me, this is great not only for the race, but also for what the future will hold if I keep this up.
10 (tie). CSA Open House - It was so amazing being a part of Open House for our grad program, and being a resource for many that were looking at USF for grad school. I met so many great people, and it has been wonderful getting to know the ones that ultimately chose USF even better as this year has progressed.
9. Elton John Concert - This concert might have been my favorite of all time. It was that good. For an old(er) man, he can still rock it! Such a fun night with great friends.
8. Crystal River Excursion - Spent a weekend camping and learning about environmental impact in rivers and how it affects wildlife, including the manatees. I am so proud of my friend Colleen for organizing such a great weekend!
7. James' Wedding - One of the late 2010 moments was one of the best. A weekend filled with love and laughter. Can't beat that!
6. Swimming with manatees - My friend Amma and I found a place where you can snorkel with manatees. Turns out they're even bigger than me. So incredible to get up close to the gentle giants.
5. MN Trip - Took a couple grad school friends to Minnesota to show them home. Saw so many great MN friends. Got to play tour guide and do lots of fun touristy things in my own backyard.
4. Alternative Spring Break- Spent spring break in Cumberland Island, Georgia helping with the restoration of some of their historical preservation efforts. One of the most unique places I have ever been, with crazy wildlife, wilderness, and rooted in American history. Such a great group, and I learned a lot about myself as a leader through the process. I love team LEAD!
3. Space Shuttle Launch - I have ALWAYS wanted to see a space shuttle launch. The experience was unforgettable- from a 2AM road trip across the state, to embarrassing moments, to the deafening power of the shuttle taking off. A truly once in a lifetime moment.
2. Happiest Place on Earth - I go to Disney way too much. Since last December, I have spent 16 days there. So many people ask if it gets old. The answer is a definite NO. Every trip has something new. New people. New rides. New celebrations. Something unique and memorable happens every time. Some of the favorites include ESPN the weekend, HAB Disney Day, Brandon's visit and seeing Team Eschenbauch, and my parents coming to visit. Calling out Chad Ochocinco, a random lady "adopting" Amma, Angela's child-like wonder, dominating Justin at Buzz Lightyear, learning from Vince & Julia, teaching Peter Pan how to fly, Alice calling us out for being lost, JJ's excitement for Fantasmic, Laura passing out, Eargate scandal, getting fairy dusted by Tinkerbell, a Whoopi sighting, and finding random things to celebrate... it's pretty much my second home in Florida.
1. New England Summer - This was one of the best summers of my life. I spent my summer doing an internship with the Orientation program at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI. First off, this was probably the most incredible group of students I have ever seen. almost 50 people making up the most dysfunctional yet closest family and sharing so many memories with each other. I will remember them forever! Also, the entire summer was filled with unforgettable moments and so many once-in-a-lifetimes. Best roommate ever, aquarium trip, Newport mansions, several boston trips, Jenna & Doug's engagement, Sox game at Fenway, 4th of July in Boston & Bristol, being in the longest-running 4th of July parade in the country, beach day in Maine, NYC with Rose, parents coming to visit Boston, and an epic road trip back to FL. One of the best summers of my life!
Thank you to everyone who shared these moments with me, as well as all of the others that made 2010 a great year.
I am looking forward to the many adventures to come in 2011.
I hope you'll share them with me.