Are you there? It’s me, Bethany.
I know it has been nearly five months since I sat down to blog, and there really is no excuse for it. These past five months have been some of the most challenging, amazing and rewarding times in my life, but writing that does little to relieve the fact that I did not share these experiences. Although I did contribute to the food blogging world with my posts for Small Kitchen College, I failed to keep up-to-date on my own personal blog. This failure is something I resolve to change in 2012.
In reflecting back on 2011, so much happened to me that I am grateful to have highlighted on this blog, particularly during the spring and summer months. While I was no longer traveling and eating my way across the globe, the fall semester of my junior year at Georgetown did not lack energy and enthusiasm. In fact, it was one of the most incredible periods of my life. Having successfully co-organized a pre-orientation for incoming freshmen at the university, I started the semester with a brand new group of friends. It is hard to believe that I have only known the participants for only four months, but in that short time span I have created such strong, powerful bonds of friendships. Each of them knows who they are, and I am entirely grateful to them for shaking my grandma-like 11 p.m. bedtime schedule, watching movies with me until 1 a.m., and providing me with baked goods, among many other things, on the path to becoming such amazing best friends.
These new friendships were vital to my success during the past semester. Although I was taking a full-course load and had an overwhelming number of extracurricular commitments piled on my plate, my friends kept me, for the most part, sane. Laugh-out loud worthy texts and late night walks home from the newspaper office reminded me how lucky I was to have such comforting company. For those of you reading this, I want to say thank you for a memorable fall at Georgetown.
And even while 2011 was a time of significant exhilaration and happiness, it was not without its heartbreak. We have all had those moments when there seems to be no needle suitable to thread the tear in our ripped hearts; when our tears drop like diamonds to the floor and break into a thousand smaller pieces; when we have moments of self-doubt and questioning about our worth to someone else. Yet, despite these times of ache, I have come to see myself as a stronger person. While the pain will never entirely cease, 2012 will be a time for me to focus not on what I don’t have, but instead for me to live in the present and focus on my good fortune.
Since the change in the year, I have thought a great deal about 2011 and the year to come. 2011 was a year of significant achievements and experiences. From beginning the year living my own version of Under the Tuscan Sun to spending the summer on my own in Washington D.C. to being profiled in the Washington Post, 2011 created some notable memories. It is hard to imagine how this new year could even begin to compare to last, but 2012 promises even more momentous occasions.
Before I write about what lies ahead and about my many resolutions for the upcoming year, I wanted to take this time to look back at a year of travel, writing, friendships and independence.
2011: A Year in Review
- Started blogging
- Earned my first passport stamp abroad
- Channeled Frances Mays while living “under the Tuscan sun” in Florence, Italy (but, unfortunately, without any rendezvous with an Italian man)
- Attempted to learn how to cook from an Italian momma
- Made a wish in the Trevi Fountain
- Went on a whirlwind ten–day, four –city, three–country spring break adventure
- Fell in love with the city of Paris
- Checked off “Carnevale in Venice” from my life bucket list
- Traveled to London to visit my roommate
- Ate until I could eat no more in Bologna, the heart of il grasso, “the fat,” region of Emilia-Romagna
- Advanced my Italian language skills
- Lived four months Blackberry free and learned “l’arte di non fare niente“
- Worked full-time, lived rent-free and survived the summer’s sweltering heat in Washington, D.C.
- Became obsessed with the physicla/mental benefits of hot yoga
- Highlighted as one of WordPress’s Freshly Pressed blogs
- Became a contributing writer for the food blog Small Kitchen College
- Visited the Midwest for the first time
- Co-coordinated the Leadership & Beyond (L&B) pre-orientation program for Georgetown freshmen
- Continued the Beyonds for L&B and established friendships that I now cannot imagine life without
- Survived an earthquake
- Successfully cooked a complete dinner for 30+ people as part of L&B
- Became a Deputy Editor for the THE HOYA’s weekly magazine, the guide
- Served as a writing tutor in GU’s Writing Center
- Profiled in the Washington Post as the “College Kitcheneer”
- Ate a great amount of luscious, rich, decadent and satisfying food
- Turned 20 without having a meltdown (well, almost)
- Wrote five papers in the span of six days during finals’ week
- Finished my fifth undergraduate semester, and actually started thinking about what I want to do with my life