There are no words to properly describe how strange it is to sit down and write a blog post after what has been this past year. The last time I sat down to publish a post was on January 20; 304 days ago. I was living in a different city, with a different job, a different car, different friends, a different hair color even, and was completely unaware of the whirlwind coming that would be my 2019. I suppose you never see it coming until you find your entire world has changed.
Between the time I sat down to write my last post, thinking that I would be filling blogs with cute anecdotes about my new bunny Toulouse, and sitting here now, in an apartment exactly 42.3 miles in a different direction, there have been more twists and turns than I could have ever imagined.
In February, I got a job offer for an incredible position at a new company. I'd had several interviews since December, including checks for foreign language competency (French and Spanish), and the position just seemed too good to be true. I'd be working with international clients in the public health field, and there would be potential to use these foreign languages in my day-to-day. I cried when I got the phone call. Like, actual tears and a frantically excited phone call to my mother from the bathroom of my old job. My start date was March 4, and I couldn't be happier.
In March, in addition to starting this new position, I met some of the best friends I've had in years. I knew it within my first few weeks of work. I had instant chemistry with another new hire, and she and I are now incredibly close (and did I mention we're roommates?). It's truly an office of close relationships and support, and while it's only been 9 months since I started I feel like I've known them all for years. I also had to say good-bye to my little Chevy Cobalt on March, my reliable steed for the past 10 years. If I could have had the exact same car but new, I would have. Instead, I bought my mother's car - a bright purple Spark that I liken to a gumdrop. Not my first choice, but it gets great gas mileage, is a stick shift, and you''re definitely easy to find in a parking lot.
Oktoberfest with the roomie
April brought Easter, and I took a long weekend to meet a friend from college in Chicago. I drove the little Gumdrop 4 hours to what was truly an eye-opening trip - frankly a bit rough trying to maintain a friendship when we'd clearly grown so different - but I still love the city and explored to my heart's content. It was the first time I'd been to Chicago since December, and it felt like a completely different city. I suppose that's the beauty of big cities though: you can always go back and have a completely new experience.
The next few months just melted together. My family from Germany came to visit, the first time they'd ever been to Michigan, and my mom had a wonderful, truly America Memorial Day cookout for them. I turned 26 (eeeeesh), met more friends both in and out of work, and started looking for an apartment closer to my wonderful new place of employment. The other new hire and I both found ourselves looking for roommates and decided to live together, and had a move-in date at the end of August. It was beginning to turn into a very exciting summer, what with all these new friends, reconnecting with a friend from high school, and planning a trip over the 4th of July to meet my best friend from Germany in New York City. And then, near the end of June, everything changed.
Urbanrest Brewing with my Germans
I'll never forget my mom's phone call one night, telling me my 13-month-old nephew was in the hospital. He was lethargic, or dehydrated, or something - they weren't really sure - and my sister-in-law took him to the hospital immediately. Within two days he was on life support, and then he was gone. It was such a shock to our entire family. Hadn't he just been playing? Hadn't I just seen him giggling at his first birthday party? Apparently there had been a serious blood infection, multiple cardiac arrests, and a lack of oxygen to the brain and lungs causing irreversible damage. He was put on life support, but it wasn't enough. On June 13, 2019, Owen was gone. His organs were donated, there was a beautiful funeral, and my brother and sister-in-law somehow managed to carry on. Their strength continues to impress me.
And they found out around that time that they're expecting...twins!
I disappeared into travelling over the following months - one week in New York City with my best friend Kristina (the one from Germany), the following weekend with a friend from high school in Washington D.C., a trip up to the U.P. with my roommate and best friend here in Michigan for adventuring and tattoos (a blue rose petal for Owen, of course), and planning a trip over Labor Day with another friend from work to Austin, Texas. Life just blurred. Not to mention at the same time, one of my coworkers and closest friends at work had published multiple books and was starting to help me work towards publishing my own. And then I got a new bunny and had to take Toulouse back to the Humane Society. I didn't even feel like I was in the driver's seat: life was just happening and I was experiencing it as it came.
Central Park with Kristina
Petoskey with Roomie
New ink at Solomon's
Austin, Texas with the lovely Jen
In October, my oldest brother and his wife welcomed their second child (and first son) into the world - Harold Maximilian (Max) - and my sister and her husband moved forward with the decision to adopt. I was planning a trip to Barcelona with work, and it turned into a 10-day plan including Madrid and friends from my internship in Dublin 5 years ago . You guys, I really don't know when or how all of this happened. Between everything from this past summer and the exciting news of twins, new nephew, potential new niece/nephew, and publishing my first book, I couldn't tell you up from down. At some point there was a Halloween party at work. And just like that, I was boarding an airplane. Another incredible experience abroad, and yes, blogs will follow.
Madrid with my loves
So what now?
Well...I returned from Spain last Monday and have so much to share. Next Thursday (yes, Thanksgiving), I take off for Iowa to visit friends from when I lived in St. Ignace. The twins will arrive at some point, likely in December. And my book releases December 3rd! From my last post, just 304 days ago, to today, my life has completely changed in every way possible. I couldn't be happier. I couldn't feel more blessed. And I couldn't be more excited to share it all with you!
Thanks for stopping by! And welcome back.