As I look back on 2017, I feel so blessed — almost to the point of disbelief — of all that occurred. It was truly a monumental year filled with major changes, challenges to overcome, and countless memories that make me smile and laugh. I am a very reflective person and take time nightly to count my blessings and consider all that I have to be thankful for, but as a new year is about to begin, I am taking even more time to look at the bigger picture and acknowledge the incredible things these past 12 months have brought.
We all know 2017 as the year we all stared at the sun to catch a glimpse of the Solar Eclipse and binged 13 Reasons Why and Stranger Things 2 on Netflix, but 2017 brought all kinds of other excitement into my life. Today, I’m sharing some of my biggest 2017 moments below, some with more impact than others, but all important just the same. I also encourage you to take the time to take a step back and reflect on what this year brought into your life.
2017 was the year…
1. I landed my dream job
When I was in college as an aspiring public relations professional, I learned about a PR agency in NYC with an entirely female staff, the most beautiful office space I had ever seen, and clients in the beauty, fashion, and lifestyle industries. I immediately became obsessed with this agency and spent countless hours researching and learning about it. In 2017, I somehow managed to land a job at this very agency and am now one of the women who has the privilege to go to work every day in arguably, the coolest office in Manhattan. My first six months at Alison Brod Marketing + Communications were six of the hardest months of my life. To say the environment is fast-paced and that the people on my team are absolutely incredible at their jobs are both huge understatements. Those first six months were very difficult, but also allowed me to experience growth and learn like never before. I am so thankful that I get to go to bed every night thinking, “I love my job. I love my coworkers. I love my office.” I know this is a luxury many people don’t have, and I try to never take it for granted.
2. I discovered the wonders of cycling
I had dipped my toes in cycling classes before, but 2017 was the year I officially made spin part of my weekly fitness routine. Every Monday and Wednesday morning, my roommate and I lace up our sneakers and prepare to sweat as we head to cycling class with our two favorite instructors. I have tried many types of workout classes and fitness programs including Insanity and Crossfit, and I believe cycling ranks among one of the hardest, best workouts I have ever put my body through. The music and energy encourages me to push myself to efforts greater than I thought I could achieve, and I leave every single class feeling totally exhausted but amazing at the same time. I’ve also noticed that my endurance and cardio levels have increased greatly after cycling twice a week for several months; I can now run much faster and longer and push myself harder during workouts like Insanity. A fitness class might not seem like a major life impact, but for someone who prioritizes fitness as highly as I do, this new way to break a sweat and get an incredible workout has totally transformed my workout routine and improved my overall fitness levels.
3. I moved into my first Manhattan apartment
When I first moved to New York, I spent the first 9 months living in Queens. I absolutely loved the neighborhood I lived in where I was constantly exposed to different languages and cultures and where I could buy two huge bags of fresh produce from my favorite market for under $10. But after nine months of commuting into Manhattan for my work and social life, I decided it was time to make the move into this borough. Luckily for me, the world’s greatest roommate was also looking to move into Manhattan, so I snagged both her and an amazing apartment on the Upper East Side. I learned that while living on the Upper East Side doesn’t necessarily make me Blair Waldorf, it is a still a fantastic part of the city to live in. I love how quiet and safe the area is, how easy it is for me to explore Central Park and wander past the gorgeous houses on Park Avenue, and how many amazing restaurants there are for me to try! My apartment truly feels like home, which is such an important feeling to experience amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.
4. My boyfriend and I lived in the same city for the first time in years
At this time last year, I was preparing myself to spend 27 months in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend as he worked for the Peace Corps in Peru. I was incredibly proud of him for his desire to spend his life in such an admirable way and for his ability to get accepted into the program in the first place; on the other hand, I was also dealing with the sadness of having to say goodbye to him for such a long period of time. But plans change, as they often do, and the Peru program was cancelled due to flooding. After much time spent on how to best move forward, Eric decided to move back home to New York, and I am so thankful. We now live in the same city for the first time since he was in college, and I love how often we are able to see each other! Just proves how many surprises life has for us…
Obviously, many other events and experiences impacted my life in the past year, but as I reflect at the end of this month, these are the events that really stand out to me. What stands out to you as you look back on 2017? Share in the comments section below!
Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy, safe, and happy new year!
Photos by: Lauren Listor, Olivia Choi & Laine Erynn