On the second day of the new year, I got a text from my cousin asking what I was up to that weekend. Per usual, the answer was a big fat nothing, so when she invited me down to her yoga studio for the weekend to attend a intensive 2 day training to gain my yoga teacher certification, I was beyond down. I fell in love with yoga a few years ago, and had always wanted to be a teacher- but it was one of those things that I just never got around to doing. This invitation was just the push I needed to step out of my comfort zone and finally get around to something on by bucket list. I had a blast, and not only gained my certification, but also found a love for trying new things. And thus, I vowed to do at least one new thing every month for 2014 to push myself out of my comfort zone and to stretch my newfound love for being independent.
The second month of 2014 found me quite busy, but when I had the opportunity to travel to Pittsburg at the end of the month for an interview, I jumped right on it. I had been to Pittsburg before with family, so I was somewhat familiar with the city, but I had never traveled somewhere entirely by myself. I met up with an acquaintance whom I stayed with during my short trip, but I had a blast doing everything (flying, bus riding, navigating, eating, losing my favorite lipstick, etc.) by myself. I entered the new year struggling a little with being by myself, but by the end of February I was beginning to find comfort in it.
I know, its Chicago- but the layover was grand and look at that lake!
Despite being less than a year out of my undergrad, I had yet to take the trip back down to my alma matter for a visit with my sorority sisters. Which was not okay. So, when I was able to squeeze a trip down for our big-little reveal to surprise some of the girls, I was over the moon. Being back in Bloomington as an alum for the first time was a sobering experience (yet not, if ya catch my drift), but it was beyond wonderful to get to reunite with my little family and girls that I hadn't seen in so long.
My little & grand little- aren't they beautiful?!
April: Flyin' solo (or, more traveling)
April was even busier than February, which I didn't think possible going into the month. However, mid-month I was able to travel to Little Rock for yet another interview. I knew nobody in the city, and I had never been before. I had to book a hotel, transportation, and flights from South Carolina and back to home all on my own. I was nervous when I checked into the hotel, not knowing anyone in the state and being there for 3 days. It was the longest I had been on my own yet, and I loved it. It was oddly relaxing and freeing- and when I got back to Indy I decided that I needed to make solo travel something I do more often.
Oh yeah- I also had bangs. Yikes.
May: Dreams do come true.
The reason I had been traveling thru the beginning of the year was that I was interviewing for Genetic Counseling graduate programs. The first week of may I was able to accept an offer in the 2016 class of my dream school- University of South Carolina. It was so exciting, but it also meant that I would be moving south of the Mason-Dixon line, where I knew nobody! While it wasn't something I had the opportunity to do before this month, accepting my offer at SC was the first huge step in following one of my biggest career dreams.
Some of my biggest fans. Love them.
June: Father-daughter adventures.
Since I had agreed to move, that meant apartment hunting needed to happen. And there was NO WAY I was signing a lease with just perusing the internet. So, June found me back on a plane to SC, but this time with my dad. We take a fair amount of family trips, but I had never taken a trip with just my dad and I. It was such a fun, awesome bonding experience. It made me realize just how much spending quality time with your parents is worth. And also, how much like my dad I am! Which is a very, very good thing.
BK loves taking selfies.
Despite getting my yoga teacher certification back in January, it took me until July to muster up the courage (and time) to teach my first class. Even though it was just to one of my best friends, I was still very nervous! But, we had some wine and practiced outside, and laughed our butts off because we kept falling over. Looking back, I had nothing to be nervous about, and teaching even just her helped me gain so much confidence to continue teaching.
No pictures were taken during yoga, as we were having trouble balancing. But here's my BFF Kara & I about to do some other exercise!
August: Making moves.
August found me packing up a U-Haul and my little Honda with everything important to me, and hitting the road. I was so scared, but so excited at the same time for this new step in my life. I had never lived outside the state of Indiana before, and here I was going to a state where I knew absolutely nobody. It has been such an incredible adventure though, and one of the best decisions I have ever made. For those of you who have the opportunity to make a big move in your early 20's, I highly recommend it.
I was excited. Sasha, was not.
September: New friends.
Full disclosure here- I have always struggled with making new friends. I am quite shy when it comes to meeting new people. Most of my best friends I have known since grade school, which is completely okay in my book, despite the fact that they have some serious blackmail-worthy pictures of me. So, the idea of having to make an entirely new circle of friends in SC was terrifying to me. However, it was not nearly as difficult, or as scary, as I had thought, and I am in love with all of the wonderful friends I had made by September. They've encouraged me to come out of my shell and to be more adventurous and outgoing, and I love them for that.
Just a few of my gorgeous new girlfirandz!
October: Dating. Or...not.
My new friends convinced me to try something I had sworn I would never do at the beginning of October. Online dating. But, after a few margaritas and the day off of class, I found myself making an OKCupid profile while they snooped, cropped, and edited their way through my photos. It was a hoot for a while, and I'm glad they talked me into it- I had some good laughs and conversations. However, I hated it. I deleted my profile within a month, and when asked why by the website, I said "This makes me too anxious". For real, haha. I'm glad I tried it, because I try to not knock anything until I've experienced it, but I hope I never do online dating again. It made me too anxious and uncomfortable.
One of those cropped and edited pictures my wonderful friends picked out for me.
November: Embracing the holiday travel.
By November, I was kind of scrambling for "firsts" to do. School was making my calendar crazy, and with the holidays coming up I was at a loss of what to do. But, hopping on a plane a few days before Thanksgiving, sneaking mini bottles of rum into the airport, and embracing the craziness of holiday travel was new enough for this month. And it was a blast!
Mom realllllly wanted a photo of us at the airport.
I've wanted a tattoo for years. And I finally got one- and I'm in love.
Whoever said tattoos don't hurt is a lier. Ouch!
But more on that later. I'm actually really excited to share it with you, but I need to go get ready to ring in the new year!
I hope you all have fun & safe celebrations tonight, and I will see you in 2015!