2015 was the craziest year of my life so far! It held some of my highest highs, some of my lowest lows, some profound moments of growth, some mistakes, and a lot of laughs! I lived in 3 different apartments, bought and sold a car, had 3 different jobs (which has been an average for me for the last few years), took up yoga (life changing), got my groove back, made new friends and best of all moved to Korea!
I couldn’t be happier with the journey from where I was this time last year to where I am now. I also can’t express the gratitude I feel for my friends (old and new) and family who have been so supportive over the last year. I want to make sure I harness this energy and keep moving forward, working harder and dreaming bigger. I have learned some really important lessons and had some pretty amazing moments and (right) before the year is over I want to write them down.
Best Moments of 2015:
Celebrating New Year’s Eve at the Broken Spoke In Austin with my Cousin Nikki and Friend Kathleen
This is probably my favorite bar in Austin, it is a down-home honky tonky, with live music, two stepping and REAL cowboys. It reminded me so much of Montana and I like any bar that you don’t need to wear lipstick to go to. I don’t even own any lipstick. The lone star is served in red solo cups and the cowboys will sweep you onto the dance floor and you can two step the night away, plus they gave us sparklers. If you find yourself in Austin, I highly recommend it.
YOGA! YOGA! YOGA!
I knew I would love yoga but I put off trying it for so long. I would make up all kinds of excuses, like not having a mat even thought I could buy one at the studio, not wanting to buy a mat at the studio, not knowing where the studio was. Then one day I just went. I was late (because I got lost) but I walked in anyway. From my first downward dog I knew it was for me.
Yoga has helped me immensely, quiet my mind center myself, set physical goals and meet likeminded and warm hearted people. I loved Black Swan Yoga and Dharma Yoga (take a class with Keith!) for different reasons, I even signed up for a meditation class where we would meet in a park early in the morning. Yoga has been really eye opening and is one of the things I miss the most while living in Korea!
Karin is the epitome of a Soul Sister. She came into my life right when I needed her and through a stroke of luck. We went on a blind girl date (we were set up by a mutual friend who I knew from Montana and she knew from Wisconsin) and then we fell in friend love over old fashions, rollerblading, soul searching and live music. I had a pretty rough moment last year and Karin was capital letters, THERE for me. We didn’t even know each other that well but she stepped up and was so supportive and loving.
We cried together, laughed together, and took Austin by roller-bladed storm. She is one of my biggest cheerleaders and really believes in me. Love this girl and super grateful for her and her energy!
Last Day at the JCC
Another stroke of luck while I was in Austin was finding my job as Head Coach for the JCC Swim team. Go Piranhas! I sent one capricious e-mail inquiring about swim life in Austin and a week later I was no longer serving curry for a living but was at the helm of my very own swim team. With incredibly supportive parents and wonderful kids. It was one of THE best things to happen to me right when I needed it (thank you, Universe).
My last day at the J was truly touching. Kids and parents I had known throughout the year came to say good bye and I was showered with love, touching e-mails, cards, gifts, cookies, and hugs. I wasn’t sure if I had done a good job while I was there and had felt distracted for a lot of the time. But on that day I was really touched. It is easy to get wrapped up in your own mind and experiences and forget about the ability you have to make an impact on other people every day. That day I remembered, I knew that I was appreciated and I was extremely grateful for this welcoming community I had been a part of.
One of my swimmers even made cupcakes with the Korean flag icing on top!
Brene Brown’s Life Course
This year I read Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly. If you haven’t heard of Brene Brown she researches shame and vulnerability. She has some great insight and some powerful findings about how to live a wholehearted life full of courage and love. I signed up for her Life Course through the Oprah Website.
The course consisted of weekly lectures paired with creative exercises. It had been a long time since I had broken out the journal, markers, paints and crayons. It felt great and was really empowering. I am taking another class from her called the Living Brave Semester. I am really excited. If you haven’t heard of her, you should check her out.
I had been wanting to do a Tough Mudder for a long time. I had been living with a girl, Amber who I had met off of craigslist and turned out to be the perfect roommate for me. We shared wine nights, tubing adventures and Whitney Houston sing-a-longs together. When I asked if she wanted to do a Tough Mudder, she said yes. I love when people say yes.
So we woke up early one day and drove an hour out of town and completed an 11 mile mud course. There were all kinds of obstacles including monkey bars, mud pits, big jumps, ice pits and being electrocuted. It was exhilarating and there was a palpable sense of positivity and it was a real supportive and communal experience. I loved it and would highly recommend it (you don’t even need to be in shape!).
Surprise Visit From your Home Friends
When you are in a tough spot, there is nothing better in the WORLD than looking up from your brisket and being SHOCKED to see one of your BFF’s who got on a plane, didn’t tell you and showed up to show you love. Linnea and Ashley, you guys are the best. Your visit meant everything to me and I hope I get a chance to repay your kindness.
My Last Night in Austin
WAS A TAYLOR SWIFT SING-A-LONG/DANCE PARTY! It was basically a dream come true. The Alamo Draft House hosted and showed 2 straight hours of Taylor Swift music videos in chronological order from throughout her career. The lyrics were shown Karaoke style at the bottom of the screen (not that I needed them) and it was a movie theatre full of people singing along. You were allowed/encouraged to get up on the stage and dance. And there was champagne and glow sticks.
When they played ‘Fearless’ me and Karin got up there and we were the only ones. Hair flipping without a care in a world in front of 200 hundred people, pointing at Karin and screaming/singing:
“And I don’t know how it gets better than this
You take my hand and drag me head first, fearless
And I don’t know why but with you I’d dance
In a storm in my best dress, fearless”
(Lyrics Belong to Queen Taylor…Obviously)
May be the closest I have ever felt to perfection. FEARLESS!
Moving to Korea
The very next morning I woke up, got on a plane and changed my whole life! Moving to Korea has been nothing short of a blessing. I have a new found confidence and belief in myself. I am trying new things and breaking out of my comfort zone constantly. I have met amazing people and every day is a story, a challenge, a cultural exchange and a new opportunity. I am having so much fun exploring this amazing country and can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring.
This year has been truly amazing and I can’t say enough how grateful I am. I want to carry this energy into 2016 and keep pushing myself to make bigger and bigger things happen. I want to stay grounded, stay grateful and keep spreading the love.