Cheers to 2020

In 2019, I worked on creating space for myself. This post is going to be a roundup of things I’m proud of, just to defy the little voice in my head that wants to focus on all the things I didn’t get to or could have done better. I’ll work on it in 2020 (as a therapist once told me, progress isn’t linear—read that again if you have to). I’ll get there, but I’m going to celebrate the small victories along the way. 

So, in 2019, I:

Started with a promotion to copy chief at my collegiate newspaper and celebrated winning a prestigious award with my coworkers.

I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a bachelor’s in nonfiction (and enjoyed a surreal and fun ceremony).

I wrote a lot. I wrote a thesis with 12 essays and I felt really good about my progress as a writer. I wrote some reviews and opinion articles. I read one review on camera, a cool and weird experience. I read an essay at my department’s undergrad reading (the final of three annual readings I organized). I blogged here. I had an essay published in a friends’ lit mag, and I’m working on putting together more submissions to other opportunities. (See my Projects and Publications page)

Maybe the biggest writing opportunity I had in the latter part of this year sprouted from what felt like a failure. I didn’t get a job I wanted and was devastated—but they asked me if I wanted to freelance. I wrote one article (coming in March 2020, I believe) and we’re in the works of discussing a 2020 freelance plan. I’m really excited. 

I read some good, challenging and thoughtful fiction and nonfiction by Terese Marie Mailhot, Melissa Febos, Brian Blanchfield, Amniatta Forna and Jesmyn Ward, among others. I read (and edited) a lot of news. I found a couple cute bookstores, one I’ve been sharing with friends. I’m currently reading a holiday novel by Jasmine Guillory.

I started working at an advertising agency, where I went from a communications intern to my role as a communications coordinator as part of the same great team. 

I bought a car. I moved to a different city. I moved in with my boyfriend. I made new friends that have become really important to me. I had a great Thanksgiving and Christmas with family. 

And I started seeing a therapist. Therapy is a private practice, but it’s healthy and shouldn’t be a taboo thing to talk about. I find it useful for my anxiety and for creating space for myself to have a dedicated person to talk through things with. I’m proud of my progress with her and am looking forward to doing more of the work to prioritize myself and be present in 2020.

It feels like this will be a year of seeking what really serves me professionally and personally. As I said, I’m hoping to pursue more opportunities, one of which will hopefully be an incredible trip with friends.

Whatever unknown magic it has in store, cheers to the new year!

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

Happy new year! I know it’s been a little while; the end of 2018 seemed to fly by. I’m in disbelief that it’s actually 2019–this is the year I graduate from college!

To kick off this year, I wanted to follow the trend of compiling some of my favorite things from 2018. I love a good list, so I put together some of the books, movies, and music I read, watched, and listened to this year that I think are worth telling everyone about. I’ll include that below.

But while I was reflecting, I realized that even though I thought most of my experiences this year had been kinda tough and not worth revisiting, the opposite was true. My list of experiences that I’m grateful for this year is my longest (and I’m sure I’m missing a few things, too).

For starters, I began my year in Germany and then really kicked it off in Paris. Even though I was feeling lost in translation–in many ways–it was still Paris. And it gave me friends and memories I don’t think I’ll ever lose.

I spent another lovely spring break in San Diego and Palm Springs.

Fast forward to my 21st birthday (finally!) in June, and I celebrated it with my queen Taylor Swift and my person, a boy who I’ve been sharing my favorite music with since 2014.

In the midst of a messy summer, I took a trip with my mom that grounded both of us.

I went on a sunset boat cruise on Lake Michigan. Aside from being absolutely beautiful, it felt like the perfect symbol of things falling together. I started a new job, I was pursuing another, and I was making peace with the time it had taken to get to that point.

I finally brought my roommate and college bestie home to meet my childhood bestie and see my small town. It was a quick but restful weekend.

The job that I mentioned pursuing is going really well; I loved my first semester of working at a newspaper. It’s equal parts challenging and rewarding and watching the daily collaboration is kind of mind-blowing, in the best way.

I spent Christmas in Alabama with JT’s family. I was really nervous to do something different for Christmas (I’m used to MI christmases with my family), but it was a really great week. We watched the sunset on the beach in Gulf Shores on Christmas Eve, went for a boat ride on Christmas Day, and even saw dolphins.

Finally, I ended the year with JT and his friends dancing, a very fun NYE for the most part.

Now, it’s the first day of 2019 and JT and I are exploring the area that we plan to move to after graduation. It’s a scary and exciting glimpse into the future–this coming year in a nutshell.

So here’s to 2019; thank you, Universe, for the people and amazing experiences I got to have with them in 2018. I’m open to all the opportunities, connections, and memories you can bring me in this new year.

And I wish the same for you ✨

From 2018…

Book recs:

1 – The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, Hanif Abdurraqib

2 – Mean, Myriam Gurba

3 – Refuse, Julian Randall

4 – Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado

Movie recs:

1 – A Star is Born

2 – The Favourite


1 – Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves

2 – Dan + Shay (self-titled)

3 – Shawn Mendes (self-titled)