With the beginning of each new year, I always like to take some time and look back at the year that’s just passed: what I accomplished, what I learned; where I succeeded or triumphed and where I may have failed. How I grew, or how I didn’t. I’ve always thought it was important to look back before you can look forward.
Overall, 2015 was a huge growth year for me, arguably the biggest growth year of my life thus far.
Two of the biggest days of my year – and life thus far: May 23rd, and June 27th.
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 is a day I’ll never forget. It’s the day that I took arguably the biggest risk of my life to date, and it paid off in a way that’s going to stay with me for the rest of my days on this Earth. The day that I asked my then-boyfriend to marry me.
I look back on it now and I think: wow, I had some guts. I think that I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I feel like I should’ve been, considering the gravity of the event. I think about how nothing has ever felt so right in my life up until that point.
Fast forward to the present. We’ve been engaged now for nearly eight months and are getting married in just shy of six months, and I stand by that it’s still the best decision I’ve made, and the best risk I’ve taken, in a long time.
Saturday, June 27th was also a good day – the day that I officially got out on my own, moving away from my mom’s house for the first time in my life. It was rough at first for my mom, and definitely different for myself, but it got easier.
It was a big step, not only moving out on my own, but also for my now-fiancé and I to move out of our respective parents’ homes and move in together. A huge step for both of us, but… the right step.
We’ve now been in our place over six months and I couldn’t be happier with it.
In other areas of my life, I also got to see some cool places and experience some neat things in the year of 2015.
New places I visited included Letchworth State Park and the surrounding area; Sodus Bay, NY, and Elmira, NY. I got to see Mark Twain’s grave, and check off a new Finger Lake – Keuka Lake. Of course, I also got to the standard places such as Hamilton, Erie, and Rochester… but I also got to spend Easter weekend in Pittsburgh, see my first Blue Jackets game in Columbus, and spent the Fourth of July weekend in Muskoka. Add in a few trips to Toronto for all-you-can-eat sushi, a tour of the Rogers Centre and more.
I also went to my first FC Buffalo matches as well as my first MLS game, seeing the Toronto FC face off against the New England Revolution. As mentioned above, I got to check another NHL arena off my list (Nationwide, Columbus, OH). I continued to work for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, doing web and social media.
I also got to see the initiation of the NWHL and be a part of the league’s first season, covering it for The Victory Press. I saw Team USA win gold at the IIHF U-18 Women’s World Championships earlier in the year. Truly a wonderful year for the introduction of women’s hockey into my life.
I also saw my first NA3HL games with the Lockport Express and my first D-I hockey game with the Canisius College Golden Griffins. Both of those are teams I’ve seen for fun, not for work.
In addition, I saw some great shows: “Matilda: the Musical,” “Chicago!,” “Kinky Boots,” “Let It Be,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Newsies,” “The Nutcracker,” “Motown: the Musical” and “Annie.” I also saw Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, and the incredibly, spectacular Trans-Siberian Orchestra. There’s nothing quite like going to a live show.
I also got to do some other wonderful things right here in the city of Buffalo, including my first-ever visit to the Burchfield Penney Art Center, which I found intriguing and thought-provoking, particularly Phillip Stearns’ “A Chandelier for One of Many Possible Ends.” I went to my first-ever Shakespeare in Delaware Park experience and saw “Romeo and Juliet.”
So much changed in the year of 2015 for me, and things will continue to change and develop in the coming year of 2016. Sometimes it’s hard to believe I’m 25 now; I feel all at once so young and yet so old. This year, I’m getting married. I’ve started working for the National Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) as their Social Media Editor. I’m getting married. I’M GETTING MARRIED. I know I’ll get to check at least three more states off my list with my honeymoon in July: New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.
And who knows what other fun things the year will bring? I’m definitely looking forward to 2016 and what it has in store for me. Bring it on.