Alright, so it’s already a few days into 2017, but I’ve been meaning to take some time to sit down and reflect back on the year that was 2016. By and large, it was a fantastic year for me, and I’d be lying if I said otherwise.
In my personal life, I got married! July 16, 2016 was an amazing day, and I’ll always be able to look back on that day with fond memories. A few days later, we did our New England honeymoon, which was eye-opening and a new adventure in many ways for me. From my first time seeing the ocean, to whale-watching, to visiting six (Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut!) new states… it was a trip to remember, and certainly one I’ll never forget! In the process, I also checked another MLB park off my list: Fenway. In other pieces throughout the year, I also saw cities like Syracuse (my first time really visiting), Cleveland (where I got to see Good Charlotte), Toronto and more.
I look forward to more traveling in 2017, including the trip we’re currently planning – a drive to & from Texas, which will be a whole new horizon for me (and possibly six, maybe more, new states!)
I also tried some new fitness-related activities, including three at Bikeorbar: spinning, rowing and “booty barre.” At Studio Sophia, I tried yoga and Pound Fit (which killed my back) and also did yoga at Canalside. I did my first 5K in spring at Como Lake Park, then did my first 8K (both walking only) in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. I look forward to trying more things in 2017, including my first boxing class this evening!
On a professional note, it was also a big year for me. I finally took my civil service exam for my job in May; six months later, I found out that I not only scored in top three, but that I got a perfect score, giving me job security that I desperately wanted/needed. I also continued to work for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres organization, including doing some writing, social media work (my main focus), camera work, video editing *and* taking my first road trip with the team. IN addition, I also continued to write about women’s sports, covering the NWHL and others for Victory Press. I also got to check out some roller derby for another piece! My year in writing included a trip to Newark, NJ for the Isobel Cup Final – the first one ever – and a trip, a week later, to Newark, OH for the NCHA Finals (a league I was working with at the time.) Those also involved side trips to New York City and Columbus.
In other things, I also got another tattoo (my first in two years), got a lovely new nephew, and went to my first CWHL game, furthering my interest in women’s hockey and women’s sports overall. I got to attend the second day of the NHL Draft, which was fun, and saw my first race at Holland Speedway. I also volunteered at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and helped initiate a winter food drive run by the Jr. Sabres organization.
Of course, not everything that happened in 2016 was easy to deal with. My sister and her family, including my two nephews, moved to North Carolina – a phenomenal, exciting new start for them, but certainly not easy for me to deal with, having them so far from home now. The same can be said of one of my best friends who moved to Arizona. And my second-cousin’s death at a young age (younger than 30!) was a hard thing for my entire family to deal with – and certainly, for those closest to him, it continues to be difficult.
But by and large, I have to say – 2016 was a good year. It was big year of growth for me, with new opportunities in both my personal and professional lives, and I’m looking forward to what 2017 brings.