It’s hard to believe, but I’ve had this site going for over five years now. My first post was July 2, 2012, when I was just 21 years old. Now, as I write this, I’m 27, having recently celebrated my birthday.
Every year around my birthday, I reflect back on the year behind me. Each year brings new experiences, new people, new challenges, new dreams and new opportunities. This past year was no different. Overall, honestly? It was pretty great.
Some of the highlights, under the cut:
I continue to grow in my writing, including my side-career as a sports journalist. I recently started my third season covering the National Women’s Hockey League, having been with the league since its beginnings.
I was credentialed for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s All-Star Game up in Toronto, which gave me the chance to work as a media member at the Air Canada Centre (a really neat experience!) In addition, I was credentialed for the College Hockey America tournament here in Buffalo.
I also keep writing about the Buffalo Sabres, and am now credentialed to cover Atlantic Hockey (college hockey) for a site. In addition, I keep working with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres organization, trying to fuel social media, running holiday food drives, etc. And! I even got to try my hand at broadcasting, doing color commentary on an OJHL game.
I even started a podcast to talk about women’s hockey and women working in hockey.
The past year didn’t bring a whole lot of travel to my plate, but I’m okay with that. I did get to Syracuse for an AHL Crunch game for the first time and spent some time at Destiny USA, the insanely-huge shopping center there. I got to Toronto and up to Canada a few times. I also visited West Virginia for the first time, as we headed to Morgantown to visit my sister and nephews who live in North Carolina.
My husband and I spent a night on Cayuga Lake at the E.B. Morgan House, a trip that also included stops at three other Finger Lakes: Canadice, Hemlock and Honeoye. (I’ve now visited nine of 11 Finger Lakes!) I also got to Letchworth again, for just the second time in my life, and spent just a little time in that area at my aunt and uncle’s historic Cobblestone in Leicester.
On a personal level, I had several new experiences. I walked the 8k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving last year. I got my third tattoo, tried yoga and spinning, and got a manicure and pedicure for the first time. I found myself diving into the political world with the Women’s March and trying to get involved with Planned Parenthood. I joined an all-women acapella group for one week, then decided now wasn’t the right time to really join. I saw the spot where President McKinley was shot, right here in Buffalo.
And, wonderfully and happily, I celebrated my first wedding anniversary with my husband. We also attended three weddings this year!
Obviously, not everything about this year was positive, or easy. I’m still struggling with anxiety and other issues and seeing a counselor regularly. My husband lost his grandfather. I struggled with my sister and her family not living in the area anymore, and missing them as a result. And of course, the political climate in this country is a mess.
But overall, I can’t complain about my 26th year of life on this planet. Here’s to hoping 27 is even better.