I feel that 2013 was a strange year for everyone. It was the, “13,” part, wasn’t it? We can’t quite trust that number, no matter how much we protest that we’re not superstitious. And if you have synesthesia like myself, 13 is a number to be side-eyed while you cross to the other side of the street. I’m looking forward to 2014. A standup number, that gal.
Despite my wariness of the year, 2013 has been a milestone. The deepest thanks to all of my loved ones who made it extraordinary. Here’s 13 of my most precious accomplishments, magical moments, and so forth.
1. Taking the Southeast by storm! I took road trips to Athens, Nashville, New Orleans, Gulf Shores, Florida, and many trips to Birmingham and other parts of Alabama. Spending Halloween in New Orleans was like visiting a faerie kingdom (with many drunk faeries) and was absolutely magical. Gulf Shores was the perfect beach getaway, and I swam with wild baby dolphins, stared out the window at pecan groves, and cruised on a pontoon boat. Nashville was a whirlwind of eateries, and a memorable trip to Santa’s Pub, which is exactly what it sounds like. And Birmingham is so much more than the black and white videos of protests I saw in 5th grade.
Gulf Shores! Dolphins in background.
2. So many concerts. Going to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. We were front row. We touched people.
3. Pulling off the Druid City Arts Festival 2013. Met so many wonderful people, and it was another high-five-yourself achievement. At my internship with Creative Campus, I continue to achieve more than I thought possible. Now I’m learning how to do projection mapping and 3-D printing as part of a project. It makes me feel like a mad scientist in the best way possible.
Projecting an artist’s painting of stylized afro picks onto his sculpture
4. Spent the summer interning at a newspaper in the Bahamas. I pulled off the ultimate college feat, getting class credit while living in the Bahamas. I’ll never forget Junkanoo, swimming with eagle rays, fresh-baked Bahamian bread and the stunning scenery that surrounded me on a daily basis. I will forever hold dear the freedom to watch NCIS for a month straight.
Dancing the night away at Junkanoo in a traditional costume
5. My last year in the education system. I haven’t dropped out to herd goats in Andalusia yet. My senior year has been filled with incredible teachers, in all senses of the word. Maybe it’s because I’m finally realizing the luxury of learning.
6. Became a Zombie extra.
7. Stood in scenic places by water. This includes standing underneath Noccalula Falls. I also stood on a cliff above the Atlantic ocean as the sea spray made a never-ending rainbow in front of me.
8. Started my freelance writing career.
9. Visited like four different goat petting zoos. Priorities, y’all.
Goats are a superior animal
10. Went on the Quad for all of Alabama’s home games. Crimson-dyed ferrets and camaraderie galore. I’ll miss it dearly.
11. Became a cook. I am now that wonderfully hateable person who makes kale chips from farmer’s market produce. Other specialties include Thai salads, and every kind of delectable soup you can dream up. Learning how to cook is an incredibly empowering act…though in my case, learning how to to make food was kind of like giving a methamphetamine addict a DVD of Breaking Bad, engine fluid, and Vick’s inhalers. CAN’T. STOP.
12. Continuing the ideal relationship with my boyfriend, Kurt. He has made many of the above goals possible, and, “has been my friend through many dangers,” (Yes, I just quoted Gandalf talking about Shadowfax. I think it’s a flattering comparison.) A good man is hard to find. I wish that short story by Flannery O’Connor with the same title weren’t so brutal, because it’s a catchy phrase.
He’s in front of the love shack
13. Growing up. Oh, the dreaded phrase. 2013 has taught me a lot of mildly difficult lessons. All of them have allowed me to become a strong, responsible, independent person.These all sound like extremely boring qualities, but a former doormat like myself is quite proud of them. This year showed me that once you gain the audacity to even attempt to make dreams reality, the rest is easy.
Here’s to 2014, and that double-wide bottle of wine I’ve been nursing.