Two thousand thirteen was a year of growth if I've ever seen one. It was both emotionally stimulating and draining, one of those Jesus-take-the-wheel (because this girl has no idea what she's doing) kind of years.
In no particular order: I finally joined Taylor Swift's band of happy, free, confused, and lonely 22-year-olds, only to realize that 22 is not as unfortunate an age as people tell you. After three and a half years, I completed my last semester of college (with all As, might I add) and graduated with a degree in English and journalism. I interned for Texas Monthly, where my passion for the magazine industry resurfaced and encouraged my dream to one day work full-time for a similar publication. I wrote for/managed several online blogs, including one that celebrates the great city of Austin.
In January, I experienced the Magical World of Harry Potter firsthand, thanks to my wonderful mother. When the weather warmed up, I headed east towards Florida again, but this time with my three best friends for a week of fun in the sun. I scratched both cliff jumping and parasailing off of my bucket list, despite my growing fear of heights. And I abandoned my comfort zone to spend three days on the lake with a rather large group of fun-loving Texas A&M grads, one of which caught my eye and made me laugh. (He's a keeper, this guy.)
I reminisced my way through wild wine nights with the Oxford buddies, late-night study parties at Kerbey Lane, and traditional Driskill Hotel brunches with my gals. I took a starstruck photo with my biggest onscreen crush and fueled my England obsession with countless episodes of Downton Abbey. I made an appearance at my first ever Vampire Ball (hosted by actual vampires), learned the steps of the West Coast Swing, and watched the Houston Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker in awe. I took part in the creation of a beautiful short film about life and love. In December, I said my goodbyes to Austin (for the time being) and returned home to Houston with a heavy heart.
I discovered what it meant to give all that I could to something much greater than myself, to let go of my fears, and to trust in the power of God's infinite love. I struggled to find balance in the chaos of the everyday, and I stumbled more often than I'm proud to admit. But alas, 2013 was the year of no regrets, only lessons learned and memories cherished.