It's been a year now since I uprooted my life and left the only place I've ever really known. I've attempted to write about how much I've changed, or the 12 Things I Learned by Moving Across the Country but I kept coming up blank, so instead, here are 12 of my favorite photos from the last year - one for every month I've been gone.
I drove across the country with my dad, so it didn't feel like a substantial change had been made until I got to Pennsylvania. Luckily I had the opportunity to completely neglect my adult responsibilities and enjoy some time with Brooke in Manhattan. She let me crash with her at the Waldorf Astoria and we ordered room service and watched the Kardashians and vegged.
Long story short, after trying very unsuccessfully to find an apartment in a neighborhood that I felt comfortable in after dark, these littles, their mom, and I packed up and moved into a townhouse together. I moved into the finished basement and they occupied the two floors above me. After a particularly hectic weekend, or during some weird transition times, they would venture down to my room and snuggle up on my soft furry blanket and watch art videos on YouTube while I did laundry or planned my outfits for the coming week. One of my favorite parts of living together.
One of the biggest changes in my personality is how social I've become. I trained with my predecessor for a week and at the end of that week everyone went out for drinks. I was terrified but sucked it up and tried to socialize. This coworker in particular would become one of my closest friends out here, introducing me to one of my favorite Jersey beaches, as well as day drinking.
Another one of the biggest changes came in the form of my physical health. A nightly run with this little punk was a habit of mine. He was such a good sport.
This picture might be blurry for the same reason my eyes look glossy. My sister was in town for her #dirtythirty and we went to one of my favorite restaurants. Oh well.
This picture is blurry for very much the same reasons as above, except we were in my hometown and it was my best friend's bachelorette party which got completely out of hand, the way all great parties do. Being able to go back to my hometown after a few months and being right where we left off meant more than I thought it would. This trip is also the one that made me pining to return to the PNW full time.
Above mentioned best friend's wedding. The biggest, best, longest party I've ever been to and I got to be front and center for the whole thing.
Summertime with these cuties. This is one of my favorite pictures and has been since I took it and I'm still not totally sure why.
This isn't a great picture but it was a great day. I attempted to surprise my sisters and fly in for their birthdays but this one thought she had it allll figured out. Then I "convinced" her to go to her favorite dessert bar and got mad when she hesitated going inside because she wanted to take a picture of the exterior all the while inside, patiently waiting, was her surprise party. A debt I'd so wanted to repay for the person that threw my surprise 24th, endured unimaginable spousal abuse, was raising a miniature me, and doing it with good humor. It had to be done.
This is one of my favorite pictures of all time and will probably end up framed in my house.
Because we have the exact same personality and crave an ungodly amount of attention, we really only do super well when we're alone. This was Christmas morning playing with one of her presents. Best Christmas I've ever had, even though I accidentally guided her into some random guy's ass.
I tried to avoid using pictures that have already been seen on social media, but this one was taken on my birthday (before I found out Carrie Fisher had died) and Buddy was so excited that our hats matched and it was a very good morning.