One More Chapter
A twenty two year-old's view on life, death,
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
I know everyone is filling their Facebook pages and twitter feeds with how this year has filled them with countless ups and downs and how they are excited for the New Year and all that it has to offer, but I feel like what I experienced this year could never be done justice in your every day run-of-the-mill social media status, nor would that be my style at all. Instead, I feel it important to explain just exactly how 2015 has been one of the most influential and eye-opening years of my life.
Europe Trip: France, Ireland, Scotland, England, and the Netherlands
,The biggest thing to happen this year is undoubtedly my trip to Europe. For four months I called the city of Paris home and learned French language and culture. It was the first time that I had ever travelled outside of the U.S. and, while I had long been waiting for the chance to start traveling, the actual thing itself turned out to be terrifying...at first. I was doing it all for the first time by myself: handling a delayed flight and a messed up layover, running through an airport to catch said layover as they closed the gate in front of me, dealing with lost luggage, taking a taxi with a man who spoke zero English and me too terrified to remember any of my French training, being in a country that didn't speak my language, going to a school other than Umass, taking public transportation....basically everything. And I shit my pants in fear for the first few weeks.
But the more I got used to it, the easier it all became and the less and less terrifying it all was. Soon it was second nature to me. As I travelled to Scotland and England and Ireland and Amsterdam and Scotland again and Cannes, all on my own I soon learned that it really wasn't as scary as it seems and that all it takes is some deep breaths when things - inevitably - go wrong and telling yourself that it's always going to be okay and that, no matter what, you'll figure it out since you have no other choice.
As soon as I learned this, I was able to relax and embrace the excitement that comes along with exploring new places, meeting people from all over the world and experiencing their culture. This world really is a magical place with so many amazing things to experience. And now that I've gotten the hang of this whole "travel" thing, I can feel it in my bones at every moment of the day. I am always thinking of the next adventure, always dreaming of the places I've been and the places that I'll be able to go in the future. I've developed a love for this world that I didn't know I could. I want to meet people, see places and learn as much as I can and I can't wait to get back out there next January.
This year I also got to work as an intern for Other Angle Pictures at the Cannes Film Festival! It was hands down the craziest two weeks of my life. I was running on two to three hours of sleep each day (sometimes less) and attending red carpet events, bumping into celebrity after celebrity (Jake Gyllenhaal, the Coen brothers, Guillermo del Toro, Isabella Rossellini, John C. Reilly and more!) and attended some awesome panels with Amy Pohler, Mindy Kaling, Salma Hayek and so many others. I learned so much about the film industry and watched so many amazing films while there and I can't wait to keep experiencing more and more.
Summer in Massachusetts
There are so many negative things that happened during the summer, the most prominent being that Camp Harrington (where I've spent every summer of my life since age 5), was sold and our camp was relocated from a wonderful woodsy campus to being in the middle of the city in Worcester. It was a rough transition for many of us that led to high tensions amongst many people and the mix of staff from two very different camps only made that tension worse and, after only one week, all hell seemed to break loose. But what are friend for if not to help each other through the rough patches? In the end, though, I came out the other side of the summer with new some bonds made, existing ones strengthened and the unhealthy ones left behind.
It turned out to be a rather cleansing summer during which I found peace with myself and who I am. I found happiness in the music I surrounded myself with and re-learned just how much I love living in Massachusetts and how much I love the people I fill my life with.
I also enjoyed a few weeks in NYC at the beginning of the summer, learning about the city and mentally preparing myself for the semester to come.
A Semester in The Big Apple
While this too had it's ups and downs, I have no right to complain about the fact that I was spending three months in one of the greatest places in the country. While the school I was attending, New Jersey City University, did certainly have a lot to work on before it can call itself a higher education, I think that there were so many amazing aspects to being so close to the city for so long. I got to spend most of my time in Manhattan and Brooklyn, finding cool bookstores and amazing vegan restaurants, seeing movies, going to comedy shows, fitting in museum trip after museum trip into our weekends and exploring the many neighborhoods - each with their own distinct personality.
I fell madly in love with the rhythm of the city, the energy of the people all there chasing after the same dream and that slight buzz of empowerment that you feel when you walk through the city streets at night and know exactly where you are going without the help of a gps. The city inspired me and filled me with even more wanderlust and the assurance that I am doing my life as best I can.
I also got to meet a few really cool people at Jersey City. While there were many MORE people that I would never befriend in a million years, there were the rare few that were genuine, like-minded and just an overall good time.
This year was one of discovery when it came to music. I found some amazing singer/songwriters and bands and I am finding more every day. Ben Howard, Passenger, Nathaniel Rateliff, The Staves, Delta Rae, Kodaline, James Bay, Keaton Henson, Bear's Den, The Head and The Heart, Hozier, Sleeping at Last, and countless more.
I really cannot put into words how much my life revolves around the music I listen to now. It inspires me, makes me happy, makes me cry, is the cause of some unexpected friendships, fuels my passion for travel and art and who doesn't love a good concert? You get to be there, with the musician who you've created a bond with (in your own mind - they obviously have no clue who you are) and in a room full of other people who also love this artist and you all move together and feel the power of the music fill your heart and mind and body and, for a moment, it feels like nothing in the world can make you sad again.
This year was full of amazing concerts. Ed Sheeran, Passenger, Delta Rae, Imagine Dragons and Chadwick Stokes. All amazing times with some amazing people.
The biggest change in my life this year was my decision to become vegan. I mulled over the idea when I was in Paris and fretting over my weight. I was definitely gaining weight by the day, but who wouldn't when you're surrounded by the greatest food you've ever consumed in your entire life? I stumbled across veganism on the internet one day and started researching into it. SO many people were vegans and for so many different reasons, so I dug deeper.
Before I knew it, I was convinced myself. I was even wondering how it was possible for all this information to be out there and not half the world to be vegan already. But, alas, that's not the world we live in. I decided whole heartedly that I would become vegan when I came back from Europe.
On may 29th, 2015 I spent my first day completely vegan. And I have never looked back. It is easy, it is fulfilling and I know that it is the way I was meant to be living.
I am no longer taking part in the never-ending agony that animals are forced into in the meat industry, nor am I contributing to the senseless environmental damage that is done by the animal agriculture industry (the most damaging industry to the environment by far) and I am not filling my body with all the toxic hormones and other chemicals that are contained in meat and animal byproducts.
I have never been happier with my diet and lifestyle.
thanks to everyone who made this year possible. It is one I will never forget for it is the one that started it all. I am a completely different person from the girl who took off in that plane last February.
thank you for reading,
About This Blog:
I started this blog as a way to challenge myself to write more over the 2014 year, but it has blossomed into so much more than that. I use it to let people in on what's happening in my life, talk about things I find important and to spread the news about amazing people, places and art.