2016/2017: a review/preview

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Oh, 2016, what even were you? You delivered tragedy after tragedy and heartache after heartache. You took some of the best and brightest artists of recent memory. You put us through one hell of an election cycle. You weren’t a whole lot of fun, in short. I usually don’t remember what particular years were like, but I think I’ll always remember you, 2016, as being pretty darn rough.

But you had your bright spots, that’s for sure. I was so overwhelmingly blessed this year with so many happy moments and memories. I think I’ll always remember that, too.

Here’s what went down:

  • I continued my second missionary year in West Virginia!
  • I traveled around the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston giving testimonies on one of my favorite things ever: the mercy of Christ.
  • I attended my second March for Life and got stranded in Washington DC by Winter Storm Jonas for a day, which was kind of fun. Preparation for being snowed in involved raiding Whole Foods, so I now love Whole Foods.
  • I went on a ghost tour of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and saw a light turn on all by itself on the tour. I’m still sufficiently spooked by that.
  • I got to hang out with youth minister extraordinaire Mike Patin for a whole week. I miss the guy.
  • I went to NYC again! And then to a conference put on by the Archdiocese of Newark. The conference was fun and featured wayyyy too much good food. I love New Jersey hospitality.
  • I finally made it to Dolly Sods and went hiking at Blackwater Falls. So West Virginia.
  • I drove to Cincinnati in mid-May for a job interview. Rented a car and everything. So adult.
  • I said a very grateful but also very (VERY) tearful goodbye to my missionary life in West Virginia at the end of May. I cried for like six days before leaving. Ugh. I have so much love in my heart for that place, guys.
  • As I was driving back home to Illinois from West Virginia I got offered that job in Cincinnati!
  • I attended the GIVEN Forum in Washington DC and was surrounded by dozens of very joyful and very wonderful religious sisters for almost a whole week.
  • I GOT A CAR??
  • I revamped my blog a bit! I still have a lot of room for improvement and growth, but offering more content, making my blog easier to navigate, and creating consistent graphics was an excellent start.
  • I found a place to live in Cincinnati rather quickly and painlessly.
  • I started my new job with a new youth ministry team and it’s been wonderful so far.
  • I took two trips to West Virginia within four months of leaving. I was real homesick, let me tell you.
  • I joined a parish in Cincinnati that I just love.
  • I put on SO MANY RETREATS at my new job. Jeez.
  • I discovered that I really like performing music on retreats. Not that the music I do is meant to be a performance, but it’s fun nonetheless.
  • I sampled a variety of Cincinnati delicacies, such as Graeter’s ice cream, Aglemesis Brothers ice cream, goetta, and Skyline Chili. Goetta (which is like a cross between meatloaf and breakfast sausage) is good. I think I’m over Skyline, though. (Sorry.)
  • I officially started discerning a possible vocation to religious life and I visited the Daughters of St. Paul in Chicago. I like them. I have a lot of thinking and praying to do about them, and religious life in general.

What does 2017 hold? I don’t know for sure. But here are some things I DO know…

  • I’ll continue growing and getting better at my current job.
  • My new workplace is starting a residential intern program and I’m excited to be part of that development process! I have two years of experience in a residential internship setting, after all…
  • I’m going to see my favorite lads Bear’s Den in January! It’s been nearly three years since I last saw them. I’ve missed them something fierce.
  • I’m going to implement my Action Plan, which is required as part of my attendance at the GIVEN Forum.
  • I might get a passport?? Not that I can afford international travel, but maybe getting a passport will be incentive to start saving for a trip.
  • I might be going out to Colorado this summer with my fam. Nothing is set in stone yet, but we’re hoping for a Colorado vacation. *crosses fingers*
  • I get to return to NCYC in November!
  • I’ll keep discerning my vocation. Exciting!

What about you? What were some of your personal highlights in 2016? What are you looking forward to in 2017? Feel free to tell me about them in the comments!

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