It’s time for another end-of-year wrap-up post! Today, I’m talking about some of my favorite memories from this year. Let’s take a look at the things I did in 2014, shall we?
P.S. All links to posts written about that day/event/whatever.
1. Staying home alone for the first time
(Late January – early February)
I couldn’t figure out how to phrase this concisely yet accurately, so let me clarify: I’ve stayed home alone before, obviously, but never overnight. (My parents were weird that way. Maybe they thought a bookcase would fall on me and crush me and there would be no one there to rescue me?) And I’ve spent up to a week away from my family, but only for summer camp and stuff like that.
Until last winter, I hadn’t stayed home by myself (well, with my brother – but no parents) yet. But then my parents decided to go on a trip, just the two of them, and we stayed home. And it was kind of cool. Being independent and all that.
2. Reading Ash by Malinda Lo
OH MY GOD! THIS BOOK! IT MADE ME LAUGH AND CRY AND SMILE SOOOOO MUCH AND BASICALLY FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS.
Once in a great while – like, maybe once every three or four years – I come across a book that just blows my mind. This time, it was Ash. It’s an adorable, beautifully-written retelling of Cinderella (with Prince Charming replaced by a girl!) and I love it to bits and would recommend it to, well… everyone.
(I’m really picky about books, so when I find something amazing I get really, really fangirly about it!)
3. Watching Maleficent with my friend Emma
I don’t usually go to the movie theater very often, but this year I was able to go quite a few times, and Maleficent is by far my favorite out of all the movies I’ve seen this year. It features so many of the things I like, such as:
- Fairy tales
- Retellings of fairy tales!
- Fairy tales retold from the villain’s perspective
- Really beautiful cinematography
- Angelina Jolie being gorgeous and making me go, “Damn, why is she so attractive?!?!”
- Pretty music!
- Did I mention fairy tales?!
I saw the movie with my friend-in-real-life, Emma, who is a pretty awesome person. Yes, I enjoyed the movie, but I also enjoyed just hanging out with her. I don’t spend much time with my friends and even though I always think “I should do this more often” after doing so, I… still don’t really make an effort to change anything. (But I’m trying to work on that.)
Anyway, I really liked just walking around and talking to her after the movie. We talked
about pretty trivial things – Lord of the Rings and being introverted, if I remember correctly – but still. What I do with someone isn’t nearly as important to me as who I’m spending time with. I always feel like I never spend enough time with my friends, so I really treasure the time I do spend with them.
4. Making an awesome new friend, Xena, during a Potomac River cruise
In June, I visited Washington, D.C. for a week with approximately seventy other Indiana high school juniors as part of the NRECA’s annual Youth Tour. One evening, we went on a boat tour of the Potomac River, and a bunch of groups from other states shared our boat. I ended up meeting this awesome, geeky girl named Xena and she was from Texas.
We talked about pretty trivial stuff, just fandoms and whatnot, but it was a lot of fun for me. I’d definitely talked to other kids (from my state and from others) during the previous days of the Youth Tour, but I hadn’t really connected with them. I felt all alone, as I often do at summer camps and the like, until I found My Fellow Nerdy Person.
5. Visiting the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
OMG THIS WAS SO COOL OMG OMG AN ENTIRE FREAKING MUSEUM DEVOTED TO JOURNALISM DFAKHGLDKGHDGD.
I want to be a journalist (among other things) someday, so… I was just a little bit excited to finally visit the Newseum. The whole thing was amazing, but I particularly loved the exhibits on photojournalism. The other Youth Tour kids I was with had to pretty much drag me out of that section of the museum because I spent like an hour and a half there and we still had a bunch of other exhibits that we wanted to see.
6. Independence Day
(I feel ridiculous calling it “Independence Day” since I’ve never said that before, but everything else follows the format of “event, date” and it’s just plain silly to say the 4th of July happened on the 4th of July, right?)
This year, the Fourth was pretty low-key. (Not like in 2013, when I visited Washington, D.C.) Basically we just went to a party at the home of my parents’ friends. I didn’t really know anyone there, but I was happy anyway because FOOD. That evening, we went to a baseball game and afterwards we watched the post-game fireworks. I don’t really know why I loved this day so much… but I did, and that’s really all that matters, right?
7. Whitewater-rafting on the Green River in Utah and Colorado
I was so not looking forward to this at first! I don’t know about you, but when I think of whitewater rafting, I think of huge waves. Dangerous stuff. People getting flung from their rafts into boulders and smashing their heads in.
As it turns out, those are, like, Class VI rapids. We rafted on Class III rapids, which are far more mellow. Thank god.
So I actually had fun! And it wasn’t too terrifying! And the canyon surrounding us was absolutely gorgeous – I almost wish I’d brought my camera, but on the other hand I could’ve dropped it in the water or something. So. All things considered, it was actually a rather lovely, if tiring, day.
8. The first day of my senior year of high school
I am SO ready to start college. I mean, I’m also kind of terrified because RESPONSIBILITIES, but I’d also like to finally move on. I’ve spent my entire life preparing for this, so I’m ready to just go, already. This day was nice because it was the beginning of the end of my high school years! And then later that night I saw the first episode of Doctor Who‘s eighth series in the theaters with these two awesomely geeky little kids I know.
9. My eighteenth birthday
This is probably my favorite birthday ever, so far: It was geeky and bookish and best of all, solitary. I spent the morning reading and writing, then drove to town and browsed through Barnes & Noble for an hour. (That’s a ginormous chain bookstore, for my international readers.)
Later, I watched The Maze Runner all by myself and IT WAS AWESOME. The movie, that is, and also the fact that I was by myself. What can I say? I’m an introvert. I’m happiest alone, so I loved having a very quiet birthday.
David Bowie is a weird, cool, creative dude and I love his music. My dad and I spent an entire afternoon wandering through this exhibit, listening to his songs and looking at his costumes and album artwork and whatnot. It was probably one of my favorite Halloweens ever, and I didn’t even go trick-or-treating or anything.
Looking back through this list, one thing is obvious: I think even the most minor things are awesome. Some of the things listed here are pretty big (vacationing in Utah, for example) but most of them are small: Starting school, talking to a friend I haven’t seen in a while (or making a brand-new one), reading a particularly fantastic book.
This is probably a good thing. I’ve been feeling kind of down lately and writing this post helped me to remember that even the littlest happenings can be cool, too. Writing was probably the high point of my day today, for example.
Aaaaaaand this post has now become far too “deep” for my liking, so I’m going to end it here. Tell me: What were some of YOUR best/favorite experiences from this past year? (The weirder, the better!) I’d love to know!