2014: In Review

“Stop worrying.”

“You’re overthinking.”

“What’s holding you back?”

When I was in college, my roommates used to tell me constantly to live in the moment. There were a number of days when I’d be too paranoid and too scared to do what I wanted out of fear of the consequences or even the thrill and enjoyment of whatever it was. Whether it was going to a football game, attend a club meeting, apply for an internship or just hangout with friends, I found myself paralyzed by something It’s not that I was shy or introverted, but I was held back by an unseen force, whispering “No” constantly.

Looking back, I can see that a lot of my barriers have been broken, and whatever was holding me back over four years ago has mostly left my side. At the end of last year, I made a list of resolutions for 2014 and while I’ve only fulfilled four out of 10 resolutions, I still feel accomplished. Compared to the person I was in high school, undergrad or recently graduated, I’ve gotten past a lot of obstacles, placed by myself or others close around me.

Just to quickly recap, my 2014 looked a little something like this (in no particular order):

1. Staged productions:

  • The Phantom of the Opera at the Cadillac Palace Theatre with my mom,
  • Rocky: The Musical at the Winter Garden Theater in NYC with my friend Eric (it was a beautiful production, don’t judge!),
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas at The Chicago Theater with my dad.

2. Concerts:

  • HIM (Finnish rock band that doesn’t swear) at Irving Plaza in NYC,
  • The Used and Taking Back Sunday at Concord Music Hall in Chicago,
  • CHER at All State Arena in Rosemont (my Christmas present to Mom),
  • Backstreet Boys at Northerly Island in Chicago,
  • Fall Out Boy and Paramore during their MONUMENTOUR at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park,
  • Panic! at the Disco at Northerly Island in Chicago,
  • RIOT FEST (where I saw Rise Against, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, The Offspring, The Cure, Motion City Soundtrack, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Wu-Tang Clan, Patti Smith, NOFX, Billy Bragg…among many others) in Humboldt Park in Chicago,
  • Anberlin, The Final Tour, at House of Blues Chicago,
  • Justin Timberlake at United Center in Chicago (my Mother’s Day gift to Mom).

3. Trips

4. Notable places visited:

  • Princeton University
  • Bryant Park/flagship branch of the New York Public Library,
  • The Strand Bookstore (if I could live there forever, I would) in NYC,
  • Edgar Allan Poe’s cottage in the Bronx,
  • Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where MLK, Jr. preached,
  • CNN Center in Atlanta,
  • Printers Row Literary Festival in Chicago,
  • The Field Museum in Chicago (my first time, shame on me, I know),
  • The Art Institute of Chicago,
  • Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont where I MET the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation and went to their reunion Q&A panel,
  • Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago,
  • Dinner at The Walnut Room at Macy’s (Marshall Field’s) in Chicago,
  • The concert venues mentioned above, especially HOB, The Chicago Theater and United Center.

5. Items knocked off my 2014 bucket list:

  • #4: Go on literary adventures – Edgar Allan Poe’s cottage in the Bronx
  • #5: Meet Joyce Carol Oates – DONE!
  • #6: Go to a concert (or two) – …or 10.
  • #7: Master the art of skateboarding – I didn’t fall or scrape open my hands this summer, so that’s considered “mastering,” right?

For 2015, I must master the goals that I set in place:

  1. Blog regularly.
  2. Read more books that I own. …except…
  3. Finish reading the Pretty Little Liars series (a.k.a. find out who A really is).
  4. Join and regularly attend a book club.
  5. Catalog my books.
  6. Bonus: Enjoy graduation.

I’ve enjoyed a number of moments this past year, those I’ve mentioned above and those I haven’t. Honestly, if 2015 looks anything like 2014, I’m not worried at all.

Happy New Year!

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