It's fairly appropriate that this is my 500th post here at ye olde blog. It's also fairly appropriate that the title of my favorite album of Year 30 was "This Is Happening." Because 30 for me, was the year I, for the most part, finally learned to go with the flow and stop freaking out about what others would think, preferring just to remove myself from the drama.
After most of my crazy exploits, bizarre injuries, missed trains to Freiburg...I pretty much just shrugged and thought "well, that happened."
On a more somber note, perhaps it was easier to remove myself from drama in a year that was bookended by massive tragedies (Haitian Earthquake - 1/12/10 & Tuscon Terrorism - 1/8/11). Perhaps my contempt at Wisconsin's beyond broken political environment replaced any energy I'd have previously focused on petty personal issues. Or maybe I really am getting older and wiser.
At any rate, looking back, 30 was surely my most memorable year since 23, and that's saying a lot.
Although many of these are coded (my mother reads this blog), here are 30 things that I don't want to forget about Year 30 (in no particular order):
1. Running my first 5k and first half marathon within 10 months, thanks to the encouragement of awesome running buddies like Becky, Tony and Jason and of course the Daily Mile crew. Special thanks to my "top three motivators" - Anne, Amy, and Augie. All in all I logged over 1,000 miles of fitness activities - and that counts barely a fraction of my bike commutes!
2. Memorable nights out abroad with random Germans and Brits. Counting up conquering the
Allied and Axis powers.
Allied and Axis powers.
3. Rediscovering my love for film with continued involvement with Milwaukee Film, dipping my toe further into the local film community, and becoming a semi-regular at the UWM Union Theatre.
4. Connecting through both family and social media to wonderful hosts while I traveled solo in Belgium and Germany - thanks Bernie, Kyle, and Bridgit!
5. Witnessing four great couples commit to each other -- congrats Jane & Ralf, Beth & Fred, Jessica & Ben, and Jackie & Mike.
|I vote to balance out people who dress their children like this.|
6. Exercising my right to vote in each election and making efforts to write or call my representatives on issues that matter to me.
7. Santa Cycle Rampage and Aftermath.
8. Visiting my hometown of Portland twice and really, really liking it. Especially the running, the beer, the transit, the music, the donuts, and the random evenings. Oh and the whole family and lifelong friends thing too.
9. Jason losing a bet. It makes for a good story for those who are privileged to know.
10. Extending my "Cool Auntie" love to Joey D., Joey S., Oliver S., and A.J. Q.
|Good friends take nerdy pictures with you.|
11. Maintaining my priceless existing friendships, becoming closer with people that once were just acquaintances, and making new wonderful friends.
12. Scaling back my involvement in organizations when my heart wasn't with them and learning to relax a bit more.
13. Breathtaking hikes both at home (Devil's Lake) and abroad (the Calvert in Malmedy, The Black Forest, Philosophersweg in Heidelberg)
|Wren & I not smelling like ass.|
14. The smoking ban. Rediscovering loveable dive bars.
15. Realizing how much I truly love being #carfree and the different advantages of the bike/walk/bus mix.
16. Raising over $1500 for the performing arts (I still can't thank AJ Bombers enough for letting me fundraise there). Then biking 75 freaking miles (not on this bike, but my photos are limited).
17. Reading more and utilizing the stellar Milwaukee Public Library system.
18. Having my music snobbery parlay itself into a blogging opportunity. Feeling proud of Milwaukee's music scene for both national touring acts and #mkemusic and the accessibility of movers and shakers in the local scene via social media.
19. Getting hooked into the #fitmke and #mkefoodies communities via twitter - and making some wonderful IRL friends because of it.
|I'm in the blue floaty thing|
20. Appearing in public in a swim suit - a two piece for that matter!
|One of the photos I used for online, unsuccessfully.|
21. Getting asked out by someone I didn't meet at a bar or through a set up or dating service. Giving online dating a legitimate shot and realizing it wasn't for me.
|Watch out boys, she'll chew you up.|
22. Being secure in my singleness. More than that - ROCKING my singleness.
23. Meeting and exceeding my fitness goals of doing at least one paid community event a month.
24. Getting through another crazy year at work, including handling the floodpocolypse of 2010.
|All hotels should have lovely floral arrangements.|
26. Indulging my fashion fetishes and buying nicer clothes for my new bod.
|Reentering the Meat Zone.|
28. Watching several of my talented friends reinvent themselves or relaunch themselves career-wise. Special props to the talented Ellen Winters for booking more jazz gigs and hitting the studio, to the gourmet guru and Globaco Queen Jackie Valent Lucca for delighting Milwaukee's tastebuds with her food cart the Fast Foodie, and my dear friend Maribeth for embracing the opportunity to become an incredible teacher in the near future.
29. Having both parents visit me in Milwaukee and spending a whole day in the Seattle-area hanging out with my awesome grandma.
30. Strengthening my relationship with Kathleen, my best friend, to new levels and watching her, in the face of fear, begin to share her unbelievable (but true!) life story with the greater world. I could not be more proud.
The night I turned 30, Wren took me to Bryant's and basically played the role of "30 coach" assuring me this would be the most amazing decade. She hasn't been wrong so far. I look forward to what 31 brings on.