2019: A Year in Review
2019 started off a bit bumpy. I had just moved back in with my mother after returning from the UK. I had no real plans for the future and felt, frankly, a bit lost. Luckily, the English department at WSU took me back in. I’ve taught for two semesters now and have had loads of fun getting to know my students. While I mostly teach introductory composition courses, I was able to design my own introduction to literature course which I based around the theme of Midwestern literature, something I care a lot about. It was a really special class that I feel very lucky to have taught.
I picked back up writing for Uloop.com, a website geared towards college students. In the summer, I returned to my old horseback riding stable and helped with their summer camps. If you’d like to hear more about that, you can read my blogpost all about it. In the midst of freelance writing and teaching, my poetry output has gone down. Despite this, I’ve still seen a few publications in places like Flypaper, River City Poetry, and WSU’s own Mikrokosmos. I also started volunteering at the Great Plains Nature Center again by helping take care of their animals and by working some special events.
In lieu of writing, I’ve picked up some other creative hobbies. In an effort to downgrade my stack of paper memories, I’ve formed a creative art journal. I’ve also done a small embroidery project. At James’s request, I started taking a jewellery making class where I’ve learned lots of new skills. I’ve also embarked on many projects related to my upcoming wedding in 2020 including designing Save the Dates, making a wedding website, and learning how to make a wedding ring. I hope to write more wedding-specific content in the future.
James and I have travelled during our visits to see each other. We spent Spring Break visiting family in Waco, Texas and also stopping in Austin and San Antonio. At the end of the summer, perhaps the biggest event of the year happened when James proposed to me while we were in Wales. On this trip, we also visited Hamburg and Berlin in Germany where we met up with an old friend. We also drove up to the Isle of Arran in Scotland. I flew back to the UK over the holiday break to spend time with James and his family. We’re staying close to home, but have taken short visits to the Lake District and Wales where we spent New Year’s Eve.
In an attempt to summarize the year, I think this past year has mostly been rediscovering the place and people I grew up with. I’ve really learned to appreciate better how much I like Wichita and the Midwest in general. I put more time into my family and friends that I am fortunate enough to live closet to. I rekindled old loves for hobbies and places that had otherwise been forgotten. As I move into the new year, I hope that I can continue this appreciation and make lasting memories.
Upon reading and reflecting on last year’s post, I would again like to make 3 goals for 2020.
1. Be grateful. Find time to appreciate the people and places that are with me in the current moment. Try not to dwell on how short-lived they may be and instead enjoy them as they come.
2. Seek creativity. Try out new and different forms of creativity as well as old ones. Be okay with learning and making mistakes while creating.
3. Find your own confidence. Try and shed the self-doubt of being what you (or others) think you ought to be. Make choices that make you happy.
2020 will undoubtedly be a big year. I have three weddings to look forward to including my own! After that, I will be moving back to England and attempting to start a real adult life. Here’s to the great things 2019 has taught me and to what 2020 will bring!