I know I’m a little late with the year recap but I feel like this is my New Year’s Eve. About 12 hours separate me from arriving in Dallas and meeting the first few of our Omni 107 group embarking on a life-altering 27 months in Ecuador (we’re the 107th group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Ecuador!!). And so I can’t help but feel like I’m on the verge of something great, it’s like I know this is one of those dramatic music, corny, ‘life changing moments’ and I’m not sure how to feel about it. It’s like creeping toward the peak of a roller coaster or that final moment of panic and excitement before you jump from a plane (I’ve never actually done this). Everything has led up to this, all the little moments of doubt and fear and excitement and nervousness and running ALL over Kansas City over-preparing and planning what to pack.

I realize I’m at the age where ‘life changing moments’ seem to happen almost daily. A friend of mine has dubbed the first year out of college the Freshmen Year of Life (hi Erika :)). I’ve moved more times in the last year than I have in my entire life. A little more than a year ago, I moved to a tiny studio that is only acceptable for poor college students. It was one of those slanted-floors, terribly-insulated, would-not-pass-inspection apartments and I absolutely loved it. It was the first time in my life I lived by myself, not counting the dog. In May, I graduated with two bachelors degrees and tried to psych myself up to move on from Columbia and all it’s college glory. I’m still in denial that I ever graduated and still hoping that something related to International Studies and Linguistics is a valid career option. Two months later, I trekked onward and upward and ‘moved’ to South Korea for a fantastic month teaching and learning with some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. I came back and ‘moved’ again to Texas where I basically bummed around my sister’s apartment in between weekends of wedding festivities. I reconnected with high school friends and stood next to my oldest friend as she married her high school sweetheart. And then at the beginning of October I learned that Ecuador was where it’s at and moved to Chicago, all in the same day. The Windy City solidified its place as my ideal American city and I hope to live there on a more permanent basis at some point in the future. I came to Kansas City for the holidays and have spent the better part of the last month sleeping til 4pm and eating things like Moroccan food, sushi (because what’s more American?), pot roast, taquitos from QuikTrip, chocolate chip cookies, etc. I’ve stayed up way too late with the sisters, hung out with college friends and made the rounds to family gatherings. So here I am now, about to move once again.

I’m excited and scared and all of those things. I’ve thought about how I would feel the night before since I submitted my application 15 MONTHS ago! Yes, it takes that long prospective PCV’s. Mostly I’m ready to get into a routine and feel comfortable with what I’m doing. I’m trying to remind myself that it’s the moments getting to the routine that are the most interesting. So here’s to remembering that!

I am so thankful for the people I was able to meet and reconnect with in all the interesting locales I found myself this year. Everyone has a story and in some way, whether obvious or not, their story impacts your story.  I’ve realized the most important people in my life are spread about in random places. Most of them will probably never meet each other or realize how they’re connected. Mostly, I’m incredibly thankful to have such a wide circle of caring people and then occasionally it makes me a little sad that these people can’t all be in the same place at the same time. C’est la vie. Here I go hoping to widen my circle to the far reaches of the equator and beyond.

(Apologies for the complete cheesiness of this post, I’m living a cheesy moment.)