2012: The Year in Review

I've been seeing various posts like this around the Internet and wasn't going to write one myself. But then I decided that 2012 was quite possibly the best year of my life, so if any year deserves to be reviewed, it's this one.

1. I kicked off the year by traveling to London for a semester abroad...

2. ...And, within a few weeks, was being interviewed for a volunteer position with London 2012 Ceremonies.

3. ...And then I became a volunteer with London 2012 Ceremonies. Best thing that's ever happened to me.

4. I made the most amazing friends. They swept me off my feet. Literally. Multiple times.

5. I fulfilled a lifelong dream and backpacked through Europe! On this trip, I;

  • Visited Copenhagen, Denmark, which has been a goal of mine since 4th grade.
  • Frolicked in Olympic stadiums in Munich and Berlin.
  • Went to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympics Museum.
  • Walked around in a concentration camp.
  • Traveled between countries by train.
  • Lived out of a backpack for three weeks.

6. I passed all of my British classes!

7. I went to London for the Olympics. While it sucked to not be able to get a visa and stay to volunteer over the summer, I wouldn't trade my experience as a spectator for anything in the world.

8. I somehow managed to juggle an internship, a virtual internship, a weekly writing job, and my job at the gym in addition to a class for about a month. Then the virtual internship ended and... I kept doing everything else. And it was REALLY HARD.

9. I survived football season as a sport information intern with the UM athletic department. No small feat, I tell you. And that week or two of basketball/football season overlap? I may have gotten sick, but I did it!

10. I survived the apocalypse. Who's laughing now, Mayans?

The prospect of 2013 makes me kind of sad because it's not an Olympic year, and it's also the first time in my life where I have no idea what I'll be doing. I graduate in May, and then... Russia? Grad school at home? Getting a job? To say I'm not sure is an understatement. But being without a concrete plan means I've got lots of options and, as Herb Brooks once said, "great moments are born from great opportunity."

Bring it, 2013!

A Year Ago Today

I'm big on important dates. (I sat here for five minutes trying to figure out how to make that sound like I'm not talking about going-out-with-boys dates, but it's just not happening.) I like to remember when things happened.

I got my first Endurance callback on April 14th, 2005 (and another one on the same day in 2006). The first day of filming was July 31st, 2006, and I got sent home on August 8th. I graduated high school on June 28th, 2009 (the same day that Billy Mays died. Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died three days earlier, which was the night of my prom. Fun fact of the day). I moved into my freshman dorm on August 18th (which is my brother's birthday, a fact I will never stop feeling bad about) in 2009. The London 2012 Opening Ceremony was on July 27th, 2012.

And exactly one year ago -- December 20th, 2011 -- I filled out the London 2012 Ceremonies volunteer application.

And look how hopeful and naive I was!

Actually, I just didn't realize that my visa expired in June. Oops? Luckily for me, Laura decided to process my application anyway. We were supposed to be eligible to work in the UK through November to volunteer at all, but... oops? Hah. I think it worked in my favor that Laura is an American living in the UK. When May and June rolled around and I told people I was getting kicked out of the country, they all kind of wondered how I was let in to volunteer in the first place. But then they threatened to kidnap me so I wouldn't have to leave, so I think any indiscretion was forgiven. ;)

I had no idea how freaking awesome THIS would be! Half an hour from closing the door to my flat to signing in at 3 Mills. Best commute ever.

Again, look at me, being all "WEEEEEE I can work at the Olympic ceremonies!" Nope.

Heh, I chose all operations roles. Silly me. I'm so glad casting plucked me from the pool!

This is where I ended up: 

It's kind of crazy that I was filling this out so long ago. Pretty soon I'll be able to say I was in London a year ago, which is unbelievably bittersweet. I miss it desperately and would go back in a heartbeat (seriously. If I had the money, man...). So while the constant ache in my chest sucks, it's hard to look back on my London 2012 experience and do anything but smile. And maybe flail a little bit. 

Because, seriously, how was that real?