31 December 2013

a year in review {two thousand thirteen}

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Oh, 2013. What a year. 

I think I recreated my life this year. I made new friends and a new routine. I tried new things and stepped out of my comfort zone more than ever. I got a job, turned seventeen, and I experienced what it's like to have the majority of my closest friends move away all at once. I travelled, a lot, to places close to home and places far, far away. Seattle twice, California, Tofino, Germany, Austria, and even Hungary and Slovakia for a couple of minutes each. I hit highs and lows, I adventured, I said yes to things I never would've before. I started my last year of high school, and made time with friends a priority. I tested my boundaries, made some mistakes, and reevaluated and recreated myself based on what I wasn't happy with.

I did a lot this year. I changed a lot this year. I grew closer to some people and apart from others. I feel good about 2013. It could have been worse, it could have been better, but overall, it was what it was, and it was good.

I'm excited to see where 2014 takes me. For once in my life, I have no idea, not even an inkling of where I'll be a year from now. And that both excites and terrifies me. 

2014, let's do this. 

29 December 2013

winter in vienna

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Oh, Vienna. 

This place is enchanting in the winter. Lights hung throughout the streets, little Christmas markets on every corner, bustling sidewalks full of people, Christmas trees all throughout the city center, it's almost like a fairy tale with all of the ancient buildings as a backdrop. 

On my third day there, while Johanna was in school, I ventured into town on my own. Without the distraction of someone's company, I wandered and wandered and wandered (and maybe got a little lost), with no place to go and no place to be. At one point I sat down on a bench and just took everything in and felt so overwhelmed with gratitude that I was able to experience this beautiful place. 

That same day, once Johanna was done school, she made her way into town and we met up and went to the Christmas market pictured above. We pushed our way through the crowds, bought a cup of punsch, a sort of mulled wine, and found a table with a fire in the middle to keep warm. We drank our drinks and looked around and just talked and talked and talked. There was a lot of talking on this trip -- I guess it's for catching up on all those months that we don't get to see each other.