Last year at this time I was ringing in the new calendar year with some friends in Santa Rosa, California. Though I wasn’t yet living in the Bay Area, it already felt like home. The start to 2013 blossomed change, as I was exploring what next in my life. Looking at a new venture, a new geographical home. Flash forward one year later and I have been living in San Francisco since May (officially), enjoying a new venture, and have made many new friends and memories in this chapter of my life. Looking back over the year, here are some of the things I’ve done:
At the beginning of the year I was finishing up my job at RPM Ventures, involved in the Recycle Ann Arbor board, working with the best gelateria, challenging my fitness goals, and going to every farmers market I could get my hands on. The year evolved into an exciting and memorable adventure – from moving to a new city, taking on a new venture, and building relationships with amazing people – I truly feel blessed as I reflect on my 2013.
The lengthy nature of this post is meant to encapsulate my 2013 year in review, with just a few of the highlights throughout the year, as well as reflect on my personal growth throughout the year. If you recall, I don’t make traditional New Year’s Resolutions, and rather set goals and resolutions throughout the calendar year. Though at the start to 2013 I spent an ample amount of time getting to know myself better and now is a great time to revisit what I set out to be and accomplish over the past 12 months.
To start, here are some of my happenings in 2013.
- Rang in 2013 with a small group of friends in Santa Rosa, California
- Exploring opportunities for my next venture
Ringing in 2013 in Santa Rosa, California with friends
- Watched the SuperBowl with friends in San Francisco (ironically just a block or so away from my current apartment)
- Went to San Diego with my parents and saw my dad receive the Phelps-Martin Award for Community Service
- Started working at SoFi
- Watched the University of Michigan men’s basketball team play in the NCAA Final Four at the Palace
- Led an Improv4 Entrepreneurs workshop in Detroit
- Celebrated my mom’s birthday at a B&B with horseback riding
- Received first press from my olive tree in Italy
- Saw The Colbert Report live in NYC with my brother
- Led an Improv4 Entrepreneurs workshop in Portland for the TechStars Nike+ Accelerator
- Explored Traverse City and other parts of the northern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan with my dad
- Moved to San Francisco! And immediately the day after experienced Bay to Breakers
- Spent Memorial Day weekend camping in Big Sur with great friends
- Some more highlights of my first couple weeks in SF
Pre- Colbert Report viewing. We’re excited!
With my parents in Michigan the Day I moved to San Francisco
- My 25th birthday with 50 of my closest friends!
- Continued taking improv classes at BATS Improv
- Checked out the Treasure Island Flea Market with some friends
- Some more highlights
My birthday party!
- Performed in an improv show at BATS Improv
- A blur of professional and personal challenges, including the loss of three people
- Quick trip to Michigan
- My parents and grandmother visited the Bay Area. My mom and I ran the Healdsburg Half Marathon together, both getting our PR.
- Judged the San Francisco Crossfit in-house competition, Virtuosity
- Attended the Net Impact Conference in San Jose, representing SoFi
- Dressed as a farmer for Halloween
Family in Napa together
- Spoke at the Babson Entrepreneurship Forum, on behalf of SoFi
- Got my first case of walking pneumonia after traveling on 7 flights in 5 days for SoFi
- Participated in a pre-Thanksgiving progressive dinner
- Thanksgiving at the Fallone’s
- Kayaked to Angel Island and did a little hiking around there, with picnicking, once we got there
Made it to Angel Island!
- Joined Brian Rumao at the LinkedIn Holiday Party
- Saw Book of Mormon!
- Got my first concussion from a SoFi injury further demonstrating that student loans are dangerous
- My brother, Nick, visited me in San Francisco
- More holiday parties and cheer!
- Hiked Gerbode Valley Trail
- First Christmas away from my parents. Spent it with wonderful family in Lafayette.
Hanging out at the LinkedIn holiday party
At the start of last year I wrote about what’s important to me and listed many words that I wanted to be descriptive of my 2013. Here are some thoughts and/or examples highlighting those words in my life over the year:
Love – to quote a movie I like, “love actually is all around”. There is so much love in my life and throughout 2013 I was continuously reminded of this. Love from my family who flew out from Michigan to visit me in my new home. Love from my friends who called me and asked to help when they heard I had a concussion and pneumonia. Love from complete strangers who smile as we cross paths.
Risks – moving to San Francisco, taking on a new life venture, leaving familiarity behind
Passion – I’ve seen my passion for cooking really flourish in 2013. I have spent a lot of time creating new recipes, trying new foods, and learning more about culinary knowledge…and enjoying every minute of it!
Challenges – My biggest challenge of 2013 was probably moving to a very new place. It wasn’t the move itself that was challenging. It was the adjusting, a bunch of little challenges in the process that added up to make it a larger challenge…more than I thought. For instance, things like figuring out how to get places, navigating new social circles, taking on a new work venture, AND taking time for/discovering myself in the process.
Improvement – just the other day I got a PR on a lift in crossfit – clean and jerk – by 5 pounds. It’s a little improvement, but an improvement nonetheless, and it feels great to progress on something I work hard to achieve
Discovery – With a new city, new friends, new ventures abound, which means tons of discovering new restaurants, people, places, activities to try, and more! I even wrote about some of the new places I explored. Never a dull moment!
Health – my health has been great! Other than the walking pneumonia dip in November I have felt great and been strong and energetic out here. It certainly helps that the sun shines so much! I have stayed active with running, crossfit, yoga, hiking, and other adventures. I am eating well – California’s farmers markets are spoiling me (but not my wallet!) Sleep needs improvement in 2014!
Creativity – Improv was my primary creative outlet this year. I led several workshops with Improv4 and hosted more informal improv jams with friends and improve classmates. I took a couple of improv classes at BATS Improv, an acting class, and had my first improv performance in San Francisco!
Smiling – I love smiling and I’ve embraced smiling at strangers more in the past year than I had previously. Lots of improv in 2013 also kept me flashing those pearly whites!
Independence – For the first time in my life I truly feel independent. I live on the other side of the country as my immediate family. When I moved out here I didn’t have much. I sent one box and brought a couple of suitcases. I was responsible for getting my act together – buying a bed, dresser (still working on that), furniture, taking care of my health and finances, and more. Not that I wasn’t doing those things before, but help was always an easy call away. Fortunately, I have amazing friends and family in the area and they always have my back.
Commitment – May of this year marked my 1 year anniversary with crossfit, something I have been dedicated to since my intro sessions at Hyperfit in Ann Arbor. I love everything I am learning at crossfit and the amazing friendships I have built through my involvement in the community. I remember last year setting a goal to go to crossfit 2-3 times per week and now I go 5-6 times per week (if not more – my record is 7…that was a tough week!)
Courage – on so many levels I have needed to exercise courage in my life. Courage to stand up for myself professionally. Courage to speak my mind at work or with friends. Courage to try new things and put myself out there in a new city.
Fun – definitely had more fun in 2013. Probably my most social year yet.
Strength – I am the strongest I have ever been, physically and mentally. Habits help.
Endurance – I’d say running 2 half marathons in 2013 has to do quite a bit with my endurance =) Not just the race itself, but the training and the perseverance to get it done!
Ventures – life is a venture and 2013 sure had its fill! Hiking ventures. Food ventures. Improv ventures. New ventures. San Francisco ventures. Writing and more. I’ve really had a full 2013 with lots of changes and exploration.
Here’s to a happy and equally venturing 2014!
mel, the Venture Gal