2011: a year of planes

little plane, taking flight at sunsetThere’s a song that I love, “The New Year” by Death Cab for Cutie, that is obviously very fitting for today. Or at least, one would think so. It begins with some musical clangs that mimic bells, and then the first line:

so this is the new year… (clang clang)
… and i don’t feel any different.

Last year, I wholeheartedly agreed with this sentiment. I wrote it in my little moleskine of little thoughts as a sort of mantra, and although my new year’s post was optimistic and goal-focused, I felt 100% the same. I didn’t feel any different.

It was partly due to stubbornness. Sometimes, I think the whole concept of a new year is silly. We’re not supposed to wake up and feel different. But now I realize – we need it. We need this day, this chance for reflection, rebirth, and rejuvenation.

Today I’m looking back on myself a year ago – and I’m way different. I’ve done a heck of a lot of new things in one year, I’ve learned a ton, and I’ve generally matured as an individual. So if you’d care to join me, I’m going to go on a short little retrospective journey.

st. peter's dome at the vatican italian cappuccino

In February, I got to take a wonderful mini-trip to Rome to visit one of my very best friends, Katie. It was, of course, amazing to visit the Vatican, eat gelato, and stare at that blue, blue sky. But it was also a great opportunity for Katie and I to catch up and go back to being the friends we were in high school, the friends who saw each other daily. Rome trip? Awesome. Rome trip + reconnecting with an old friend? Perfect.

sam the pilotIn May, I learned the basics of piloting a small aircraft. It was difficult, and a little bit scary to be behind the wheel, but now I’m itching to get back up there. This was a pretty cool addition to the list of things I’ve done in my life.

delphi ez-pro deluxe kiln (15-6)Speaking of cool things to add to my life list, in June I bought a glass kiln. I’m still researching, learning, and collecting supplies, but in December I fired my first glass project. Photos will come soon! This is a big one on the 2012 list: I hope to get a lot more firings done in the coming year.

the roanoke starFourth of July weekend was spent in Roanoke, and my mama and I had wonderful girl time visiting with my cousins and aunt. We went thrifting, drove around the mountains, made good food and ate good ice cream. Another good bonding trip for the year.

dingle bay, irelandIn mid-July, my family spent the week following my mom’s birthday in Ireland. It was probably the best vacation we’ve ever had – great food, great beer, lots of snacks (or snooks, as we called them) and lots of laughs together. We drove through the emerald hills and stepped into the frigid ocean, gazing toward our distant home. I also saw HP 7 Part 2 in Dublin, and my life was forever changed. I’ll always be a Harry Potter book nerd, but that movie was unbelievable.

giraffe and girl with balloons at the cleveland chalk festival 2011

In September, Brad and I made the chalk masterpiece of all chalk masterpieces at the Cleveland Museum of Art Chalk Festival. I will forever be unreasonably proud of this piece of temporary art.

married molly!Molly, another of my best friends from high school, got married over Labor Day weekend. I was so glad that Brad and I could make it to her wedding, it was so pretty and so much fun. She’s the first of my close friends to get married, but certainly not the last… a lot of my friends have been getting engaged lately. I am happy for all of them, but I, personally, would like a few more years of unmarried life. I’m only 22!

22.Which brings to to my birthday. In October, I turned 22. For me, 22 feels like a major turning point. Age 21 is considered to be “adulthood”… but 22 means you’ve made it in. I’m trying to take this ’22 feeling’ and make it a focus on maturity and responsibility. Hopefully this feeling will guide me toward the adult I want to become.

ginos east, chicago deep dish pizzaIn October, I got to represent my school at a conference called thinkChicago, which was a 2-day event focused on innovation in entrepreneurship and technology. Definitely something I’m interested in! We attended panels with Google, Groupon, and the mayor; and I got to tour the Threadless warehouse! I also had my first taste of real Chicago-style deep dish… and now just looking at that photo makes me feel forlorn and very, very hungry. I also crossed a visit to the iconic Vogue Fabrics off my list- it wasn’t monumental, but it was certainly my kind of fabric store.

I shipped out 14 narwhals for the holiday season – less than half of last year’s tally, but I was grateful because I had lots more schoolwork than last year. I also made a couple awesome custom projects, and I’ll be showing those to you very soon!

2011, a year of planes, was a year of great change for me, and I’m sure I owe a great deal of that change to those planes.
How many planes, you ask? Let’s count the trips…
5 trips from home to Cleveland (3 visits, 1 wedding, 1 fall break)
1 trip to Cincinnati (skiing with Brad!)
1 trip to Italy
1 trip co-piloting the small plane
1 trip to Ireland (+1 for connection through London)
1 trip to Chicago

Planes: 10 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 4 + 2 = 22 flights, 22 planes.

22 planes for my 22nd year. I’m okay with that.

2 Responses

  1. 2011 seems to have been a pretty good year for you – flying an airplane must be an awesome experience! I love reading recaps but I never write recap posts because I’m always afraid of forgetting some major events. haha

    • Sam says:

      haha, i’m sure i forgot some things too! always a concern. i used my photo archives as a guide, but there must be a few things with no pictures that i’ve already forgotten :)

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