Today is an anniversary day.
First of all, today is my blog’s second birthday! Hooray Accidental Intentions! I’m not cool, so I don’t have any fun giveaways, great links, whatever to celebrate the occasion. But it’s an occasion nevertheless because holy smokes, y’all, two years is a long time to maintain a blog, so yay blog! I started this blog in the midst of training for my first 5K, which at the time seemed like the most insane thing I had ever done. And now I’m training for a marathon! Definitely never, ever saw that one coming.
More significantly, though, today is my Chicago birthday. A year ago today, my mom, dad, brother, grandma, aunt, and I packed up (nearly) all of my earthly possessions into a UHaul and our family van and drove to Chicago.
The fact that I’ve been here a full year is kind of nuts to me. I suppose in some ways things have gone as expected–still in the same apartment, still at the same job–but there have certainly been things that did not go according to plan. I didn’t expect to be a regular in my (or any) hip hop class. I didn’t expect to have quite so much trouble trying to find my place or people in Chicago, because honestly, I still don’t really feel like I “have my place or people” in Chicago, at least not to the extent that I thought I would. By that same token, though, it took me a solid two years plus change to find my people and place in college, where the whole environment is geared towards helping you find your people/place, so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised by that.
But even with the unfulfilled expectations, even with the struggles, I wouldn’t trade this past year for anything. Being in Chicago has allowed me to develop into my own person in a way I’m 100% sure would not have been possible if I hadn’t moved out of my hometown. I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone time and time again, which has allowed me to figure out for myself what I like and what I don’t like, what I need and what I don’t need. All of these things have helped me become more Bethany. Not more student Bethany. Not more daughter Bethany. Not more anything-I-was-to-anyone-growing-up Bethany. Just straight up Bethany. And I think that’s a good thing. I think I’m at a unique point in my life where I can learn a lot about myself, and I think Chicago has been the perfect place to help make that happen.
So here’s to another year of learning, another year of exploring, another year of taking advantage of the opportunities to do things impossible to do in West Michigan. I have no idea what to expect over the next year, but I hope if I find myself sitting down on June 24, 2014 to write another June 25 post that I can look back on the preceding 12 months with the same sense of satisfaction. Here’s to year #2!