Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 in review

Multiple life changes can make time feel like it's flying by, but at the same time you try to think back and things were so different last January that you can't even believe it's only been 365 days.  If you told me where I would be right now (at a cafe in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, China, working on General Assembly HK related matters), I'd be pretty damn confused.

I know I should be thinking of resolutions at this point, but in an attempt to procrastinate I've decided to dive into my iPhoto and try to remember what the hell happened over the course of the past year.  Was this a massive waste of time?  Probably.

Regardless, here's a quick recap of some highlights of 2012, mostly in pictures because that's way more fun.


  • Generally hated life.  Was desperately miserable in finance and not yet at the point where I was empowered to do anything about it.  What could be worse?
  • I saw Tracy Jordan, I mean Tracy Morgan, do some incredibly un-funny stand up at The Caroline in NYC.  As much as I love 30 Rock (which is a lot), this was not worth it.


  • Visited with two of my best friends in the entire world in the lovely state of Rhode Island (no pinheads were allowed, obviously).  As usual, we had a blast and they were kind enough to listen to me whine about my perilous state of unhappiness.  
  • I headed down to ATL to hang out with me soon-to-be-sister-in-law.  We had never really gotten to spend a lot of time together, and it really hit me in the face how lucky I am that my big bro found such a wonderful woman and brought her into my life (yes, obviously them getting married is about me).  
  • I had the privilege of working on the Microlending Film Project, I got to play hookie from Goldman for a few hours and play producer on the set of an interview with Mary Ellen Iskendarian, the President and CEO of Women's World Banking.  So. Awesome.

  • Washington DC to spend more time with good friends and awesome people.  
  • Continued to toy around with quitting finance and doing something crazy, but didn't have the balls quite yet.


  • A life changing month.  Did the Landmark Forum and constantly fantasized about quitting GS.
  • Quit GS.
  • Spent a week working at an orphanage in Ghana, realized that I don't hate children.
  • Came to some major realizations about the fundamental need for humans to be loved.  This led me to believe that all forms of cruelty stem from insecurity.
  • Started at General Assembly.  Immediately became obsessed with it.
  • My boyfriend got the call that he was being transferred to Hong Kong.  Awesome.

  • My big brother got married.  A festive, Southern occasion where I had a blast but was completely out of my element in a pink Bridesmaid's dress (read: it was gorgeous, I just haven't worn pink or dresses with bows in ten plus years due to my irrational aversion to being seen as too girly.)
  • Flew home to Chicago to work with my parents on the wedding.  This led to rediscovery of what I really looked like as a child.  No further comment needed.
  • It also led to a lot of reflection on my relationship with my brother.  He is amazing and I am in awe of the fact we have been so close and he has watched out for me every day of my life since I was born. 

  • Danced my face off to both Skrillex and the Beach Boys at my second annual Bonnaroo.
  • Turned 25 and had a fantastic birthday dinner where I got to invite all my favorite people in New York.  
  • My boyfriend really moved to Hong Kong and I promptly fell into a pathetic state of "I'm so alone" mild depression.  

  • Moved to Long Island for a month to save money on rent.  What's in Long Island, you ask?  My boyfriend's parents.  This was actually a total blast and exactly what I needed but admittedly sounds somewhat shocking.
  • Visited Hong Kong for the first time.  Was able to go on a fantastical boat ride that led to a serious panic attack in the ocean.  I need to learn to swim properly.
  • Also ventured to the Phillipines, where everything is unimaginably cheap and they insist they don't have a bus system, only "Jeeps".  Which, for the record, are buses.

  • Lived in a perpetual state of anxiety about whether or not to move to Hong Kong.  Tears were shed.  It wasn't pretty.
  • Said goodbye to 5951 South Grant, the house where I grew up.  My father the architect designed it and I spent most of my life living with it under construction.  I couldn't have asked for a better place to call my own.  It was quite hard to say goodbye.  
  • Yes, that is the "Golden Mare" in the driveway.

  • More time spent with best friends at quite possibly my favorite place in the world, Sky Farm Maine.  Shout out to our generous hostess, who I hope knows how much I appreciate the invitation :)
  • Struggled with but finally solidified my decision to move.
  • Began my flirtation with not hating baking.

  • Said goodbye to the best team ever in New York.  You don't know what you have 'til it's gone.  

  • Moved to Hong Kong.
  • Travelled to Myanmar and Bhutan - see previous post for observations and pictures.

  • Realized that I live in fucking Hong Kong
  • Moved into a new apartment
  • Started using Instagram, can you tell?
  • Participated in the Michael Sloyer/Pure Fitness-a-thon which raised nearly $10,000 for the kids we worked with in Ghana at the West African Children's Foundation.
  • Held the first GA HK event at The Hive, a screening of 'Making Something People Love' followed by Skype videochat with Alexis Ohanian.  It was awesome.
  • Went parasailing in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

Well, shit, that was really long, and there was a LOT that I left out.  If you are reading this, I love you, and I feel so lucky to be able to connect with you from so far away.  Here's to another awesome year that will take us all places that we can't even begin to imagine.