2013: A year that was both terrible and amazing

It’s that time of the year again: it’s time for everyone to write their year end wrap ups. I’m nothing if not a slave to fashion, so here I am writing my 2013 wrap up. In a lot of ways 2013 was sort of wretched:

  • My grandmother died. Two quick words of fashion/lifestyle advice from my grandmother who other than being a determined student and a very generous woman, was super fabulous and wore a lot of gold lame: 1.) wearing lipstick outside your lip line is more glamourous and 2.) that I should never lift my eyebrows/wrinkle my forehead because I will get wrinkles permanently there. True story, Grandma. I guess I just can’t contain my crazy facial expressions because it’s already happening.
  • My heart got squished and I worked through a slight bout of dermatillomania.
  • Depended heavily on my therapist, friends and family.
  • There were a lot of tears and I really don’t remember much of February through May. I think I was functional? Maybe?
  • I failed so hard at NaNoWriMo this year I didn’t even start.
  • I have trochanteric bursitis – what I thought it was! I’m a basically a WebMD doctor! –  which has pushed me off the roads and into a wretched pool and physical therapy. I got my hip ex-rayed the other day. My hip is not broken – YAY! – but I may have spondylolysis which is a vertebrae issue most commonly found in young female gymnasts and football lineman. I am neither of those….life is unfair. Basically I’ll be ok, I’m just off running for a month or two and can’t play the super fun party game of “Can you bend your back into an almost 90 degree angle? I CAN!” I always won at that game.

I know you’re all thinking, “Blah, blah, blah, we know, Anna, you had a miserable year. Get over it.” I’m working on it, I promise.

But a lot of good things did happen, too! Actually, when I think about it in some ways the good things ended up about even with the bad, and maybe even a little bit ahead:

  • I ran a marathon (pre-trochanteric bursitis) and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It made me feel like I could do anything! (Holy Freudian slip! I just typed: “It made me feel like I could do anyone.” Ha.)
  • I inspired a soon to be published poem written by the person who broke my heart. Good for you, Exboyfriend! I am really happy for you! Plus, I inspired  a poem. Bad. Ass.
  • I got a sweater with ponies on it and this was monumental, I swear:

    Important life event documented here!
    Important life event documented here! (I don’t know why I’m doing that with my hands.)
  • I became more and more convinced of my own greatness and anyone who thinks otherwise so can go . . .  um . . . away.
  • I got a sweet anchor tattoo because I’m a salty sea sailor from the Midwest.
  • I remembered that I have the best friends in the whole wide world and definitely the best family.
  • I made some amazingly supportive library friends at library camp.
  • I have felt more and more confident in my job and I think I’m doing a good job.
  • I’ve had some great interactions with teens that made me feel like what I do every day is worth it.
  • I presented at a library thing and didn’t want to die.
  • I have been writing for YALSA’s the Hub and got hooked up with my sweet mentor!
  • I discovered Doctor Who which took up a significant part of my life and made me even nerdier than I thought possible. (Did you guys know there is a Star Trek: The Next Generation and Doctor Who crossover graphic novel? There is. It’s awesome.)
  • I spent a lot of the summer at the beach.
  • I discovered the deliciousness of bourbon.
  • I had a dream that Jennifer Lawrence and I were best friends.
  • I sewed a pillow, curtains, and hemmed numerous skirts and dresses.
  • There is probably more but I can’t think of them right now.

Need more proof this year actually turned out ok? I read some great books: HELLO Song of Ice and Fire books! They were perhaps not the best quality of book that I read this year, but they are definitely the ones I’ve talked the most about. Mr. Martin, thanks for providing me with my new “let’s go be awesome at work” motto: ‘I will take what is mine with fire and blood.’ I’m sure my director will love it when I apply this philosophy to book budget allocations for FY2015. (Just kidding, Krista!)

Other books you should probably read are: The Goldfinch (I’m not even done with it yet and you definitely need to read it), Ask the Passengers, The Last Policeman, Enon, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Mermaid in Chelsea Creek, The Song of Achilles, Winger, Eleanor & Park,  Bring up the Bodies, and Girlchild. This probably counts as my ‘best of 2013’ list, so put these titles on your to-read list for 2014 if you haven’t already.

So, what about next year? Next year I hope will be even more amazing:

  • I hope to read even better books.
  • I will do NaNoWriMo.
  • I will run again and get healthy and qualify for the Boston marathon.*
  • I will be the best at my job I can be – working as hard as I can for those teens and the rest of my library’s patrons.
  • I hope to read more books than this year’s total of 122. I am especially excited about Dreams of Gods and Monsters out in April and The Magician’s Land out in August.
  • I hope to somehow karmically repay everyone who helped me through this year – you all are priceless (especially Mom, Sara, Hannah, Ang, Maggie, Katelyn, Adam, Dani, Alex, Kells Bells, Church Amy D., Work Amy D., Tracy, Tatjana, Amy F., Paul and everyone else who gave me a hug when I needed it).
  • I will be spend more time being happy.
  • I won’t forget to be awesome.

Things are looking bright, folks. Best wishes to you on a new year, and good riddance to the old!


16 thoughts on “2013: A year that was both terrible and amazing

  1. Dear Anna,

    You are awesome. I’m sorry your heart got squished. He obviously didn’t deserve your awesomeness. I am very glad I met you at library camp. I think you are awesome and do inspiring things and I’m glad I got to see you at NELA but we need to have more catch-up time so can we do that, please? Otherwise, I will write more run-on sentences, which is obviously a travesty.

    Awkward Love,

    1. I love run on sentences. I have to cut them down every time I write a blog post. It’s my thing! Thank you for this. I really want to do a Maine road trip visit thing and am seriously considering like taking time off in the spring to just drive around New England/Maine, visit people, and look for Moose. I’d obviously stop at your library!
      I’m sending my own awkward love back you! Thanks friend!

  2. I am really sorry about the first list. (Your first bullet point hits me hard: she was my mother and I realize I don’t even attempt to be glamorous – which thoroughly irritated her – because I hardly ever wear lipstick – or lame) But you second set of bullet points is totally awesome!!! Don’t ever forget that list, especially when you might feel a little down. Your list for 2014 is equally awesome and I know that you will do all of those and more. An exciting year on the horizon for you.

    1. Thanks, Mom. It’s ok that you’re not “glamourous” or don’t wear any lame. (I mean, honestly, Grandma maybe shouldn’t have worn so much lame….). I love you anyway. Thanks for being the best mom ever.

  3. You WILL qualify for Boston…when you are 65, remember? Just stay healthy for the next 4 decades and you are golden. Love you & cant wait to see ya next week!

  4. I want to see that anchor tattoo! Maybe I should get a matching one so we can be twinsies! I am, after all, a salty sea sailor from the wasteland that is called Arizona. We totally need anchors here.

    And also, let’s not forget that having lipstick on your teeth gets you extra glamor points.

    Love you. You rule. The end.

    1. Thanks, cuz. Are you ready for your half? You’re going to be awesome. I’ll be running with you in spirit! You should totally get an anchor tattoo, my friend Hannah and i got matched nautical ones (hers is a ship and it is amazing). We joke how we are like the whitest girls ever…

      1. You and I and Sara are going to have to run one of these races together (someday!). I’m quasi-ready for the race. I have newly developed asthma and that’s a drag, but I’m stubborn and dumb and doing it anyway!. I’m pretty sure you don’t need lungs to run, right? 🙂

  5. Oh my dear Anna,
    I had no idea about the bursitis!! That.really.hurts! You will run again, though, and it will all be good. Or actually, it will be really, really difficult that first run, but then it will be good again. 🙂 I didn’t know you had such a rough year, though, and I’m sorry about that. But I’m also so happy to see all the wonderful things that did happen. (Like meeting all those rad library folks. 😉 I am extremely happy to know you, Anna, and look forward to not only reading your blog but to watching your career. You’re pretty darn awesome and there are lots of teens out there that need you. Happy new year, my friend!

    1. Thanks, Holly! It does hurt but hopefully I’ll get better and get back on that road! It was really an amazing meeting you all at NELLS; I feel now like I have this super support group that knows me well personally and professionally. I love you guys! Thanks for being so amazing this last few months. Go run a few miles for me (sniff sniff) . . . unless it’s too icy out!

  6. Dear Anna,
    Your comment about Grandma made me smile! I miss her so much! Anna, you are a wonderful person and my book hero. (That you have time to read is amazing!) I wish you all the best for a new year. I wish you heath to run (another thing that I admire in you…you LIKE to run). I wish you joy (not our cousin!) in the small things. If ever you need to chat, you can always contact us…if you can find us. Here is to an amazing 2014!

      1. If you ever bridge those thousands of miles this way, we have a spare bedroom….just don’t wear high heels.

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