Year in Review: 2017

Hi all!

With one week left in 2017, I felt like it was time to reflect on this past year. So much has happened that I didn’t have the opportunity to share with you all. I started this blog mid-summer after I graduated and had been thinking about doing a blog for quite a while, but was too busy senior year to devote enough time and effort to it.

Here’s a synopsis of what I’ve been up to this past year – Essentially, my highs and lows as a means of learning more about myself and where I want to be after graduating!

Austria:

This was my third time volunteering with the Special Olympics World Games. I first got involved when I was 16 because of my father: he says that Special Olympics is his chosen “life charity” that he’s proud to spend his time and energy on. I’ve had so many amazing experiences volunteering at these Games, and this past March was no exception!

(And being able to explore Graz and Schladming was definitely a perk!)

Trop Sol:

I finally had the courage to try out for my college’s Latin Dance team – Tropical Sol – by senior year. I’m not great with crowds, so forcing myself to learn dances and perform was a huge step for me! I couldn’t believe I made the team!

Graduation:

My biggest life change was definitely graduating college this past May. Graduation opens a whole world of possibilities that leaves you feeling both excited and lost.

I didn’t know where exactly I was heading next, but I did know that I was parting ways with my beloved friends and incredible teachers. I was finally leaving my home for the past four years.

I will definitely write more about graduating once the anniversary hits in 2018! I have a lot to reflect on and plenty of advice for anyone in the process of graduating.

(My makeup got messed up from crying, as you can tell in this pic…)

Nantucket:

Going to Nantucket, Massachusetts every summer was a tradition for my entire life that ended when I went to college. After my college graduation, my family spent a week on this quaint island as part of my graduation present. It was so restorative to go to all my favorite haunts again! This trip reinvigorated my love for Nantucket and made me more determined to go once every few years!

Hawaii:

As another part of my graduation present combined with my parent’s 25th anniversary, we took a huge trip to two islands in Hawaii: Hawai’i and Lana’i.

I had never been to Hawaii before and was completely taken away by the beauty and serenity of the islands. It was such a peaceful, restorative place to be.

There will definitely be more on this trip to come on the blog! Especially after the holidays die down and I’m sitting inside freezing in the middle of January, wishing I was back there ahaha!

(I also definitely enjoyed being tan again – going to school in upstate NY for 9 months each year for four years did not help my complexion.)

Rhode Island:

This trip was totally spontaneous! I was in the process of cementing a job at the end of the summer when my mom and I decided to spare three days as a stress-reliever in Newport, Rhode Island. I had never been there, despite living in Connecticut my whole life, and seeing the glamour of the mansions definitely gave me the mental break I needed during the stressful job and apartment hunt.

Getting a Fellowship/Moving to DC:

After a whirlwind summer, I finally settled down in Washington, DC! I majored in Communication and got a fellowship in PR at an amazing firm filled with great people and interesting clients. This fellowship lined up with everything I dreamed of being exposed to and I was both nervous and grateful to have this opportunity!

(Some of my office-appropriate outfits…and the middle one is when the office went to the roof to view the eclipse!)

Losing my Job:

This was my biggest setback and sadness this year. My fellowship lasted four months and, although I wanted to stay on for a second term, the firm ended up closing down completely.

I was devastated that all of the amazing individuals and clients I had been working with would no longer be there. It was a huge blow to the industry and my personal work. I felt like I had put so much energy and time into projects that now were gone due to something completely out of my control.

This was the same time I ended up letting this blog fall behind a little. I felt so drained without my work, which seems weird. However, once I spent time with family over Thanksgiving and restored my sense of self, I was determined to channel my creative energy into this blog. With the blog, I will always have a project to devote my time to. It’s so easy to feel lost when you’re not in a routine or dedicated to working on something. Having a consistent sense of purpose helps keep me on track and determined to do better for myself and others!

I wish you all a very happy end of 2017! May your last few days of this year be filled with joy and reflection. And may your 2018 be filled with love, wonder, and excitement!

xoxo

Parisa

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