Was this the year that started it all?

So yes, this is one of those end of the year reflection posts. And in reviewing this past year, all I can say is wow. I made it through. It was nothing like I would have initial though this year was going to be. But I’m happy with where I ended up — even if I’m sort of ending the year almost opposite from where I started it.

I started the year with a good job. It wasn’t perfect, and yes it stressed me out, but I really liked what I was doing. I enjoy academic administration and was looking forward to pushing some new things with our company. But that ended in June.

Being laid off was definitely a big change, but it wasn’t the only big thing of the year. Also in June, I had my surgery for endometriosis. It went well, but pain has returned so, that’s fun. But the surgery did help a lot and I’m happy I finally got it done.

Also in June I turned 29 — which I spent recovering — and we kicked off our big tour season.

Things with Mucca were great this year. We began the year on the east coast, where we were fortunate to play at globalFEST (which that gig landed us in the NYTimes). We then switched gears and debuted Sitting in Chairs, the big band version of Mucca Pazza. This summer we did Montreal International Jazz Fest, a great tour in LA, and a residency at MassMOCA. And 2013 is ending with Mucca working on recording a new album.

There were also a lot of just plain fun stuff that happened this year. I attended C2E2 for the first time, and I got to meet Felicia Day! (She’s amazing.) I went to BlogHer. I got to see the Chicago Sinfonietta. I surprised my niece on her 8th birthday by showing up at her school and joining her for lunch. However, I missed my 10 year high school reunion and my sister’s high school graduation (which were on the same day). I went blonde. I hosted a Wii U party. I helped my team win the Wii Fit U challenge. I got to meet my Nintendo buddy TJ while we were visiting LA. I rediscovered my long-lost go be active side thanks to the aforementioned challenge and inspiration from friends also getting out and being active. I walked my first 5K race and PR’d. And just a few days ago, I gained more nieces — two adorable twin girls.

I’m ending this year realizing just how much I’m going to need to dig deep to achieve my goals. Grad school is just one goal, one step towards something greater. And I’m telling myself every day not to give up, not to get distracted. I’m ending the year with a sense of direction. And I feel good about where I’m going.