Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 - One of the Best. Years. Yet.

I can't believe 2011 is already coming to an end. Although the onset of New Year's is typically defined by the setting of New Year's resolutions, I haven't yet cemented my New Year's goals just yet... sure, my New Year's goals are in their solid formulation/cementing stages, but that post will be coming at a more appropriate time (i.e. closer to New Year's Eve/Day itself) because, quite frankly...

I can't get over 2011. It was ONE OF THE BEST YEARS YET!! I would say that 2011 was right on up there with the years 1996, 2001 and 2006. That's right- I have favorite years... don't judge (unless that ship has already sailed).

I could go into the details about each of my favorite years, but, quite frankly, laziness is getting the better of me. Instead, I'm simply going to provide a synopsis. A synopsis, if you will, of why 2011 was simply one of my favorite years ever. (So far.)

5. I finally travelled abroad a bit more! With the completion of paying off my graduate student loans (there is no greater sense of accomplishment... well, slight exagg but whatever), I finally got to experience complete and total debt-freedom. So... off to gorgeous Iceland and that place which shall remain nameless (for legal reasons) I went!

4. The year started off on just about the most perfect foot possible, when I landed my first television gig (of the year, that is) thanks to Mother Nature... and Weather Channelman Jim Cantore. I think I was the ONLY Chicago resident who was THRILLED with the onslaught of that blizzard to end all blizzards...

3. I made some really just gosh darn great new friends. Sure, I can befriend like a brick wall if I really have to (what can I say? I have that gift for gab, really...). But this year really made me realize just how much I. Love. Chicago. Sure, the city is great. But it's the people that really make this city feel so much more like a home than any of the other cities I've lived in. Sigh. Virtual hug and all that.

2. I realized just how powerful the Internet can be... so powerful, in fact, that I've taken the opportunity to sub-bullet this point:

2a. I was introduced to Twitter... God, it is only the Best. Thing. Ever. Not only was I retweeted by the Today show (as if the Royal Wedding wasn't a glorious highlight of 2011 in and of itself, who knew that my tweet about it would actually be RETWEETED TO 1.1M followers?!?!?), I was also retweeted by Katie Couric?!!?!?!? lskdjflkds! Oh, the DREAMS!! (Clearly, I dream big.)

2b. I joined CNN's iReport team! Not only did I join the team, but it only took me two reports before my second iReport was vetted and approved by CNN... and received 20,000+ hits in the course of three days!!! Having my iReport be like the fourth story down on the CNN US News page that first day it "went viral" was simply icing on that cake, baby!!!!

1. I was invited to the final, final taping of The Oprah Winfrey show - fulfilling a lifelong dream to see Oprah in person AND see a taping of her show in Harpo studio! This was honestly the PEAK of my year... I still can't believe it happened. While I have no idea why her staff chose me to be one of the exclusive few to be in her audience, I am eternally, eternally grateful. All I have to say is that this experience 100% cemented my belief in good karmic forces and the fact that Someone really is watching out for me...

So there you have it! 2011- a year in review, if you will. 2012 sure does have some big shoes to fill...

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