First, I spent the entire year living in New York City and it was amazing.
Second, I made some pretty awesome friends this year. Friends that share similar ideas on life, careers, and getting married before 30. Friends that I can laugh with, play trivia with, read books with, and watch sports with. Friends who have super awesome jobs that I am jealous of and friends who can rant or rave about their roommates. Friends that challenge me intellectually, but also laugh at "That's What She Said" jokes. I know that I have some superb friends from childhood and college, but there is something comforting in knowing that I have friends in this city, because I plan in being here awhile.
Thirdly, I explored Broadway a time or two or twelve. I made a goal last year to see three plays and I accomplished that withing weeks of 2012 kicking off. My favorites were Once (so simple and beautiful), Newsies(the dancing was amazing and the entire story fit in with the curriculum I'm teaching my 8th graders), Mary Poppins(the coolest set and the music was whimsical and reminded me of my childhood), and Wicked (seriously, worth the money, but thankfully I won the lottery). I apparently have a thing for musicals. I also saw a few shows that I could have survived skipping, but I am not going to call them out, because someone might find them awesome.
Fourth, I started my career. This really should be first, but let's be honest, it's not as fun as hanging out with friends or going to broadway, it just makes those things financially possible. I am so excited to be teaching, full-time, in my own classroom! Middle school is challenging at times, but in positive and negative ways. I have really enjoyed learning the curriculum as I plan and I always knew that if I taught older students, I would teach history. The job takes a lot of time, which has left little time to blog, but I really want to get better at this. I love having this little space to keep track of my adventures in the city and I want to be able to look back in ten years and remember these times.
Fifth, I had visitors. This year was full of friends and family who came to visit. I love sharing my favorite spots in the city with those who know me best. I'm hoping to get a few more friends to come in 2013, because I want everyone to experience this city at least once in their lifetime.
Sixth, I know this city. When I moved here, I was worried that I would wind up lost and halfway to New Jersey before I realized I was no where near the Upper East Side. Actually, I couldn't even make that statement because I didn't know where the Upper East Side was. Now I know this city. Sure there are blocks I have never explored and thousands of restaurants that I haven't eaten at, but if I need to get to a location, I no longer have to look up directions on HopStop. I can figure out where something is located because I have figured out how the streets in Manhattan work. I know the subway lines and which lines stop at certain places, I know a lot of the bus routes, I like to think that means I made it.
Lastly, it has been a good year. I unfortunately slacked off on documenting all of the amazing things I did the second half of the year, but it doesn't mean I didn't do great things that I enjoyed. I have settled into a routine, which is nice. I have my grocery store, my nail place, my favorite restaurant. I have routine things like a carpool to work and standing evenings with friends. I also have a good roommate who is always there to drink wine and watch Law and Order: SVU with. I have friends in my apartment building to borrow sugar (or cookie sheets) from. I like it here and I think I'll stay for awhile, unless I change my mind, which sometimes happens.