Happy New Year, everyone! (Is it too late to still be saying that?)
I really love the new year. There’s something about stepping back into a routine after a restful break that makes my type-A heart sing for joy. Although my version of “routine” is a little (actually, very) different this year since I’m on a gap year, it has been such a fun and exciting start to 2020.
My family and I always knew that our first few weeks back in the city after this season away would be busy, but when our return date aligned with the holiday season, we knew they would be even busier (in the best way!). It has truly been the most exciting few weeks full of sweet reunions and setting up new rhythms of life.
There is so much that I learned and did in this past season in Australia that made me grow in ways I never imagined.
Being out of the city and back in the environment in which I grew up allowed me to deeply reflect on who I was and the life I lived. Reconnecting so intimately with my homeland and family made me remember who I was before any of this happened. It made me very honest when evaluating what parts of my old and new life were good and what parts weren’t so good.
I changed a lot when we first moved to NYC. Like, to the point where pre-NYC Maddy and post-NYC Maddy are two different people. I’m a pretty sentimental person, I always mark moments and look back on things that have happened in the past but before last year, I had never really looked back on who I used to be.
I actually think that this was one of the most important things I did in 2019.
I wrote out this huge list of things I liked and didn’t like about myself and my habits. It sounds a little weird, I know, but it was done out of a mindset of self-improvement. I wanted (and still want) to be better.
From there, I thought about some things I wanted to do differently when we returned back to NYC. I also read my bible a lot. Like, more than I ever have.
Writing it out like this makes it seem like this whole process was a quick Sunday afternoon journal sesh. I wish lol. In reality, this sort of thing kind of has no expiration date. There is no point when you’re like “yep. Done that. I’m the best I can be now”. I’m still learning and growing. Like, so much.
I’ve spoken before about how I have this lingering desire to make the most of every moment. When we went back to Australia, I knew that the only way I could truly make the most of that moment was to reset. So in between the beach days and açaí bowls, I was resetting. On every level.
All this to say, stepping back into NYC and into the new decade, I’ve rearranged some things. I’m creating new rhythms and routines and it feels freaking amazing.
This is the decade I will (most likely/Lord willing lol) get married and start a family. I know that my life will look unbelievably different in 10 years and that these days will feel like a distant memory. So I’m making the absolute most of them in every way I can.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m in a really good place. And it’s been a really great month.
Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to.
One thing my friends and family know about me is that I am a huge foodie. It’s the running joke in my family that the way to my heart is through food (and even been argued that my love language is in fact also food). As you can then probably imagine, I’ve been on a full-on food tour since being back haha. I think I’m going to have to do an entire food-centered post because I simply have too many good eats to share.
One of the (many) amazing things about coming back when I did was that all of my friends were home for break, so I got to spend a good amount of time and do touristy things with them before they all went back to school!
Sophie, Catherine, and I went over to DUMBO one day to get these pictures. We were going to walk the bridge too but we were all way too cold, so we just stayed in this park for a while making tiktoks haha. Sophie made me do a dance I didn’t know and Catherine dipped after a bridal party came by laughing at us, so the whole thing was a little chaotic but honestly so much fun.
We also went back to our high school one day! It was so so great to catch up with a bunch of our old teachers– we genuinely love them so much haha. There was actually a faculty and alumni basketball game that we went to as well which was such fun! Even though so much has changed over the past year, it felt so normal to be sitting in the gym watching the game together. It was actually kind of special.
I also got to see my friends Emma and Valerie from high school! Emma is actually from Ohio but came to high school in the city and now lives out in California, so hers was one of the hardest goodbyes at graduation since there was no guarantee on when I’d see her next. And then there’s Valerie who I was friends with through all of high school and who I am so thankful still lives in the city! Such a blessing to all be in the same place at the same time!
My Social Canvas invited me out to the New York Stock Exchange with them, and it was an opportunity I simply couldn’t pass on! This may come as a surprise to some of you since this is a part of my personality I’ve never really shared online, but I’m actually super interested in finance; I’ve spent most of this year learning market rhythms and FOREX trading. I will continue to pursue this throughout college, too. Needless to say, this was right up my alley. I’ve been to a bunch of events with MSC, all mostly in fashion (which I still also love), but this was my favorite by far!
I’ll be sharing a lot more about MSC and this day specifically in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, you should definitely check out their new phone cases!
Unrelated to all of this, but just wanted to pop in and mention how proud I am of Gabriel. It’s been a huge year for him and he has just gone above and beyond in every way. He continues to impress me every single day with his maturity and work ethic, and he has the kindest heart! He’s also probably the funniest person on the planet. I love him so much 🙁
It was so warm last weekend. I don’t think there has ever been a January day that warm in the time I’ve lived here! I’m not going to lie, I have 100% been struggling with how cold and dark it is right now, so having a day like this was unbelievably welcome on my part. I was chasing the sun the entire day.
Everything about this season feels “same, same, but different”. As I previously mentioned, we’re setting up some new rhythms, but there are still some familiar ones that just have a new energy around them. Everything is different in the best way. And I’m so thankful.
Being out of the city for a year, there was a lot that I missed. I obviously missed my friends, my school, lots of foods (lol), but one thing that surprised me was how much I missed the city itself. Almost as if it were its own person. NYC has this energy that just feels so fulfilling and honestly keeps me up at night. And I really missed it. It feels so good to be back.
And less than seven days after that freakishly warm day, it snowed! It felt like I hadn’t seen snow in so long (I suppose it had been over a year!), so although I was freezing, I was loving it!
And there’s so much more where that came from. It has been the best start to 2020 I could’ve ever hoped for.
I know I’ve said it a lot over the past few months, but I really am so thankful. God is so good and I know I’ll spend the rest of my life attempting to articulate His grace.
Sending you love and peace.
All my love.