This is my first full year as a blogger and it has brought about a whirlwind of emotions – both good and bad. Through it all though, I have had an extraordinary community here at The Pink Chickadee that has only flourished in this year. Earlier this week, I shared my Blogging Highlights of 2021 and a favorite outfit from each month (you can read more on that here); however, today’s blog post will solely focus on a peek into my personal life aka The Life of Katie!!
Winter 2021 (January-March):
In Winter 2021, I kicked off my new year in what I thought would have been the beginning of forever for me – I was dating somebody that I envisioned spending the rest of my life with. I came out as apart of the LGBTQ+ community here on my blogging platform, even though many of my friends knew about my sexuality before in fact years before I shared it publicly. I began to make many more connections thanks to my coming out here on this platform and am oh so grateful to have witnessed nothing but support from it all! Though I had high aspirations for my then-partner, I started to realize many red flags when dating them that for my own sanity I ended up breaking off the relationship in February. I became a victim of a mentally abusive and exhausting relationship, which I realized after breaking it off after a few months of dating them and thank goodness I did! While dating this ex of mine, I wished to be single more times than I did enjoying dating them. So, when the break up came about, I truly felt nothing but liberated.
Right after my break up, I truly began to change up my search for a job in my dream post-graduation life city: Washington, DC. My ex insisted that I live in North Carolina, in order to be close to them, where I barely had any luck finding a job in. On the flip side, I was starting to get some luck with some of my many connections in the Washington, DC area. My networking search continued to grow most specifically in the Washington, DC area. I was so excited that I ended up visiting the area where my Mom and Papa live for Spring Break. With a friend of mine, we stayed at my Papa’s house where I got to meet his dog Rosie who is now proudly mine too for the very first time. And, I went ALL around the city, even during the COVID-19 pandemic and pre-vaccination era, including: The National Mall, Nationals Park, the Jefferson Memorial, Clifton in the Virginia countryside, Old Town Alexandria in Virginia, and National Harbor in Maryland. Needless to say, it was an amazing time and I, then, decided to solely continue to search for a job in only the Washington, DC area via an announcement on the blog! The best part?! I was SINGLE and more than ready to start out on my own.
Spring 2021 (March-May):
Since announcing my move to the Washington, DC area, things started to only look up from there. My Papa has a basement that doubles as an apartment, which he graciously was excited to allow me to move into at a much cheaper than Washington, DC area rent cost. So, I had a place to live. I started to network even more which landed me an incredible job that I am still at today in the Northern Virginia area. So, I had a job. And, Papa had Rosie – a Shepherd Chihuahua mix from Puerto Rico who has since become my dog, too, and has made me a Dog Mom. So, I had a dog. All of this post graduation life excitement was in the city of my dreams. Needless to say, my life was looking pretty great when it came to my life after college!
During the remainder of my Spring 2021 semester, I had classes all online except for one – Public Speaking. Public Speaking was all about female empowerment and was indeed the best class to wrap up experiencing the in-person aspect of classes. I see that class as God’s way of giving me closure to my academic career for the time being. At first, I was super upset that I had an in-person class, but looking back, it was a great gift to have! At the same time, my college opened up the opportunity for many more in-person events. We had a Senior class parade, Alumnae Induction Ceremony, Graduation Ceremonies for the Class of 2020 (which I volunteered as a Marshall for), and a Freshmen class dinner which I also volunteered for. Most importantly, I got to help plan an in-person event called Class Day with my friends Maggie and Miranda (read more about that here!) and had an in-person graduation ceremony in the courtyard of my beautiful campus! I celebrated my achievements by being awarded 4 awards across my campus by my professors, classmates, and staff. Meanwhile, I got to celebrate my 22nd Birthday in-person, my friend Chandler’s 21st Birthday in-person, go to Ocean Isle, North Carolina with friends as a pre-graduation trip (read about here), take graduation photos with my friends Chandler, Addy, Miranda, Hannah, and Sophie (see those here – shoutout to Hannah and Quinn for the amazing photos!), celebrate my graduation with a Grad Party courtesy of my mother, and many dinners and lunches and brunches in between! It was a hectic yet super special time.
Since graduating, I immediately packed my bags into a huge U-Haul and Papa’s truck and made it with Rosie who is by the way NOT a lap dog on my lap to Washington, DC. Papa and I enjoyed some pizza that night and began to unpack the next day. The rest of my month of May consisted of me unpacking and getting settled into my brand-new home.
Summer 2021 (June-August):
My Summer 2021 was kind of a bummer. I didn’t have any trips except for a few weekend trips away and it was starting to hit me that I was not living with all of my friends just a few doors down. It sucked for a while, but I managed. Fortunately enough, my best friends Hannah and Alanna came for the weekend of July 4th and my best friends Caroline and Cassie came at the end of August. It was so much fun to be able to visit my new town with some of my best friends. At the same time, I also took several day trips in my new town – the Washington National Cathedral, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Georgetown, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the National Mall, the Smithsonian American Museum of History, and Nationals Park. I was also able to explore much of my new state – Virginia – including: Burke Lake Park, Vienna, Old Town Alexandria, Mason Neck State Park, Occoquan, and Mosaic, Clifton. I also spent A LOT of time decorating my new apartment with pieces that I have had for years and some newer pieces (see my bedroom, pantry, office, patio, and kitchen respectively). I have explored my own home decor style and learned that I am most definitely a bright Palm Beach Grand Millennial who happens to not live in Palm Beach – haha!
Summer 2021 also marked the start of my career, with my first-ever salaried job starting in the end of July. While an intimidating at first glance, working full time has been super empowering and rewarding at the same time. I have begun to get involved and network within my own company and continue to do so – something that everyone should do!
Fall 2021-Christmas 2021 (September-December):
As my work progressed, I began to honestly feel a bit depressed during the Fall months. I was loosing my college experience, as I watched those in my network go back for their highly-anticipated Fall 2021 semester, despite the fact that I had already graduated. I had and still have yet to get my bearings in my new hometown: I am still in the process of making new friends and establishing new connections. There is so much excitement, but there is also so much nerves and sadness too. I spent a lot of time alone this Fall 2021 season, simply processing it all and hoping to find a way to feel connected. I also work primarily remote and will continue to at my company moving forward. It hasn’t been easy, but I hope to feel connected with others in my hometown and in my workplace very soon.
Meanwhile, my life looked anything but drab on the outside! I traveled ALL over the place – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Skyline Drive at Shenandoah National Park, Virginia; Pennington, New Jersey; Haddonfield, New Jersey; Raleigh, North Carolina for a Meredith College Reunion and a wedding as well as the NC State Fair; Bethany Beach, Delaware; and Charlottesville, Virginia. I had experienced many blessings with many friends and family and a great holiday season, too! My good friend Shivani moved to the Washington, DC area too and it was great to be able to have someone to do some fun things in this area with as well – we went to Georgetown and Ballston and she even fit right into our family at Thanksgiving Dinner. My Dad also spent some time with me at my apartment in November, which was such a blessing, too! Despite some of the post-graduation hardships, I also feel like there were many many many blessings within the silver linings.
If you’re oh so curious about what I was up to in 2020 (surprisingly, it was a pretty good year for me!) you can read more about that in My Highlights of 2020 blog post (linked here).
XOXO – Katie <3