The Best Start to the New Year

I've realized that my blog posts have been a spastic mess that may be way too long to even comprehend - I'm either not updating this enough, or giving way too much detail.  I'm going with the latter, and I'm not sure how to fix that  .. and with that said, this is going to be another long one...

So 2013 has gone, and suddenly it's been over two years since I started this blog? Where has time gone?

I created this thing in 2011 to document my time studying abroad in London during the following Spring.  What I didn't fully realize was how much life would change after that, and how much would happen that I still found worth writing down.  In 2012 I was able to live in another country on the other side of the world, travel throughout Europe and experience some of the things that I never dreamed possible.

Then came 2013 .. In the past year I've managed to cruise around the Caribbean with some of my best friends, graduate from college, spend a week at one of the greatest music festivals with Heather after going a full year without seeing each other, move to Massachusetts for temporary work and a great experience, turn down a job offer, move to Florida to figure out my life, travel to London and Liverpool for possibly the best month of my life to date, leave with a job offer, met the greatest musician to ever walk this earth (Yes, I'm talking about Paul McCartney of course), apply to graduate school, and end the year with my family in the Bahamas.

Whew. How do you top all that?

We're not even two months into the new yea, and somehow I already have a feeling that I'm going to be able to do that.

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I found this quote on some social media, and never felt it truer to my life.  Too many times within these past couple of years have I felt that I've taken the crazy road - the one that some may look at as impractical or ludicrous - it's not something that may give me the most secure path in stability and settling down.  But I'm 22 years old - why are we talking about settling down?  If there's anything I've taken from my time abroad, it's that life should be about the adventure.  If you want to do something, do it.  If you have a dream, DO IT.

And with that logic, I've been able to do things I never thought were possible, and I'm looking forward to what's to come.  But nonsense, let's start with the updates:

Billy Joel: 
Now I absolutely love Billy Joel.  I think he is one of the greatest musicians in history.  I read articles a while back where he would talk about not being sure if he'll ever go on the road again, and with that I really never thought I would be able to see him live.  But after the 12-12-12 concert, some dates here and there started to pop up where Billy would play, and finally a year later, he set a date for a show in Florida! My dad and I got our tickets in November when they came on sale - and while pricey - so worth it.

Our seats were behind the stage, which made me really nervous, in case he had any back drops or anything up, but I was so wrong - our seats were some of, if not the best in the house!

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Not a bad view I'd say..

The opener was some random guy I had never heard of, but the guy actually who came out on stage looked strangely familiar, and his voice was even more recognizable.  From the moment he came out, Gavin Degraw popped into my mind, and then I realized I had heard the song he was singing before, and finally he introduced himself! I was way too proud of guessing right, and it was also a pretty amazing surprise - he was so good!

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After Gavin played, we had a little bit of time to wait, where Dad let me go out and buy a Billy Joel shirt - even if they were overpriced.  Needless to say, I've barely taken it off.

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Then, it happened - BILLY JOEL. IN THE FLESH. He hobbled up the stairs like the 64 year old man that he is, but played like a god.  Much to my thought that his voice was shot, he sounded almost identical to his 70s/80s recordings! It was one of the best shows I will ever see in my life, and I really can't explain how excited I still am that I was able to see him live.

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And if that wasn't good enough to start the year with, January was full of more great surprises...

London:
I left off in October when Heather and I ventured back abroad to London and Liverpool, in search of jobs.  We had an amazing time (if you couldn't already tell from the four different novel blog posts on the trip), and even left with some great feelings in our job hunt.  As good as we felt, coming back to America puts some obstacles up, and eventually we fell back to square one.

We put our heads together, and thought of all the options - saving up and making another trip for more interviews, working for a transfer, moving over there and just seeing what we could do, etc.  None of these options seems like the right answer for us, so we turned to look into graduate school.

Getting your masters is always a good idea - give yourself a higher degree, more knowledge, skills, experience, etc. etc.  Getting your masters in London, though, is a great idea, especially for people like Heather and me.  It gives that same opportunity and all the perks, but also gives us a year in London to immerse ourselves in the city, make connections, and secure ourselves in the UK for after we graduate.  It is also cheaper, and a shorter span of time to receive your degree.

With all signs pointing to a go, we talked to our families, and decided to take the chance.  It took the end of 2013, but I eventually got the applications in, and within a few weeks, received my first acceptance letter, followed by a few more! Which makes it official.  I'm going back to school - I'm moving back to London.  Everything Heather and I have worked towards since we had to leave, has paid off and we are finally getting the chance to start our lives abroad!

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My first acceptance letter!

It seems like we've been through Plan A to Plan B etc. etc., and it's possible that we may be onto Plan G even.  But I was never the type of person to just let something go - especially if I want it that bad ... and for anyone who knows me, they know I've wanted this BAD.  I really can't explain what happened when we were over there, but in five short months I felt like I found the place where I belonged - and let's be real, there was no way I was just going to push that in the back of my mind and try and move on with life.

So with that, the next few months will be spent with the stress that will come with applying for loans, scholarships, financial aid, flat hunting, and packing - but I could not be more excited for anything in my life.

I've been living in Florida since I got back from the UK in October, and it hasn't been the easiest of adjustments.  But with all that's ahead, things have been pretty great lately.  I've finally found work that I am able to enjoy that will also allow me to save up (for that damn exchange rate I'm about to be ruined by), while also putting together the details for the future.

And let's be honest - I'm spending the next six months on the beach and then I'm moving to the UK in the Fall - what can I really be unhappy about?

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