The Year of Pushing Limits: In Review

Hey World,

I'm back from my trip to Istanbul, Turkey and Italy...but more on that in the next few days. In past blogs, I used to pick words that defined my previous year, and flesh them out. This year, because this blog is still fairly new and most of the posts have been just skin and bones, I'm going to really review what all happened in 2014....a lot went down (both behind the scenes, and what I've shared so far).


2014 started with a shard of glass wedged in my heel. Yup, it was that kind of New Year. I flew to Florida to spend time with my grandparents, and began my one steadfast resolution: read more (this went well...until August). I then flew back to NYC feeling energized for the year, and started the grind of grad school again. 

Then I walked down the streets in the Village and Abraham Lincoln told me to wake up my mind. It was a strange request, but I decided to heed it. 

In February, Siri refused to be my valentine, which was rather rude. I had been on a long hiatus from dating, and being rejected by my phone was not ideal. So instead I took a half-day shooting course, and felt like Superwoman -- totally worth it. Plus, my hair looked fierce. 

In March, I went to Tempe, Arizona for my 2nd Clinton Global Initiative University after being the Visiting Author in my hometown in upstate NY. Spending a week speaking with eager kids (who raised over $1,000 for The Nyota Fund!) and then spending a long weekend with students who wanted to change the word like was invigorating.

I concluded that I didn't want to live in the US anymore, and that grad school wasn't opening the doors I thought it would for me. I wasn't happy...and I had to start doing something about it. I started to make an exit plan. 

In April, I saw something glimmer on the sidewalk and it changed my life. For the next two months, I found pennies every single day. I began living with my eyes open. I also had an interaction with the NYPD that made me uncomfortable, and started going to kickboxing classes every single day. Overnight, I became the Girl with Gloves in my bag. It was exactly what I needed. 

In May, I took a trip to my alma mater to speak as the Young Alumni Speaker at the GW Women & Philanthropy Forum. The next week, I got on a plane for a sneaky trip to Tanzania for a week for the job interview of my dreams. From the plane, I passed the Swiss Alps and asked myself, What do I have to do to live a life that will get me here? I decided happiness is what's outside your window. I also realized it was hard to inspire others when I wasn't inspired myself. 

The next week, I got the job. It was exactly the kind of job that would let me live the life I wanted.

In June, I started wrapping up my life in NYC. I also decided to run a 5K with just 9 days notice. I finished the 5K without dying, and couldn't have been more proud of myself. My move-out day confirmed that NYC was never mine. 

In July, I took a sneaky trip to Los Angeles to clear my head and detox, with help from one of my best friends. Then the Nancinator and I explored more together in the Adirondacks (and went flying!) before I took off for my new life. 

In the airport, minutes before my flight to Tanzania, I found my last penny in the NYC airport. I put it in my pocket, and taped it to my desk my first day of work. I took it as a sign to keep my eyes open, and hit the ground running (it's still on my desk).

Since moving here, things have been a bit more of a blur. Time moves less on a continuum and more in swatches of time that both rushes by you, and drags along day by day. The five months I've been here feel both like a blip and a century. It's like pulling apart an accordion -- it's pretty great to live in a world of time dualities.  

In September, I backpacked alone in Malawi for 10 days. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. I did jump off a cliff into Lake Malawi though -- 3 times. I was scared, but I did it anyways. #PushingLimits

I got a puppy I named Gus Muffin. My childhood dog Whoopie passed away after 15 years of loyalty. I lost a puppy named Gus Muffin.  It was a really rough month for my heart.

I also got a boyfriend (and thus far, have managed to keep the boyfriend). I pushed myself to try new experiences and cook new dishes, and it worked fairly well -- I now can make pickles! I also tried my hand at cricket...less successful.

And then in December, I solo traveled again, this time to Istanbul for 36 hours, and it was magical. Following that, I spent a week in Italy with Nancinator for Christmas, and arrived back in Tanzania in time for the New Year with another mountain under my belt (Vesuvius).

I've made big promises to myself for 2015, and I think, just maybe, it can top what happened this year.


2014 was a year of personal awakening. I realized that the life I was living, though it seemed great (Studio in NYC, grad school program at a prestigious University, taking pictures in Central Park with smiling faces, access to delicious food) -- it wasn't great for me. It's hard to shed something that should feel right, but doesn't. But I knew I would have to in order to be happy, so I pivoted. I made some really big decisions. I packed up that beautiful NYC life, and traded it in for a life in East Africa (and also traveled to 4 new countries).

I haven't looked back; I am living the dream. 

I hope your 2015 is a life lived with intention. 
I hope it's12 months of contentment, or working towards it. 
 52 weeks full of personal fulfillment and growth. 
Finally, I hope 2015 is a year with 365 days you are grateful for. 



  1. your father is still w/us, but lvs us soon. your uncle & family left Fri. Great holiday w/family but missed you. Love Papa & Nana

  2. thanks for your memories. Love Papa