2018 was a year of preparation and transition. And quite a bit of stress…Last semester of college, moving out, finding an apartment and a job, settling into my new city…these are just a few examples of my year of transition.

Last semester of college: The first 4 months of 2018 comprised my last semester. I had already decided to move to Pennsylvania, so I used much of my free time applying to jobs, learning about the city, and trying to find an apartment. Most of my study time was used on two big projects and one class – my Writing senior capstone class, my Honors program senior project, and a capstone type dance class (in which I determined what kind of artist I want to be and designed my own website and business cards).

I choreographed three dances and finished analyzing 3 poems for my senior honors project. It was one of the biggest blessings of 2018…studying the poems and working with my friends to bring to life one of my dream works. I consider them family…Dom, Mary, Sarah Grace, Gabby, Lillian, Rachel, Meredith, Alena, Dad – thank you for all your hard work on this project!

My senior capstone project was editing my dad’s first devotional and navigating how to publish it on Amazon. Ordering Our Steps: Committing Life and Sport to Christ was published on June 2.

Then, I graduated and tried very hard not to cry as I said bye to dear friends and packed up my stuff in the little house I had grown to love. I stuffed down my insecurities and fears about moving to a place where I had no connections and would be hours from anyone I knew well.

Moving Out: After two weeks at home, I packed up again and moved myself to PA in one of my family’s cars. Once settled in the room I was subleasing for the summer, I fought against fear and loneliness on a daily basis. Thankfully, God quickly provided me with a full-time babysitting position that lasted me through the summer. Mid-summer, I found a cute apartment in an old house with a good landlord. Knowing it was in a safe neighborhood and near the next family I would babysit for regularly, I set that worry aside.

Settling Into my New City: With help from various family members, I was able to move all my furniture and stuff into my new apartment. I purchased my first car. I figured out how to set up my own Wifi and utilities that I pay for. I struggled to get to church and save time for myself to do things I love. But, I went when I could and I started making friends there. I was accepted for the dance internship that I wanted when I moved here. But, I haven’t danced since I graduated since my body needed time to heal from a back injury and a muscle strain. I got sick a few times and called my family a lot. But I slowly got to know the city and the people that I’ve been meeting. I went back and forth with the company that took care of my school loans, and finally got a low repayment rate for the next year.

Heading into 2019: 7 1/2 months since graduating, I can say that I have my own apartment, my own car, I’m earning money, and I haven’t been late paying my rent or any bills. I pray that it remains so. I still babysit for two families, and have two part-time jobs. I’m continuing to make friends and am mostly unstressed. My schedule consists of long days and balancing jobs, so I’m often tired. But I have confidence that God will continue to provide, and with discipline I can maintain my health and make time for things I love.

God bless you as we move into the next year of our lives. My birthday is early in the year, so I don’t make my resolutions right away. I’ll share some of them next week. 🙂