According to Roman mythology, Janus was the god of transition, with a faces that looked both behind and ahead. We're at the beginning of a new year, and I am excited for the things to come. At the same time, I am very grateful for what 2013 brought me. The biggest achievement of the year would have to be winning a job with the Knoxville Symphony, but the year also gave me lots of new friends, the Edugaytion YouTube show and podcast, and most excitingly, travel, which I feel like I need to talk about in this short post.
My first trip of the year was back to New York City. Although I'd been to the city a few times before, spending time alone navigating the trains and meeting people in coffee shops gave me a real appreciation for the Big Apple - enough for me to return three more times. One of those return trips was with the DSO, and performing in Carnegie Hall was spectacular from every angle. NYC hasn't seen the last of me just yet.
One of my dearest friends, Guillermo, lives in the Tampa area and works as a nurse, so at the beginning of the summer Andy and I decided to visit him. I'd never been to Florida before, and I must say that this was probably my favorite trip of the year. When you get us sisters reunited it's bound to be loads of fun. From getting a little darker on the beaches, to seeing one of my favorite drag queens of all time (Alaska Thunderf*ck), this trip was, in a word, HOT.
Shortly after returning from Florida, I got a surprise e-mail from a woman named JoAnne. Little did I know a few weeks later I'd be in the Bahamas teaching bassoon and oboe. Everyone talks about vacationing in the Caribbean, but I lived in the REAL Bahamas for a month. Although it was a little scary at times, it's a place I will always hold dear to me heart. Not only did I gain a lot of teaching experience and a broader perspective of black individuals around the world, I met life-long friends.
Just a little before Christmas, I talked Andy into a trip to London. I've always wanted to go, and this would probably be our last chance before things get too hectic with me and my schedule. It was cold, but similar to the Bahamas, I felt that we saw the REAL London. The touristy stuff was required, of course, but staying in the off the path village of Slough brought a different dynamic to our visit (including seeing a real life bar fight!). This trip deserves its own post, so I'll save all of the details for later.
Like Janus, I look both behind and ahead. I'm not sure how 2013 can be topped, but I know it will be. I'm so terribly thankful for what last year brought me, and I'm already grateful for what's to come. Happy New Year everyone!