Last year, I did my first annual year in review in this style. Maybe it’s self-serving, but I love looking back on these things and seeing how I have (or haven’t) grown in the past year. 2015 was a little less eventful than 2014 for me. Maybe because I’m getting old and realized I need to actually chill out and relax every once in a while. I worked my ass off this year, but that meant I didn’t get to take quite as many pictures for myself or make videos of my travels. 2016 is going to be quite the opposite, as I jet off to travel for a few months in February so I can focus solely on personal projects and figure out what my future is going to look like. It’s going to be weird and scary and (hopefully) wonderful. But before I get ahead of myself, here’s what my past year looked like in bullets and photos…
- Freelanced… a lot.
- Moved my grandmother to assisted living in Des Moines.
- Shot my first winter wedding.
- Made a goal to leave the state of Nebraska at least once every month. Actually did it this year.
- Flew across the ocean with Alex to explore our first countries together.
- Spent 16 beautiful, wonderful days in New Zealand and Sydney. Found my new favorite country.
- Saw my first glacier! (I was excited about this).
- Ate a ton of fish and chips. Got sick of fish and chips.
- Slept in a car next to the ocean and woke up to the most beautiful morning I’ve ever experienced.
- Spent time photographing bands at SXSW for the third year in a row.
- Talked cameras with Bob Boilen. Fan-girled a little bit.
- Shot a live video for one of my favorite artists, The Mynabirds.
- Finally got to see Sufjan Stevens live.
- Welcomed tons of people to Flywheel’s beautiful new office space in downtown Omaha.
- Started investing more energy and time and money into my freelance business.
- Saw Elle Luna, who I look up to very much, speak at Big Omaha.
- Turned 24, apparently. Spent my birthday night dancing with great friends.
- Helped move Alex out of his lovely downtown apartment into a lovely new home with some great friends.
- Romped around Chicago with best friends that I hadn’t seen in far too long.
- Spent an amazing and exhausting week traveling around the state of Nebraska, interviewing people for Hear Nebraska’s Good Living Tour.
- Did a lot of yoga.
- Shot what was pretty much my favorite Flywheel video, ever.
- Nearly ran myself into the ground freelancing and traveling, but still came out alive.
- Saw Bon Iver live for the first time ever at Eaux Claires Music Festival and cried a little.
- Volunteered for Omaha Girls Rock and had a blast photographing amazing women and girls doing great things.
- Spent hot days in Kansas and KC drinking beer and getting sunburned with friends.
- Spent a week and a half in Portland, Seattle, and Idaho with Alex visiting friends and hanging out.
- Learned that it’s really hard to work remotely when you’re also vacationing.
- Was in my first podcast.
- Camped! And hung out with some of my favorite people at Hear Nebraska’s annual retreat.
- Helped plan/host one my favorite Sofar Sounds shows at Flywheel.
- Decided that maybe I want to try cooking. Started cooking. Decided I kind of like cooking.
- Loved on good friends surprise visiting me in Omaha.
- Photographed a bunch of live shows for the first time in a while.
- Watched my baby brother turn 16.
- Celebrated big with the Flywheel team after winning some pretty cool awards.
- Visited Lauren at her home in West Virginia.
- Ate a lot of s’mores.
- Quit my job. Launched into a strange new world of change.
- Celebrated two great years with Alex (a couple weeks late… but who’s paying attention, anyway?)
- Started having regular family dinners with friends; quite possibly the best decision we’ve collectively made all year.
- Hung out with a lot of dogs.
- Went to NYC to visit Hannah. Ate good pizza and saw lots of Brooklyn.
- Visited Chicago to celebrate the amazing work Lauren is doing, and spent good time with old friends.
- Bought a plane ticket to Bangkok. Started planning a southeast Asian adventure.
I’m both immensely scared and incredibly excited for 2016. It’s gonna be a good/weird one. Onward! And as always, thanks for reading.