2014 (Insert Quirky Title Here)

Surprise! I haven’t blogged in over 11 months and so, SO much has happened in that time that I’m not sure where to start or what title this post should have. I’ll try to keep it coherent enough (ha! we all know that’s almost impossible).

Let’s start from the beginning and go in chronological order.

The year started out well, in NYC (one of my favorite places in the world). Nico and I had fun with friends, I caught a plane back to EL being ridiculously hangover and was greeted by two snow days at the beginning of the semester. Cool.

The spring semester was relatively uneventful. My students didn’t like me much (it’s okay, I didn’t like them much either…), Selene and Monica passed their 2nd year oral exams, life went on. The main event of the semester was Nico’s graduation in May (his commencement made me want to graduate so badly! oh well).

In late May I completed my 2nd half marathon, and this time I ran the whole dang thing. Now that was an accomplishment I’ll be proud of for a while. The race was in beautiful Traverse City, MI, and I had my two running buddies with me, Jennie and Kelley. It was an awesome weekend. Short story: I wore my Argentinean soccer jersey for the race (something about national pride), and as I was running, one of the marathoners, who was running the other way, yelled “Go Argentina!”. Totally made my day. So, whoever you were, fellow runner, thank you. You made me smile and motivated me. Extra points for knowing the away jersey.

Jennie, Kelley and I after the race

Not very long after the race, I went to Argentina. It’s always wonderful to be among friends and family. No matter how comfortable I feel in the US (and believe me, I feel great here), Argentina is always home. It takes me no time to find my place there, and my friends never make me feel that time has taken an toll on our relationship. I got to see many people, but of course the highlight of any trip home is hanging out with Quique. It’s amazing how someone can not only put up with me and my shenanigans, but also cherish them. As usual, we had to deal with people assuming we’ll end up together (no, peeps – that won’t happen, and trust me, it’s better this way), but who cares. We got 4 days in Córdoba where we managed to drive a couple of store clerks crazy, buy clothes and shoes for him and… a little cooking pot for me. Such is life. It was awesome. AND we managed to get a great looking picture!

I know we're very attractive, but don't fall for us.

I know we’re very attractive, but don’t fall for us.

After getting back to EL, Nico moved to Chicago for his residency. We’ll get back to it later.

Over the summer, Annie and her family moved from EL to Bemidji, MN. I helped the pack and tried to spend as much time with them as possible. It was so sad to see all their stuff in the U-haul ready to go! I’ve missed her a lot since then.

Oh, have I mentioned the World Cup? Wow. So. Many. Feels. Work was easily forgotten when Argentina played. I cried when we made it to the final after beating the Netherlands. And suffered through every minute of the final, getting accordingly sad when we lost. I hate Germany so much. Oh well. I’m still super proud of the team and probably won’t forget this WC anytime soon.

The summer included another major accomplishment: my very first Warrior Dash. I’m not sure why I decided to do it, or how I managed to, but I did the whole thing, without skipping any obstacles, despite how terrified I was at times. It was awesome and I actually enjoyed it and am kind of looking forward to doing it again. The turkey leg + beer combo afterwards enhanced the experience. Fun story: there was a couple getting married after completing the race 🙂

After the race. Uber filthy and uber proud.

After the race. Uber filthy and uber proud.

Next important moment of the year: the Donor-Acceptor GRS/GRC in Newport, RI. For all of you, non-chemistry folks: it’s a chemistry conference, fairly specific and quite informal. In Drew’s words, it’s science camp for adults, which is quite accurate. Getting ready for it was stressful (surprise!) but the conference was interesting, fun, inspiring, etc. I had a great time and got back to the lab super motivated. This did wear off a bit over the next semester, but it was a great experience nevertheless.

So far so good, right? 2014 looks like a pretty kick-ass year, huh? Well, wait for it. It gets worse.

After two months of a (I should be honest) lousy long-distance relationship, Nico broke up with me. There’s no better way to put it, so let’s just get it out of the way. Much crying ensued. A lot. Suddenly I felt so alone, seeing how the life I had built went out the window. But if you’ve paid attention to this post so far, you’ve noticed that most of the highlights of my year didn’t include the guy I was “building a life” with. Yeah, it took me a while to see that. Or maybe I just told myself it was okay. But it wasn’t. And now I can see that it was for the best, even though it hurt a lot at the time.

It took me about two weeks of crying and feeling sorry for myself to get back on my feet. I have to take a moment to thank the awesome friends who supported me through the whole thing. Monica and Jennie provided enough sugar to sweeten any feelings, and were always willing to listen and hang out and cheer me up. It took Annie only a couple of days to invite me to spend Christmas with her family (as a matter of fact, I’m writing this in her parents’ living room), and the same was true for Tere inviting me over for Thanksgiving. Quique, Iani and Ale M. were there regardless of the time of the day and despite the long distance. And Ale R. and Sebas welcomed me in NYC for my birthday. My parents were there for me too, as they’ve always been. It’s amazing how loved you can feel even when your world seems in shambles.

So, as I was saying, after two weeks of crying things got better. The prospect of spending my birthday in EL was making me sad (even though I have awesome friends there, it just felt wrong), but Ale R. and Sebas let me crash on their couch in NYC. It was a fantastic birthday weekend that will be hard to top. For my bday we went to Coney Island… some of those roller coasters are plain awesome. Also, eating at Nathan’s Famous is one of those really-bad-for-you-yet-super-tasty experiences. This was also the second time Ale R. and I met outside of Argentina (the first time was in 2012, in München, Germany); yeah, we’re that cool.

Coney Island = The Perfect Place to Spend Your Birthday

Coney Island = The Perfect Place to Spend Your Birthday

Life has gotten much better since October. I’ve embraced my not-so-inner basic white girl, gotten a nose ring and enjoyed living alone and being “wild and single” for a while (key words: a while*). For Thanksgiving break I visited Tere in DC, and also got to see Alli after 2 years! It was a great relaxing couple of days. December was pretty hectic, but now that my pressing work duties are over I get a chance to relax and enjoy Christmas.

What’s on tap for 2015? Several things; the year looks very promising. There’s a trip home in the near future; Quique is visiting me over the summer (yay for Argentinean shenanigans in the US!!); Jennie, Kelley, Bryan and I are running a marathon in October (yes, you read that right: a full marathon); and I’m probably walking in the commencement in December (!!!). I’m excited to see what the new year brings. Hopefully I’ll sum it up for you in 12 months 😉

*Yes, there is someone new in the picture. And I like him a lot and things are going well, but I don’t want to jinx it so you’ll have to wait.

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