Instead of celebrating the past week for the Celebrate Link-Up today I’m going to celebrate the past year. In 2012 I shared 5 things that made me smile. As the year wrapped up last week I couldn’t think of a way to capture the highlights in one umbrella like that, but the Celebrate Link-Up gives me a chance.
Here’s what I’m celebrating from 2013.
1. Speaking out about poverty and helping to build an organization that’s fighting for human rights in Pennsylvania.
2. Finding old friends in new places.
4. Getting to know Leah.
5. Being part of a community-focused arts organization.
I served on the executive board of the Perry County Council of the Arts in 2013 and also sold handwoven scarves at the PCCA gallery in Newport. Leaving the wonderful people involved with this organization (staff and volunteers) was the saddest part of leaving Perry County at the end of the year. There’s great talent in that community but what I loved is that the focus isn’t the esoteric or elitist promotion of high art. The PCCA and its people are building community. And the FoMHR project wouldn’t have been possible without my feeling connected to and welcome in that community.
6. Hiking a lot.
I didn’t complete all of my 2013 physical challenges (I only went on one long bike ride), but I surpassed the challenge to do 5 new hikes. I also did plenty of hiking on familiar trails. I just hope that I maintain that habit now that I live in a city.
7. Landing a dream job.
I hesitate to say “dream job” because it’s not the only job I’ve ever wanted, nor do I expect to do it forever and always, but it is something I’m passionate about and have been working towards, so here’s the story. At a journalism workshop in 2010, when I had just ventured into international journalism, I said to someone, “if I were to do journalism back in the States, I’d want to be on the education beat.” I’ve been covering schools as a freelancer or general assignment reporter since 2011, and in November I started as a full-time education reporter at a daily newspaper.