Christmas is days away, and then a new year comes to town with all of its promise and excitement. This time of year is always nice (despite my Grinchy tendencies) with families coming together, long distance friends reaching out, and so many of us taking the time to express our gratitude and count our blessings.
The holiday season is a nice reminder that during a rough year I do have things to be grateful about and I do have many blessings. And so begins my 2013 review.
Politics & Professionalism
I began this year taking on a new challenge and a new job and while I end the year in yet another job hunt, I’m grateful that I had ten months working with incredible artists, getting to know the theater world of Boston, and learning a ton.
Professionally I also took on some new challenges this year in my political life. I joined the Young Democrats of America in West Virginia and Texas and even (somehow!) ended up being elected Secretary of the LGBTQ Caucus of YDA! I’m still floored to be working with such passionate, talented young Democrats from across the country. Right after Texas, I was elected Vice Chair of Programming & Policy of the Young Democrats of Mass, and re-elected Chair of the Greater Boston chapter. The Boston chapter of YDM has done so much this year my head spins when I think about it all. We honored Rep. Joe Kennedy III in February, held at least one event every single month, co-hosted a fundraiser for LGBT homeless youth, walked in the Walk for Hunger (all 20 miles!), we were recognized officially by the Cambridge City Council for our efforts on behalf of the youth of greater Boston, saw Ed Markey & Katherine Clark elected, worked on dozens of campaigns, and had members elected to the Boston City Council! Insanity! I am so proud of the chapter and our members and even two years into my role as Chair I’m still blown away that everyone trusts me and my work enough to keep me around.
Through my work with the Young Democrats, I was invited to join the California Young Democrats at their biannual convention in Tahoe City, CA and thanks to the incredible generosity of friends around the US, was able to visit California for the first time in ten years. I spent five days getting to know the CYDs and learning from the best, biggest chapter in the country – what an honor!
Outside of the Young Democrats, I expanded my organizing efforts and was invited to speak at BU’s Trans* Awareness Week on trans* political organizing. In my head, speaking at Boston University is a crazy measure of experience and heft. I still can’t believe I had the opportunity and the conversation we had was thoughtful, informed, and gave me hope for the future of organizing in the movement.
In other political feats, I organized the state Democratic convention showing for Mike Lake for LG and then became his Statewide Volunteer Director. I doorknocked for hours on behalf of Suzanne Lee for Boston City Council and helped the ballot initiative in Winchester, MA for a new high school (which won with 68% of the vote!). I spoke at RootscampMA for the first time (leading the workshop on youth organizing, which was one of my favorite workshops ever) and volunteered at the first ever Progressive MA conference and the Massachusetts Conference on Women.
I really feel like I’ve made the most of 2013 politically and professionally and while I keep up the job hunt, I’m hopeful for 2014, but I did more this year than just politics – I promise!
I dealt with things I’ve never dealt with this year. I got my first root canal (which I would not recommend to anyone – have annual dentist visits, people!), had pneumonia, and got attacked in the street for the first time in my life. My trust was shaken this year. But I spent some amazing time with my family and my boyfriend’s family. I visited Maine to celebrate my third nephew’s third birthday with an epic water balloon fight with a dozen little kids. I dyed my hair purple for the first! I met Al Franken and my brother got married (after 12 years and four kids together!). I got to eat Whataburger for the first time and baked a cake from scratch for the first time (we even made the icing ourselves)… It’s hard sometimes to keep a balance, and I think this year I definitely failed in that one. My life revolved more around politics and work than anything else. My writing suffered. My health suffered. My relationships got strained.
I’m looking forward to next year having more of that – more balance, more creativity, more time with loved ones. I’m looking forward to finding a new job, a safer year for our city, celebrating three years with my boyfriend and three years here in Dorchester. I’m going to post another End-of-Year-Review piece about what I’m looking forward to in 2014, but I want to know — what did you love and hate about your 2013?