My Illinois One Year Anniversary

Well folks, this week (approximately) marks my one year anniversary of moving to Urbana, IL. It's sometimes hard to think that a year ago I was here:

Coe's football field where I spent my Sundays working on my running skills. 

Coe's football field where I spent my Sundays working on my running skills. 

I moved in August 2014 to start a new adventure. I still remember my brother, sister, and I going to Urbana a week before I moved, frantically looking for a place for me to live. I still can't drive down certain streets without remembering how clueless the three of us were that Saturday but how now, my Chambana map is more clearly filled in. I found a single apartment, a little far from campus, but spacious and a place I could entirely called my own. 

I'm still living there a year later, and plan to live here until July 2016. It's the first time in five years where I haven't moved after nine months. My move in August 2014 was my 13th move since I left Wisconsin for Coe in August 2010. It's incredibly comforting to not have to pack up my things, but instead, settle into my apartment just a little bit more. 

When I think back on this first year in Illinois, I can't believe how many things have changed (and how some things stayed the same). I'm content in Urbana, happy in my program, pleased what I'm pursing in my life right now, and thankful for all the friends I've made here, and all the ones I kept in touch with after I left Coe. 

In terms of changes, I made the move to the world of smart phones (you know what that means if you had multiple phone numbers for me [your patience and persistence to communicate with me meant the world to me]; for those who didn't endure that saga, be thankful), learned to live on my own (after living with 11 wonderful gals, it's nice to have my own space entirely), began to bike more than I drive, changed what sort of librarianship I want to do, and found a place where my ideas and views could be challenged and strengthened. I feel more alert and aware of the world; more in tune with the injustice and unfairness, but filled with a weird sort of optimism that we can do more and we can make things better.

So I'll celebrate my year in Illinois by hanging out with friends, reading some books, catching up on email, training for my new job, and sitting poolside soaking in the sun. I'm ready for year two and know many exciting things are in my future.   

Below: a sampling of my favorite photos from this year. They are no order.