Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Long Goodbye to 2013

#DailyWings: "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -George Eliot

It's really not going to be that long. Just give me two minutes. That's all I need to virtually hug my readers and say, "You're still here, then, after all this time?" Has it really been more than three months since my last published post? 

If my blog still makes it to your news feed and you're reading this, thank you for sticking with me. My queue has eight partially written drafts rotting away, forgotten and obsolete. Every time I sat down to write for myself (either on this blog or in my journal or as part of an unfinished piece of work) this semester, guilt weighed down in the pit of my stomach as I thought of all the "real writing" that needed to get done - feature stories for the newspaper, online articles and so forth. One of the most crucial lessons I have yet to learn is that writing for myself is just as important as writing for others. 

You'll read more about my new years resolutions (many of them are writing-related) tomorrow - I'm a big fan of themes, and thus 2014 has been dubbed the year of literary frenzy - but before that I need to give a proper recap of 2013. Here's my annual...

Year in Review
(see last year's review and resolutions here)

  • Completed my first journalism internship at Chapel Hill's The WEEKLY
  • Served as the arts and entertainment editor at Blue & White magazine; will be returning as managing editor in the spring
  • Served as fall co-editor of The Durham VOICE
  • Started dating Andrew and fell in love
  • Learned how to drive at night and on the highway
  • Joined DIY MFA, one of my favorite writing blogs, as an online columnist after a fantastic internship experience
  • Found my inner poet and wrote several pieces of free verse
  • Published travel and food feature articles in Carolina PASSPORT, Wander and Flourish magazines
  • Survived the infamous Chapel Hill flood in June and lived for five months in practically a construction site of an apartment with no walls or proper flooring
  • Shared my story as an individual living with a tracheostomy tube and spent 1.5 months alone for the first time (without a "parental guardian")

Other highlights: Interned at Personify, served (and still serving) as vice president of UNC CUSA, met Khaled Hosseini, started freelancing and received the Quincy Sharpe Mills Scholarship from the UNC j-school.

Indeed, what a year it has been! More than anything, this year made me realize that I can do anything I want with the right amount of determination, confidence and planning - no matter how many obstacles there are (even if one of them is a flooded home). I learned to believe in myself. Of course, my resolutions and years in review are often focused on my writing career, but there are other aspects of my life that also help me to make priorities. 

The theme for 2013 was "professionalism" because I wanted to gain more work experience - not just to boost my resume with internships, but to learn what it's like to thrive in a work environment with other colleagues. To get a taste for "the real world" before college is over and so that I know what to expect after graduation in May. 

The thing, though, is that 2014 is going to bring about so many changes and surprises that nothing will have prepared me for them. It's a little daunting to think about, but that is why this next year is geared toward writing. I can't help but feel like writing for myself is going to be more important this year than any other so far. I'll be entering the job market as a journalist. I will be leaving UNC-Chapel Hill, a place that is extremely dear to my heart and has helped to shape my identity over the past four years of my life. I will be separated from close friends and people who have stood beside me since the beginning of college and even high school - we'll embark on our own journeys, say farewell. I will need my journal close by to remind myself who I am without UNC and that everything is going to be okay. 

My new years resolutions for 2014 are coming up soon - and you can bet that blogging regularly is one of them. Check back tomorrow for my annual resolutions post and an extra surprise...something I've been working on for the past couple of weeks and cannot wait to share with you! Happy New Year!

Wendy Lu



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