2014 Review. What The Hell?


I wasn’t going to do one of these retrospective year-end posts. When I created Take Me to the World, I wanted to keep the focus on travel and performing arts. I didn’t want to post those random “this is what I’ve been binge-watching on Netflix or what I’ve been doing at work” posts.

And yet here is a post about my life in general. It will include a bit of travel and a bit about the shows I’ve seen this year, but also a bit about my life in 2014. If you’re already bored, then this post should interest you instead.

Travel in the US

In 2014 I didn’t go anywhere new. I went back to New York City (in April) for the third time, and back to Las Vegas (in May) for the second time. I’ve been to both of those places before, but I did and saw things I hadn’t on previous trips. I can’t see myself planning a trip back to Las Vegas, but I’m glad I went for the 2nd time. I got to see a few things I didn’t on my first trip, which was great. New York City – I’d still go back there. I went to a few new places in NYC, but I’ll be honest I spent a lot of time in Midtown, and at Times Square. If I lived there, I’d probably get tired of it, but as a visitor, I always enjoy going to Times Square.

Manhattan View from Roosevelt Island

One of the new places I visited on my trip to NYC in 2014 was Roosevelt Island. This is a photo of Manhattan from Roosevelt Island.

Travel in Canada

Usually, I go to Saskatchewan in the summer to visit my family, but this year I wasn’t able. I went to Calgary a couple of times as well. The one “new” place I visited was Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump with my friend. Yes, that is the name. It’s a World UNESCO Heritage Site about 150km south of Calgary. Back in the day, the Plains Native Americans used the coulee in the area to hunt buffalo by herding the buffalo. Then they would stampede the buffalo to the bottom of the gorge. It sounds gruesome, but this is how the Native Americans survived. The Native Americans used almost every part of the animal for survival. Head-Smashed-In was a site in Alberta I’d always wanted to visit. I’m glad went this summer.

Visiting Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump.

Visiting Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump.

Performing Arts  – New York and Vegas

I saw four shows in New York City. Three were Broadway musicals If/Then. Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Cabaret. I also saw an interactive theatre experience called Sleep No More. In Las Vegas, I saw a couple of shows including Cirque du Soleil: One, and The Marc Savard Comedy Hypnotist Show.

Fire show at The Mirage in Las Vegas.

I also saw several of the “free” shows in Vegas like the Volcano show at The Mirage.

Performing Arts  – Around Edmonton

This year I saw some great shows. I saw some local improv watching Rapid Fire Theatre at the Citadel Theatre. For my birthday I saw a Klondike Melodrama from Die Nasty at the Capitol Theatre in Fort Edmonton Park. My friend and I got to see the very cool horse show Cavalia by Odysseo in July. Last month another friend and I went to see Catch Me If You Can: The Musical from my alma mater MacEwan University.  I also went to Symphony in the Square in August. This is an annual event where Edmonton Symphony Orchestra performs an outdoor concert. The night my friends and I went they were playing Disney songs.

The Capitol Theatre at Fort Edmonton Park in Edmonton, Alberta.

I saw some hilarious improv at The Capitol Theatre in Fort Edmonton Park.

Fringe Festivals

I love Fringe Festivals, and for the first time, I got to go to The Calgary Fringe Festival. While my evening at The Calgary Fringe was short, I saw a few shows including The Hudson Bay Epic!, The Balding, and Einstein! For the second year, I volunteered at The Edmonton International Fringe Festival. I was able to see several shows including Eavesdrop: The Coffee Shop Show, The Frogs, The Hobbling Buddhas, and Promise and Promiscuity. I also saw We Glow, McCrackin 2: The Whackining, and Propylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, Retinol Palmitate, and Other Words I Don’t Understand Like Love. The last one was a fantastic dance show with a super long title.

Life in General

2014 is where I kind of go “what the hell?” Like what the hell happened to the year? What the hell was that about? It feels like I got put through the proverbial ringer. Yet there wasn’t anything horrible that happened. Let’s recap my life via 2014. Until April I was working on finishing my final semester of University. I did some freelance writing, and in February I launched Take Me to the World. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in Professional Writing from MacEwan University.

I turned 30 this year, and my aunt and cousins baked me this wonderful and delicious chocolate and lime gluten-free cake.

During most of last year, and a good part of this year I’d been applying for various writing jobs. In University I took several technical writing classes. It was something I enjoyed, so I started applying for those types of writing jobs. While I got a few interviews, for the most part, I heard….nothing. Dead air. Silence. That’s been the what the hell part (for the most part) of this year. It’s gotten me depressed, and frustrated. The worst part is all the self-doubt that comes in with that.

People could say I’m giving up easily, but I don’t like to see it like that. It’s more of a refocusing. Instead, I decided to focus on freelancing. I’ve been getting a few small projects and writing for Take Me to the World.

2014 – What I’ve Learned

This year hasn’t been easy, but I don’t want to give the impression that I’m saying “poor me, feel sorry for me.” 2014 has been hard, but it’s also taught me a lot. I’m not exactly where I thought I would be, but then again I’ve never been the kind of person who knows where I’m going. My goals tend to shift, and I’ve been figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t. For the last month or so I’ve been taking a break from most of my writing. My laptop broke, and then the backup computer I was using (my parents desktop) also broke. I love writing, but I needed that pause. Having a computer break made me realize there are other things I’d like to do in 2015. I don’t want next year to be me stressing over writing deadlines.

2015

If you’re still here then congrats. This is the part of the post where bloggers talk about the plans they have for 2015. I have nothing exciting to share right now. I was thinking about travelling to Seattle or Portland because I’ve got enough reward miles to go there. I have a couple of ideas. Nothing is definitive or set in stone. 2015 is an open book. And I love open books.

How was your 2014?

6 comments on “2014 Review. What The Hell?

  1. I love end of the year wrap-ups. I know what you mean about keeping your blog focused but I also find it so humanizing to hear about what people are watching on Netflix or doing for their day jobs. It’s not all glamorous travel experiences, and that’s okay. I love the way you closed this post: “2015 is an open book. And I love open books.” Me too. Here’s to a better year for both of us!

    • Aww thanks for the comment Emma. I’ve been reading your blog, and I think you’ve definitely had a harder 2014 than I did. Hoping your 2015 has been going better than your 2014. 🙂

  2. Ah, your travels sound pretty great. Love the Sask shoutout, I’m from Manitoba! I adore NYC, can’t go wrong. My friends went to Sleep No More and I am DYING to experience it!! There is one other one they went to by the same person and it just sounds too amazing. They did tell me not to read any online reviews though and to go completely open to whatever. Oh my god I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of seeing it!!

    • If you get the chance to get to Sleep No More you definitely should. It’s a wild experience, and totally unlike regular theatre (least any theatre I’ve seen). My friend is going to NYC in a few days and wants to see a similar interactive show, but it’s based on Alice in Wonderland and takes place at a former insane asylum…not sure if it’s from the same people as Sleep No More or someone else.

  3. Hi Alouise, I just came across your blog and I’m really enjoying it. I have just started mine so I’m at the beginning of the road when it comes to blogging. I really enjoyed your post and I completely understand what you mean about feeling depressed about finding a job. I’m in the same boat. Hopefully this will make you feel better…at least a little. It’s not you! I believe the problem here in Canada right now is that there are too many people with lots of experience looking for jobs…there are more people looking for jobs than there are jobs available and so the reality is employers know they can get more experienced professionals. This thought helps me a bit because it stops me from thinking there is something wrong with me. Take care and good luck with the job hunt…maybe you’ve already found something.

    • Hi Magalena. Thanks so much for your comment. I think you are right, there’ s a lot of competition for jobs and a lot of people who might have more experience. The job search can be frustrating, but I try not to let it get me down.

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