2013 Milestones

By Risa Isard

The beginning of a new year seems to invite introspection. For someone who has spent a disproportionate portion of my life marked by a year that started in August and ended in May and lived in a limbo of time for the three months between, I’m finally in a place where January 1st means something. After all, it was this past January when I moved to a new city and state and started my first “real job.” With that in mind, it’s hard to think of anything that’s transpired in 2013 that wasn’t a milestone of some sort. This past year was a landmark in itself.  But some things are more monumental than others, so here are the top 13 things that changed for me in 2013 (in no particular order).

  1. I moved. Into my own apartment. In a city where I knew nobody. In a state where I never pictured I’d live.
  2. I started a job. My first “real” job. In my desired industry.
  3. I became fully financially independent. I bought a car. And a kitchen table.
  4. I wasn’t in school. For what seems like the first time in my life. And I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would. (But I’m not ruling out going back at some point and getting that Ph.D. I always talk about.)
  5. I took up cycling. I learned how to use clip-on shoes. I fell a few times. And then I completed a 75-mile, hilly ride.
  6. As a runner, I learned what it’s like to be injured. On and off (but mostly on). For an entire year.
  7. I started writing for Generation W.
  8. I became a fruit snob. And ate olallieberries. And persimmons. And white nectarines. And boysenberries. And figs. And every pluot and grape variety ever.
  9. I’ve come to love my new, blended family.
  10. I have improved in meeting people where they’re at when it comes to issues about which I care deeply and now know how to stand up for my beliefs without being antagonizing.
  11. I grew in self-acceptance.
  12. I learned that I’m actually, at least a little bit, introverted.
  13. I went from pinching every penny to letting myself occasionally indulge in frivolous spending.

By all accounts, 2013 was a good year. It was also a transformative year. As a first year in “life,” I tried a lot of new things; stepped out of my comfort zone once, or a thousand times; overcame challenges; and generally grew a lot. But if my trajectory is similar to high school and college, I’ve got a sophomore surge coming. And quite frankly, I can’t wait.


risaAbout the Author
Risa Isard  graduated from Duke University (2012), where she designed her own major in social change, gender, and sports and earned honors for her thesis about the prehistory and early years of Title IX. She is an “everyday athlete,” has been published on espnW, and also blogs at I’m an Athlete, Not a Princess.  She recently landed her first “real” job as the Community Relations Coordinator for the Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple A affiliate for the San Francisco Giants.  She considers herself incredibly fortunate to have had amazing mentors and strongly believes in paying it forward to the next generation.