|My first day in the AEO Pittsburgh office. I made it in one piece!|
Well, I'm here to tell you that it's been a GREAT ride so far. I've made some truly wonderful friends (some of whom I already knew before coming to Pittsburgh but became closer once I moved), some of whom were brand new this past year. I've found a very supportive network of people who are there for me in good times and bad, who call or text to check on me if I'm not at work by 9:30, who constantly make me smile and laugh, who are there for me when I cry. (Crying is at a minimum, since I'm pretty happy most of the time, but come on, it does still happen sometimes.)
And, while New York may have all the fabulous spas and salons and restaurants one could ask for (I won't lie, I do miss getting my Sunday morning pedicures and twice weekly blowouts), I have actually been able to -- gasp! -- SAVE MONEY THIS YEAR. (And that's while my hair has been red, pink, brown and blonde, all in the span of 12 months.) I don't even know the last time I was able to say that. I've made huge strides in "becoming a real grownup" (whatever that really means) and have become smarter with my cash. I've definitely enjoyed being able to spend money without worrying so much, or without watching my bank account dwindle to mere dollars. (Thankfully, gone are the days when I had about $30 in there.) Not to mention I have an apartment with a dishwasher, disposal, central air and MY OWN LAUNDRY. Who knew all of that was possible?
Sure, there have been some ups and downs. Work can be stressful and challenging. Driving has been interesting. (Who scraped a column in a parking garage and caused $1500 worth of damage to her car 5 days after she got it ... and with only 62 miles on it? Oh, that would be me.) But it's been a really fantastic year all the same, and I wouldn't change the experiences I've had for the world.
So I leave you with a little photo retrospective of my past year in Pittsburgh -- and with the fact that I can't wait to see what happens next.
And, yes, I do my own blowouts now.
|Decorating my apartment has been a blast. The Chloe couch from Macy's was exactly what I pictured owning for the new space.|
|In Pittsburgh, your neighbors are apparently nice to you when you let them know you're having a party.|
|That day five of us showed up to work wearing the Aerie Blanket Scarf. We had to immortalize the moment.|
|With my wonderful friend Addie. Yes, we both planned to wear our new sweater ponchos to work. (Side note: we start every workday with a hug!)|
|The rules for the Oscars 2014 drinking game, as thought up by my creative friend Mindy and myself.|
|Having a blast at OUTrageous Bingo recently with my friend Julie (and our new fabulous drag queen friend).|
|I finally went to my first Penguins game! AND I had amazing seats -- 6th row, center ice.|
|Sometimes you look out the window at work and see a rainbow. It happens more than you'd think, since Pittsburgh is pretty grey and rainy.|
|The American Eagle Outfitters marketing team on the day of our BTS 2014 launch. All wearing denim, of course.|
|Julie and two Jamie S's! Celebrating our friend Jamie's birthday at Benihana. We're fancy, we know.|
|Giving back during AEO Community Day this past summer. Yes, I'm shorter than a rake.|
|Days when people bring dogs to work are the best! Hanging out with my friend JoRae's dog, Lucky, on a break from his modeling career with American Beagle Outfitters.|
|Seeing Chaka Khan perform during Pittsburgh Pride this past summer.|
|I only made it to one Pittsburgh Pirates game this year, but it was a blast! Loved the stadium.|
|The restaurant situation in Pittsburgh is actually pretty incredible. Check out the chocolate maki from Soba.|