A Year in Review; 2016 Photo Faves

2016 for me started out in an apartment in Krakow, Poland, with good food, new friends, and a game of Cards Against Humanity. It was full of promise, hopes and dreams. Doesn’t every new year? After some reflection, I always find it funny that it is New Year’s when we find that something new can be possible. Time is a construct, so why do we only wait until December 31st and January 1st to realize that we can make changes in our lives and see them differently?

A lot of friends in my inner circles have decided that 2016 was a … less-than-stellar year. It was a trying one, I won’t deny that. Personally, I’ve dealt with a lot and I know it was a roller coaster of a year for all, but I’ve experienced a lot of positive things as well. I’ve traveled more of Europe, fell in love with multiple cities, hiked Cinque Terre (still can’t believe I did that) finished up my internship and my year in Rome (where I sobbed like a baby afterwards). I got to show my best friend one of the biggest parts of who I am and where my family comes from- Augustow, Poland, a dream I’ve had since I was a little kid sitting in my grandma’s garden. I came back to my sweet home, Chicago. I pushed myself to go back onstage and sing notes that I thought I could only hit if I was being chased by an ax-wielding crazy (seriously, myself, an alto through and through, was hitting high Fs and Gs, which to me is a miracle). I worked two jobs on top of an already loaded academic semester and did well in all of my courses. I’ve lost friendships, but have gained a better understanding of what it means to be a true friend and a person for others, thanks to the support system made up of my family, friends and colleagues.

In the spirit of reflections and wrap-ups, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite photos from 2016! It was actually very difficult to narrow them down, because as some of you know, I’m quite the sentimental human, so I allowed myself to pick twenty-five. Whether it be the composition of the photo, the subject, or the stories behind them, presented in chronological order, here are my favorite photos from the thousands I took this year.

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_dsc0427I plan on ending 2016 in my own apartment, in Chicago, with some close friends and a lot of good food. There may or may not be sparklers, so I’m already gearing up for a photo shoot if that is the case. I’ve grown a lot, both emotionally and professionally throughout this year, although my height is still the same… 2016 may have humbled the world, but if anything, it’s motivated me. Forever the stubborn, ambitious little Polish babushka in me, I suppose 😉

 

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Last Gasp of Autumn; Fallin’ in Love with Chicago

The already beautiful city of Chicago was blessed with a gorgeous autumn season this year.  Yes, I think Iliza Schlesinger (if you don’t know who she is, check out Freezing Hot on Netflix) was on to something and although risking the fact that I’m about to sound like a #basicwhitegirl, fall is my favorite season. The colors of the leaves, the over-sized sweaters and boots, the crisp air, my chai lattes are slowly evolving from iced to hot- it’s wonderful.

I feel like autumn is elusive; especially here in the Windy City. Most of the time, I feel like it’s gone in the blink of an eye. We enjoy maybe one or two days of perfect, sunny days with light breezes that we welcome with open arms after the hot and humid suffocating summers, but then the bitter cold creeps up and bites us late October. My last fall/winter in Chicago two years ago resulted in snow on Halloween! But 2016, despite the craziness that this year seems to be in a variety of ways (ranging from the Cubs winning the World Series for the first time in 108 years, and me caring about that, me registering for my final college semester of classes, and Trump seemingly dividing the country even more so, but personally I think he just brought the rift more to light– but that’s another story), has been quite kind weather wise.

As I said, Chicago’s been very lucky; just two days ago, we were still enjoying 70 degree weather! And now, although I’m currently bundled up into a blanket burrito in my bedroom and it’s barely 30 degrees with the wind chill, I wanted to share my favorite fall photos. Some of them were taken while on assignment for my internship at UMC, while others are just from my wanderings around the city. Enjoy!

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10/25/16 Fall captured in downtown Chicago.

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What’s your favorite shot from this autumn? Lemme know! #photowysocki #fallphotofaves on Instagram, I’d love to see them  🙂