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I’m So Glad 2014 is Over

Hello friends,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on the ‘ole blog in part because 2014 was kind of terrible. At the very least, there was a lot of upheaval in my life last year.

Anyway, I got an email from wordpress a week ago inviting me to look back on my year in blogging, and it was pretty pathetic — I posted seven times in 2014. Seven.

I’m hopeful An Opportune Moment will rise from the ashes of 2014 (see what I did there? You know, because my apartment burned down… was that joke too dark?) and become a fun outlet for my writing again. To help us achieve that clean slate feel, here’s a recap of 2014 month by month.


Driving to New Hamoshire
Driving to New Hampshire

2014 opened with E and me celebrating our 5 year anniversary in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And because, apparently, I love traveling around Northern New England in the freezing cold, I also took a trip to Burlington, VT where I spent most of my time indoors drinking tea.


That's MISS Emma Science to you!
That’s Miss Emma Science to you!

Looking back, February is like a precursor to August — full of ups and downs. I got a part-time job as an informal educator at the Museum of Science (awesome!), but my mom broke her ribs and we had my childhood dog put to sleep (not awesome).


On March 12th, I took a day trip to Portland, ME and got a tattoo in honor of my father’s birthday. Later in the month, E and I participated in the Green Mountain Film Festival‘s 48-Hour Film Slam (our 6th slam — you can read about our previous experiences making short films here and here) and we won second place for our “buddy movie” A Year Without a Colander, which you can (and should!) watch above.


The greenhouse at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The greenhouse at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

For my 24th birthday I took myself to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and went book shopping before meeting up with E for a tapas dinner. It was a beautiful spring day and reminded me that I can be a solo traveler and spend my days intentionally even when I’m at home in Boston.


Baobab tree in Senegal
Baobab tree in Senegal

My big trip of the year: I visited my friend, Kristen, in Senegal where she was serving with the Peace Corps. It was a once in a lifetime trip.


Summer in Rhode Island means Del's lemonade
Summer in Rhode Island means Del’s lemonade

My mom sold her house (not my childhood home, but where I lived during high school, and the place I’d always gone home to since), so I spent June making weekly trips to Rhode Island to clean my stuff out of her basement. E and I also went to the wedding of two of our friends from Tufts — the first of our college friends to get married.


Summer in Boston
Summer in Boston

A pretty low-key month mostly spent adventuring around Boston and working at the Museum with a trip to Providence to see a Magic Man concert thrown in for good measure.


The month of August was as confusing as this photo (taken in Vancouver)
The month of August was as confusing as this photo (taken in Vancouver)

On August 9th, my apartment burned down and I lost most of my worldly possessions. Looking back on 2014, the fire eclipses everything else that happened.


Decorating my cubicle with art and crafts that demonstrate scientific principles
Decorating my cubicle with arts and crafts that demonstrate scientific principles

After the fire, E and I moved into a beautiful new apartment and I got a one-year full-time position in early childhood education at the Museum of Science. Plus, I got to do some traveling — visiting my brother and his partner in Vancouver. August and September were full of conflicting feelings because we were devastated by the fire, but thankful for the life that emerged afterwards and the time spent with family.


These roasted root vegetables are the only thing I instagrammed in October.
These roasted root vegetables are the only thing I instagrammed in October. And the best thing I ate.

I spent the month getting used to working full time. It’s not hard to love your job when “work” includes blowing bubbles, looking at bones, and pretending to be a forest animal with small children.


A dusting of snow on the Museum's outdated T-Rex model.
A dusting of snow on the Museum’s outdated T-Rex model.

November was kind of a crummy month. I was sick for about three weeks straight and E’s car got broken into on Thanksgiving, which meant we couldn’t drive down to Rhode Island to spent the holiday with my mom. Luckily, our friends are great and we were able to crash a Thanksgiving dinner in the Boston area. The food was delicious and everyone went around the table and shared something they were thankful for — I said I was thankful the year was almost over.


Sox preparing for Christmas party #1
Sox preparing for Christmas party #1

We hosted two different Christmas parties in our beautiful new apartment, celebrated E’s 25th (!) birthday, and had a jolly holiday season filled with family and friends. You might even say it was the most wonderful time of the year. It was certainly the most social time of the year.

Thinking about how much happened last year is exhausting, and I’m happy to have arrived safely in 2015.

I’m not big on resolutions, but I do want to make writing a priority this year. I’m trying to embrace having a day job, which I love, and still being a writer, which I also love. Or at least, I have loved and hope to love again. I’m trying not to be so scared of failing that I never work on any of my personal projects. So forgive me if I write short posts or dull posts or posts with typos because I really just want to write some posts. And I hope you’ll want to read them.

Emma Holliday is well-traveled. After 5 years in Boston, she and her husband upended their lives to move to Berlin where she is currently writing a (funny) book about travel and grief and attempting to learn German.


    • opportunemma

      I just read about your year on Take Me to the World and man, job hunting is the worst. I’m glad you’re freelancing and enjoying yourself and I’ve got my fingers crossed that 2015 will be an awesome year for both of us.

  • xxjessabelle

    I, for one, will be thrilled to read more posts from you in 2015. I got pretty excited when this one showed up in my Feedly. 🙂

    I hear ya about loving a job where you get to work with small children. I left a soul-sucking office job to work with children, and I went from hating every minute of my life – pretty much literally, my misery seeped into everything – to being SO EXCITED to get back to work after my 2 weeks off at Christmas. Kids are the greatest.

    Question for you: did you have your cat before you started traveling a lot? Did you have someone take care of him/her while you were gone? I am wanting to get a cat, but there is a lot of traveling that I want to do in the near-ish future, and I am wondering about the responsibility of such a choice.

    Whoa, this comment sort of got away from me! Anyway, here’s to 2014 being over and 2015 being better!

    • opportunemma

      Thanks for leaving me such a lovely, long comment! It’s always nice to hear people are excited to read my blog.

      I like working with kids because every day is unique and I feel like what I do matters. I am so happy to spend my time teaching, learning, and marveling at the world.

      As far as the cat is concerned: Sox was my mom’s cat and E and I took him in summer 2013 when we moved to Boston. When I went to India and Senegal (both of which were 3 week long trips), E was working full time and was able to be home with the cat while I gallivanted about. E is a totally wonderful and supportive partner who puts up with being left behind with the cat, but I won’t go on a multi-month backpacking trip again until I’m petless. I think it depends on how long the trips you want to take are and what kind of support network you have. Most cats are pretty easygoing and would be fine left behind for a week as long as someone checked in every other day. But if you don’t have a friend who can watch your pet or you want to take a lot of extended trips, I’d say hold off on getting a cat. My friend, Lisa (, is an even more frequent traveler than I am, but she’s also an animal lover so she satisfies her desire for a pet by fostering cats. It’s a short term commitment that gives the animal somewhere comfy to live while it waits to be adopted. Something to consider until you’re a little more settled.

      Again, thanks so much for your comment and I hope this is a great year for both of us!

      • xxjessabelle

        Oh, fostering a pet! That is such an interesting idea, I had never even considered that! I will definitely look into it. 🙂

        Every day is definitely an adventure when it is spent in the company of children. Never a dull moment.

  • Colleen Brynn

    I’m glad to hear your (written) voice again!
    You really had a tumultuous year, and even though I mostly look at the first day of a new year as just another day, it still is nice to somewhat be able to pause and take a little breath. Then start over.
    Hope 2015 is better for us all.

    • opportunemma

      This post originally had a paragraph about how silly it is to think about our lives in terms of years when our experiences don’t correspond neatly with the Earth’s rotation around the sun, but it was a half-formed thought and so I cut it. My point being, I know what you mean about January 1st being just another day, but symbolic beginnings can be nice too. 🙂

  • Laura

    I really like this way of recapping a year with a photo-a-month. I might go back and do this for my year. Best wishes for joy and peace in 2015

  • Bee

    Emma! I’m sorry 2014 was rough, but I’m proud of you for pushing through. I hope 2015 brings you all the good things! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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