Like any year, 2016 has been a rollercoaster. It’s had its up and downs. It’s made me feel anxious, sick, excited, thrilled, scared, and overjoyed. It’s made me want to close my eyes and ask, “Is it over yet?” But it has also been quite the adventure that I’m glad I was tall enough to ride.
If 2016 had a coaster cam, here’s what the snapshots would reveal.
AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH
The only thing my father loves more than my mother is traveling… with my mother by his side! This year, he planned an incredible trip for our family to South America.
After 4 different flight delays, 2 missed connections, and one lonely night at the Miami airport, I was very fortunate to kick off the year by meeting my family in Peru.
There in the land of llamas, I ate countless cones of rich gelato, spent way too much money on handmade trinkets, and climbed the very cold and very wet Machu Picchu Montaña.
NOTHIN’ BUT NET
The next big thing was my 23rd birthday!
My coworkers surprised me with my favorite things: balloons, bubbles, and brownies with ice cream. My roommates baked a chocolate cake, and my friends took me out for margaritas. Basically, ya girl’s Jordan year started out with a cross-court shot and score!
The day after celebrating my existence, I flew to Los Angeles to celebrate my brother’s! We ate delicious food, went shopping, and explored the Grove.
On his big day, I managed to surprise him with a pizza party, a limo ride, and a night of dancing at the Belasco Club with his closest friends. It was my first trip to UCLA and second successful surprise party for Raj.
MAKIN’ IT IN MARKETING
As a social media specialist at Uptick Marketing, I went live on Facebook 18 times to discuss various digital marketing industry updates, lip sync the Bohemian Rhapsody, and host the inaugural Uptick Office Olympics.
I also attended over 10 networking events (Go, lil extrovert Nisha!).
PURSUING MY PASSIONS
This year I checked off one of my New Year’s resolutions by intentionally investing time in things that bring me the most joy- like singing, dancing, and videography.
I choreographed and produced 17 dance videos, mostly with the help of one of my closest friends and coworkers, Madison (the blonde glamazon featured in many of my pictures).
In May, I sang the Bloch Sacred Service alongside the Birmingham-Southern College alumni choir at the Carnegie Hall in New York City.
And in June, I found myself on a baseball field! Don’t worry. I wasn’t throwing a pitch. I was finding my pitch! Pushing through the most nerves I’ve yet experienced while performing, I sang the Star Spangled Banner at Regions Field, before the Barons played the Biscuits.
TAKING TIME TO TRAVEL
Growing up a Kashyap, wanderlust has always been a part of my core.
This year, I squeezed a handful of my own short getaways into my PTO. Here are some of the places I got to visit with some of my favorite people.
SHORT HAIR. DON’T CARE.
From as early as I can remember, my long locks have been a part of my identity. My family, friends, and even strangers have shown affinity and attachment to my hair. Though it may seem insignificant or just plain crazy, it was a big deal for me to even think about changing that part of myself.
After living vicariously through others’ salon visits for years, I finally made the chop! I cut off 9 inches and got some Zoeey Deschanel bangs. I ain’t afraid of a lil cliché. It really was like a weight off my shoulders. I truly felt like a New Girl.
MAKING ROOM FOR MURPH
Another big change this year came in a little package… with a tail.
In June, our sweet roommate, Elena, moved out to explore the world and “find herself.” (She wasn’t lost. It’s just another cliché.) And in moved the also sweet and fun-loving, Anna.
In a month’s time, the unspoken bathroom schedule had been established, boy stories had been shared, and Murphy had been adopted! To be honest, I still haven’t found the cat-person in me. But, he sure is cute sometimes.
Also shout-out to the smart and spirited Shelby Kile who has put up with my incoherent morning mumbles, 3 AM microwave beeps, and laughably left-unheard alarms for five years now.
2016 marked my 5th year out of high school. To celebrate, I organized a reunion with my “Oh, Leven” class at Pies and Pints in Birmingham. We had great food, good laughs, and very little elbow room. It truly felt like no time had passed at all!
2016 also marked the 7th year of Nisha Kashyap Photography. In August, I launched my online store, where I sell postcards featuring the beautiful Magic City. Then, in October, I shot my first wedding!
Though I was reaffirmed that wedding photography should be left to photographers more capable than I, capturing the magic in this city has been something I have loved and hope to keep pursuing!
HOME IS WHERE THE HAM IS
Not actual ham, because I’m more of a chicken nuggets (if we’re being real) kinda girl… Pun’s over.
I’m talking about the Iron City. I’m talking about Birmingham!
Birmingham has become home for me. I’ve lived here almost 6 years, and I still find new hidden gems, from time to time. From its markets and restaurants to its unique city skyline, Birmingham has something to offer for every type of adventurer.
I have found myself chasing rainbows and waiting on the 2nd Avenue bridge to catch a sunset. I’ve shot videos on railroad tracks and in front of seemingly misplaced murals. I’ve danced my heart out at concerts at Iron City and Saturn. I have spent a spontaneous second or two at Steel City Pops with friends. I’ve grown more in love with this city’s people, places, and things. And I am grateful for its part in my story.
It may be obvious and understood, but it still deserves to be said. I am so lucky to have had the opportunities afforded to me this year. I am so blessed and so fortunate. And I am incredibly, very, extremely, deeply, beyond grateful.
(Glenny Brock’s gonna kill me for all them adverbs.)
My life’s ups and downs are mostly dependent on the incredible people that share themselves with me. And therefore I am indebted to you for my growth and happiness this year. Thank you.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA FILTHY ANIMAL.
See ya next year!