22

“When she was 22, the future looked bright.” – Lily Allen

21 has been a big year for me, full of transitions and opportunities and experiences.

I started a blog,

entered a new relationship,

took on a new leadership role,

learned how to plan a conference,

discovered why I speed on the highway,

stared at the sky,

bought a [new-to-me] car,

created my first Buzzfeed post,

applied for a crazy dream job,

felt anxious over my career direction,

got my dream job,

graduated from college,

moved to Birmingham,

lost old friends,

felt lonely,

made new friends,

and felt an overwhelming amount of anxiety,

among other things.

21 has taught me so many things about myself. I like being comfortable and safe. I love deeply. I have to realign my priorities daily. It’s hard for me to be alone.

This next year, I want to grow. I want to take advantage of being 22 and suck the marrow out of life. I have no idea what I want, and I have no idea where I will be in a year. But, I know that I want to seize opportunity.

For this reason, I want to try 22 things that make me feel uncomfortable. Probably, a lot of these will involve me doing things alone and being okay with it – something I find difficult now.

If you dwell on the past, on what could’ve been, or what should’ve been, you’ll miss out on the beauty of the moments right in front of you. Cheers to 22.

Day 14: Birmingham Food Adventures

This weekend, I had my first food adventure in Birmingham. Here are my reviews:image1

Post Office Pies: The White Pizza (roasted garlic, white sauce)
Thoughts: Pretty good, but not as good as Mellow Mushroom.
Rating: 3 out of 5

Next: brunch, aka God’s gift to Abbi Wilt.

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Continental Bakery: The Benedict
Thoughts: So wonderful. First time I’ve ever had hollandaise sauce; I should definitely eat eggs more often. Delicious red mystery sauce. Could have eaten three more.
Rating: 5 out of 5

Next: the [con]fusion.

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Wasabi Juan’s: Thai’d Up Burrito
Thoughts: Seriously, who came up with this food? At Wasabi Juan’s, some genius (prob Juan) put together Asian food and Mexican food and created this weird sushi burrito that tastes so strange but so wonderful at the same time. It contains lots of rice, shrimp, cream cheese, and peanutty goodness.
Rating: 5 out of 5

Day 2: Good Morning, Alabama!

Yesterday was my orientation at Southern Living. I can’t even describe the splendor of this building – imagine every great thing you’d want in a house packed into a five-story mirrored glass building with a creek running through it and a waterfall outside the door. And, the Cooking Light test kitchen made the whole place smell like shortbread.

We sat in on a panel with some of the top Time Inc. execs, met our managers, and were thrown into the craziness of magazine editorial work. Here are some photos I snapped from the building tour.

Southern Living Test Kitchen

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Oh, unlimited cooking utensils? No big.

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There are shelves upon shelves of antique and handcrafted bowls that are organized by color. Literally rows of beautiful cake plates waiting to be photographed.

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Pretty nice view, eh?

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Today was my second day at Southern Living but my first official full-blown work day! What a whirlwind!

As my first big-girl task, I got to shadow my boss, Associate Editor Ashley Williams, as she spoke on the Good Morning Alabama newscast about Southern Living’s best Father’s Day gift ideas. Check out these unique twists on Father’s Day here. Apparently, adulthood includes some early mornings and some afternoon yawns.

However, this early morning came with an incredible view.

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After the news segment, I got to check out a style shoot. Who would’ve thought that I would get to have stickies with tasks like these?! Be on the lookout for these pants in a few months…

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Until next time,

Abbi

The Lone Explorer

Day 1 in Birmingham, Alabama.

First thought: No one would know if I died.

Today I decided to go on a little adventure. This adventure was the equivalent of me finding the location of all the places I will hope to visit in the future: the Riverchase Galleria, Wal-Mart, a few gyms, the downtown, and, of course, the fastest route to the Southern Progress building, home of Southern Living magazine.

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Place 1: My new place of habitation! I will be staying with a couple (both marketing gurus and former Southern Living employees) in the Hoover neighborhood of Birmingham. Aside from the unbearable humidity, I’m loving the closet size of my new room.

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Place 2: My lifelong dream. A few jokes have been shared lately about the Canadian taking up residence in the editorial department of Southern Living… but this Can-American is ready to turn full Southern belle. I am so excited to work in this MASSIVE building (hidden away like a top-secret government hideout, as per Josh…) that houses multiple magazines on a 28-acre campus next to Samford University. Tomorrow, my fellowship begins!

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Place 3: Downtown Birmingham. This historically and culturally-rich city has a mix of ethnically diverse restaurants (including African, India, Italian and Mediterranean), gorgeous steel skyscrapers, high-rises covered in mirrored glass windows, an old railroad yard turned playground/walking park, a minor-league baseball field and the University of Alabama at Birmingham – complete with student parking, a huge children’s hospital, multiple housing complexes and a university bookstore. Downtown Birmingham is to be continued, as per the adventures that are to come!

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Place 4: The Riverchase Galleria. This mall is no Cool Springs, but definitely has the largest Forever 21 I’ve ever seen. It’s one of those stores where you walk in, feel immediately overwhelmed that there is an entire section devoted to shoes (those of you familiar with good ol’ 21 know that they’re usually grouped in with the necklaces!), take 45 minutes just walking in a circle not knowing which part to go through first, and then leave empty handed when you realize that there is no chance you have it together enough to limit yourself to only going through 1/50 of the store.

As more exploring arises, more details will be shared. Until next time!