2016 in Review

10 Mar

This is late (very late) in the year to be posting this, but it is finally done and I am a sucker for tradition. It has been a while since I have posted anything, but sometimes you have to deal with your shit and forgive yourself for sucking at the extra curriculars (more to come on that later…that is going to be a prevalent theme in this post…foreshadowing!)

10 Highlights…

  1. At the start of the year I finished all my obligations to the courts
    After all the frustration and shame that came with my DUI scandal, I am happy to say I have dutifully completed all the requirements the court required of me. It is my sincerest hope I can put that behind me and move forward.
  2. My Lucky Penny and I had a lovely handful of adventures that for the sake of space, I condensed into one highlight
    At the end of January I travel to LP’s new home in Portland and got to explore a new city and celebrate her birthday. In Septmber, LP returned to Phoenix or a visit and we went to see the Patriots play their first game of the season against the Cardinals (we may or may not have peed into a tupperwae cereal box while tailgating in my car). Finally, and most amazingly, LP moved back to Phoenix permanently in December!
  3. For the first time in my life I moved into an apartment of my very own
    All the dreaming and scheming I did as a kids, looking forward to the time I could be entirely independent and have a place to call my own, was finally realized in April, and it is the most free and independent I have ever felt. To think some people go their whole lives without that experience.
  4. Despite the ever deteriorating feelings of my job satisfactions, there were a couple victories this year
    I finally got my promotion to BHS2, I created from scratch and an entire curriculum for the outpatient program I was running, and I finaly got to switch to the school shift I have been coveting for quite some time.
  5. I hit some really awesome shows (primarily with Anarchy) this year
    My favorite of which was in May when we drove to Tuscon to see Harry and the Potters, The Driftless Pony Club, and Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers.
  6. Travel
    In June, I flew home to see my family, including, for the first time literally in years, my grandfather. In July, I visited my lady friends in Wisconsin (and my puppy loves). October brought the girls to me (and us to Vegas), as well as my old work husband from Massachusettes. I got to sho him around town a bit and we went for a weekdn to San Diego. Finally, I went on my typical treck home in December for th holidays.
  7. Budding Romance
    A coworker and I started dating in an entirely unexpected way and it turned into something more than I could have imagined. More to come on that later.
  8. Birthday Road Trip
    I may detail the whole experience in a later post. The cliffnotes version is that a long time friend from back East came out for a week in August and we went on a crazy, amazing road trip for my birthday. We went from Phoenix to Sedona to the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas to just outside Monterey down the PCH to LA to San Diego/Carlsbad. We hiked, explored, partied, went scuba diving, finally went to Harry Potter World and so much more.
  9. A Brief Interlude Back Into Church
    I have been wanting to start going to church again for a while. I met someone (someone I kind of wanted to impress/get in the pants of) who went to church regularly. One thing led to another and for a few weeks I went to his church and it was honestly really great and fulfilling, but also confusing. When things got awkward with that person though, I stopped going all together, which is a lesson in itself.
  10. Movies…or really just Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them…but also Rogue One
    The new Star Wars feature was amazing. I loved it, I talked about it for weeks. However, for me, nothing compares to sitting in the theater and reimmersing myself in the Potter universe. There are no words to describe the overwhelming sense of coming home.

10 Disappointments…

  1. The Big Bang
    Another thing I may explore in a later post, but Michigan and I imploded in the worst way about a month before our lease was up and he moved back to Michigan.
  2. Dating Fails
    In an attempt to get over Michigan and move on with my life, or mostly just get the fuck off my couch, I dived into the world of online dating. Some of the people were kind of nice, some of them were creepy or gross, but overall I was disappointed with my options. I don’t regret it, it got me back into the groove of things and put me in the mindset to find someone worth my time, but I still wouldn’t recommend it since the most I got out of it was a few free drinks and one really anxiety provoking go kart date. There was also I  must add, a handsome, but very young man that was a breif, but exciting interlude between POF dates and true love. I don’t know if he could have been real or if I just wanted to climb him like the tree he was, but I guess that will jus have to remain a mystery.
  3. My (Still) Shitty Job
    The fucks I give at work are in a steady decline. I still love my kids and the work I do there, but if I have to deal with anymore office drama, I am likely to murder at least half of my supervisors…which I am pretty sue would be frowned upon. Yes, I am applying to other jobs.
  4. My Travel Buddy Expenses
    My travel buddy also happens to be my car…and man was she a bitch this year!
  5. Falling Back Into Cynicism
    Along with my exploration back into religion came the return of my lack of faith in the community of faith. When the first time I go to a small group I am bombarded with women pining for men or talking about how great their husband are while doing arts and crafts inside while the boys get to have snacks and a slip and slide outside, well you can extrapolate from there. Why is the church so behind when it comes to feminism?!
  6. The Cost of Finding Love
    I got my first STD y’all, and yes, I am sad about it, but also it has been an eye opening experience. Yet again, more on that later.
  7. Hiking Failures
    I am not good with cardio. More often than not when I exercise, it is my lungs that give out before my muscles (thanks cigarettes and sedentary lifestyle!). My new love interest and I kept trying to go hiking and each time it ended poorly, me sullen or us in a fight. I take full responsibility because it was my own insecurities affecting my reactions, but I applaud him for continuing to try anyway.
  8. My Inability to Keep Up with ANY Workout Routine
    I am just going to be honest, I am lazy. I accept this about me, but I also really hate the place I have let my body get to. Those things don’t really go hand in hand, but it seems no matter how many things I have tried this year, none have stuck.
  9. Trump
    Do I have to say more? Unfortuantely this also led to the most intense fight I have had with my family in a very long time.
  10. Self Image Issues
    This goes along with number 8. My mental health has been on a seesaw and a lot of it has had to do with my issues with health and ability to maintain a healthy weight.

3 Game Changers…

  1. My (briefly named) “single girl apartment” and finding a new level of my independence and self-preservation.
  2. Breaking up with, and then getting over, Michigan. I haven’t had that level of heartbreak in a decade.
  3. Letting myself be open to new experiences, adventures, and connections when it could have been just as easy to wallow in self pitty for a majority of the year.

3 Things I focused on…

  1. Not letting deafeat define me
  2. Self care and weeding out what is actually important to me
  3. Trying not to get hang overs

3 Things I forgot…

  1. Applying for Grad School (Again)
  2. Figuring out a better solution for my student loan problem
  3. Staying active

Reflection…

Everyone keeps talking about what a horrendous year 2016 was and to some degree, I can concur. However, not all of it was abysmal and I think it is important to remember that life is made up of dichotomies. I had some big personal upsets and some long time issues facing me head on, but I also had some pretty big triumphs. I don’t know if in the long run I will look back and see 2016 as overall good or overall bad, but I do know I am thankful to have lived another year, learned some new lessons, and faced some big challenges that could have been the end of me, but weren’t

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