A look back at 2016

2016 was a pretty challenging one on a global scale, but there's a lot of good that happened, too! Here's a list of some of the good things that happened in my life this year, in no particular order.

Met Liz, Mia, Nicole, and Dago IRL for the first time. These are some good buddies of mine, but I met them in person for the first time in 2016! All separately, except Nicole and Dago whom I met at the same time. We also all hung out together in Austin.

Went to Texas for the first time. Austin, as mentioned above. We shopped and ate great food and I was only a little bit allergic to the many cats I was among. Also I fell asleep on the stairs one day after staying up late making  Liz and Mia watch Dostana. This lead to probably the most iconic tweet of the year?

Got my first credit card. Maybe a little late at 22, but this was a big deal for me. I'm absolutely terrified of debt, so I was afraid to get a credit card for the longest time.

Moved in with Em, my best friend! We live in Brooklyn and she cooks some AMAZING food for us!

Saw Dear Evan Hansen. GUYS. Go see this. Absolutely amazing. Other entertainment faves: Moana, Zootopia (I saw it for the first time this year), Stranger Things, Black Mirror (esp. San Junipero), Lovesick.

Went to Disneyworld with Emily. Kind of spur of the moment with a splash of "let's get the heck outta reality for a sec." A great trip with my best pal that was very much needed.

Got new glasses from Warby Parker. I haven't had glasses in a long while and I LOVE these new frames.

Started organizing my life through Bullet Journaling. Thanks Mia for getting me into this. Still my fave thing!

Became a great snail mailer. Sending people letters and cards has always been a great comfort for me, but now I'm making more time for it. It's improved my mental health and my relationships!

Raised $500 for Sanctuary for Families with Papel New York! I did a fundraiser for one of my favorite non-profits in NYC and raised $500 with the help of Papel New York, an independent, woman-owned New York paper store in honor of Mother's Day!

Started investing. I'm just a simple jellybean trying to be a good, responsible, independent adult. I invest with Ellevest, a service designed to meet women's specific and unique financial needs.

What were your highlights from 2016?

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15 Things To Get Ready for 2017

New year. New you. New evils on the horizon. New opportunities to seize. It's time to prepare for a new year!

1 - Cull your feeds. Go through your inboxes, your twitter, facebook, instagram, and figure out who you need to kick out. Mute, block, delete, unsubscribe, whatever you need to do. It's good to be challenged, to learn, and to encounter different points of view. It's not good to constantly put yourself in bad situations that will ultimately drain you more than up-level you. If there is some excess baggage in your life right now, this is a good time to get rid of it. This also means removing temptations from your life, whether it's deleting ex-partners or ex-friends who you check up on too often, or just unsubscribing to emails that make it a little too easy to blow your budget.

2 - Figure out what you're fighting for. Not to be all Hamilton about this-- wait, actually, yes. To be Hamilton about EVERYTHING tbh-- it's important to know what you stand for. "If you stand for nothing, Burr, what'll you fall for?" 2016 has been a bunch of awful things coming to a head, and in 2017 you've gotta be more clear than ever not just what you're standing for, but what is so worth fighting for that you'll survive your worst days? Write that shit down.

3 - Make a commitment to self-care. Don't let yourself burn out! You can't do any good for the world if you don't keep your spirit healthy. Carve out time to experience joy and take care of yourself. Sometimes it's hard work-- it's not all bubble baths. Sometimes it means forcing yourself to do laundry so you don't feel guilty and gross. Or cleaning your room even though it seems useless and hopeless so that you don't continue to live in a den of despair. Whatever it is! Me and my best friend made a video about self care after the election that you can check out if you want tips.

4 - Get organized. By being organized you eliminate a lot of stress in your life. Start working on a system that works for you and get your life in order. Get a planner, figure out how to meal plan, read about productivity systems. Get ready to be a better you!

5 - Refresh your closet. Get rid of stuff that doesn't fit and probably won't within the next few months. I like using ThredUp since they can give me some credit for anything they sell and I can have anything they can't sell responsibly recycled-- you can use my referral link to get $10 off your first purchase with them. Put stuff into storage as needed. Figure out what you need to make your wardrobe better for your lifestyle-- even if that means being a little further removed from your dream version of yourself.

6 - Have a good cry. I'm a really emotional person but even so, I sometimes have a hard time crying my deepest, realest cries. For me, I always feel better when I've cried a cry that needs crying. It's very Mean Girls "suck the poison out." The longer I bury a cry, the more I need it and I think I have spent a lot of time being sad this year but too busy to have a good long cry. I'm getting all of 2016's tears out before the new year so I don't start the year with baggage. My secret weapon in my endeavor to cry? Undercover Boss on Netflix.

7 - Clean your house. Do you really want to start the year with your house out of order?

8 - Pay off your debts-- to the absolute best of your ability. There are a lot of traditions that say that starting the year with debts, especially personal debts, is a bad idea. Some say that your debts will multiply, others say that your owing someone else in a new year will lead to you having unpaid debts (a karmic payback for not paying stuff back). Not all debts are immediately payable, and some are designed to be paid back over long periods of time, but if you owe a friend a twenty, or borrowed something that hasn't been returned, handle that business.

9 - Cancel sh*t. What are you cancelling this year? Drama with your parents? Getting too wasted on the weekends? A subscription artisanal tortilla chip service? That project you told yourself you were totally gonna do and never do and now it makes you super guilty? You might have signed up for a lot of stuff in 2016, and now is your chance to cancel. Remove yourself from certain situations. Tell yourself you're not going to fall back into drama-creating habits. It's cancelled.

10 - Make a physical representation of what you want out of this year. One of the things that has drawn out my interest in magic is the creation of physical items to help your brain solidify decisions, hopes, and ideas. Make something that represents what you want this year to be. Lots of people make vision boards, but you can also make a painting, a sculpture, or even a list that you hang on your mirror. When you make a thing it helps your brain commit to what it represents.

11 - Make some financial plans. I try to start with a savings goal, as well as account for any big expenses like vacations at the start of the year. Do you want to move or change careers? Do you have student loans to pay off? Or do you just generally want to start eating in more to save for something nice? At the beginning of the year is a nice chill time to think all of that over.

12 - Take a personal inventory on what you need to change about your lifestyle. I'm not trying to tell you you're living your life wrong, but maybe you could be doing things a little better. Personally, I think I need to start reading novels again to destress and also to get back to doing something I really loved. Most people focus on health and wealth in the New Year, but there are other things too like: are you spending enough time with friends? Are you connecting enough with family? Do you need to learn to do stuff alone like see movies or go to restaurants? What do you think you need to shake up in 2017?

13 - Organize your computer. You've been putting off doing some housekeeping on your computer, but now is the time to get things organized. Empty the trash, delete unnecessary files, make those folders. Clear your inbox. Get it all done!

14 - Write down a list of your 2016 accomplishments. This year hasn't been a complete garbage fire. You've probably done at least a couple cool things. Write them down. Treasure them. Even if it's mostly movie releases you loved.

15 - Think about service. How can you serve your community? How can you take a stand? Consider volunteering, or making room in your budget to donate to causes you care about more regularly. If you don't want the world to be a worse place in 2017, you've gotta commit to fighting for better.

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life update 012

Bad at blogging but connecting with people in person a lot more is probably the theme of this life update. I've had a lot of high highs and a lot of hilariously low lows this month. And I didn't even do a goals post, but let's save that for when I figure out my goals for the new year.

I caught the heck up on mail. Last update I bemoaned falling behind on my usual mail activities. This month I caught up, largely due to my Holiday cards. I wrote a ton of them, and I have to say, the end product is everything I dreamed of. Recipients are instagramming and tweeting them and it makes my heart so happy. I tried to be a little more selective with my list of recipients this year since last year I was kind of overwhelmed. It turned out to be a good strategy.

Halls are decked. I have my own personal desk mini-tree and we set up our joint christmas tree the other weekend. I love absurdism and sentimentality so the holidays really hit a lot of good feel good notes for me.

I gave myself horrible bangs. Cue the Arrested Development montage. I've made a huge mistake, guys. I regularly trim my own bangs, and it's usually not a big deal, but I decided to try a new technique and I have a lot of regrets about it. I may have given myself a mullet. I guess I'm doing a lot of pinned back pomp looks for a while...

I saw LaLaLand. I'm going to try to post a review about it, but knowing how I've been off my content game lately, I'll give you the short version in case I don't make it. Music is great. Emma and Ryan aren't the strongest singers, but they're really trying to bridge that gap between real and surreal so they're sort of playing more average folks than pro singers here. Ryan's character Seb is probably every whiny guy you dated in your young adulthood who was super convinced he understood a thing better than most people. Very emotional, beautifully done, absolutely magical. A story for dreamers who are constantly struggling to stay dreaming. Watch dat.

I made holiday plans. For a long while all I knew was that I wasn't going to go back to Virginia. I finally made some plans involving IHOP, some friends, and winding down after hosting by seeing a movie with my roommate.

I finally caught up on faves videos. I did October and November in one video so now you know.

I'm struggling with the anxiety of what's to come in 2017. This feels like the most uncertain time I have experienced in years and I don't like it. Moreover, this is the most uncertain time I have experienced as an independent adult. I want to be hopeful, but I also don't want to minimize the grave situations I feel I am in. Sometimes it's hard to get out of bed and I'll admit that I have spent a lot of time over the weekend sleeping to avoid dealing with everything.

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