2016 Wrap-Up

A little under a year ago, I posted this blog post listing my resolutions for 2016. Now, I’m going to go through each of those and let you all know if I accomplished them or now!

  1. Graduate college

I didn’t go to my graduation, but I did graduate. There was a really scary period of about two weeks there where I thought I didn’t graduate. After moving back home, I got a letter in the mail from my university saying that my “application to graduate had been denied”. AKA gurl, you didn’t make it. I had to do some serious last minute panicking/ scrambling, but I did it!

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2. Get settled into a home

After graduation, I moved back home for a few months while I looked for a place to live, but I finally found a home at the end of September. It’s a studio apartment in a really convenient location. It’s tiny, I don’t have any overhead lighting, and my building is roughly 250,000 years old, but it’s mine! I’m currently writing this from my living room (which is also my bedroom/foyer/dining room).

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3. Get a Big Girl Job

At some point earlier this year, I wrote about turning down a Big Girl Job for a job at camp. Long story short, camp fell through this year and I ended up taking a job at that office. I started there two days after graduation in early May and I’m still there now. To be honest, the work is kind of dull, but I’m already advancing within the office, my coworkers are (mostly) cool, and I get lots of crazy stories from weird customers. I can wear whatever I want, and I get to bring my dog to work!

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(i promise this collage was actually on my job’s website.)

Which brings me to…

4. Get a dog

The light of the second half of 2016 has been Ginny The Jet Rodriguez AKA Ginny Binny AKA The Shredder AKA Dingus. Ginny is an 8 month old 45 pound black lab mix- I don’t know what she’s mixed with but I’m thinking possibly German Shepherd or Border Collie. She enjoys destroying things, food, water (Ginny LOVES water), trips to the dog park, and biting (nicely now. As a puppy, she legit BIT but now she just likes to gently gnaw my hand. It’s v cute). Recently, she’s started sleeping in my bed. It gets cold and I don’t want her to be lonely. So sue me. Ginny wears a lot of sweaters and comes with me just about everywhere. I’m very excited for her first Christmas.

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5. Read 50 books

I haven’t really kept track of this, but I read a lot this year. Definitely at least 50 books. One that I really loved recently was Hannah Hart’s Buffering.

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6. Maintain this blog throughout the year (at least one post every two weeks)

Well… I half fulfilled this? I posted every now and then…

I’m gonna go ahead and mark this one as a failure. Let’s be real here.

7. Get (and use!) a gym membership

Uh…

well…

I got a gym membership! And I used it! Twice.

Here’s the problem with the gym. The last time I went, I think, was in April? Maybe? I still have that gym membership, for a gym that I don’t go to, in a city that I don’t even live in anymore.

There was an episode of Friends where Chandler had a gym membership that he never used, but he never cancelled it because the healthy beautiful people at the gym intimidated him into keeping it. So Ross finds out about this and offered to go with Chandler to help cancel it. And they went and came back and somehow, Ross ended up getting a membership, too.

That’s me.

So technically I achieved this resolution, but again, I’m going to mark this as a failure. A failure that is still costing me $15 a month.

 

Anyway. I’ll make a post of my 2017 resolutions later this month. Personally, I achieved a lot in 2016, even though as far as years go, it was an absolute garbage fire.

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How to Have the Perfect Mental Health Day

It’s your first day off in ages. You just finished a big project. Work or school is exhausting. Things aren’t going the way you planned. You need a day

  1. Sleep in.

You’ve got nowhere to be. This is your day off. Don’t set an alarm. Just wake up when you actually feel ready to wake up.

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2. Go to the store

You can definitely do this the day before if, unlike me, you’re a proactive person, but my mental health day was sort of last minute. When you go to the store, though. Don’t bother with makeup or a bra. Just put on a sweatshirt and go. If people are really that worried about how well your boobs are supported, then they’ve got other issues that aren’t your problem.

You’ll want to stock up on pamper supplies like face masks or hot oil treatments if you don’t have them already, as well as snacks. Don’t get anything super unhealthy if possible- you don’t want to feel like poop the next day. Maybe get something indulgent, that you wouldn’t normally buy yourself. I got the stuff for a cheese plate- my favorite type of cheese, crackers, grapes, and some cheap wine.

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3. Go home and put on your coziest PJs

If, like me, your coziest PJs are your winter PJs and it’s too hot for that nonsense, turn up the AC. It’s 2016. We don’t have to sit around sweltering in tank tops and knock-off Nike shorts. I wanted to wear my bunny onesie, outside temperature be damned.

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4. Chill out with some nice, calming TV or movies

For me, this is not the day for action packed or scary TV. Mental health days are days for The Great British Bake Off, the early Harry Potter movies, or The Princess Diaries.

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5. (optional, but recommended) Find an animal. Snuggle.

At this point in the day, I took my puppy and we went for a little bit of cuddle time on the bed. She slept, I watched another episode of the Bake Off, I felt my stress levels drop.

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6. Take a bath

This was the pièce de résistance of my day. Get yourself a bath going. Make it a good one. I used the Sunnyside bubble bar from lush, several fall-scented candles from Bath and Body Works, and a hot oil treatment. I also put on a podcast (Mugglecast) and just hung out in the dark for a while. I emerged honestly feeling like a new person.

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What I’m into- March 2016

Everything I mention in this post (except for a couple of small exceptions) is linked!

Green Gables Fables

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This is actually something that I’ve been loving for months now, but it doesn’t get enough attention! GGF is a youtube adaptation of Anne of Green Gables. Basically, Anne is a vlogger who posts every Wednesday chronicling her life. Currently, she’s at college, but the series starts right after she is taken in by foster parents Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. It’s sort of like Pemberly Digital’s Lizzie Bennet Diaries or Emma Approved, only with a smaller budget and without Hank Green helping steer the ship. Anne of Green Gables has always been one of my favorite stories, and this puts a really fresh, modern spin on it. They use a lot of transmedia (basically, the characters are all on social media, completely in character, so some of the story goes down over twitter instead of in video form) so it feels really real and immersive, and lends itself really well to the vlog format. And, just like I have been all my life, I’m totally in love with Gilbert Blythe. It’s funny and heartwarming, but if you know the story of Anne of Green Gables, there are some very sad parts, as well. And they don’t gloss over them at all- it’s really interesting to see how things like grief and heartbreak are adapted for a modern world.

 

Daveed Diggs- Small Things to a Giant

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You might already know Daveed Diggs- he plays both Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the musical, Hamilton. (Which I also love.) Small Things to a Giant is his album, available on bandcamp for $7. I’ve always liked rap in a I’ll-listen-to-it-if-it’s-on-as-long-as-it’s-not-offensive-but-I-probably-won’t-seek-it-out kind of way. I got into his music by youtube searching him (because I’m in love) and finding his song, Fresh from the Hood. It’s still my favorite song on the album. His lyrics are really smart and timely, and I just love it. One of my favorite lyrics: “Maybe I’m just other than famous- maybe I just have to accept that that’s where I will remain. But if that’s true, it won’t be due to lack of noise-making.”

Zelda: Wind Waker

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This isn’t really a new thing, or a new love. I’ve had this game for probably over a decade now. But my roommate and I have been playing for the past week, and I just really love it. I don’t have the Wii U HD remake, so we’re still playing the GameCube version, but I have no problem with that. The graphics are beautiful and vibrant, the music is incredible, and the gameplay is fantastic. It’s still difficult enough that it stands up as well at 22 as it did when I was 10. Right now, our hero (named Snarfkin) is working on finding all of the Triforce Charts.

19 Before 20

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19 Before 20 is a podcast created by two of my good friends, Kathleen and Abby. They both turned 19 in February, and they’ve planned to do a new thing every week before they turn 20 and podcast about it. The episodes are about 20-30 minutes long, and they talk about their new thing, the things they’re liking that week, and by extension, life in general. They’re both really smart and weird kiddos, and I’ve been really enjoying listening to them. It’s a new podcast so they’re still working on getting a following, so definitely go check them out. (I’m mentioned several times- if they mention someone named Mako, they’re talking about me.)

Chescaleigh’s Snapchat

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Chescaleigh (real name: Franchesca Ramsey) is a youtuber/Daily Show writer/MTV Decoded host, who talks a lot about intersectional feminism, racial politics, et cetera. She doesn’t make youtube videos super often anymore (her most famous are probably her Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls videos) but she’s gotten really into Snapchat recently, where she just sort of talks about her day or current events, or shows off her makeup looks, or just… whatever. She’s just really smart and funny, and I’m loving her Snap stories lately. It’s like watching a mini-vlog throughout the day.

WhatI’mDoingRightNow

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You might remember Michael Aranda from Chameleon Circuit, the Doctor Who themed band that is now defunct because several of the band members turned out to be sexual predators. (Not Michael, though.) He’s also a part of Hank Green’s youtube video empire out in Missoula, Montana, working on SciShow and CrashCourse. On top of that, Michael’s also recently launched his own production company, Synema Studios. His vlogs are probably the most chill, laid back vlogs I follow. They’ve been super far behind, but as of last night (March 18th- I’m releasing this post a few days late), he’s totally caught up. WhatI’mDoingRightNow is his vlog channel, but he also has a main channel. It doesn’t get used super frequently, but his main channel videos are really beautiful and well made. His vlogs are also really high production quality. He films mostly on an iPhone, but uses a lot of drone and time lapse footage to show off Montana’s better qualities. (I have a grudge against Montana. Ask me about it sometime.) Also, the vlog following is small, so it’s a nice little community. You see the same people in the comments every day, just chatting. It’s a super positive group of people, and just a really good like, before bedtime vlog. He’s also a super talented musician and composer.

New Year’s Resolutions

So, I’m pretty picky about resolutions. A lot of people say things like “be nicer”, “exercise more”, or “be happier”. I feel like these are actually huge cop-outs, though. It’s so easy to say, when next December comes around, that you were nicer or happier without anything to back that up.

I like quantifiable resolutions. Things that I can clearly chart the success or failure rate for. So while someone might say “lose weight”, a better resolution is “lose fifteen pounds”. Someone might say “be nicer” but you could say “volunteer at a charity at least once a month”. These kind of concrete resolutions keep you more grounded and are better at keeping you accountable.

I do have Resolutions for 2016. I hope to accomplish them all, but I also like to keep things realistic. For instance, my resolutions for 2015 were to get a tattoo, read 100 books, and get my real estate license. I got my tattoo, I read 57 books (let’s be honest, 100 is pretty steep), but I lost interest in getting my real estate license, so I abandoned that one. Which is fine. It’s important to be forgiving to yourself when you don’t quite meet the goals you set. Maybe your resolution was to go to the gym three times a week, but you broke your leg and couldn’t go. That’s fine. Maybe you meant to travel more, but your work or school schedule got really crazy and you just weren’t able to. Things happen. We’re people.

So, without further ado, my 2016 New Years Resolutions:

  1. Graduate college
  2. Get settled into a home
  3. Get a Big Girl Job
  4. Get a dog
  5. Read 50 books
  6. Maintain this blog throughout the year (at least one post every two weeks)
  7. Get (and use!) a gym membership

2015- a year in review

  • 57 books read
  • Resigned from my fraternity
  • Turned 21
  • as a result, turned up way too hard a few times and hangover puked my way across Gatlinburg
  • Finished my penultimate semester of college
  • Started work on my so-far untitled novel
  • Worked way too hard at a job I loved (an entire month without a two hour break or a night off)
  • Played a lot of Super Smash Bros
  • Made a feminist quilt
  • Got really into the fiber arts in general
  • Learned to knit
  • Played a bunch of Tumblr Survivor
  • Moved into a new apartment
  • Did a whole bunch of swimming
  • Got a tattoo
  • Nearly caught my oven on fire
  • Quit a job after a week, due to moral reasons
  • Met Meg Cabot and R.L. Stine
  • STAR WARS
  • Survived the SC flooding

That’s all I can really think of right now. 2015 was not an especially productive year, work-wise. But it was a very social year. I made a lot of friends and spent a lot of time hanging out with them. Mostly, though, I am looking forward to the summer of 2016. I will be done with school and able to move on with my life, get a job, get a house, get a dog, et cetera. All the things that I’ve always wanted to be able to do.

My main New Years Resolution is a big one: By the end of 2016, I want to be settled into life as a Full Time Adult in a job that I like (maybe not my dream job, but definitely something stable that I can live with until I find my dream job), in a house that is Not My Parents’, with a dog (and my cat, Cassini, who I am very excited to bring with me).

I have other resolutions (smaller ones that aren’t quite so scary) but I’ll cover those in another post.