Twenty Sixteen: A Year in Review

Twenty SixteenIt’s January 1st, 2017. I’m laying in bed, my favorite candle burning on my windowsill and The Office is on a constant stream. A lot has happened since I last wrote, so I’ll keep the update short. I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family, spending most of my days working long hours while saving for my trip. On December 5, 2016, I flew over the Atlantic to travel through Europe (4 different countries) over the span of 2 weeks! It was my first trip traveling “solo” (I say with air quotes because I had a companion everywhere I went). Most of my travels previous had been organized by a company or with the help of my parents, but this experience was one unlike any other. I can’t wait to share more about my trip (it’s coming soon!!) but for now, I’ve been reminiscing on this past year of my life.

Unfortunately, since I came home, I’ve been thrown back into a busy work schedule with very little time to sit down and write. So this reflection will come in the form of multiple lists I’ve compiled to sum up my year.


Things I Learned In 2016

  • Go with your gut. Chances are, it’s right.
  • Almond milk is the best dairy sub, hands down. Also, Ben and Jerry’s dairy-free ice cream is sublime.
  • Planning a trip is hard, but so rewarding once you reach your final destination and realize that all of your hard work paid off. I researched for hours and hours, and found some great tips that I’ll be sharing soon.
  • I’m still embracing this season in my life. A season where I’m young, single, and have time to do the things I want to do. I want to savor this time with myself because…
  • I realized how excited I am for my future. A future where I have a family, a career, my own home. Although it’s far down the road, it’s something I get giddy over and something that I’m working towards.
  • I still suck at journaling consistently.
  • When it comes to capturing memories, choose wisely. I would rather live in the moment than try capturing it on my camera. I’m more selective now about what shots I take when I’m out and about, and I’m able to enjoy myself more without the pressure to get a shot of everything.
  • Candles are addicting.
  • Relationships, both romantic and non, require effort. There are times to listen and times to speak up. The true virtue is knowing which one is required under the circumstances.
  • The greatest givers are the greatest receivers. Once you freely receive, you freely give.

My Top Albums, Books, TV + Movies Of 2016

Instead of creating millions of separate posts about the amazing things I listened to/watched/read this year, I’m just going to leave them here.

Music

  • A Seat at the Table – Solange
  • Cleopatra – The Lumineers
  • Signs of Light – The Head and The Heart
  • 2 – Elliot Root
  • I’m Alone, No You’re Not – Joseph
  • When I Was Younger – Colony House

Books

I definitely need to read more books, which is one of my “goals” for this next year. To be frank, I can’t remember if I read these this year or the last, but here are some of my favorites anyways.

  • The Girls by Emma Cline (still reading!)
  • The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
  • The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

TV + Movies

  • Stranger Things (Netflix)
  • This Is Us (NBC)
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
  • The Crown (Netflix)
  • Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • Begin Again
  • This Is Where I Leave You
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • The Secret Life of Pets … I like kids movies, sue me.

My Goals For 2017

This year, I don’t want to necessarily make resolutions. Instead, I want to set goals that, by the end of this year, will be complete or not.

  • Support more artists/small businesses. My intention is to purchase more art: prints, patches, paintings, you name it! I also want to shift my consuming towards small businesses that will offer more unique pieces and better quality. Helloooo Etsy!
  • Complete at least one of my concepts for a shoot. This is the year I want to stretch my photography to its limits, to push my own creative boundary. I have so many different concepts to choose from, my biggest problem will be deciding which to produce first! Another goal of mine is to complete at least one shoot a month, no excuses.
  • Give gifts for no reason at all. Some people may think that this could be financially unnecessary. But I have always been a person who can see something and automatically think of someone I could give it to. Of course, I want to be smart about how I spend, but I love giving gifts and I believe that I shouldn’t have to wait for a special occasion to give them.
  • Start blogging about fashion. This one is the scariest to put on my list for everyone to read. It makes it more real. But I have had a love for fashion blogs since I was a youngin’ (Style Rookie, anyone?!). When I first started this blog, I tried writing about my trends and obsessions, but I still felt I wasn’t doing what I wanted. I’d love to be able to share outfit posts and more about my shopping lists. I think the scariest part is stepping in front of the camera. But this is something that excites me and that I know will be worth it in the end. (Hold me accountable, people!)
  • Research more about topics like fair trade and ecological issues. Being an adult means having the responsibility to stay informed. Fair trade is definitely a hot topic right now; I even promoted a transparent clothing line in the beginning of the year. Other political issues regarding the earth’s temperatures and ecological dilemmas are also examples of ways I want to be perceptive to the world around me.
  • Redefine my skincare. I’ve mentioned this before and cutting out dairy proved to be a game changer for me. But I am still looking for the dream team of potions, lotions, and oils to keep my skin dewy. I have my eye on Glossier’s Supers.. that set of 3 is quite tempting.
  • Form better habits. Not only will I work on eliminating bad habits, but also creating better ones in their place. I want to remember to wear my retainer (maybe TMI, but IDC) and I want to stay consistent reading my devotions. Whenever someone drops something, I want to instinctually pick it up for them. I want to hold doors open and stop always touching my face (the oil from my fingertips!!!! big no no).
  • Find a new hobby. I already have supplies to pick up embroidery, and will hopefully chronicle my progress as I dive into this new craft. Constantly creating in one medium can become monotone, so this year will be the year of becoming a jill of all trades.

Hopefully this upcoming year will bring more opportunities and adventures. I want to focus on living in the moment more than capturing the moment. What have you learned from this past year? And what are your goals for the next?

(P.S. I’ve seen La La Land twice in the past 12 hours of posting this and I cannot deal.)

November 18, 2016
January 16, 2017

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  • Al + Lex

    I am OBSESSED with This Is Us but have not seen the last few episodes. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2017!!

    <3 | https://alpluslex.com/

  • Your blog is so beautiful- congrats to you! Wishing you the best in 2017!