Anyone who’s followed my blogs for any significant period of time knows that I’ve been doing this survey every year for over a decade (with the exception of 2010). It’s a tradition that traces its roots back to Xanga and Myspace, back when they were the blogging/social media sites de jour.
The questions are juvenile and not conducive to truly personal revelations, but I don’t know, I have an affection for it - this survey is kind of like a mini time capsule that I leave myself every year. My year condensed in 40 questions.
Every year I also find myself feeling the need to justify why I continue to do this survey, so this year, I say fuck it. I’mma do what I want. This year I resolve to stop feeling the need to justify anything I do or why I want to do it.
Past years for reference:
1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
I played real ass shuffleboard in NYC. I successfully landed in eka pada galavasana. I ate monkfish liver and sweetbreads. I got comfortable parallel parking and became a true LA resident in the process. I achieved Southwest A-List from my travels to and from San Francisco - so long, “B” boarding group!
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My 2015 goals:
- Work out 3-4x/week: Total fail, as far as consistency goes. But still, the fact that I work out on any regular basis is impressive to me, considering the years after college in which I literally did nothing except watch TV and feel sorry for the pounds accumulating around my midsection (and thighs, and arms, and face).
- Dress like a grown-up: 100% success. High-fucking-five to me.
- Save more money/stop spending so much money on food: Lol. As usual, I failed at this, as I do every year. I mean, I had dinner at The French Laundry again this year, if that’s any indication of my lack of fiscal responsibility. That’s two more times than I ever thought I would go in my life.
- Read more, write more: I definitely wrote more, but alas, didn’t read more.
- Make friends/find new hobbies in LA: I halfway achieved this, I would say. I definitely made more of an effort this year to reach out to old friends and acquaintances in LA and foster those relationships. I didn’t meet any new people, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity to build deeper relationships with the people I do know in LA, and I think that’s a good start. I also got a little closer to dabbling in new hobbies, but not as deep as I would have liked.
My 2016 goals:
- Stop using Jojo as a mental excuse for not working out, going out, being productive, etc. This year I found myself justifying not going to the gym or not going to my coworking space because I wanted to hang out with Jojo. It was a flimsy excuse to rationalize deeper problems - my laziness, my depression, my light agoraphobia that I’ve started to develop in the past year. Next year I’d like to focus on refining my daily routine and allocating appropriate time to work, to Jojo, and most importantly, to myself.
- Follow through. Beyond just following through with my hobbies and promises to myself to work out more, write more, read more, etc., I’d also like to be better at following through with other things. Like when I tell someone let’s hang out, I want to follow through on all aspects of this process - reaching out, making plans, responding to texts in a timely manner, being punctual. This year I noticed that I would sometimes reach out to people and check that box on my list, so to speak, but then would be terrible at actually responding to texts within a timely window. While I’m an extremely reliable person in professional settings, next year, I’d like to translate this sense of reliability into my personal life as well.
- Gain expertise in a new hobby. I don’t know how this will take shape just yet. In previous years I’ve focused on improving myself in areas I know I excel in, like writing and yoga, but I languished, I think partially because I’m already pretty comfortable in those areas. Next year I’d like to tackle something new, something foreign, something to really push myself outside of my comfort zone. I have a lot of peripheral hobbies - things I’ve dabbled in in the past but haven’t touched in years, like web design, graphic design, photography, collage art and hip hop dancing - I’d like to revisit these and reattain a sense of competency in at least one of them next year.
- Develop weekly grocery habit. I don’t have this, and honestly, it’s what contributes to most of my eating out. I grocery shop so rarely, I don’t know how to do it. It’s crippling. I’m paralyzed by the idea of cooking at home, but if I want to save money and develop healthy eating habits, I know I need to do this.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
A more purposeful approach to my daily life in LA.
7. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Honestly, I can’t really think of one. 2015 was a blur of airplanes and hotel rooms, there wasn’t really one moment this year that I felt truly rooted. My birthday was pretty awesome though, thanks to Chris.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
On a somewhat superficial level, I’m really proud of the work my team did at VMworld this past year. It was our first time running on-site social media support for the whole event (40k+ attendees), and it was really gratifying to see how much we were able to accomplish with such a lean team - the event hashtag trended on Twitter, one of our snaps made it to the San Francisco Snapchat story, and in terms of social media SOV, it was the most successful VMworld yet.
On a personal level, I think getting over the bulk of my depression was a pretty big achievement.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I think I could have been kinder to Chris. Kinder in general, really.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
After the shitfest of 2014, I surprisingly didn’t get very sick in 2015.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Remember when I said my “Dress like a grownup” resolution was a success? I’m pretty happy with all of the new clothes and shoes I bought this year.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Brandon Stanton from HONY deserves some kind of recognition for his work covering the Syrian refugee crisis this year.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Everything in the news related to ISIS. Everyone voting for Donald Trump or Ben Carson or any of the Republican candidates, really.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, Jojo and my brothers. I miss the days when coming home meant free meals. At some point that changed to me having to buy dinner for my brothers, my very hungry, adolescent brothers.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I’m pretty excited about this new camera Chris just got me for Christmas.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter?
Fatter. I can feel it, and it doesn’t feel great.
iii. richer or poorer?
Slightly richer, and slightly more irresponsible.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
This is what I wrote last year, but it still rings true - Reading, writing, working out, meeting new people, being happy. I also wish I was slightly more productive, but hey, post-depression baby steps.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Hanging out with family and puppies in my parents’ beautiful and spacious new house. It was delightful.
22. Did you fall in love in 2015?
Reevaluated it, what it means to be in love after 8.5 years. There are always new things to discover when it comes to a long-term love. You have to reinvent it, find new ways to love.
23. How many one night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Downton Abbey ended strong this year - while I’m sorry to see it go, I’m glad it ended so satisfyingly. I also enjoyed Casual and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend this year.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
It takes too much energy to hate someone, and I need all the energy I can muster to focus on myself.
26. What was the best book you read?
I’ve been trying to get through We Need to Talk About Kevin for the past 3 years, always picking it up and putting it down. Eventually, I’ll finish this fucking book.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Sons et al. (even though they maybe never tour?) and MADE IN HEIGHTS
28. What did you want and get?
Most things, too trivial to name.
29. What did you want and not get?
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Martian, Mad Max: Fury Road, What We Do in the Shadows, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. I’m also going to say Birdman and Whiplash, but only because I can’t remember if I saw them in 2014 or the beginning of 2015.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My birthday was the fucking best. On my actual birthday, Chris, Katie and I went to Buzzfeed’s campus and watched a free screening of Empire Records, one of my favorite movies growing up, complete with a Q&A with the actors. The next day we went to dinner at Redbird, where Allyson and Ramsey (my old SF roommates) unexpectedly arrived, a surprise orchestrated by Chris. I was so overcome with surprise, I ended up tearing up a bit, which has literally never happened to me before. It was a great birthday.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Really achieving my personal goals. I feel like I only got halfway there.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
I was pretty successful this year in up-leveling the shit out of my personal style. I moved beyond tattered lace-up boots and tops with holes in them and effectively seeded my closet with a larger selection of clothes that I can actually wear to client meetings. I’m getting closer to having my entire wardrobe look like this.
34. What kept you sane?
Ironically, trips to San Francisco, though I’d really like to travel less next year. Meditation. Writing. Taking baby steps towards larger goals. A sense of purpose.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you want the most?
Ian Somerhalder. Always and forever, amen.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
ISIS. The growing ball of flames that is the Republican Party.
37. Who did you miss?
No one, really. I saw my friends in SF more than my friends in LA, practically.
38. Who are cool new people you met?
I wrote this two years ago, but it still holds true: I’m not confident I even meet new people these days. How do you meet people in your late 20s?
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015?
There is no such thing as “more time.”
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I’m watching, I’m feelin’. Make the best of me.
Push that Bad down.
Wring that wash out.
Dreading the day that we begin to read into self-doubt.
Steal that gut feel,
and every cold thrill,
Let the salt sink in when everything is downhill.
Snap back to the youth in you,
Feel the done days and you’re pulling through to the getting good, oh the getting good.
Close gaps in the winter stoop, when everybody lights up another hoop, that’s the getting good. Oh the getting good.