At long last, my favorite time of the year has arrived!
This is my 14th year doing this survey, and it's like an annual time capsule that I leave for myself. I honestly think about this survey throughout the year, thinking about how my responses may change from previous years. Some of the questions are silly and juvenile, remnants of MySpace message board days, but it's a fun little snapshot of who I am at a given point in time and I've grown to really love it.
Past years for reference:
1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
I went to Berlin, Stockholm, DC, Austin and San Luis Obispo. I did a Yoga Teacher Training. I took a dance hall class. I went on a date with someone 10+ years older than me. I rode on the back of a motorcycle. I mailed a love letter. I tried acroyoga. I had a one night stand. Some other sex things, some other yoga things, like this:
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My 2017 goals:
- See a side project through to fruition. Kind of achieved? I definitely blogged and took more pictures this year, but the frequency still wasn't where I wanted it to be. I did, however, finish a Yoga Teacher Training, so perhaps that counts?
- Stop playing games. I still play games, but it's less of a constant tick than it's been in previous years. And I've definitely gotten better about being more present with others, participating and listening and engaging more actively in social settings. Which is sometimes exhausting, but more fulfilling in the long run.
- Stop being selfish about food, and other weird character flaws. Definitely achieved! And fuck, is it AN EFFORT. I've actually started practicing letting people choose what bites they want (even if they're the ones I want) and I look away when people take bites off my plate so I don't give my eyes the opportunity to appraise and panic. Seriously, it's an active fucking mental exercise, but I've gotten much better about it.
- Maintain grocery/exercise habit. I maintained the grocery habit up until I started working again, and then I got busy and then Yoga Teacher Training happened and then I had no time for anything. The exercise habit has been pretty solid though, I haven't gone more than a week without doing some form of exercise, which is pretty good for me.
- Set aside time to give back on a monthly basis. Again, something I maintained until I started working again and doing teacher training. However, I really really loved volunteering with 826LA and strongly identify with their mission of cultivating students' expository and creative writing skills, so I'd like to pick up a regular volunteering cadence with them next year.
My 2018 goals:
- Find balance in the different parts of my life. There are a lot of things that I enjoy filling my time with, but I find that I tend to drop one thing for another because of time constraints. Next year I'd like to find a way to balance my different hobbies and priorities - work, yoga, writing, friends, cooking, volunteering, artsy shit, etc. Ideally I'd like to make space for all of these things on a monthly basis.
- Teach yoga on a semi-regular basis. I wasn't initially planning on teaching right away, but I think doing so might help keep me accountable and stay on top of my practice on a daily basis. My goal is to start subbing classes the first half of next year and then get on a semi-regular teaching schedule the second half of the year.
- Make an active effort to avoid behaviors that cause me anxiety. There was a brief period of time in high school where I genuinely thought I had an eating disorder. I've since realized that I didn't have an eating disorder, and that instead what I was feeling was an anxiety-induced lack of appetite. For the most part, I'm a pretty chill person and it takes a lot to stress me out or offend me, but when I do have anxiety, I get nauseous and I have trouble eating and it's a whole fucking thing. There were periods of this year where my anxiety got the best of me and some of the weight I've lost has been an outcome of that. But I know what my triggers are, so I'd like to be more careful next year of avoiding behaviors and situations that trigger me.
- Maintain a regular meditation practice. I use to pish posh meditation, but I've noticed a dramatic improvement in my happiness levels and sense of centeredness since meditating regularly (thanks, yoga teacher training!). Totally a believer now.
- Finish my bedroom. I've been living in my apartment for 3-fucking-years and I still haven't framed or hung up any of my art, nor have I bought a queen sized mattress for my queen sized bed frame. I need to get on that shit next year.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My Facebook is a constant source of baby announcements these days, but no, no one "close"
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
France, Germany, Sweden (but only for like 12 hours)
6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
A Senate that caters less to the plutocracy
7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 10 - when I started my new job!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting a boss new job, significantly reducing my sugar intake and leaving the pre-diabetes zone, completing a Yoga Teacher Training, and achieving previously unreached happiness and confidence levels. I've had a good fucking year
9. What was your biggest failure?
See above, re: anxiety-induced weight loss.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had two weeks of gnarly coughing fits this year, one in January and one in November
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Yoga Teacher Training program
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mine. I turned my whole fucking life around, guys, not even going to apologize for being proud of myself
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The dumpster fire that is our Congress
14. Where did most of your money go?
Yoga, in the form of new clothes (SO MANY NEW CLOTHES) and teacher training
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting a new job, my Yoga Teacher Training (HEY DID I MENTION I DID A YOGA TEACHER TRAINING THIS YEAR)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter?
Thinner, fitter, and healthier! Seriously though, this is the best shape I've ever been in. I fall asleep more easily, I regularly wake up before my alarm, I have better sex - it's like I unlocked the cheat code to my body (and vagina)
iii. richer or poorer?
Richer, but it's an easy comparison, considering I was basically unemployed this time last year
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I actually can't think of anything. I lived a full fucking life this year, nurturing friendships, traveling, writing, indulging my ~artsy~ side, working out, etc.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Participating in behaviors that caused me anxiety (like stalking, let's just be real)
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Watching a marathon of Christmas movies with my immediate family until it felt like my brain was leaking from my ears. It was a quiet Christmas, but actually really pleasant
22. Did you fall in love in 2017?
I said this last year, but it still holds true - with myself, and my life
23. How many one night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Insecure, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Game of Thrones (minus the episode where they went beyond the wall because that was the stupidest, most plot hole-y shit I've ever seen)
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
There are definitely some Congressional members I didn't realize I hated until this year
26. What was the best book you read?
I read a lot of poetry this year and in sum they were great, but I can't pinpoint one book that really stands out as a favorite. I also enjoyed the readings I did for my YTT, but again, more in sum than an individual book
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Mating Ritual, EXES, Zebra Katz (I know, I'm delayed), Leon Power
28. What did you want and get?
A new job. A more stable sense of self. All of the yoga clothes and a variety of black leather goods (thanks, Christmas!)
29. What did you want and not get?
Nothing. I don't want for much, but when I do want things, I tend to get them
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Fuck, Lady Bird was so good. Also enjoyed The Disaster Artist, but Lady Bird is one of those rare movies that stays with you
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
The weekend before my birthday I got a table at Honeycut and just got fucking trashed with all of my favorite people. But I was in the midst of my summer anxiety session on my actual birthday, so I spent most of the day nauseous and starving. But I also saw Jimmy Eat World and Incubus at the Hollywood Bowl, and that was the best. I turned 29.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Mmmm. Nothing. I had a pretty good fucking year
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
More black, more cropped tees, more shredded/revealing clothing. A lot more overlap between what I wear to yoga and what I wear in the real world
34. What kept you sane?
Yoga, writing, and my newfound (yet somewhat inconsistent) meditation practice
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you want the most?
I was originally going to say that I didn't really have a celeb crush this year because I had IRL crushes that took up most of my attention, but that would have been a lie.
Because Jay Ellis.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Fucking all of it, like, what is this country
37. Who did you miss?
There was someone, but it was short-lived
38. Who are cool new people you met?
Shout out to my yoga fam, love you guys ❤️
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017?
It's absolutely necessary to be single for a period of time after getting out of a very long-term relationship. I was initially resistant, thinking my self-awareness had made me a more evolved person, but that confidence was misplaced. I needed the time to fill the spaces of my life with my own hobbies, my own dreams, my own pursuits, and I'm definitely a happier person for it
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Come on darling you'll be fine
It's just emotion divided by time
And as the world keeps spinning round
I'm getting twisted me to unwind