Well. 2016. It’s been quite the year, hasn’t it? Yes, 2016 has been a hot mess on a grand scale, but it also hasn’t been one of my favorites overall personally. There were some good things that happened (I came up with 10), but for the most part my brain is really quick to remember all of those negative moments first. Those feelings of not being good enough & feeling incredibly lost. Or maybe that’s just what your late twenties is all about? (I’m convinced everything starts to make sense at 30. Don’t ruin it for me, y’all.)
So we’re going to take an overall look at the year, some of which I’ve shared on the blog before, and some of which I haven’t. (Hey, you’ve got to leave some life to live, right?) I’m going to start with the negative so that we can end on a high note. Here goes nothing:
9 Things That Were A Bummer About 2016
- Y’all. I didn’t sing at all in 2016. There was no barbershop choir, barely any church choir, no car sing-a-longs. My voice is shot, y’all. So is my sight reading. I really need to find a way to bring this back in 2017. I’m hoping it’s like riding a bike.
- I completely failed at my summer photo project. I did this great blog post where I did a round-up of all of the possible photo projects you could do. I decided to do self portraits. And then I found out exactly how difficult it was to take self portraits without a remote. And that was the end of that project. I found that I really missed challenging myself creatively and really hope I can get my shit together for next year. If you’re curious about how the few I took did turn out, you can look at the photo above and the photo I used on this fake album cover.
- I spent a lot of time this year complaining about things that I got myself into. I complained about sending so many birthday cards. I complained about sending so many Christmas cards. I complained about having such a busy schedule. There’s seriously no need to complain, Chrystina. You did this to yourself. So in 2017 I’m going to have to start guarding my time a little bit better. On that same note –
- I found that I was trying really hard to make plans with people who just didn’t seem to care. And then I would stress myself out about it. There are a lot of people who have become notorious for canceling plans last minute. And that’s totally fine. I just need to not plan my life around them as much.
- Halloween. That is all.
- I stopped going to church for the first four months of this year. I was traveling so much that the thought of needing to be somewhere on Sunday was too much for me to handle. I found after the fact that I really missed this time. I missed this time for singing and I missed this time for meditating. Whether I’m listening or not it’s probably the only hour in my whole week that I’m sitting still doing nothing without my phone in front of me.
- This year I was informed that going to church makes me weak. Clearly this was not by someone in my inner circle. But it’s by someone that I’m probably not able to kick out of my life any time soon. The amount of anger that statement produced was pretty incredible. That said, it did result in me getting a pretty great pep talk from the lady I see at the salon. So that was a bright spot.
- On that same note of traveling too much, being gone Monday to Thursday from January to July really did a number on my relationships: friend relationships & my romantic one. I’m not a great communicator from the other side of the country. It also means I have far too much time to put words in people’s mouths that they never said. And finally, I’m not great at staying in touch with people when I’m not around to make plans. It took me about two months to start to feel like I had gained any traction in piecing things back together.
- I realized I really need to get my head in the game more at work. I got to the point this year that I was multi-tasking too many things and I started dropping some of the balls I was juggling. And I’ve got to tell you, it doesn’t feel good – to forget to email someone, to forget to schedule the meeting, to miss the instructions – it’s really crummy.
11 Good Things That Happened In 2016
- We planned the first annual Blog Connect conference.
- I got promoted to manager. (And then celebrated by dying my hair red again.)
- I managed to spend time in 17 states/districts: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington. Here I made you a map:
- The amount of burritos I ate smothered in green chili was everything. If I had to choose between a green chili-smothered burrito and a New York bagel, I honestly don’t know what I’d do.
- I have a new baby cousin! She’s 11 months old now, so it’s not super new, but she’s still new as of 2016. And she’s adorable.
- It took me 4 years of living in this house, but I’m (we’re?) finally starting to make it my (our?) own. The living room walls are painted. The living room is now being used as a dining room. The basement no longer has quite as much of other people’s stuff in it. The next thing is to hang some of my own photos around the house.
- I attended 5 conferences this year (that doesn’t count The Blog Connect): Thrive, The Lady Project Summit, The Yellow Conference, VenturePop, and The Positivity Charge.
- I spoke on my first panel this year. At The Lady Project Summit I spoke on a panel about blogging. That was cool.
- I got paid to write a blog post this year. I’ve gotten free things before, but this was the first year I was paid in cash. So that’s cool too.
- Fuller House and Gilmore Girls round 2 both came out this year. And I’m a big television person. So that’s been wonderful for my soul.
- I got a library card. That means I’ve been reading a lot more YA romance novels. My favorite.
I’m excited to take these things, both negative and positive, and transform them into some actionable items for 2017. I’ve started that list as well, and I can’t wait to share it with you all next week. See you all next year! Happy New Years!!