December 31, 2016

My 2016 Retrospective

2016 has simply flown by, hasn't it? It's been one hell of a year, and so many things have happened within these past twelve months. Personally, it's been a really busy year. There have been so many incredible experiences, and I've had so much quality time with people I love. Even though there have definitely been moments of anxiety, despair and hardship, I choose to see them as learning experiences and as challenges set to make a better, stronger person. 

In 2016, I've learned that the more you admit that you are new to something, the more people are willing to help you learn. That you are capable of accomplishing more than you ever imagined you could. That it's okay that relationships (just like people) change. That it's okay to take the time to step back, assess the people, things and relationships you've got going for you, and to realize when it's necessary to adjust or let go. That life still has a funny way of surprising you when you least expect it. That things often fall into place perfectly for something special to occur. That bad days can be fixed with a social media break, some ice cream and being surrounded by the best people. That sometimes the best moments don't require documentation. That sometimes random pictures can tell a story. That the human heart is stronger than you can imagine. That adventures are out there, big and small, and all you have to do is be open to them. That simplicity can be striking. That creativity can be empowered by others, and that writing is a process tailored specifically per individual. That things you might not have given a second glance before can turn out to be the very things you never knew you needed. That you should measure success against your own accomplishments and not those of other people (though their successes should inspire you). That friendships that are true shift with the times and will always be with people willing to communicate, contribute and be there for you. That hope is enough to spark a change, a rebellion. That love is the most important thing of all, and it's good to be constantly reminded of that. 

I'm seriously so grateful for the things that 2016 has taught me, and look forward to seeing what 2017 will bring. Cheers to the year that was! Here are some of the highlights of my 2016. (If you're interested in more of my recaps, here are my 2013 recapmy 2014 recap and my 2015 recap.)

Rang in the new year with a little celebration hosted by our friends Jaymee & Ephy
Road trip to Boston with Rachel & attended ALA Midwinter
Saw Alex Bracken, Erin Bowman and Susan Dennard at Books of Wonder
Saw The Color Purple (in which Cynthia Erivo is an utter gem)
Game nights start
Saw Jason Robert Brown at Subculture
Macky was off to Charlotte for work training
Danica slept over so we could binge watch Doctor Who
Cooked my first ever baked casserole
Book Blogger Love-a-Thon 2016 (it was incredible!)
Saw The Secret Garden in concert at Lincoln Center
Baked my first ever cinnamon roll casserole
Saw Deadpool (and absolutely loved the film)

Got super sick so I was off from work for nearly a week
Saw Marie Rutkoski for The Winner's Kiss launch party at McNally Jackson

Discovered our new favorite brunch place - Woodside Cafe
Celebrated Mel's birthday with a picnic at Bear Mountain (and an intense "football" game)

Saw Captain America: Civil War (and thought it was epic)
Saw Mia Garcia at the Even If the Sky Falls launch party at Books of Wonder
Saw The Firebird ballet with Rachel
Visited the Museum of Modern Art with Danica
Attended Kristin's wedding in Long Island

Saw X-Men: Apocalypse (and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it)
Met Anna Woltz for coffee and an interview
Saw the Le Corsaire ballet with Rachel
Met up with Kelly & Alyssa to go to Book Barn
Had dinner with Clarissa, her cousin and her boyfriend at House of Inasal
Wedding planning session with Jaymee
Saw The Golden Cockerel ballet with Rachel
Saw Me Before You twice (and sobbed my eyes out)
BFest Bloggers Brunch Panel at Barnes & Noble Tribeca
Aina, Rose and Miren came to visit
Saw Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand and Brodi Ashton for the My Lady Jane event at Books of Wonder
Did a little catsitting for Pat and Ian
Saw Finding Dory (and also sobbed my eyes out)
Ice cream runs with Rachel
First (and only) visit to the beach
Watched Zootopia (and absolutely loved it)

Laduree and Coney Island for Danica's birthday
Started playing Pokemon Go
Studio nights are established
Cape Cod weekend with Rachel & Kelly
Macky had a procedural check-up done
Binge watched (and finished) the S1-A of Sword Art Online
Macky had to go to the hospital
Mom and Dad arrive in town
Went to The Whitney with Pat, Ian & Danica
LIC Flea and Gantry State Park with Danica
James Bay on Good Morning America
Visited the Park Ave. Armory with Danica
IKEA trip

Visited the Museum of Ice Cream with Rachel
Had birthday dinner at The Bao
A Very Harry Potter birthday party
Saw Jana Kramer at Gramercy with Rachel
Boston Comic Con
Swimming in the mornings
Saw An American in Paris with Rachel
Wedding session at Jaymee's
IKEA trip with Mel
Binge watched Stranger Things

Saw Waitress with Danica
Binge watched Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Saw Something Rotten
3rd wedding anniversary dinner at The Bao
Saw The Last Five Years with Macky
Micah, Hanna and Ethan come to visit
Started playing Elder Signs
Saw Leigh Bardugo at the Strand
Saw A Monster Calls (and it was incredible)
James Bay at Radio City Music Hall

Binge watched Luke Cage
New York Comic Con 2016
Orlando with Danica (It was a seriously magical trip!)
Started watching Naruto
Macky got promoted at work
Saw Tick, Tick... Boom! (and cried)
Saw Kelli O'Hara in concert (and she was phenomenal)

Saw Doctor Strange (and surprisingly enjoyed it)
Voted for the first time ever in a US election
Saw Trolls (and also surprisingly enjoyed it) 
Went to an advanced screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (amazing!)
Saw Tick, Tick... Boom! for a second time (and still loved it)
Hung out with friends at Bryant Park
Saw Cassandra Clare and Alberto Rosende at Barnes and Noble Tribeca
Impromptu Friendsgiving at the apartment
Thanksgiving dinner in Connecticut
Record Store Day outing with Danica
Brunch with Jaymee & Ephy at Max Brenner
Alice's Tea Cup with Kara
Jaymee's first dress fitting
Saw Final Fantasy XV movie (and it was so good)
Saw Breakfast at Tiffany's with Rachel
Did some catsitting for Pat & Ian

Saw Moana (and cried way more than I expected to)
Met Fredrik Backman
Surprised DJ (my #TBTBSanta recipient) at Beecher's
Ephy's birthday dinner
Kahl comes to visit (which is the best)!
Saw Rogue One (and also cried a lot, but laughed a lot too)
Christmas dinner with Rachel at Izakaya Mew
A very merry little Christmas gathering at home
Christmas dinner at Serafina
Escape the Room at Riddle Me Out
Christmas Eve dinner at Cafe Martinique
Christmas Day brunch at the apartment
New Year chilling in the apartment

I seriously cannot express how incredible 2016 was for me, Macky and many of our friends. I'm personally quite grateful to be surrounded by such strong, talented, creative and thoughtful individuals who I know will always have my back. I'm grateful for each and every opportunity, for all the memories that I'm tucking away into the treasure box in my mind and even all the moments where I struggled and was forced to learn something new. Goodbye 2016! Thanks for the the memories.


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