December 31, 2017

My 2017 Retrospective

Oh 2017, you've been such a fantastic year! I'm sitting here, scrolling through photos and flipping through my journal, and I feel so damn grateful for all the memories I've made, the beloved family and friends I've gotten to spend time with and all the opportunities I've gotten. 

In 2017, I learned that I'm actually a people person if I happen to be hanging out with the right people... my people. It taught me that, while a perfect photo is a wonderful thing, taking time away from my phone is always a good thing, especially if it means actually being in the moment with the people I love. In fact, I've been reminded that I'm so damn lucky to be surrounded by people who love, support, encourage and inspire me to do more, see more, be more. I have laughed and cried, conversed and played, and made the best memories with the best people and it brings me to tears to realize how much gratitude and grace I have had in my life. And love, oh so much love, it's been a constant and it's been the most important thing in my life, and I am blessed with it. It's been such a whirlwind, but in the very best way, and I'm looking forward to more of that in 2018! But before we talk about the year to come, I wanted to look back at the memories from the year that's passed. Cheers to you, 2017! (If you're interested in more of my recaps, here are my 2013 recapmy 2014 recapmy 2015 recap and my 2016 recap.)

The year kicked off in the best possible way, since my brother-in-law Kahlil was still in town. We spent a little time wandering on the first day of the year and had a wonderful life talk on the day before he left. The first book event I attended was also this month - the launch event for Wayfarer. The first snow day of the year happened a few days later! I got to see Jason Robert Brown at Subculture (with guest Kelli O'Hara) too, although majority of the time was spent binge reading and binge watching all the things on many lazy weekends.

The month kicked off with a lot of friends time (dinner and dessert with Rachel, bookstore run with Kristin and Monica, brunch with Lili and Jess), though the lazy weekends were still rampant.  I also got the chance to meet Corey Ann Haydu and Evelyn Skye. The month ended with a bang when we went on a weekend trip to Vermont, where I finally went snowboarding for the first time ever.

I fell head over heels in love with Ed Sheeran's album Divide, Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale, and Logan which both were released in the US this month. Mom and dad came to visit, and we ended up not just going around the city and meeting friends but also going out of town to Cape Cod. We also did a giant fixer upper job on the apartment to make it more homey! I also got the chance to meet one of my favorite ballerinas, Misty Copeland.

It was bittersweet to have the parents leave early on in the month. Other things that happened include playing board games, seeing Anastasia on Broadwayseeing Your Name in theaters and falling in love with it and successfully escaping the Resident Evil Escape Room. But the highlights of month were visiting Brooklyn Botanic Garden with Danica and Pam and Kevin coming to visit.

The month kicked off on a festive note as a whole group of us flew to Charleston. Why? To be at Jaymee & Ephy's wedding! This was the first time of the year where I got sick (boo!), but it didn't stop me from hanging out with my friends, seeing movies and playing games. I got to catch Giselle with Rachel, and also saw Emery Lord and Brigid Kemmerer.

I started off the month busy because I was at Book Expo America and BookCon, which were super chill this year and I loved that a lot. I also got to see Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han and Jennifer E. Smith, see two more ballets with Rachel and had the first beach day of the year. It was also really cool to see Matthew Perry in The End of Longing.

Rachel and I went on our annual trip together, and this time we visited Providence in Rhode Island. We also got a chance to visit family in New Jersey, had the Fournandezes come to visit and needed to get my first root canal.

Mel, Danica and I went to see Coldplay, and then I celebrated my birthday with a picnic at Gantry State Park (and a couple of other outings with pals too)! It was a pretty chill month overall, but a fun memory I have is watching Dirty Dancing at Bryant Park for their movie night.

I had the honor of being a panelist for BookNetFest and Macky surprised me with a visit to Disney World for our anniversary. I saw Leigh Bardugo, Jodi Meadows, CJ Redwine and Kerri Maniscalco too. I was on a second panel as well, this time on a BookTube panel for BFest! Ended the month seeing Ed Sheeran two times.

I started off the month by seeing Ryan Graudin, followed by seeing Ed Sheeran (yes, again). Macky & I also attended New York Comic Con, where we picked up quite a few books, saw many authors (Julie C. Dao and Jodi Meadows and Tamora Pierce) and got to meet a few of our favorites (Mark Hamill, Pearl Mackie, Peter Capaldi and Billie Piper). We also had a long weekend in Orlando, where we visited Universal Studios Orlando and Walt Disney World. There was also a weekend hiking Bear Mountain, seeing Niall Horan on the TODAY show and going to the Griffins, Goblets and Gold tour at the Met.

This was the month of Broadway musicals - Puffs, Waitress, The Play That Goes Wrong, Once on this Island. I also got to see Todrick Hall perform with Jason Robert Brown, visit the Reputation pop-up shop, successfully escaped the room twice, go to AnimeCon, and visit the Countdown to Christmas pop-up shop. Macky and I flew home to the Philippines, where we visited Tagaytay and Macky was in Of Songs and Stories.

We went to Bacolod for Rachel & Mon's wedding, which was a lovely way to start the month. Upon returning to New York, there were plenty of dessert runs with Rachel, gift shopping, board game nights, Christmas dinners with friends, and a really fun work Christmas party with bowling and laser tag. We spent the actual Christmas holidays at Walt Disney World, which was incredible, and our New Year celebration is just going to be an intimate celebration here at home.

It's been another incredible year of my life! I've definitely learned a few new things about myself, cemented my status in a number of fandoms, got inspired to be creative in more ways than one, and spent tons of quality time with folks I love. I'm sincerely thrilled to be able to look back and smile at all these memories, and to tuck the lessons I've learned into my heart. Farewell, 2017, and thanks for the memories!


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