In the final WO of 2018, I think it’s only fair to reflect on the past 52 weeks and how much has changed.
I traveled thousands of miles for various trips between SF to Minneapolis, Cabo, Tampa, NYC and Kenya. I navigated new challenges at one job and earned a new role with my dream company. I forged new friendships, let go of some others and started learning to say no to things more.
And beyond me (or I, I, I), the world still turns despite scary headlines, and turmoil between family and strangers, and all of the nuances that make up this crazy thing called life.
I hope you find peace and joy this holiday season, especially if you are struggling. Whether it’s publicly known or privately fought, you matter to me — and likely a whole other slew of people out there.
Sending you warm holiday wishes and blessings for a prosperous 2019!
WO: Weekly Obsessions 288
2017 is kicking my butt so far, and not in a good way. I’ve been down for the count for most of it, thanks to a gnarly sinus infection I should have seen coming. I wouldn’t dare list Benadryl, nasal spray and countless naps in this week’s obsessions, so here’s about all I can muster:
- Mariah Carey: The diva to end all divas certainly rung in the New Year with a memorable performance on live TV. While countless performances are backed with audio tracks — especially in a place as raucous as Times Square on NYE — I just loved Mariah’s “f— it” attitude and her closing remark: “It just doesn’t get any better.” Considering she carries a tune better than most of the world, I gotta give it to her for embracing the disaster with a sense of humor.
- Being Cinderella on NYE: OK, so I didn’t realize it was a full-blown sinus infection that had me barely keeping my eyes open at midnight. All I knew was, I didn’t want to be stuck paying $60 to get the 2 miles home to my apartment from a friend’s party. And you know what? Being Cinderella paid off. I requested an Uber at 12:01am, was home by 12:25am and paid just $12. No glass slippers required.
- “Moana”: My mom, sister-in-law and I took my toddler niece to see this latest Disney hit (for her second showing), and it was great fun for the kids and adults alike. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the perfectly modest Maui — ha!— and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho makes a shining debut as the titular princess. The soundtrack isn’t half bad either, thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s continued creative genius.
- “How Far I’ll Go” – Moana: Speaking of, this song has been stuck in my head since we saw the movie almost two weeks ago. If that doesn’t scream “earworm,” I don’t know what does. I promise it’s not the cold medicine that makes it so catchy. Go on, have a listen. Then, listen to Alessia Cara’s full version. And as Maui would humbly say, “You’re welcome.”
2016 was a garbage dumpster year, start to finish. It began with my (now ex-) boyfriend being sick last-minute and unable to celebrate with me. He insisted I carry through our plans to attend a couples’ party. On New Year’s Eve. Alone.
He then dumped me 3 days before my birthday, but I still went on my scheduled 4th of July in Tahoe couples’ trip. For my 29th birthday. Alone.
I returned to SF and was spit on by a homeless man that day. And lost my 80-day meditation streak. Namaste.
All of this pales — of course — in comparison to the traumas and tragedies that shook our world this year. Terrorist attacks, hate crimes, unfathomable violence, ignorant and misinformed movements, Brexit and Trump’s election, more celebrity deaths than I can even recall.
I lost a friend to brain cancer. I lost another to kidney failure. But friends lost their spouses and siblings and parents and children. They experienced pain I can only imagine, pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
I also gained a niece. I gained more vacation time than ever. I gained friends through various volunteer and social efforts. I gained understanding beyond the SF bubble about just how marginalized so many feel.
So in an effort to resolve the shitty-shit-shit of a year this was, I’m turning what I can into positive can-dos:
- Understand the world: I traveled more than ever this year, but it was all domestic and I’m itching for stamps on my passport in 2017. If I can make it to Asia, South America or parts of Europe I haven’t been, I hope to gain a broader view of how millions of people live. What experiences are part of their everyday lives? What can I do to understand my privilege more, both at home and abroad?
- Spend smarter: All of that travel left me in some tight financial spots, as I sometimes neglect to budget for living in the most expensive U.S. city. Rather than “Say Yes” to everything (which went full-force after my breakup), I need to be thoughtful about what each Yes costs me. I don’t ever want to be in a position where I can’t donate to my favorite causes or help those in need, so a finance fine-tooth comb is in order. First up: I’ll be the last person in SF to stop paying for cable!
- Use my voice: I tend to shut down during heated discussion and debates, often because I feel most are set in their ways and not willing to listen — only shout their perspectives. I see, though, how damaging silence can be. I choose to approach 2017 thoughtfully: speaking up when I feel compelled, understanding I may be the only one listening in a dialogue, and removing myself when necessary. I don’t have to be vocal on every single thing I care about, but I can use my voice with conviction, knowing I’ve done my research and will remain respectful.
- Take care of myself: The quintessential resolution is getting a makeover of its own from me at midnight. Yes, I’d love to finally hit my goal weight. But more important, I’d like to feel as good about myself as I do after a Toastmasters speech or a volunteer event. From continuing meditation streaks and therapy sessions, eating foods that nourish my body, challenging myself with new fitness goals and being cognizant of my needs in a relationship, I can take on any garbage dumpster 2017 throws at me.
What are your resolutions for 2017? As always, you’ll inspire me to be the best Wittyburg I can be.
And however you’re celebrating the New Year, please be safe out there. Here’s an actual rendering from the future, of me at midnight:
The end of each year becomes a time of reflection, reevaluation and sometimes, redemption.
I’m happy with what 2015 brought in many ways: a new relationship, rekindled friendships, new destinations, career development and more.
But I’m excited for what 2016 could bring — and that promise of the unknown is one of the few times my Type A tendencies subside into excitement for the unplanned.
I hope you’re each facing the New Year with hope in your hearts. If there’s anything this year has taught me, it’s that we could all use a little more peace and understanding.
Wishing you and yours a very safe and happy New Year’s Eve, and a prosperous 2016!
As the final hours of 2014 tick by, it’s only natural that we reflect on what the year has personally meant to us all. Our social-media feeds are flooded with Year In Review recaps, engagement announcements, pregnancy proclamations and countless other reasons to celebrate. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t also think of sad events from the past 365 days: deaths, disasters, tragedies and the like.
Each year brings a roller coaster of emotions, and 2014 was no different for me (or anyone else). From moving to a new dream city and seeing my niece develop into a toddling tyke to losing my grandpa and experiencing the final firsts without my dad, the tears have been both happy and sad.
My wish for each of you as the countdown begins tonight is that you hold your loved ones a little tighter. Laugh harder. Cry more often. Find inspiration. Celebrate something every single day. Live this life as big as you can, because we don’t know how many more countdowns we’ll be granted.
Cheers to what 2015 will bring — and remember, you don’t need to wait until January 1 to start living the life you want.