It’s amazing how quickly a year passes, isn’t it? I feel like it wasn’t too long ago that I was ringing in 2016 and hopeful for what this year had in store. And soon, we will ring in 2017 and my hopefulness remains. I can’t wait to see where this next year takes me – new travel locales, career growth, better health, exciting romance? Who knows. I’m just going to buckle in and enjoy each and every loop the year takes me through. That’s all we can do, right?
Last year, I looked back on my year with a month-by-month review and I had such a fun time doing it, I knew I had to bring this back again for my “Best of 2016” series. Here’s what 2016 looked like in my world:
In January, I was social
I rang in the new year with friends, champagne, and sparklers in downtown Tampa, and then spent most of the month busy with outings and events. At the end of the month, I developed an awful head cold that laid me out for two days straight (wherein I watched fifteen episodes of Gilmore Girls back-to-back), which was my body’s way of telling me to slow the hell down.
In February, I was anxious
It was a tough month, and I was sad for the majority of it. I was living inside my anxiety for most of the month, unsure of what caused the episode or how to drag myself out of it. I was also continuing to deal with my chronic congestion, which I had been struggling with since October, and ended up going dairy-free for a week to see if that was the culprit. (Verdict: no.)
In March, I was delighted
I took a weekend cruise to Mexico with my best friend, mom, and stepdad where I had the most amazing snorkeling experience ever. I went on some great dates (nothing that panned out, but it gave me feelings of hope and happiness!) And I celebrated International Women’s Day with sangria and tapas with girlfriends.
In April, I was busy
April was the month of all of the plans. I had a writing sleepover with a friend, painted a house for a family in need with my coworkers, spent a long day in Orlando with friends, instituted weekly date nights with my roommate, and saw a ton of movies. At the end of April, I was grumpy and overstimulated and needed some serious downtime.
In May, I was frugal
I took on a no-buy month in May, only spending money on necessary expenses. I was successful and ended the month feeling really proud of myself for finishing the challenge. I also walked a 5k in Lakeland with my mom, enjoyed a brunch potluck with friends, rode in a surrey downtown, and celebrated a friend’s birthday.
In June, I was introspective
June was the month for writing, and I wrote a lot of deep, introspective essays that I’m really proud of. I wrote about chronic singleness, motivation when it comes to our goals, and the benefits of alone time. I also had lots of heartfelt conversations with friends, opening up about my social anxiety and shyness. In June, the Pulse shooting in Orlando happened and that rocked me to my core, because it happened so close to me. I participated in a painting night at my local Painting With a Twist that benefited the victims of this horrific massacre.
In July, I was stressed
My roommate had decided to move in with her boyfriend, so I made the decision to move back to St. Pete and to an apartment of my own. I never really enjoyed living in Tampa and just wanted to be back on the “right” side of the bridge. I had a little less than two months to find an apartment, but I knew exactly where I wanted to live and it was a stressful time waiting for an apartment to come available and snag it in time (the apartments in this complex are usually gone within a few hours of being posted!). I also started hustling after freelance work to help pay for the move, which was also pretty stressful. All in all, July was a tough month.
In August, I was productive
August was a busy month for me! I spent it decluttering my apartment and preparing for my move. I also did a lot of shopping because there was so much I needed for my new apartment. In addition, my freelance business picked up so any extra time was spent working on writing projects. I was invited to join my work’s fantasy football league, which I happily joined, and had a Mary-Kate & Ashley Movie Night with some girlfriends.
In September, I was happy
I moved into my own apartment in September, a move that was seamless and easy in ways I could have never predicted. I had a lot of help from my family, which was much appreciated, and settled into this new life quickly and happily. I took a break from blogging and being on social media, celebrated a ton of birthdays, and signed a regular freelance client.
In October, I was absorbed
I started a huge writing project that entailed spending most of my weeknights and weekends working, leaving me in a state of frenzy and stress. My mom had a few minor medical procedures that required anesthesia and me taking care of her. Thankfully, all of her procedures were just normal exams to make sure she was healthy and we received no bad news from them – whew. It was a stressful time, but I was really glad I could be there for my mom afterwards, since her husband was on the road at the time.
In November, I traveled
I took two trips in November: a girlfriends weekend away in The Villages, a retirement community in central Florida, and a five-day Caribbean cruise with my mom. Both trips were so very needed and so very fun. I turned 29 while on my cruise, celebrating in the beautiful island of Grand Cayman. I also enjoyed Thanksgiving with my extended family, feeling filled up with warmth and love.
In December, I was content
December was a busy month, as it always seems to be. There were tons of Christmas parties to attend and shopping to do. But even in the midst of the crazy, I was content. I felt happy with my life and the way 2016 was ending for me. I had a low-key Christmas with my family and plan to ring in the new year at home. Other good things about December: winning my fantasy football league (what?! Li’l ole me?) and my beloved Dolphins clinching a playoff spot for the first time since 2008. Wahoo!
What were some of the emotions you experienced in 2016?