Hooray! It is time to look back on the year with my “Best of 2016” posts. This is the third year of doing these posts and it’s just so fun for me to put them together. I’m kicking off the series with an end-of-year survey that I completed last year. I love filling this out and thinking back on the high points and low points of the year. I have to say: 2016 was a pretty good year for me. There is very little to complain about, which is the first time in a very long time that I can say that. I hope this is just an upward trend and the years get better and better from here on out.
1) What did you do in 2016 that you’ve never done before?
I lived on my own. I love my little apartment and love that it’s a space that is totally and completely my own. I can be as messy or as neurotically clean as I want to be; there’s nobody to answer to. It’s really fun!
2) Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No, not really. I gave up on them about halfway through the year. And yes, I plan on making a few resolutions for 2016. Can’t stop, won’t stop, with new year’s resolutions!
3) Did anyone close to you give birth?
One of my good friends did – her baby boy arrived the day after my birthday, so we’re basically twinsies.
4) Did anyone close to you die?
5) What places did you visit?
I went to Cozumel, The Villages, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. I didn’t do a ton of travel this year, but it was enough for me.
6) What would you like to have in 2017 that you didn’t have in 2016?
I’d like to have romantic love. 2016 has a lot of painful memories regarding dating and romance, and I’d like 2017 to be vastly different.
7) What dates from 2016 will be etched in your memory forever?
September 2 – the day I got the keys to my very own apartment
8) What was your biggest achievement this year?
Moving into my own apartment and handling the transition from living with a roommate to living alone with grace. I’m so, so happy to be living alone!
9) What was your biggest failure?
I don’t feel like I made enough impact with my finances. I wanted to have a $1,000 emergency fund saved up and I wasn’t able to do that. Also, didn’t lose the weight again. Womp.
10) Did you suffer from illness or injury?
I got sick a few times over the course of the year, as well as dealt with chronic congestion for the first quarter of the year. No injuries, though!
11) What was the best thing you bought?
Probably my coffeemaker! It is just one of those standard, 12-cup coffeemakers and was, like, $17. It has brought me so much joy, though!
12) Where did most of your money go?
It went to moving costs and new things I needed for my apartment. This was the exact same answer I gave last year, so my hope for 2017 is that I can change this answer to something more exciting, like travel.
13) What did you get really, really excited about?
Dating. I had some really hopeful dating experiences this year that gave me lots of butterflies and happiness.
14) What song will always remind you of 2016?
Meh, I don’t know. I’m not a huge music person.
15) Compared to this time last year, are you a) happier or sadder, b) thinner or fatter, c) richer or poorer?
I am happier, not thinner nor fatter, and richer.
16) What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I had traveled more or had at least visited one new U.S. state. My travel inside the U.S. is abysmal and I want to change that.
17) What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying – about finances, about dating, about my future.
18) How did you spend Christmas?
I had a very low-key Christmas! I spent the night at my mom’s house (my stepdad is currently on the road). We slept in, opened presents around 10:30, and went for a long walk. Around 2, my brother and his family arrived. There was more opening of presents, playing of toys, and a light dinner of sandwiches. I left around 6, took a bubble bath, and then watched the Sunday Night Football game!
19) What was your favorite TV program?
My TV watching tapered off once I moved into my apartment, since I don’t have cable. Thankfully, my mom does and she saves some of the shows that she knows I like so I can watch them with her later. I think my favorite new TV program is This Is Us, my favorite sitcom remains Life In Pieces, and I’m still as into Big Brother as I always have been.
20) What was the best book you read?
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I had the best time reading that novel.
21) What did you want and get?
My apartment! I am so happy that I was able to snag the exact apartment I wanted in the complex I wanted to live in. I have zero regrets, only pure joy.
22) What did you want and not get?
A tattoo. I just never went ahead and did it! I know I want one, and I know where and what I want. I need to stop being a baby about it and effing do it!
23) What was your favorite film of 2016?
Zootopia. I didn’t see a ton of movies in 2016 – maybe five in total? – so there’s not a lot to select from. But I saw Zootopia with a friend and adored it. It had such a great message!
24) What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29 on my birthday and I celebrated in Grand Cayman! My mom and I took a cruise for my birthday and we had a stop on this island on that day. We did a low-key excursion where we laid out by a pool at a resort and had a delicious meal. Later on, I was sang “Happy Birthday” to in the dining room by my fab wait staff. It was a great day!
25) What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I wish I had found true love. I dated more in 2016 than I have in previous years, but nothing that lasted for more than a few dates. There was potential with some of the guys I dated, but in the end, I’m ringing in the new year alone. I hope 2017 is my year for love.
26) Who kept you sane?
My friends. I don’t know what I would do without them. They are the ones I go to when I’m downward spiraling about some silly thing and need to be reminded that all is okay.
27) Who did you miss?
I missed my grandma. I have a few photos of her on my fridge and they are equally comforting and upsetting. There are times when I stare at her pictures and waves of sadness and anguish come over me, knowing she’s no longer on this earth anymore. It’s just not fair.
One of my favorite coworkers left our company early in the year and I missed him, too. He was such a fun person to work with and I miss our conversations.
28) Who was the best new person you met?
The only new people I met this year were through work! We had a lot of new people join our company and I’ve become good friends with a handful of them. I love the people I work with so, so much.
29) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
I deserve to be a priority. I remember complaining about this to some girlfriends in regards to the men I was dating. I just felt like I was never a priority for them. I was an afterthought. I wasn’t important. Maybe that makes me sound needy and demanding and I don’t think I am; I just want to be with someone who takes the time for me. I deserve to be someone’s priority.
30) Show us one of your favorite photos from the year.
I was so, so proud to vote for Hillary Clinton for president. I was so, so sure that the rest of America would follow suit. That hate would not win. That people would put aside their political affiliations and realize we could not let a racist, sexist, xenophobic bigot into the White House. How wrong I was.
Even still, it does not take away the feeling I had as I carefully filled in my bubble and voted a woman – an incredible woman – for president. What an honor.
What’s a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016?