GET WRECKED, 2016: A Year in Review

Man, what a dumpster fire of a year. The most jarring thing about how awful 2016 was, globally speaking, is the contrast with my individual life in 2016, which was actually pretty great? It’s made it very difficult to be excited about good things happening in my life, because they seem very small in comparison. 2017 is shaping up to be more of the same, unfortunately, but that’s a post for a different day.

At any rate, here’s what I was up to in 2016, with the usual Instagram annotations. (Eventually I will use this blog for something that isn’t year-in-review posts. Eventually.)

  • Bakery! I was slinging cupcakes through the spring, about five months all together — I left the bakery when I started getting more regular hours at the library. A good experience generally, but dang if I wasn’t glad to not have to wear an apron anymore. I did get the top-secret buttercream frosting recipe before I left. Priorities.
  • Library! About a week after I quit the bakery job, the assistant to the director at the library quit, and then I got her job, because apparently the universe loves me. So since about May I’ve been really taking on a lot of responsibility at work — cataloging! marketing! tech services! reference! — and it’s been amazing. A lot of learning on the job, but I honestly couldn’t ask for a better opportunity. I’ve gotten to know the library really well, and am getting very fond of the Edgewood community. I’m planning to stick around until I finish my MLIS, and everything’s working out perfectly.
    • In January of this year our director of 36 years retired, so I am now even busier. Good busy, but busy! Expect more libraryland blogging in the future… if I have time.
  • Wedding! Remember my friends Allison and Kelsey? They got married. To each other. Have you ever had two of your best friends marry each other? Because it’s amazing and I recommend it to everyone. Being their maid of honor was really and truly one of the greatest joys of my life. I spent a lot of time designing programs and mailing save-the-dates and going to dress fittings and looking at venues and putting together playlists, and everything turned out beautifully. I would do it again twice over in a heartbeat. I only cried during my speech like, once. I’m definitely not crying now thinking about it. Get out of my face.
  • Italy! In case you were worried that I was going to have no purpose after the wedding was over, literally two days later I got on a plane to Italy with my mom and my sister, for her high school graduation gift. We visited Florence, Venice, Sorrento, Pompeii and Rome in a little under two weeks. It wasn’t the smoothest trip — we had an over-full schedule and then I got stuck in NYC alone on the way home, which was lightly traumatizing — but I got to touch all kinds of old Roman stuff, which made me very, very happy.
  • Budapest & Prague! At Allison and Kelsey’s bridal shower, Yee and I made a very impulsive decision to go on a trip together before we went (back) to grad school, and then a few months later THERE WE WERE, IN EUROPE TOGETHER. #YOLO. I met Yee in NYC, and then we spent 4 days each in Budapest and Prague and it was divine. The architecture was breathtaking, the food was delicious, the people were friendly, the weather was gorgeous. We took an overnight train! We went to the thermal baths! We saw the window where the Defenestration of Prague happened! I cannot overemphasize how great of a time we had.
    • Apparently I never posted any of my Prague photos to Instagram? CRIMINAL. Watch this space for updates.
  • Apartment! Right after I got back from central Europe, I up and moved to a new apartment in Oakland with Michelle, a friend of mine from The Pitt News. It’s beautiful and weird and fun and I’m already distraught over moving again in August.
  • Grad school! I started up my MLIS program at Pitt in the fall semester, and it’s been… interesting? Everyone in the program is so lovely, and the professors clearly know their stuff. I’m only going part-time, so it’s been a very manageable workload.
    • After finals, I had a holiday party for all we MLIS candidates and it was a runaway success. I’m really lucky to have gotten to know all these smart, funny people, who apparently like me enough to want to hang out over the holidays.
  • Phoenix! Naomi, Yee and I went to visit Allison and Kelsey (and Mandy!) in Phoenix for #FRIENDSGIVING, which was a whirlwind weekend of female friendship and canyons and cacti. We nailed Thanksgiving dinner, spent a day at the Grand Canyon and Sedona, hiked North Mountain and saw the ZooLights. I love getting out to visit Allison and Kelsey in Phoenix…
    • …and I’m almost sad that they’re MOVING BACK TO PITTSBURGH THIS SUMMER. JK I’M NOT SAD AT ALL!!! MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND MY FRIENDS ARE COMING BACK TO ME!!! I’M CAPSLOCK EXCITED LITERALLY ALL THE TIME NOW!!!
  • Fic! I actually published a chapter of the fic I’ve been working on, and it has 50+ kudos on AO3 so far, so I can die a happy woman. Posting that chapter was both incredibly anxiety-inducing and like a hit of sweet, sweet validation from my peers. I’m working on finishing the rest of it, and have set a soft deadline to have the whole thing finished and posted by Halloween. We’ll see.
  • D&D! We — Michelle, Bridget, Sarah and I — started up a game of Dungeons and Dragons, because we are nerds, and it has been so tremendously fun you wouldn’t even believe. I’ve been serving as Dungeon Master and loving it, even if it is a ton of work. We’re all new to tabletop gaming and so we’ve been just making it up as we go along, but that’s kind of the point. Collaborative storytelling!
  • Table! My cousin Kristy — bless her very soul — remodeled her kitchen and gave me her old kitchen table set for my apartment. It was in rough shape (thanks to Kristy’s toddler) but over the summer, in between all the travel, my dad helped me to totally refinish it. Sanding, staining, painting, reupholstering — this table is now gorgeous and I love it like it’s my firstborn child. Everyone who comes into our apartment now knows to use a coaster on pain of death.
  • Books! So many books came out this year that I was really looking forward to, including Kings Rising, The Raven King, and Crooked Kingdom. I didn’t even come close to my Goodreads reading goal this year, but hey, didn’t you read this post? I was a little busy.

My 2016 resolutions were… lightly successful?

  • Create. I did indeed publish one chapter of one fic! That is… not super impressive, but now I have readers! Readers who will probably be disappointed with my hilariously relaxed update schedule, but still! Mild success.
  • Date. I went on four (4) dates this year, which was a 200% increase on my previous lifetime total, so I’m considering this one a success. I’m certainly much more comfortable with the whole thing than I was before.
  • Hydrate. (i.e. “take better care of your garbage flesh prison.”) Mixed results. I have certainly been drinking more water and being more careful with my skin, and I was incidentally more active than I have been in the past (lotta walking in Europe, yo), but that’s probably cancelled out by the fact that my diet is about 80% pasta now that I’m cooking for myself. I got a Crock Pot for Christmas and I’m getting new running shoes this week, so I’m working on it.

On that vaguely positive note, my 2017 resolutions:

  • The big one, the most resolution-y one, is something I cooked up for me and my younger brother, Alex, to work on together. We’ve both been getting back into the dating scene — he semi-recently got out of a long-term relationship, and I’m, well, me — and we’re both pretty bad at it, so I decided that what we needed was accountability. I proposed that we each set a goal to go on at least one date a month and then report back to each other on how it went, and Alex was… shockingly game? We already both failed at it for January — this is now a callout post — but February is looking better!
  • This is kind of a rollover from last year, but: be more active. I’m positive that once Allison and Kelsey are back in town they’re going to drag my sad ass up the Cathedral steps with alarming regularity, and I’m gonna start using the beautiful rec facilities that are available to me as a Pitt student. Imagine that! My tuition dollars at work!
  • Finally: work work work work work work. I’m trying to really prioritize my career, now that I’m in a Real Professional Setting with a Real Professional Job. I’ve already identified a few ways I can do my job better, and I’m planning on going to the ALA conference in Chicago in June (!!!), so I’m on the right track!

2017 already has some great things on the horizon for me, so I’m really hoping that our democracy doesn’t crumble before our eyes and plunge Western civilization into an authoritarian age— I mean, I’m hoping that I can do all I can to make sure things keep moving forward, for me and for everyone else. See you sooner than this time next year. I promise.

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