For most of us, this year was a tough one…and I think that’s the understatement of the year. Personally, this last year has brought cancer returning and/or starting in family members, losing a job the same day I moved to a new place, the death of a family member, and many other things that could have easily spiraled my depression out of control. Instead of focusing on the darkest year I’ve had to date, I’m writing this post in celebration of the many amazing things that happened to me and that I made happen for myself! Most people that know me know that I don’t do the whole “New Years Resolution” thing, I just think that it sets us up for failure in the future. So for the last few years, I’ve been thinking of a word that I want to signify the next year of my life and then I spend the next 12 months of the year putting that word into action. Last year, I made my 2017 word “YES”. Too often in my past, I was crippled by fear and I let it hold me back from trying new things, meeting new people, and becoming my most authentic self, but not this year! I chose to say “yes” to a new thing every month and my goodness did it yield some interesting results! A lot of these things may seem trivial to you, you may not think there is anything exciting about trying a simple food for the first time or going to a convention, but I’m a creature of habit & sometimes putting myself out there has resulted in crippling anxiety and bed rest for a month haha.
I’ve made some amazing friends this last year who have helped me in ways they’ll probably never truly know the depth of, but if you’re reading this just know that I love & appreciate you. If you’re in my life, I may not always reach out or we may not have spoken in months, but know that you will always matter to me & I’m grateful for the season of my life we’ve spent together.
I am not a big seafood person but living in Seattle I have access to some of the best seafood in the country…but as a bland-palate kind of person, I just always stuck to fish and chips. The new year is brought to you by saying “yes” to oysters! Now, while I didn’t necessary love oysters, if I was offered them I’d accept but probably wouldn’t go out of my way to order them in a restaurant. The day was spent full of laughter, liquor, and love, so it was totally worth it (especially for that view)!
This month was a doozy! For the first time in my life, I found myself without a job & I thought I was going to put my face through a wall out of boredom. The day I moved into my new apartment with my adorable roommate, I found out my company was laying a few people off, myself included. Since I had had a job from the young age of 13 I legitimately didn’t know what to do with myself. I spent most every day unpacking, applying for jobs online, completing my Etsy orders, and unsuccessfully finding new projects to fill my time. Thankfully that boredom was short-lived and less than 2 weeks later I said “yes” on the dotted line and signed on with my amazing company!
Confession that everyone probably already knows – I’m a huge nerd, so this March I said “yes” to my first comic convention and headed to Emerald City Comic Con! I have a thing about crowds, I’m on edge in them because I don’t know who’s around me and a crowd full of sweaty strangers, a lot of whom you can’t see the faces of because they’re wearing masks, could have caused a lot of problems but I pushed through! I saw the beautiful Evangeline Lilly, the awesome Vincent D’Onofrio gave me a high-five on the escalator, and Tom Felton shook my hand, complimented my beanie, and said I was lovely…it was a great day.
My birthday month was a great time to say “yes” to my first passport stamp as I crossed the Canadian border with my best friend! Apparently, Canada doesn’t really stamp very often anymore but I begged, turned on the tearful water-works and told the border patrol that it was all I wanted for my birthday…so in the 10 years I had that passport the only stamp in it is from Canada. We had an amazing few days, full of hockey, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, great food, proper tea, and walks on the beach with my person.
This summer was off to a great start when I said “yes” to going to a U2 concert, where Mumford & Sons was opening, all by myself; I had a few friends that were flying in from Oklahoma to see it but we weren’t able to get seats even in the same section. I like U2 but I was really going for Mumford so I had to see one of my favorite bands, surrounded by people I’d never met, and it was AWESOME! Between the alcohol, the music, and the good vibes, it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to!
My mentor Jose does PR for the Mariners so I said “yes” to my first Seattle MLB game in June! You can read about my whole experience here, including when I almost died from a rogue foul ball! A secondary “yes” for this month was when I officially became a film critic & occasionally podcasting my opinions with About to Review!
I gave the middle-finger to self-doubt, said “yes” to you readers, and my website was live! It has definitely been a journey and one that I’m still figuring out all of the logistics to, but I love writing and I’m so happy that you all have been on this journey with me! I love reading your comments and suggestions so keep them coming! Even though I have a little anxiety everytime I click “post”, it’s been an amazing few months sharing a piece of my heart and my mind with all of my readers so thank you!
August was the month to say “yes” to music! First, I got to see Lady Gaga, aka Momma Monster, up close and personal in Tacoma which was an AMAZING experience! Second, my roommate’s mom is an absolute gem & invited me to a concert with her. My “yes” brought us an awesome night full of great music, delicious wine, and tons of laughter. Bonus – I got to meet Michael McDonald!
Okay, so technically I left the last day of August but I spent half of this month in the UK so I’m counting it as my “yes” to travel across the pond for the month of September. Much needed reunions were had, miles were walked every day, and the whiskey flowed majestically! There were so many life-changing moments on this trip; you can read about my adventures in every country of the British Isles in my older blog posts! I’m currently trying to figure out what country I’ll be off to next, suggestions are always welcome! Shout out to EF Ultimate Break for making my dreams come true!
After having such an awesome time with my fellow nerds back in March I decided to have a second run at a comic convention and said “yes” to going to Geek Girl Con. Their mission is “to empower women and girls to pursue their passions—whether they love science and technology, comics, literature, gaming, or anything else! Everybody is a geek at heart, in one way or another. Our mission is to ensure all these geeks are supported, welcomed, and encouraged to pursue what they love.” I don’t know why, but my emotional control was on the fritz because within 15 minutes of being there I started crying. I was overwhelmed by all of the amazing women surrounding me, especially women of color, and there were so many cute kids in cosplay that I couldn’t help but feel the love!
For years I’ve known about NaNoWriMo but I’m very personal when it comes to my fiction writing and don’t share it very often. Sadly, the outcome of working three jobs means that I also don’t dedicate a lot of time to my writing so this year I said “yes” to NaNoWriMo. I didn’t hit the 50k word count goal but I wrote 27,000 more words towards my novel than I had before and I’m so grateful for that!
We started the year with new food so for the purposes of symmetry it only made sense to end it with food, so I said “yes” to sushi! I’ve been super apprehensive to try sushi for years because I know so many people who have gotten terribly ill from it but I was on a roll so no stopping me now! I got together with two people whose sushi opinions I put the utmost trust in and we headed into downtown Seattle for some rolled up yummies! We tried five different rolls, some cooked some raw, and I liked all of them! My favorite was the unagi, mainly because the sauce they cooked it in was divine, but it was a great night with some of my favorite people!
This year, I learned a lot about myself – to be more selfish with my time, to invest time and energy exploring my city, to try new foods, mainly how to cut toxic things, behavior, and people from my life so that I can flourish into the person I’ve been sheltering away. Saying “yes” has taught me so much, and I can’t wait until I choose a word for 2018! Any suggestions?
2018, you’ve got a lot to live up to.