This year we realized a bunch of things. Including the realization that Kylie Jenner was right about 2016 being the year of “realizing things”. Go figure.
We realized anyone can be president (including racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, orange people), we realized that the world is a pretty hateful place (well, wypipo realized that, thankfully), and we realized that people will believe anything you tell them if it serves their ideologies. Even if it goes against fact, logic and human possibility. We also learned that despite all this, protesting CAN be a powerful tool to drive monumental change.
It’s been a crazy year for the world. And I, as I’m sure many of us, couldn’t help but feel completely helpless as fires rose up around us and nations were simultaneously burned down. The global theme for 2016 can be summed up in one word: fucked. Just straight up fucked.
But while 2016 was an international hot mess, for me it was a year of much-needed growth, adventure and love. I’ve seen almost 180-degree changes in some areas of my life, while I’ve been able to proudly walk in my ways in other areas. Let’s break it down, shall we?
Let’s start with a juicy topic, although I won’t go into TOO much detail since the feds be watchin’.
In short, 2016 has been the most interesting and rewarding year for my-so-called-love-life thus far. Men came and went. And while some were relevant, most were undercover lobbyists for the #WasteHerTime2016 hashtag. But I’m happy to say that I took something positive away from each experience I had. Isn’t that what this thing called dating is all about? Even with the L’s I took (oh so many L’s), through dealing with these different people I learned so much about myself and found a type of confidence within me that I hadn’t yet discovered.
There was the guy who was a decade older, and educated people on the healing powers of good ‘ol Mary Jane. He pursued me, we dated a bit, but after losing his job he faded to black. He later started his own venture and, feeling confident, reappeared…then he disappeared…and reappeared again…then disappeared…and, yup, reappeared. It’s like he couldn’t decide if he wanted to ghost me or not. He taught me that if a dude is leaving you confused as to what the situation is, then there is no need for the situation. You either know what it is, or you find out.
There was the guy who came from Germany to travel the world. He was on a month-long pitstop in the Bay, and though we spent that entire month together, it was the month that went by too soon. It was lighthearted, carefree, and just, easy. He taught me that you don’t have to play games to get what you want when you’re with the right person. And the right person will make you wonder why you ever played those games in the first place.
There was the guy who was just a “friend”. We would hang out from time to time and always had fun. Then, he decided to ruin it by revealing his xenophobic, borderline racist and nationalist views of the world. He taught me two things: that if you’re happily in a casual situation, keep it as casual as you possibly can. For the love of all that is holy, leave the controversial topics at the door. And as attractive as you might be to someone (and them to you), if their ideologies are fucked up, it’s going to come out in the wash sooner or later. Stay woke!
To the dudes who shared my time in 2016–cheers! And to the ones who wasted it–you’re all literally last year’s news. Muah!
Career & That Moolah, Baby
In 2015, my year of resolve, I made less than $14,000 for the entire year. Yikes?
Due to reasons like quitting my job, travelling throughout Europe, and moving to Italy to be an au pair, I made just enough money last year to not be classified as someone beneath the poverty line.
But I didn’t feel impoverished. In fact, I felt like I was living in abundance and prosperity. Of course there were times I was scrambling. When my student loans and credit card bills knocked I had to answer, but overall money wasn’t an issue. Especially since I was making so little of it.
After I moved back home, I was so invigorated from my travel experiences (corny, I know, but I FELT DAT!) that I wasn’t worried about being unemployed and moving back in with my parents. Living in Italy had been a dream of mine, so achieving that lifted a huge weight of “dreams unfulfilled” off my shoulders. I’m a huge believer in walking in your truth, and being patient for your time to come. The Fall of 2015 was my time to go–so I went.
Which is why when I came back and started looking for jobs, the jobs were already looking for me. At the end of it all, I ended up in a predicament that most people could only dream of: I had three solid job offers and had no idea which one to take. It was stressful to say the least, but I know I ended up making the right decision. Now, I’m in my first-ever salaried role with benefits, y’all! I get to do what I love everyday producing creative content for a black-owned beauty company. I’m learning as I go about my new industry which is both fun and extremely challenging. Good thing I like a challenge.
This year was all about paying close attention to what my personal needs were. Less consulting with homies, lovers, and friends, and more consulting with my MVP: me.
As an introvert, I gain my energy from being alone. In the past, I’d force myself to go out with friends or attend parties I really didn’t want to be at. Call it peer pressure or FOMO, but I always ended up so exhausted and in desperate need of my recharge time. This year, I switched that all the way up. Whenever I felt like it–I boldly went to nightclubs, bars, restaurants, events, concerts, trips, and almost all things you would want to do with a friend—solo dolo. Being out and alone became a blessing. I expanded my comfort levels, connected with new people, and became the boss of my time and space. Don’t get me wrong–I love hanging out with the homies, but I realized that I equally love doing my own thing.
I started taking care of my natural hair more and treating it like an extension of my body, as opposed to this foreign entity. I gradually changed my diet, and started cutting carbs, added sugar, and processed food from my diet. I’m still working on this because you know, holidays, but I’m fully committed to this for 2017.
I also connected with family and friends more. I’m that friend who you won’t hear from for months on end because I’m terrible at keeping in touch. However, I actively worked on that in 2016 (still working on it though!) and made sure to call, email, or send a letter via pigeon carrier to my peeps. Connecting with loved ones is a form of self-care that reminds you why you do what you do in the first place.
So what’s good for 2017?
2017 will be my year of “FUCK YES!” I learned about “the law of fuck yes or no” after reading this article by therapist-in-my-head Mark Manson . He explains that to live a happy life with less time wasted, you should be enthusiastically willing to do something as opposed to just “meh” or indifferent about it. Although he wrote this law specifically for dating and relationships, I’m applying it to pretty much everything that requires me to say yes or no. I’m nonchalant by nature, so it’s really hard for me to genuinely be enthusiastic about things, but this is what I plan on working on this year. It’s my one resolution that will no doubt direct every other thing that happens in my life, and I’m excited to see what saying “FUCK YES” or “no” will do for my wellbeing.
What did you realize in 2016? Any resolutions for 2017?
Happy New Year’s! xx