2. 0. 1. 6.: A Look Backward

**LONG POST ALERT**

Lol, just throwing that out there… Partly because I’m lazy and secondly because I’d love to be able to do this in a single post instead of having part I’s and II’s and III’s. Let’s be real, 2016… was a massive year. And I think it deserves a massive post. (I’ll try to keep it entertaining though
😉)

Annnnnd we’re off!!!

What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about? Meeting my roommate, for sure. We had both been scrolling on FB in our college’s Class of 2020 page, and I had basically written a speed dating post about who I was and my interests. Well my current roomie saw my post, liked it, and messaged me. It wasn’t long before we swapped numbers and had occasional long texts to eachother about our deeper personal interests. We even planned to meet up in person for coffee. But life and school got in the way and it didn’t work out… until spring break. I was vacationing in Disney when my roomie sent me a snapchat of an adorable personalized Mickey keychain with my name on it. I immediately asked where she had found it, and when she replied she had seen it in a Disney gift shop, I flipped out because it was her first time at Disney and we happened to be in the same place at the same time. We set it up and finally met, for the first time, under the magic fireworks in Magic Kingdom. And it’s honestly been magic ever since then. ❤

If you had to describe your 2016 in 3 words, what would they be? Crazy. Mindblowing. Surreal. (and yes, I realize that to some degree these are all synonyms.)

What new things did you discover about yourself? …that I’m… a bit more introverted than I thought. And I’ve got more OCD things about me than I realized. …Also that I like being in control (of my emotions, my projects, my deadlines… a lot of things). And that I’m a bit  a lot “I” oriented, which I discovered in a discussion over “conversational narcissism” in my communications class.

What single achievement are you most proud of? Oh jeez… this’ll probably be my answer for a couple things… but finishing my first semester of college.

What was the best news you received? That I was accepted into my top choice college.

What was your favourite place that you visited in 2016? Disney (both times!!!) and Siesta Key!!

Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year? Creativity wins again.

Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on? Myself, as sad as that keeps on sounding.

Which new skills did you learn? Rice bowl making, rock climbing, taking somewhat effective notes, effective study skills (ish),

What, or who, are you most thankful for? The family, J, the constant new opportunities, a great school, an awesome youth ministry, mah roomies, and food to eat.

If someone wrote a book about your life in 2016, what kind of genre would it be? A romantic dram-com. With some explosions and a dash of sci-fi.

What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2016? Not to try to pay a bill when there’s no money in your account. Overdraft fees are a bitch.

Which mental block(s) did you overcome? That I had to have everything new for college, that I had to rely on other people’s opinions to feel worthy, that I’m not a bad person for knowing what I want, that things aren’t as difficult as they seem.

What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with? (when you can’t limit it to 5)
The Pope (she knows who she is)
Razzledazzle J
Tresha
Bill
Maddie
Andrea

What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise? Working in a dining hall, then transferring to a better place in ze rec center, becoming an Odyssey contributor, and finally, scoring the virtual assistant job.

How did your relationship to your family evolve?
 Exactly like something out of my developemental psychology textbook– from nuisance /interdependence to a goal-corrected partnership. Though there’s some guilt tripping involved….

What book or movie affected your life in a profound way? Seeing as I haven’t really had time for reading… nor have I had time to watch movies…. I don’t really know how to answer this… but I will say seeing 50 First Dates with J for the first time was pretty nice. 

What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life? The sunshine, the music that plays in my ears or aloud, and in college, my roomie’s random aloud babbles/laughter/sneezes.

What cool things did you create this year? Handmade Christmas cards, a kick-ass phone case art insert, a ghetto Christmas tree, a kick-ass German video for a project, boutonniere(s), motivational posters, envelopes, a pinata for my roommate’s bday, and some stuff I’m forgetting.

What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)? Stressed. Dammit.

Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year? ROCK CLIMBING! :D.

What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?  Probably on Thanksgiving break, when a ton of my guy friends I hadn’t seen in a while and I played board games and watched ridiculous videos together over jolly good food.

What major goal did you lay the foundations for?
Getting jobs, paying tuition, getting into school. I did it, I laid them. 
Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary? At times, a long-distance relationship. We’re only an hour away… so some worries were unnecessary.

What experience would you love to do all over again? Rocky Horror. Virgin status. Round 2.

What was the best gift you received? ooooooof… torn between a photo I got in the mail from one of my best friends in NY of J in a dress and the more than generous monetary donation from my father that helped me kick start my paying for college process (these items are totally on the same playing field… XD)

How did your overall outlook on life evolve? I’d say it’s evolved for the better. Meeting so many new people, rising up to challenges, experiencing first hand all of the good some people have to offer… it’s just like a positive ray that keeps on shining through, even when it feels hard to acknowledge it. I feel more positive and more resilient for sure… Especially knowing that I’ve done something before, and I can do it again if I have to. 

What was the biggest problem you solved? Ahhahahaha let’s skip this question.

What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it? It would probably the moment after one of my first college football games… It was kinda rainy and my roommates and I were heading back to our dorm when Tresha decided she’d parkhour the chain link fence… but her foot caught on the chain and the look on her face went from pure confidence to complete confusion and agony as she went down seemingly in slow motion. I, seeing this coming, had tried to tell her to watch out but all that came out of my mouth was urgent jibberish… It’s terrible to laugh so hard at someone who falls down but how things unfolded and her face were just all too much for us and we were all basically on the ground laughing because she had gotten rekt so hard with a chain link rope fence. 😂

This picture was actually taken on the day she fell XD

What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever? A black and white laser printer/Tablet computer– So much money (we have to pay to print stuff in the libraries) and ink saved… and finally I was able to bring my work around with me (with the tablet computer), cuz I’d only brought my desktop with me to school. OH and I can’t forget my lovely, incredible BARGAIN of a camera ($250 Canon for $60…..!)

What one thing would you do differently and why? There are… quite a few things I’d do differently but I’ll stick to finances– Honestly I would not have bought so much new shit for college. There’s so much I don’t use, that I don’t wear, that I don’t eat… And the end of this semester certainly was eye opening. I started my end of summer/fall semester with a big fat credit line and have dwindled it down since to a dollar. Let’s be real, you don’t need a fancy coffee every day and that random shit you buy off the internet is just simply a waste of space sometimes.

What do you deserve a pat on the back for? Finishing this semester and coping with the loss of a lot of amazing actors, musicians, and famous people.

What activities made you lose track of time? Blogging, Skyping, reading, drawing, showering, eating.

What did you think about more than anything else? “to-do” list things, the future, how I’m gonna pay for school, stress, J, and sleep schedule (not… necessarily in that order)

What topics did you most enjoy learning about? ART HISTORY. Hands down. Oh, and developmental psychology,  and the components of competent communication.

What new habits did you cultivate? 

GOOD: stopped impulse mall shopping! Kind of… , eating better, telling people things as they are, doing homework on a somewhat regular basis, studying.
BAD: not showering on a somewhat daily basis, staying up til like 3 and 4 AM on school nights

What advice would you give your early-2016 self if you could?
Dear 2016 Me,
Do not get used to anything. Be ready at all times, because you never know when the rug will be pulled out from under you. Open up your mind, be ready and willing to learn from others, and don’t take people’s opinions and “advice” too seriously. Don’t take yourself too seriously, either. And never underestimate the art of trying.
Love,
Present me   
38.  Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?  Yes. Definitely. My faith, my opinions on some things, my political views (lorrrrrrdy don’t even get me started on how crazy that part of 2016 has been), and my personal reflection of myself and my self esteem/confidence.

What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?  Definitely a “what” this time around. The move to college has been a huge step forward in a lot of ways: a heavy dose of independence, monetary freedom (some good, some bad, but all learning experiences), and the people (roomies, specifically

2016 sure had its rough patches and moments of pure joy… but I’m glad to be looking towards a new year with friends, family, classes, and goals.

Do you guys have any fave highlights of 2016?

💚,

Steph

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