[Insert cliché opening about how another year has come and gone, time flies when you’re living in the moment, etc. etc.]
A new year is almost always greeted with fanfare and champagne toasts so here’s my raised glass: yes, I indeed have made it another year and have been blessed to have been given another 365 days to do life.
However, I wish that internally I could mirror this celebratory season.
A few years ago, I made it my personal mantra to ‘Live extraordinarily,’ but lately, I’ve been feeling pretty mediocre. This feeling manifests anytime an old acquaintance asks me how I’ve been doing (good) and what I’ve been up to (work, blah blah blah). I don’t know if this is just what naturally comes with the postgrad/early adulthood years or if I’m doing something wrong.
At the moment, I’m not feeling particularly wistful as I reflect on 2017, mostly because right now I’m incredibly stressed by a) post-holiday blues/SAD, b) all the annoying tasks/financial paperwork that come with sorting out grad school stuff, and c) generally wondering if I’m merely going through the motions.
That last one is the real kicker. And when you attend multiple holiday parties, it’s hard not to play the comparison game with those who got into amazing grad/law/med schools, have amazing jobs that allow them to go on vacation for weeks at a time, and/or don’t get social anxiety when crammed into a room with 40 other people.
And I’m sure everyone knows of at least six different couples that got engaged or announced pregnancies this month. When these milestones are happening for people close to my age, or worse yet, those who barely graduated high school (how can you afford anything???), it’s hard not to feel at least a little insecure. While I have no reason or desire to marry before I’m 28 or 29, I think having this personal preference seems to be a contrast to what usually happens with young adults in a church environment and I wonder if I’m crazy for feeling the way I do.
Probably my favorite years in recent times have been 2012, 2014 and 2016. All simultaneously the best and worst seasons of my young life, all even numbers—I wonder if there’s something to that…maybe 2018 will knock my socks off?
In an effort to now morph this from an “I’m a sad millennial” post into something a little more upbeat, below are a few photo collages of some of my fave 2017 moments:
The Year of Significantly Less Concerts Than 2016
Last year, my best friend and I attended an average of one concert a month. This year, most of my go-to artists must’ve been on tour break since I went to just four this year. My inner teen self swooned from the nosebleed seats when I saw Brendon Urie (aka the semi-reincarnation of Freddie Mercury) sing like a bird in April and after seeing SimplePlan at their 15-year anniversary concert that same month, they became my most listened to band on Spotify. BANKS was/will forever be a goddess, and Andrew Belle was a nice unknown to become acquainted with.
If you’re going to have a destination wedding, make it somewhere cool, like Hawaii. For someone who’s usually paranoid about taking time off work, this trip was definitely worth it.
This one’s a bittersweet one for me. While it’s nice having my nights back again, I miss the storywriting part as well as my old coworkers that I parted with in July.
Keeping Portland Weird
Portland was the closest thing to a spontaneous trip I’ve ever planned. With just a few days of preparation, my cousin, sister and I booked our flights and hostel room and created an itinerary that definitely included Voodoo Doughnuts, nature hikes, a day trip to Astoria (a.k.a. the Goonies location), Powell’s Books and that “Keep Portland Weird” sign.
Becoming an Audiobook Convert
A collage of some of my favorite reads/audiobook listens from this year (out of 20 in total, which isn’t a lot, I realize but I’m a busy person).
Friendventuring in Big Sur
I highly recommend friend-venturing weekends with your best mate. Big Sur was an incredible getaway, from the generally dry, drought-ridden SoCal. If you and your friend are going to vent about any pre-midlife crises, it might as well be in a pretty place.
Whatever 2018 brings, I’ll be ready, or at least I’ll learn to be. I’m pretty hopeful though. After all, it will be the Year of the Dog, according to the Chinese calendar so that’s a good sign.