The Best of Times, the Worst of Times (2016 edition)


When I look back on last year’s NYE post (, I’d say I pretty much fulfilled most of my long-term goals for 2016.

I’ve gotten better established at my job, improved my friend circle tenfold and I did become more adventurous, or at least as much as I can be in my adult life/hometown.

I got more than I bargained for as well. I traveled to cities new and old and even out of the country for the first time in forever. I started dating again. I found a church to call home. I covered numerous human interest stories and ballot measures. I got my heart broken–more than once. I turned 23. I watched a loved one in his dying stages. I reconnected with family I hadn’t seen in years at the funeral. I felt a huge sense of fulfillment after attending multiple concerts of multiple different genres. And I learned to rely more on friends when I realized time and again that I’m not invincible.

I think that’s a somewhat healthy mix of good and bad—life’s certainly never going to be perfect.

Even with a metaphorical clean slate that comes with a new year, I don’t think everyone necessarily gets a fresh start. Some things from the past carry over into the start of the next 365 days.

But I hope that throughout those 365 days, I learn to have a clearer understanding of why some things fall apart because there must be a good reason, or at least that’s what I tell myself. For me, that means long(er) talks with God; it may look different for you.

I also hope to stay focused on the good memories from the year when I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Another long-term goal I have is reclaiming my passion for the things I used to. It’s been a good, eventful, busy year, but deep down I know I purposely kept my mind distracted with work, travel, everything, because I don’t like to spend too much time in my own mind with all its doubts.

It’s been a good year. It’s been an interesting one. But I hope 2017 is better.

Without further ado, here are just a handful of 2016 memories that make me smile:

The Year of Nine Concerts

I won’t list them all, but my favorite concerts I saw this year were Hoodie Allen (with a surprise guest appearance by ED SHEERAN. Hoodie’s the one in the lifeboat), Josh Groban (third in the right column), Halsey (bottom left), Sia, and seeing Panic! at the Disco (top right) at the iHeart Radio festival in Vegas. But seeing Bastille (biggest photo) at my all-time favorite music venue (The Troubadour)–and getting to touch Dan Smith’s sweaty back–takes the cake.

“Book of Mormon”


I realize this musical is definitely offensive (I mean, it IS written by the creators of South Park) but seriously, who isn’t offended by something these days. “Book of Mormon” was nothing short of amazing.

Realizing I Don’t Completely Suck at What I Do


So in April, I learned that a story I wrote back in October 2015 somehow won me a California Newspaper Publishers Association award–first place in the Sports Feature category, oddly enough. I don’t know how stiff the competition was, but somewhere in the thousands maybe?


When I told people I was going to Canada with my family this summer, it was often met with “Oh why, do you have family there?”. The question really should be why not? It’s got Niagra Falls, nifty cafes, a slew of national parks, free healthcare and polite people.

Reunited And It Feels So Good

I’m blessed to met lifelong friends at college but unfortunately at the expense of them living long drives or airplane rides away from me. But we somehow make our long distance relationship work.

San Francis-ky Business

The traffic/parking situation here sucks, but the views, though.



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