Another year in numbers (and words)

 

Another year, another 12 months of crazy life lived:

On numbers:

  • 207 (approx) hours or 8.63 days spent in transit in airports or on airplanes
  • 200+ hours of yoga in 2 months of teacher training
  • 29 inches of snow in 1 DC snowstorm
  • 18 different airports
  • 7 (ish) books read for pleasure (Pitiful! Although I will add the caveat that two of these were around 900 pages each.)
  • 6 new countries visited
  • 3 weddings attended
  • 2 blog posts written (Also pitiful!)
  • 1 trip home to California

On firsts:

  • First wedding attended in a foreign country
  • First time in a wedding party
  • First time paying for movers
  • First time the candidate I voted for didn’t win the presidency
  • First presidential election for which I was living in the United States (as a voting adult)

On lasts:

  • Last full credit course of my Masters in Public health completed
  • Last full year in my 20’s
  • Last time I go more than a year without going home to the west coast (while living in the continental US)

Reflecting on 2016 (while in an another airport no less!), here are a few things that stick out:

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L to R and top to bottom: my #worksquad, Christmas with Grandpa and Brother, work trip in Myanmar, travels in Central America with E, DC snowstorm, work trip in South Africa, yoga teacher training, J&P’s wedding, California.

On thanksgiving: I can’t think of this year without first being incredibly grateful for the three wonderful women with whom I shared an office at work. This year, I think more than almost any in my life, has seen so many moments of frustration and disappointment. M, T, and D have been an incredible circle of support through it all. These talented, intelligent, and kind women have listened to me complain about so many things, have shut our office door when I have started to cry, have bought me flowers on the most awful days, and have made me laugh countless times. I cannot think of 2016 without thinking of the incredible fellowship that serendipitously formed when the four of us were squished into our too-small office space.

On love: In 2016 I also attended three fabulous love-filled weddings. I love weddings: they are fantastic excuses for reunions, for love, for laughs, for family, and of course for drinking and dancing. The three I attended this year were each so different (one in Iowa, one in DC, and one in San Salvador). And each was uniquely special on a personal level. For J&P’s, I was part of the wedding party, and the experience of being included in the personal joys of the married couple on their day was so special. G&B’s wedding was the first I attended in DC, which for me made the city feel a little more like my permanent home. Finally, was P&R’s wedding in San Salvador. P included  me almost as a member of his family that weekend, and highlighted for me how some friendships last a life time, even if they change throughout the years.

On frustration: As mentioned above, I spent a lot of hours feeling frustrated this year: with my job, with my personal life in DC, with my grad school program, with so many things. And while it showed me that I am truly lucky to have friends and loved ones willing to put up with my venting, my frustrated bursts, and my crying, it also showed me two more things. First, I need to learn to find the middle ground between devoting all my energy to one thing and spreading myself too thing over too many passions, that I begin to feel formless.  I have long struggled with finding balance in life, and this year’s frustrations showed me the importance of prioritizing finding that balance. Second, in my life I’m approaching certain tipping points, and at some point, that may mean I have to be okay with quitting.

On the future:

  • I need to draw, paint, write, sing, and create more in my life. Somewhere in the middle of this year I realized that art, in all it’s forms, had all but disappeared from my life. I can’t let that happen again.
  • I need to read more and Netflix less. I think most all of us say that. But this year, I’m making that one of my priorities.
  • Complete my yoga teacher training, and begin teaching classes somewhere.
  • Blog (or other wise complete some sort of creative writing) at least once a month.
  • Make it back to the west coast this summer and next winter.
  • Spend some time in France.

Thank you to everyone who has made 2016 an incredibly full year. I’ve done and seen so  much this year–I don’t think I’ve ever felt my life was more busy than in 2016 (seriously)! And to everyone out there, all the best of luck, of love, of beauty, and of life for 2017. Happy New Year! Best wishes to all.

* * * * *

Want to read more? Posts from around this time in previous years:

A year in numbers from January of 2015. A similar New Year’s Post reflecting on my 2014.

Ask me another from January of 2014. A New Year’s Post where I used a bunch of prompts and questions to reflect on 2013.

The great escape from February of 2012. Reflecting on my holiday trip to France after a year and a half of living in Ukraine.

A month of holidays from January 2011. My first January living in Ukraine during Peace Corps.

 

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