10 Awesome Happenings From 2017…So Far

The last 6 months have been a sham. In today’s world it’s pretty easy to write a list of 10 terrible things that happened recently… in fact, you can probably write up 10 terrible things that have happened this week #America. But, in the spirit of being my opposite self (known pessimist) I’m going to encourage us to focus on the positive.

I think it can be really easy to focus on all of the not-so-great things in the world, and while I am not advocating for ignoring those (at all!) I am offering a 5 minute read break of some pretty cool things that have happened, but that can easily be overlooked. But don’t let it stop with me! I want to hear all the beautiful things that have happened in your lives, as well. In the spirit of celebration, share yours in the comments!

1. The apocalypse didn’t happen

Okay, so this one might seem a bit extreme. But, yo. Shit went down in January, and I think we can all agree on that (sorry for the swearing, mom). But can I just say something, really quick? I’m proud of you guys. I’m proud of my allies who post signs in their yards saying that they support people who look different from themselves. I’m proud of the people who don’t stand around ignoring homophobia or xenophobic remarks on public transportation. I’m proud of the women who take their daughters to protests with signs that say, “WE ARE HERE. WE ARE WATCHING. WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!” I’m proud of my science friends who march for knowledge. I’m proud of my friends who sat in airports and said, “No. Fear will not rule how we treat our neighbors.” I’m proud of you guys.

2. I found out what I want to be when I grow up

This is the year when I finally figured it out. I know what I want to be when I grow up! And no, it’s not a brain surgeon—sorry mom. I graduated in 2010 with a Degree in Journalism and literally no idea what I wanted to do with my life, other than have people stop asking me what my five year plan was.

I gave myself five years to do whatever the hell I wanted. I traveled the world, lived in another country and in different states. I worked for a non-profit, I took more internships than I can count. I was a nanny. Giving myself time to grow was one of the best gifts I think I could have ever given myself, and it works! I finally figured something out. Stay tuned for more details!

3. I took a trip to Europe 

Every year, since I started solo backpacking, I’ve tried to take a trip back to to Europe. Why Europe? Because it’s my heart. I don’t know how to describe it, really. But when I’m there (almost regardless of the country) I feel like I’m at home. Since 2013 I’m kept my promise to myself and this year I went to Denmark, Scotland, Ireland and Belgium! I’m so excited because I’m actually going to get to go TWICE this year, which I do not take for granted, at all. What an insane and unimaginable gift. I’m so excited.

4. I went to a clothing exchange 

Hands up if you like clothes! As someone who has more than I probably should, and a Degree in Fashion Design, I’m a 100% clothing and shoe lover. This month I got the opportunity to meet up with some other stylish ladies, and we exchanged clothing and stories and laughs. The best part was that all the extra clothes got given to an awesome non-profit that helps out women coming out of domestic abuse situations!

5. I hosted a craft night…and it was f*cking awesome (sorry, mom)

Me and a friend tried to join a knitting group about a month ago and when we got to the damn coffee shop (sorry, mom) we found out that the group wasn’t meeting anymore. We had been waiting to go for weeks, so we were pretty upset to find out we couldn’t get our knit on.

Solution? Host a craft night at my house so we DEFINITELY have a place to create and geek out. AND IT WAS SO FUN. One of my passions in life is bringing together magnificent, strong, creative women and having them all meet and talk to each other. What an awesome event for us to get to craft and laugh and drink wine and just have a great time!

6. I’ve hung out with eight estranged friends

I’ve talked about this on here, before, but my New Years Resolution was to grab coffee with someone every month, who I hadn’t seen in a long time. So far we’re 5/5 and I already have a couple coffee hang times scheduled for June.

This has honestly been one of the coolest resolutions, because it is TOO easy to lose touch with awesome people who may even live close, but are just eternally busy. And I get it, we’re so busy with life that we don’t have time for relationships with people, anymore. But let’s swim against the tide and battle those loneliness statistics (looking at you, Seattle—we’re #5 on the list).

7. I went to an awesome birthday dinner for my Grandpa

My family is borderline insane. And the great part about saying that is that we all agree, so I don’t have to apologize. That being said, we still get together and we still celebrate the occasional event. This April, we had a glorious celebration for my Grandpa’s birthday, and it was the actually a lot of fun! Maybe we’re growing out of some of our crazy?

8. I had a sleepover with my friends

Yep. Like an old-school sleepover. The brainchild of my brilliant roommate, we built a blanket fort out of our living room, watched Knight’s Tale, and ate pizza. Of course we had all types of girl talk and tons of laughs as well. The best part? It was at my house, so I still got to go to sleep in my own bed. #adulting

9. I didn’t adopt a cat…but I did get a cat sitting job

In March I got out of a pretty long term/serious relationship and as all sane recent breakup-ees do, I immediately went on the hunt for a cat to distract me from all of my woes. Thank the universe that nobody let me get one (because practically speaking I am technically allergic to most of them…broken hearts make you do weird things). The GOOD news is that I got a job cat sitting, which is awesome because I get to play with cats, get paid, and I still can breathe at home! Win-win-win.

10. I took a personal finance class…and it was awesome

Call me crazy, but why is personal finance not a required class in college? I mean, no wonder this country has so many financial problems. Ask any millennial and all we know is that if we don’t pay the student loan gods we get in trouble. What about retirement? What about balancing a budget sheet? WHAT ABOUT TAXES!? Okay, so that last one is probably more important to me because I work at an accounting firm, but come on America, where are we supposed to figure this stuff out!?

Luckily there was a free personal finance class that was offered near me, and it was like four hours of empowerment. I highly recommend looking into your local community centers (or this one was at a church—shoutout to Quest) to see if you can take one. Believe me, it’s worth the time investment.

11. I have an art exhibit going up tomorrow! 

Bonus! I have an art exhibit going up at Irwin’s Bakery tomorrow and I’m so excited! I’ve wanted to have an exhibit for a while, and it’s so awesome that the dream bubbling around in my mind is actually becoming real. If you have a chance to stop by definitely do, if you can’t, you can check out more pics (and a video – woot!) on my Facebook page.

2016: The Year of Grit

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2016. I really wish that I could be one of those people who said that 2016 was great, despite the obvious turmoil, but it was actually a really hard year for me. One that has tested this ‘ole girls grit to the extreme. If I had to use an analogy for 2016 if would be me being a cage fighter with barely any training, locked in the pen with the world champ. I may have survived, but I definitely took a beating.

2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 were some of the most difficult years of my life, so I was expecting 2016 to get in shape, but life hasn’t quite got the memo. That being said, there were some highlights that were fun moments in my year, and I’d like to focus on those rather than dwell on the overall stress that 2016 has brought.

January

I went on a backpacking trip with two of my friends to England, Scotland and Ireland. It was a feat in itself because I had never travelled with multiple friends before. We ate some great food, learned some history and explored the limits of strong personalities under pressure. But we survived! And the end result was some awesome pics. During January I also got to go to San Francisco, which is one of my favorite US cities, and that trip was just a dream.

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This is us in Edinburgh, Scotland right next to the castle.

February

Deadpool came out, and we took advantage of that for our Valentines Days day, which ended up being awesome. February was also the 2 year anniversary of this blog, which is insane. I never thought I’d be able to keep something up this long when I first started it, but now I can’t imagine life without it. This month was also when I moved into my now house, which was such an amazing upgrade (literally God sent) from my former apartment location and situation. I also got to have high-tea with my grandma and I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic” which changed a whole lot on my perspective as a creative. Apparently I have no pictures from this month, so here’s one from my January trip, in front of Shakespeare’s house.

 

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March

My little Irish Step Dancing obsessed child self would have been so envious of the fact that I have now seen (in person – not just VHS) Lord of the Dance. If you don’t know what it is, you can click here to see a clip. Basically it was my childhood obsession, and I was in love with Michael Flatley. I was a weird kid, what can I say? This was also the month when my long lost (moved to California) brother came home for a visit, which was such a surprise that I swore in front of my grandmother. Yep, that happened.

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April

This past year was my first ever Emerald City Comicon experience and I LOVED every minute of it. I did my first kind of serious cosplay effort, made some new friends and geeked out in the extreme. This was also the month and me and my boyfriend rented a cabin on Camano Island for a weekend and left the world behind. The place purposely didn’t have wifi and it was super nice to just get away from it all.

 

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Sometimes you need to take vacations a few hours from home.
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Me being a geek with other geeks at a Doctor Who fan meetup.

May

May was when I went to Colorado for the first time, and learned that I don’t like Colorado. Say what you will to try and convince me otherwise, but it’s just not the state for me. 2016 was the year I went twice and both times were just brutal on my respitory system. I did have some fun at the art museum, though. This was also the month that the EMP (now known as the MoPOP) hosted its Star Trek opening exhibit, where I met Spock! Okay, it was just a cosplayer, but I mean, that’s the closest I’m probably going to ever get…and it’s pretty darn close.

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June

In June I started working at the Boys and Girls Club again, and boy was that a good decision. I was working part time retail before I started up again, and while it was filling my wardrobe it was simultaneously sucking out my soul. I was so happy to join back with my BBGC family and get to work with all the kids, again. This was also the month for the Eurocup, which I watched obsessively and which I loved every minute of. France may not have won, but I was cheering for them every step along the way. June was pretty packed to be honest. There was a Sounders Game packed in there, and Pride weekend and then I went to my first JMSN concert, which was an experience in itself.

 

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Old school photo booth where we were definitely not ready for the first set so we had to do it again. But now these are some of my favorite pictures.

July 

During July we had a great party for the 4th and then we flew out to Colorado again to explore the mountains, go four wheeling and celebrate some birthdays! We got some pretty amazing photography shots and it was our first trip out of the state, together (next up – out of North America!). We also got to go to the Scottish Highland Games up north of Seattle, and that was one of the best days of this year. Oh man. I’ve never felt so proud to be Scottish, before. It was so amazing!


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August 

To celebrate our 1 year anniversary we hopped off the grid and went to Canada. This trip was a very welcome break from our day to day and we had the nicest Airbnb host ever. It was such a great way to celebrate a great relationship. We also went camping at Banks Lake in August, with a bunch of friends. Besides being eaten alive by mosquitos (he had 70 bites!) it was a super fun trip.

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We really need to get better about asking people to take pictures of us, as a couple.
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Jumping off rocks is not for me, but I’m all about the photography and sun bathing.

 

September 

I’m a firm believer in celebrating my birthday for the ENTIRE month of September. Don’t ask my why, but I love doing it, and I don’t plan on doing it any other way. This years birthday was such a good day and I loved being able to spend time with just the two of us. I didn’t really have a party, and I think I understand now why people don’t really do that as much, as they get older. My little introvert self is just not into it anymore. The hermit life for me (+1)!

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Right before we went out to my birthday dinner.

 

October 

I went to two conventions in October, one for Lego and one for Geek Girl Con. Both were fantastic and I’m so happy to be a part of the con community. Making friends at cons is such perfection because you already know you’re probably as geeky at the other person, so you don’t have to worry about geeking out over something too hard. This was also when I debuted my Rufio cosplay, which I’m pretty excited to wear to ECCC in 2017. It went over so much better than I could have imagined, and I’m so excited to dress up again in March!

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I dressed up so many times in October that by the time the 31st hit I was at the point of impromptu Minnie Mouse.

November 

James and I had an awesome photo shoot with Chelsea Bree Photography, just for fun. It was such a great experience and I’m still so in love with each of the photos. They are just so beautiful. November also hosted one of the best Thanksgivings I’ve ever had. We kept it small and simple at our house and I don’t think I’ll ever do it any other way, again. I loved just being able to hang out with friends. The only one that it tied for first place was the time we had Thanksgiving in France.

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December 

We went the magical route and went to Harry Potter World. It was just the best. Even though it was smaller than we thought, we rode the rides a million times and waved our wands around like 9 year olds. This is also when my roommate tricked me into going onto a huge roller coaster ride…and let me tell you how much I hate Roller Coasters. Christmas was fantastic, we watched movies all day long and opened presents and visited my family. I love keeping holidays small, and I think that’s the way I’ll try to do it for the foreseeable future. It’s just so much more fun to just have a few friends, or even just the two of us.


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All in all 2016 kicked my butt. But I kicked back, and I have a feeling I’m going to be going into 2017 kicking, as well. Trying to reach goals, and really make a difference in your life is not an easy path, but if you’re willing to fight for it, it’s something you can achieve.

If there was one quote I would state for 2016 it’s this:

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