2016 has been quite a year.
We said goodbye to some iconic people in the world of entertainment, media, sports, and politics. We witnessed a historic election. Joe Biden memes and the Shirley Ceaser “u name it” challenge won the internet. We watched the Olympics and cheered on athletes with pride while hoping for no dysentary outbreaks or collapsing buildings. People became obsessed, for better or worse, with Harambe and Pokemon Go. New TV shows like Stranger Things, Westworld, The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Queen Sugar, Atlanta, and Insecure provided excellent “water cooler” conversation. And, Beyonce gave us Lemonade…and we drank it alllll up, licked the bottle, and begged for more.
Like most, every year is full of ups and downs. So here are a few key things I want call out from 2016:
- Weddings – Love ran rampant in 2016. Love took all my money, but made my heart swell. I went to 5 beautiful weddings and it was an honor to attend them all. Best wishes for a lifetime of love and happiness for all of the couples!
- Death – WTF 2016? Bowie, Prince AND Vanity, Gene Wilder, Muhammad Ali, Gwen Ifill, the list is too damn long! I also witnessed too many friends lose loved ones. Living in a different city from my nearest and dearest friends made the sympathy and empathy even stronger. I continue to pray for them and hope their suffering will eventually fade.
- Travel – I went to Honduras, Orlando, Miami, D.C., L.A., Chicago, New Orleans, and I’m rounding out the year in Belize. These places may not seem exciting to some folks, but I consider it a blessing and privilege to be able to travel and I don’t take it for granted. I’m ready to ramp up my international travel again. Being able to explore other cultures make me a better person.
- I got love for the digital world – Seriously this will sound nerdy, but understanding certain code, how to tweak it, using content management systems, and creating and sending emails was super nerdy fun to dive into this year. I’m just waiting for the folks at Google to call with a job offer. *waits by the phone FOREVER*
- I got into running, kinda – I decided to switch up my workout routine earlier this year. Distance running has never been my forte, but I was itching for a new challenge. I signed up for the Redlegs Run 5k to give me a goal to work towards. I ran it, didn’t die, and in fact I had fun! I ran a 4 miler and two more 5ks after that. Then, I shocked myself by signing up for the Thanksgiving Day Race. I had never run a 10k before, in fact, 4 miles was the longest I had ever run. But I love a challenge. On Turkey Day, with my best friend by my side (for the first 300 feet until she sped off cause she’s a super fast runner), I finished the race in 63 minutes, and didn’t die. Yay, me!
- Philanthropy/Volunteering – I volunteered at a few different places this year and damn it, it feels good to give back! I also continued to donate to organizations that really mean something to me. Helping the less fortunate and/or making a difference in the lives of others puts a Kool-Aid size smile on my face. Give back, it’s good for the soul.
- Friendship – It’s been about 3 years since I moved away from Atlanta. When you go through big life changes, the important people tend to stand out and friendships can be tested. My true friends (old and new) have shown their true colors…in a good way. We’ve supported each other through some major life events this year. You know who you are and I love you dearly.
So like I said, a year of ups and downs.
I’m excited to round out the year and celebrate the holidays with my awesome crazy family. I shall eat all the foods and drink all the drinks. I’m also excited to escape said family (I kid, I love you guys!!) and head to beach to ring in the New Year with a dear friend, where I’ll continue to eat all the foods and drink all the drinks.
2016, you were beautiful and brutal. 2017, game on.