Another one.

The start of another year always makes for a nice touch-base on the blog. It’s no coincidence that the past two weeks I’ve been “vacationing” in the midwest so I’ve had ample time to reflect back on the previous 12 months and rekindle my flame for writing. Let’s call it a temporary resurgence while I wind myself back into the norm of juggling the everyday chaos city-life loves to provide.

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Looking back on 2015’s top-of-the-year post, last year’s supposed mantra was adventure. That didn’t really pan out the way I thought it would. I think a more appropriate theme would have been personal growth, and overall, I am at peace with how it and I evolved throughout the given 12 months.

In 2015 I…

  • Made a conscious effort to work out more often and eat cleaner.
  • Saw some kickass theatre.
  • Saw some kickass comedy.
  • Had three job interviews with the company of my dreams. After the first interview went poorly [for a position I was ultimately not offered], I drank a good amount of Jameson Black Barrel and was sure I forever lost my chance to get a foot in the door. Two months later, I started working for said company in a department and position which much better aligned with my long-term career goals.
  • Dealt with a thing over the summer that was awful and painful and taught me yet another life lesson about letting go.
  • Spent a relaxing long weekend in LA and a chaotic long weekend in DC .
  • Watched five of my closest friends marry their soul mates at five beautiful weddings.
  • Decided I’m content not being married right now.
  • Traveled to Ohio seven times in five months.
  • Saw one of my favorite musicians live, for the first time. Also, another first, attended a concert by myself.
  • Hiked a mountain in the Hudson Valley and climbed a ski slope in Stratton, Vermont.
  • Cooked and ate vegan food on Thanksgiving.
  • Got glasses.
  • Finally saw Tina Fey and Amy Poehler together in person.
  • Made my first business trip to Miami.
  • Won my fantasy football league championship. (#humblebrag)
  • Spent time with aunts, uncles, and cousins I rarely get to see over the holidays.
  • Danced myself into 2016 with my closest friends.

2015 was a year I said Yes more. It was a year I took chances. I told people how I felt, spent a lot of money on things and trips that felt right to me and realized I don’t regret any time I put myself out there. 2015 was good to me — I’d say I’m lucky, but these days I feel pretty confident that we create our own karma, happiness, success, or what have you.

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I sense that 2016 will be amazing and tough. I have a lot of work to do professionally, and I’ve set some high goals for myself on a personal level. I anticipate more reading, writing, music, travel and work. I look forward to another challenging year of saying Yes, focusing on wellness, and keeping in better touch with my friends and family. Aside of maintaining all of that, here are a few additional personal (and random) resolutions I’ve set:

  1. Teach myself to play guitar.
  2. Learn conversational Spanish.
  3. Join a book club.
  4. Travel to the Pacific Northwest.

I’ve already sunk my teeth into some of these and am very much looking forward to tackling 2016 head-on. What are you planning to take on in 2016? Any resolutions as out there as mine?

Let’s conquer the world this year. Anyone with me?

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2015.

It’s 2015. Allegedly, it’s been so for 8 days.

I wasn’t going to do a 2014 recap because I didn’t seize that window of opportunity like I had planned on, and everyone’s over those by now. But real talk, everyone was over those way before they started. Plus, I’m HBIC here and I want an evergreen way to summarize my year, so pardon my insistence.

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My highlights of 2014 consisted of:

  • A lot of traveling home to the Midwest (OH, IL, MI) and thus, seeing many of my favorite people, multiple times throughout the year
  • Switching up my career by accepting a wonderful job in an industry I’m passionate about
  • Performing improv for the first time ever on the UCB stage
  • Seeing Billy Joel perform at a live taping of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
  • Countless brunches with friends, celebrating both the big moments and nothing at all
  • Watching live interviews with Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader
  • Meeting Fred Armisen and making him laugh
  • Cheering on the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team, as they made it to the Elite 8
  • Visitors in NYC! My weekends with Alex, Jenna, Robinson, Mike, and my parents were all wonderful and special in so many ways
  • And generally, anytime I ordered a Dominos pizza (light cheese, jalapeños & mushrooms), because I’m low maintenance and proud of it

In 2014, I lost some friends, gained some friends, was heartbroken to miss a dear college roommate’s wedding, moved back in to an apartment I had lived in twice prior, dyed my hair a handful of times, completed jury duty, bought a really wonderful jacket for $40 and fell in love with One Direction. It was a mixed bag.

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For 2015, my mantra is adventure. If I was a millionaire, this would be the year I backpack around the globe, but I work in media so I’m settling for local day trips. Here’s my three-pronged approach at cracking this one open:

1) Read more. 52 books in 52 weeks round deux. Last year, this was a miserable failure – BUT I did purchase a subscription to the Times as a 25th birthday present to myself (how ah-dult of me) which I now read regularly. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

2) Play more. Go on more physical excursions. Photograph places and people. Experience more fun. There’s only so many weekends in my twenties I’m willing to give up to takeout and Netflix. No matter how inciting that sounds every single time.

3) Take more risks. Say yes more often. Live a little outside my comfort zone. If history serves, the best adventures typically result from these instances.

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So, what are your goals for 2015? Better question – how are you yielding one week in?

New Year’s Non-Resolution Resolutions

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I’ve never really been a person who sticks to her “New Year’s Resolutions.” But, is anyone? I make them, because I’m a follower and everyone else does, but I think it’s kind of a silly tradition. I get the “new year, new you, new beginnings, blah blah whatever” bit that all the gyms bang you over the head with, but if you really wanted to change your eating habits and do 200 crunches a day, wouldn’t you be doing it by now?

I wanted to transform this blog and write more, so I woke up one day and just did. The method of getting off my ass and “doing it” (thanks, Nike!) is kind of my thing and has worked out for me more times than not. Having said that, my type-A self can get on board with setting realistic short and long-term goals. It’s important to have at the very least a loose guideline of those, both professionally and personally. How else do you make sure you’re on the right track? Or measure progress? So in the fashion of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goal-setting (thanks, University of Dayton!), here’s my New Year’s Non-Resolution Resolutions for the year of 2014:

  1. BLOG better. (More reviews, comedic story telling. Less personal BS no one cares about.)
  2. READ more. (52 books in 52 weeks.)
  3. SAVE something. (I.e. Money. Save some money.)
  4. NETWORK a lot. (Because, yes.)
  5. TRAVEL a bit. (Currently on deck: LA, New Orleans, India.)
  6. NO CABS. (Well, maybe not none, but definitely fewer.)

And there you have them. I’m expecting a lot of changes in 2014 and know none of them will happen without the hard work to back them up. Changes aren’t always easy, but they’re usually needed and always worth it. And with that, I wish a happy new year to all, and the best of luck with your resolutions, if that’s your kind of thing. Otherwise, party like it’s 1999, but remember, you still likely have two days left in the workweek.