Societally, 2016 will be known as one of the very worst years of the modern age – but for me, I actually had a lot of really great highlights. It’s confusing, knowing the year was so terrible on a grand level, but still wanting to celebrate my own successes.
I’m all about the camaraderie of hating things together, and I know we have our work cut out for us for the next four years… but right now, I just want to take a deep breath and admit 2016 kind of rocked in a lot of ways, too. I saw online someone saying “don’t wish your life away”. So even though there are still 2 days left in this facepalm of a year, I want to take these final two days to be proud for having survived it, rather than rushing it to be over.
In 2016, I:
- Was hired as a Full-Time Employee at Microsoft in May, which is a career path I wasn’t expecting or even necessarily trying to take, but one that’s helped me grow in so many ways I’ve truly lost count.
- Graduated from my UW certificate program in YA Fiction Writing! This has given me so much more confidence and direction as a writer.
- Wrote my 11th NaNoWriMo novel in a castle in France, where I met incredible people and learned a great deal about myself along the way.
- Got engaged to Joe! He proposed in front of Hogwarts castle, with a ring he made himself, and I’m reminded every day how lucky I am to have found such a sweet boy who cares so much for me.
- Dyed my hair pink! After 28 years of feeling timid, I just decided to take the plunge. I’m a pink girl to the core, and now everyone knows it.
- Played a reunion concert with my band The Parselmouths! This is something I truly never thought would happen again, but somehow the planets aligned and we did it. And it felt good.
- Started cooking dinner more regularly thanks to Blue Apron! I’ve learned an insane amount about cooking since we began this endeavor, and the dedicated time with Joe doesn’t hurt, either. Plus it’s all pretty healthy food, which was a previous goal of mine.
- Ran my first 5k! Microsoft put on a charity 5k, and a bunch of my teammates and I signed up! I only actually ran about half of it, but I was proud of myself nonetheless.
- Created NINE new cosplays, including Future Twilight, Piranha Plant Girl, Lolita and Pajamas Princess Bubblegum, Taffyta Muttonfudge, Wendy from Lumberjanes, Gunner Peach, Renaissance Tinkerbell and Misty from Pokémon. This was maybe too many, in hindsight, but I had a great time doing it.
- Read _ books. I’ll fill this number in at the proper end of the year. I’m currently at 41, but there are two days left in this year. Who knows what might happen.
Last year I set some New Year’s resolutions for myself, so I thought it would be fun to revisit these and see if they worked out, how much I grew, and what to change for next year.
- Make at least one more cosplay than the previous year! (Last year I made 5, so this year I definitely hit this goal and more. In fact, because of how busy I’ve made myself, I actually want to think about this next year. Cosplay is fun, but it really has the power to eat up my life, so I want to limit what I attempt to do so I can balance with my other goals.)
- Finished editing my novel by the end of the year! (This did not happen, but I am okay with that. I decided instead of editing to do a total rewrite, and right now I am 2/3 done with that draft. I imagine I will have another solid draft of this done by spring of 2017, so that’s reasonable.)
- Read at least 52 books – one per week! (I’m racing the clock on this one, but I did make the executive decision to bump this goal down to 50. I still might not hit it, but I will get close. I really enjoyed the books I read this year, so I am satisfied here.)
- Invest in professional photo shoots for my cosplays! (I did this… twice, this year. I wasn’t overwhelmingly blown away by either set of photos, so I might just go back to casual photoshoots with my friends. I really want cosplay to just be a fun little hobby, so I think I am altogether backpedaling on my previous goals of taking it more seriously.)
- Hit year #2 at Microsoft! (Check! My anniversary is Dec 19th, so I’m officially at 2 years!)
- Find a method of exercising and eating healthy that works for me! (I got halfway there this year! Joe and I have been cooking dinner together regularly, I eat significantly less fast food than ever before, and I don’t crave as much junk food as I used to. This is a slow process, but I am proud of my progress. Exercise, on the other hand… well, that can be 2017’s problem.)
Here are my new resolutions for 2017:
- Actually finish your book to an extent where you feel okay sending it to beta readers and then, potentially, agents.
- For the love of god, start writing a completely different book. (After you finish this one, Kristina. After.)
- Plan an awesome wedding you’ll always look back on fondly, but also don’t let it make you crazy.
- Cosplay, or not, but only because you want to.
- Read at least 40 books. Be mindful of the books you choose to read. Consider #diversebooks and #ownvoices. (My reading goal number goes down every year because I am trying to be kinder to myself.)
- Continue to de-clutter and minimize possessions/wardrobe. Invest in nicer things, but less of them.
- Exercise. Please. Even just a little bit.
In 2017, I want to help others and this planet as much as possible. I want to live a more sustainable life. I want to help raise others’ voices when I can. I want to focus less on possessions and more on experiences. I want to write more, love more, worry less. I welcome 2017 with open arms.
What are your resolutions?