Goodbye 2016!

If, as I wrote last year, 2014 was the year that everything changed and 2015 convinced me that it was all for the better, then 2016 was the year of trying (and at times failing) to find balance in life.

Professionally, I was ablaze. By my calculation, I wrote 374 pieces in 2016. On Twitter, I threaded a bunch of my favorite piece, but writing for FiveThirtyEight was a highlight and an honor. I gave interviews, talked on podcastsblogged with my head, and was cited.

I went to Kyrgyzstan. I wish I had done a better job of writing about the trip, on a personal level, but all my writing time went to work — it was a crazy time. The pictures help explain:

Independence Day

With all this professional success, I would be lying if I said my personal life didn’t suffer some. I read less than I’d like and I didn’t ever finish that fiction project. I saw my friends less than I would have liked, and still fail at calling my parents often enough.

My bullet journal for 2017 starts with two simple phrases: Be Good. Do Good.

Writing: I still want to write more widely. I definitely owe the gents at The Strategy Bridge something and I want to pick up fiction again. I want to ask more questions and dig deeper. I want to return to writing nonfiction stories, the snippets of my life.

Reading: I read more books in 2016 than in 2015, but only figured out a good system in the latter half of the year. Because I do not commute, I’ve had to consciously build “reading time” into my days. I will continue to read two books at a time, one fiction and one nonfiction. I find I write better when I’m reading something creative and just as the world never stops turning, my need and desire to learn is ceaseless.

People: It’s been wonderful to pull the relationships I make online into the real world, and I’ve made some wonderful friends. But recent family events have reminded me that there is never enough time with the people you love. I want to be a better friend and a better daughter in 2017. My Mom is going to (re)teach me sewing. The woman owns 9 sewing machines, for Pete’s sake. I also want to do more in my community. DC gets a lot of shit but this city-state is my home. I’m starting the year by volunteering at DC Central Kitchen and hope to make it a regular occurrence.

Places: Aside from a week in Hawaii in February — an honest-to-goodness vacation — I have no travel plans set just yet. I’d like to make it to Kazakhstan this year (EXPO2017 anyone?!), and would always love a return trip to Kyrgyzstan. We’ll see what I can manage to plan.

So goodbye (and good riddance) 2016! I’ve got plans for you 2017. Let’s go.


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