This year has been called a lot of things — a dumpster fire, the apocalypse, the year “House of Cards” was no longer fiction — but for me, 2017 was My Growing Year. Like all the times of great change before it (hello puberty!), my 2017 growth was full of lots of growing pains. Lots of steps forward, followed by twenty five steps backward. And while it’s easy for me to look back and cringe at all the stumbles, I refuse to give them more weight than they deserve. In an attempt to continue finding my balance, I want to share with you a little 2017 recap — the moments that made my year rather brilliant and that ushered me into 2018 as a more hopeful and more determined version of myself.
So without further ado, here’s what made 2017 most memorable — in a list! Because lets be honest, that’s just how we do it here at Curious Case.
I. Travel, travel, and more travel!
This year I was lucky enough to not only travel home to California and June Lake a few times, but to also have the change to explore new cities around the United States. In April, I headed to Montauk for a week where I ran into my Psychology Today article for the first time on newsstands. Because it was off-season and very quiet, I spent hours walking along the beach and eating an absurd amount of burrito bowls. Then in August, I visited Nashville for the first time and ate like a queen! I surprised my mum for her birthday in September with a trip to Disneyland and then for New Years, my friend Jillian wrangled a group of us to celebrate in New Orleans. But one of the biggest highlights was meeting little Hudson for the first time. I’m a big fan.
This year wasn’t just about traveling away from home, but also adventuring around New York City. I finally made it to the Cloisters this year and hiked through Tryon Park. My girlfriends and I took a day trip to Sleepy Hollow right before Halloween and drank pumpkin ale, ate hotdogs (and veggies!), and visited the cemetery. I turned 27 with a big picnic in Prospect Park and later visited upstate to celebrate my friend’s wedding. Jillian took me along on her assignments which included a rooftop pool — it was the DREAM I never knew I had! — and a donut/champagne tasting. I saw Anastasia in the spring and then was treated to second row tickets later in the year by JJ. It was the most memorable musical experience I’ve ever had and the hype continued the rest of the weekend as JJ played the emotional ballad “Stay I Pray You” on repeat.
This year marked my biggest reading year yet as I exceeded my goal and finished 34 books! I credit this influx in book devouring both to my subway travel (it’s like being chauffeured … in a really smelly, gross car, but none the less!) and the fact that once again I’m prioritizing reading as my form of meditation. This year I became really intrigued by Ariel Bissett’s video on the relationship between social media changing the way we read. If you’re a bibliophile, I recommend giving it a listen. It inspired me to start going into bookstores and browsing more, which lead me to read one of my favorite books of 2017, “Life After Life”!
As for other favorites, I have to give it up for: “Missoula” by Jon Krakauer, “All We Shall Know” by Donal Ryan, “This is the Story of a Happy Marriage” by Ann Patchett, “A Fine Romance” by Susan Branch, “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders, “”Nutshell” by Ian McEwan, “Fates and Furies” by Lauren Groff and “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng.
Sorry, tried to pick one buuuutttttttt…… you’re welcome!
III. The Writing
Another year of freelance journalism under my belt and I’m happy to say, I’m still so in love with writing. Even though 90 percent of my pitch letters never received a response and I frequently was on the phone with my mum lamenting, “Why won’t people let me write for them?!”
This year marked my first printed magazine article in Psychology Today which I am insanely proud of. But following its publication, I put so much pressure on myself that I had to do something else just as big. Then the best thing that could have happened happened: My editors at two new magazines left the publications and my pieces were thrown out. At the time, I was so upset and felt like a failure, but looking back, it made me realize that it doesn’t matter where you’re being published, it matters that you love what you’re publishing. By putting such pressure on myself to write everyday and produce more article than I could chew, I burned myself out. So this year, I’m taking the pitches more slowly and writing things I’m ecstatic.
While Pyschology Today was my most memorable article published this year, my other two favorites were actually my profile on “The Best We Could Do” author Thi Bui (I cried during this interview I was so inspired) and my feature on how detective shows changed my life (what I believe is the piece I’ve been training my whole life to write).
IV. My people.
I have to say, I have some really really wonderful people in my life. My people, as I like to call them. I could go on and on about my lovely friends and family but instead, I’d like to take this time to write them a little note:
Thank you. These two words aren’t big enough to hold the full weight of my gratitude but for now, they’ll have to do. Thank you for helping me build a life in New York and for those who live on another coast, taking the time to visit and call and write. Thank you for always asking how writing is going, for completely taking my side and yelling loudly about people who wrong me, and for always having tea at your houses. Thank you for understanding when I can’t catch up on the phone and even having the patience to understand how long it takes me to psych myself up for a phone date. Simply, thank you for all you loving me as I am. I’m so so glad to know you.
All my love,
V. The Cats
Amongst all the highs and lows of this year, the late night freak outs and tears and big life questions, my cats have been two constant sources of joy. I don’t even care that this makes me sound like a crazy cat lady, for anyone who has a critter who greets them every night at the door, you get it. Hem and Fitz’s unconditional love has made my apartment feel like a home and somehow, in March, we’ll have been a family for four years! Where did all that time go?