In 2016 I…

  • Finally started using my reusable grocery bags consistently. You’re welcome, earth.
  • Visited two new states. If you ever get the chance, do visit the Pacific Northwest. I know I’m glad I did.
  • Learned that I’m mostly aware of my singleness as a negative thing only when I’m struggling to open new salsa jars. I keep hearing marrieds say that marriage is cool because you have this helper for life, and I always think about this as I’m getting hand cramps trying to open stupid salsa jars. All the sudden I’m in total despair for a helper, or at least, a pair of hands stronger than mine. It would be cool I guess if those hands were attached to man who also loved me, but the SALSA is what’s important here. Then, using the warm water trick that my mom taught me, I inevitably open the jar myself, and think “Who needs a man? Certainly not me.”
  • Came out publicly as a Democrat.
  • Felt guilty for all the times in the past I’ve bumbled through earth thinking I knew anything for certain. Because now I’m never so sure.
  • Let the above uncertainty get to me a little too much at times.
  • Turned 25, which is the age that, for me, meant I became mature enough to know the decisions I was making weren’t always the right ones, but not mature enough to stop myself from doing them. This was hard and painful. I saw the person I was becoming as ugly for the first time maybe ever. At times I much preferred the immaturity of 20-23.
  • Failed at something kinda major. The fall-flat-on-your-face type of failure that people say will help shape you for the better. I’m not sure yet that it will shape me for the better, although maybe that’s up to me.
  • Held a newborn baby for a few hours. I breathed in her baby scent and as she slept, I dreamed for her about what her life would be like in the years to come. What would she grow up to do? In those moments, I felt a fraction of what her mother feels 24/7. All the love and all the fear, simultaneously. It was a rush, but one I know I’m not even close to ready for.
  • Appreciated several sunsets and not near enough sunrises, although I’m slowly letting go of the idea that a “morning person” is a thing everyone needs to be. Yet I still think that maybe I have it in me. We’ll see in 2017.
  • Felt stupid when I teared up at a Mizzou homecoming video as I watched it on the jumbotron at Faurot Field in Columbia. Maybe it was just the combination of the beautiful weather, the golden hour, and the beer, but that weekend I allowed myself to actually want to come back there to live, should the opportunity arise. There are worse things, right?
  • Went on a couple hikes and a couple movies by myself and wondered why I haven’t been doing such things my whole life.
  • Lost my grandma. I felt a lot of pain for my father and even more for my grandpa. But since this spring, I’ve also admired my grandpa for still being pretty dang happy, while also acknowledging that his marriage to my grandma was one of the best parts of his life. It’s the small things, you know? Like learning how to stream video clips from the MLB app to your TV from your iPad.
  • Went on a road trip for a week, visiting two friends in two different cities. So, add Nebraska to the new states list. Three. I learned I love driving by myself a whole lot. Spotify subscriptions are worth every penny.
  • Loved Miranda Lambert’s new album so much I contemplated moving to Nashville to write about country music. How could someone write so specifically about her divorce while not actually writing about her divorce, and with words that I felt like I could so acutely relate to, even though I’ve never really loved and lost? She’s a genius, folks.
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