2013: a retrospective

For the past 5+ years, I’ve been completing an annual “Year in Review” survey. I’m not exactly sure where I found it, and, honestly and obviously, it’s not the most exciting or well-balanced questionnaire… but it certainly serves its purpose. It’s been fun filling it out with each passing year and seeing how my answers change (or, conversely, stay the same). Here goes!

1. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I’m not sure I made any resolutions last year!

This year, though, I do want to set two actionable goals for myself.

A. Learn to live moderately. I know how to get results by firing on all cylinders — but I’ve learned that that’s not practical nor sustainable. I want to be able to give just enough of myself to reach my goals without sacrificing my wellbeing. To give a concrete example, I’d like to be able to maintain a healthy level of eating and exercise without going overboard with the food monitoring or overworking my body.

B. Figure out my life’s work. Umm… This one’s kind of a big one, but I’ve just about reached that point in my life where I need to stop spinning my wheels and move purposefully towards a career. I decided against applying to graduate school this year in order to give myself time to fully think my trajectory through — but I have to give myself a hard and fast deadline on this assessment period.

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No.

3. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

4. What countries did you visit?

None, sadly.

5. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A set career path.

6. What date(s) from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Honestly, I don’t think I’ll remember any specific dates. Maybe moving to my new apartment in July?

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

At work: successfully completing two separate research projects and assisting in the submission of several federal grant proposals. It might sound boring (and at times, it was) — but each one felt like a huge accomplishment. I also totally killed my advanced psychology GRE.

In my personal life: Maintaining this blog and making leaps & bounds in the kitchen. Completing my commitment with the women’s shelter at which I volunteer.

8. What was your biggest failure?

I almost filed away my diet & exercise regimen as a victory, but then realized that my peak fitness had come at the cost of my emotional wellbeing. Despite being in great shape, I continued being unhealthily obsessive over my body — and that became totally apparent when I completely rebounded after reaching my goal weight. (Truth, y’all.)

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Thankfully nothing serious or even memorable.

10. What was the best thing you bought?

My iPhone 5. Plane tickets.

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Jay’s, without a doubt. I feel like I’ve said this many years in a row, but it’s true! He has grown so much this year, including developing a promising career.

I’m also super proud of my dear D, who graduated from college and went abroad this year.

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Probably politicians or something.

13. Where did most of your money go?

Food. Always. … Though this time, I’m proud to report that less money went to restaurants and more to ingredients. Also, rent.

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My beautiful cousin’s wedding to a wonderful man! My excitement started in February and ran all the way until the big day in October.

15. What songs will always remind you of the year?

Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop

Justin Timberlake – You Are the Love of My Life

Feist & Ben Gibbard – Train Song

Eva Cassidy – Fields of Gold

Daft Punk – Doin’ It Right

16. Compared to this time last year, are you…

i. happier or sadder? As I write this, probably a bit sadder. I have so much to figure out.
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner, but only by a little — as I’ve most certainly gained back the weight that I lost throughout the year. As I wrote in 2012, “I have to say, having been on a rollercoaster with my body this past year, my self-image has taken a bit of a beating. But regardless — I’m trying to maintain my health and love myself etc etc”
iii. richer or poorer? My savings account has grown marginally.

17. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Getting good nights’ sleep. Thinking seriously about my career. Keeping in touch with my family.

18. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Obsessing over trivial, unimportant things.

19. How did you spend Christmas?

I spent the afternoon with my family and the evening/night with Jay’s. It’s always fun seeing the difference between the two sides. Mine is such a rambunctious free-for-all with relatives of all ages (including babies), while Jay’s is a cohesive, calm gathering. Both, however, have super fun white elephant gift exchanges.

20. Did you fall in love?

Already in it… and for almost five years! Shoot.

21. What was your favorite TV program?

This year, I watched lots of Sex and the CityFriday Night Lights, Parks and RecreationScandal, and Bob’s Burgers. In all honesty, I also religiously watched this past season of The Bachelorette. Okay — I’ll even admit to watching an episode of The New Girl here and there, despite my dislike of Zooey Deschanel. Mixed bag, but all fun.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No. Trying to stop with the hate.

23. What was the best book you read?

I finally — finally — finished Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy… and it only took me five years. I did not enjoy it, but I did love This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Sorry 2 say, but I loved Miley’s Bangerz album. There’s no denying that her songwriters know catchy.

25. What did you want and get?

A girls’ trip to Palm Springs, a friends’ trip to Tahoe, and a lovers’ trip to Seattle.

26. What did you want and not get?

A dSLR camera — though this will come in due time (e.g., once I learn to use a manual camera, for one thing).

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Before Midnight. I also liked Silver Linings Playbook, although, to be fair, these were also probably the only 2013 releases I saw. It is sad that I didn’t see other movies that I had even moderate interest in, including The Great Gatsby, The Bling RingBlue Jasmine or Oz the Great and Powerful)?

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old?

I turned 24. It was the best birthday yet — I spent the weekend with my girlfriends in Palm Springs. Upon flying back, Jay and I went to a lovely dinner at Delfina. I couldn’t have asked for much more.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Probably a sense of direction.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in the year?

The same as all the past years: “grandmotherly, comfortable, quirky.”

Anecdotal: I raided my mom’s closet this past week and found myself attracted to a few cardigans in the corner. After a few seconds, I came to the realization that these were my grandmother’s clothes that she stored at our house for times she slept over. Point proven.

31. What kept you sane?

Exercising. This year I also really got into the concept of alone time.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Tim Riggins, I’m lookin’ @ u.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

The current public discourse about rape keeps on oppressing women and needs to stop.

34. Who did you miss?

My mama and sister.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

I’ve just been getting closer to my current circle of friends. I am super grateful, however, that I’ve reconnected with a few fellow transplants from my hometown.

36. Was this year a good year for you?

I think so!

37. What was your favorite moment of the year?

I loved Palm Springs with my girlfriends.

38. What was your least favorite moment of the year?

Probably interpersonal conflict.

39. Where were you when the year began?

At a sweet, intimate dinner party.

40. Who were you with?

My close friends.

41. Where will you be when the year ends?

Not sure yet! We have a few invites floating around, but if I had my way, I’d just spend the night at home with a glass of wine and a good movie.

42. Who will you be with when the year ends?

Definitely Jay and likely with friends.

43. Did you break up with anyone?

No.

44. Did you make any new friends?

Yes, though I always love meeting new people.

45. Who are your favorite new friends?

This is a strange question (that reveals just the questionable-ness of its source).

46. What was your favorite month?

I loved March, my birth month, because of my girls’ trip and the amount of energy and optimism I had.

47. How many different states did you travel to?

One, Washington.

48. Did you lose anybody close to you?

No.

49. How many concerts did you see?

Hmm… let’s count this out.

  1. Rufus Wainwright at the San Francisco Orchestra
  2. Nosaj Thing at Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences
  3. Thunder Down Under in Las Vegas (does that count?)
  4. Geographer and the Kronos Quartet at Stern Grove Music Festival
  5. The Postal Service at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley
  6. St. Vincent & David Byrne at the Fox Theatre in Oakland
  7. Conor Oberst and Calexico at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
  8. Treasure Island Music Festival

Throw two or three local bands into the mix and we’d get maybe 10 or so shows?

50. Did you have a favorite concert?

St. Vincent and David Byrne put on a stunning show, but I felt a total visceral reaction to Rufus Wainwright (especially since he pulled out the big guns with “Hallelujah”).

51. Did you drink a lot of alcohol?

No. I’ve been way healthier about “empty calorie” intake — and am consequently a total lightweight now.

52. Did you do a lot of drugs?

What do you think I am? Exciting?

53. Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?

I littered.

54. What was the worst lie someone told you?

People in my research studies can occasionally be dishonest, but that’s typically not of consequence. No salacious lies crossed my path this year.

55. Did you treat somebody badly?

I love my family, but believe that I could always be more patient and kinder towards them. Can’t we all?

56. Did somebody treat you badly?

Thankfully not. I’ve been fortunate to meet well-intentioned people, even though sometimes people can inevitably be hurtful in pursuing their self-interests. I’m learning to set boundaries with others to protect myself.

57. What was your proudest moment?

Acing my advanced psychology GRE… though we’ll see if that high test score comes in handy down the road!

58. What was your most embarrassing moment?

Probably fully losing consciousness during the Treasure Island Music Festival.

59. If you could go back in time to any moment and change something, what would it be?

I wouldn’t change any particular moment in time. Rather, I’d wished I’d taken regularly scheduled “breaks” to be mindful and check in with myself in the moment.

60. What are your plans for the new year?

First and foremost: to practice self-compassion.
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