Auld Lang Syne: 2016 in Review

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I know I don’t usually post on the weekends, but today is a special day: it’s New Year’s Eve. I’m sure you’ve been keeping up with this week’s goal-setting guides, written your resolutions, selected the perfect outfit, and are ready to ring in the new year in style (or at the very least, surrounded by your loved ones), right? Regardless of your plans, it’s a good idea to reflect on the previous year before we can usher in the year ahead.

Let’s be honest. This has been an especially unusual and challenging year for so many people, myself included. I began the year heartbroken and alone, resolved to mix and mingle, formed new relationships, and ended others. Regardless of 2016’s lows, there are plenty of moments worth sharing and celebrating. So, here are a few of my favorites!

img_4479One: Family. This year we celebrated my beautiful baby nephew’s first birthday. Unfortunately, he lives in Decatur (Georgia) with my middle sister, her husband, and two sweet pit bulls, but thanks to modern technology, I try to FaceTime with them at least twice a week. I know that’s a lot, but family is so important to me, and I want him to know who I am, even if I’m not physically there. Now every time he sees my face, he says “Titi” (short for aunt), so taking five minutes out of my day to “talk” to him has definitely been worth it. Seeing his precious face and hearing his cute little laugh consistently brightened my day. I’m so thankful for my family, especially my supportive, patient, and loving mom and sisters. I’m so blessed to call them my best friends.

Two: New and old friends. They say the older you get, the harder it is to form new, deep, and meaningful friendships. Unfortunately, that’s true. After living in Massachusetts and forming amazing friendships, I feared moving back home to Chicago would leave me relatively friendless (even though my best friend from college lives here, too). Thankfully I spent much of 2016 cultivating old friendships and making a host of amazing friends at work, and one, in particular, has been extremely supportive and influential in my life. She’s been a fantastic listener, adviser, and broken-heart healer. She is magic.

Three: Health. Like most people around the new year, I resolved to lose weight…and I did. I had a personal trainer for a few months, went to the gym often, and changed my eating habits. I think I was in the best shape I’d been in in years…until life happened. I won’t get into details, but finding comfort in food and your couch does not make for a healthy and active lifestyle. While I’m thankful I haven’t had any health concerns, I need a permanent change, and it’s coming. Wait and see. It all boils down to committing to self-love, and that’s my main resolution for 2017.

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-11-54-03-amFour: Adventures. This year I saw the Gilmore Guys live, W. Kamau Bell’s comedy show, and Angela Davis speak. I went to Beyoncé’s Formation concert, Bad Boys’ Reunion tour, Boyz II Men, Riot Fest, and Aahh! Fest. I went on several dates, traveled to San Francisco, Destin (Florida), Raleigh (North Carolina), Exeter (New Hampshire), and the Hamptons (New York). I witnessed a friend’s engagement and a longtime friend’s wedding. I took a calligraphy and brush lettering class, drew closer to Him, and saved tons of money. I started a new job, took a leap of faith in another, and voted for the first female president. New adventures have led me to places I never dreamed of and affirmed so much of what I already knew, and this is only the beginning.

fullsizerender-2Five: This. Kermit Says… continues to grow and evolve. This year I launched a YouTube channel, Instagram page, and Snapchat account–all of which have become wildly successful. The blog continues to gain readers, and I am constantly inspired with new ideas every day. I redesigned the website, am currently working on a book, and have two more surprises up my sleeve that I can’t say yet, but look forward to sharing once I have the go ahead. I’m so excited for the next phase of Kermit Says…, and show no signs of slowing down.

I could go on and on in more detail about what’s worked this year and what hasn’t, but I won’t. Instead, I encourage you to take a moment to sit and reflect on 2016 before the clock strikes midnight. Knowing all the good things that occurred this year will fill your heart with gratitude, and is there a better way to start 2017 than with thanksgiving? I doubt it.

What are some of your favorite moments of 2016? Comment below! 

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