Today is December thirty-first (er, although this won't be posted until January 1st...), which means that tomorrow begins a new year: 2017.
Happy New Year!!
2016, man...what a year. I think we can all agree that it's been a very interesting year, for many reasons. I'm not even sure what to reflect on and write here...but I'll do my best and try to stick to positives.
To start off 2016, my friends and I had a sleepover, played games, hung out and talked, ate food, and filmed a vlog for our (at the time) Youtube channel.
Also in January, it snowed. I'm unable to remember for sure if it snowed once or twice, but there was at least one really good snow. My sister and I took a lot of photos in and of the snow, and my entire family did a lot of sledding. During the snow day(s?) I also did a lot of hiding inwide under a blanket and reading.
The last week of January, I took Driver's Ed. Maybe Driver's Ed classes are always like this, and maybe they're not, but my experience with it was pretty bad. The building was freezing cold, I was sick with a cold for half the week, and I passed out one day (probably due to being sick; but I don't remember what we were talking about at the time so it could've been something they mentioned. Or maybe the combination of the two; who knows. But anyways...I survived.
The first week of February, my clogging team had our awards dinner/ceremony. Also that week, I got my driver's permit and realized that our 12-passenger van is a lot harder to drive than the small driver's ed car. I have since gotten the hang of it though, and I think that I can probably drive almost anything because of it.
I launched the Continuing Forever website in February as well, and began the long(er than expected) editing/revising process.
Other fun things in February: Valentine's Day party, Entermissions (our church's annual missions fundraiser), and my youth group's Super Bowl party. Unfortunate that the Panthers lost, though.
In March, my sister and I went to visit our Aunt, Uncle, and cousins in Myrtle Beach for a few days. We swam and walked on the beach and watched movies and played LIFE. We were also there to celebrate Maggie's birthday. Our Odyssey of the Mind team also competed at the regional tournament and placed 1st in our category.
In April, our Odyssey team went to States and placed 4th. Later that month we had a party for my mom's birthday. It was originally going to be a surprise, but my dad and I realized that it would be rather complicated to organize it all AND keep it a secret...so we ended up telling her, but she still enjoyed it and it went well and was fun.
In May, I spent most of the month focused on the last details of publishing Continuing Forever. Also, Prom was in May, and that was super fun! Also that month, I discovered a new anime called Fairy Tail and it proceeded to take up most of my Summer Break binge-watching time.
In June, I turned sixteen. Later in the month, some friends and I went to the beach for a day to celebrate. It was very fun and no one was eaten by a shark...so win-win. Runner's Camp (my church's track and field camp) was also in June. I volunteered as a Youth helper for a week.
On the 4th of July, my family hosted our annual fireworks/BBQ party. Also in July, I went swimming with Joy, read a lot, aaaand... Continuing Forever was released on July 25th! It was interesting...I had everything all set and then at Midnight on the 24th there was some problem with my publishing site and all of their customer service chats were unresponsive so I kinda freaked out about it but then (at like4am) I *finally* figured out how to fix it and then that took forever but yes...it got done!
August consisted mainly of enjoying the last bit of summer break. My family also traveled to Asheville for a clogging performance. We spent the night after the performance and got to catch up with some friends the next morning before heading back home.
In September, my family spent a week at the beach. It was very nice and fun and relaxing; the weather was great and there were only a couple of times when it was too cold to swim. Also in September: school. Surprise, surprise.
In October, I was very busy. School and work and multiple clogging practices in preparation for the State Fair (our clogging competition). The Fair was really fun and it went very well. The day after we competed, my family and I went back with some friends for a "fun day". For Halloween, my sister and I, along with two of our friends, dressed up as characters from "Alice in Wonderland" .
November was exciting because my sister and I traveled to NYC with our parents for a long weekend. We went to the Empire State Building, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the New York Public Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One night we went and saw "Phantom of the Opera" at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway. It was so amazing and so beautiful and thrilling. We celebrated Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family, and my cousin (Maggie) and I plotted and schemed for an upcoming project. Also in November, I participated in NaNoWriMo, but didn't complete my novel by the end of the month.
December, the grand finale... It was a very Christmas-themed month...which I guess makes sense. We had a small Christmas party with our homeschool group, our annual Small Group Christmas party, a graduation party for one of my friends, and our youth group's Christmas party/White Elephant exchange. We also performed with our clogging group at a nursing home. Three days before Christmas, I finished the rough draft of "Continuing Forever II". (Unofficially titled.) On Christmas Eve, we went to my grandma's house to have Christmas with my dad's side of the family. On Christmas day we had a nice relaxing pajama day at home, and on the 27th we celebrated Christmas again with my mom's side of the family.
So there you have it...a pretty brief summary of my year. I personally don't think that the past year has been all that terrible- in fact, it was a pretty good year for me. It involved a lot of anxiety, and that's not great...but even so, a lot of good stuff went on. I feel like it was a good year as far as personal growth and development. I think I challenged myself just enough, but also "gave myself enough space". The year flew by, but looking back...it was a good one.
2016 has been a crazy year, but crazy doesn't necessarily equal bad. I know, I know...a lot of bad and terrible things happened this year. And that sucks. But come on guys...does 2016 really deserve that much hate? Did nothing even remotely good happen? Is there nothing salvageable from 2016?
I think that 2016 wasn't entirely terrible. I think that spending the last of it complaining about it is a good way to make it sucky, though. 2017 is a new year- new beginnings, new chances, lots of changes. Lots of joys, and also sorrow. 2017 will not be problem-free. We won't wake up to a perfect world on January 1st.
So...Maybe take a short step back and find something good from the year, eh? Maybe even a few things, because I promise you that they're there.
On to a few favorites from the year...
Books worth noting from 2017:
Music I discovered in 2017:
Shows I binge-watched:
Awesome movies released this year: