50 Highlights of 2016

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If you’re like most people, this year was a tough one, and I’m no different. I could go on and on about why this year was so challenging—like how I was unemployed for a good chunk of the year or how I gained 10 lbs or how I felt completely lost and depressed when I returned from my trip abroad, BUT I’M NOT GONNA TALK ABOUT THAT because by now you’ve probably seen plenty of “Why 2016 was the Worst Year Ever” content out there. And in truth, a lot more people in the world had a WAY worse year than I did so to complain just doesn’t seem right. Instead, I’m going to focus on the good things that happened to me this year because there’s still so much for me to be grateful for. So here are 50 highlights that stick out to me, both significant and insignificant.

In 2016…

1. I stopped drinking soda.
2. I got a new job.
3. I made new blogger friends.
4. I got a new bike. 5. I won an Instagram contest that let me go to Franklin’s to try their bbq for free with no line.
6. I met Hannibal Buress.
7. I stayed REALLY tan for a few months.
8. I went to Europe for six weeks.
9. I got new glasses after having my old ones since the 8th grade.
10. I ran my first 5K.
11. Then I ran my first 10K.
12. I kicked off my photography side business.
13. I discovered the joy that is EDM.
14. I fell in love with Portland, Oregon.
15. I took my first cooking class.16. I finally did Austin staple things like Eeyore’s Birthday, Blues on the Green, and Symphony Concerts in the Park.
17. I drank beer in Germany, wine in Italy, and sangria in Spain. 18. Four of my best friends got engaged.
19. I started a new Instagram venture for food around Austin.
20. I climbed the stairs up the Eiffel Tower. 21. I was featured on an international brand’s website. 22. I met new people I now consider close friends. 23. I said “yes” to going out more. 24. I received an apology I’ve been waiting years for. 25. I attended Taylor Swift’s only concert of the year. 26. I went to Hamilton Pool & the 360 Overlook Bridge for the first time. 27. I dated a lot of… interesting people. 28. I tried new exercise methods like Camp Gladiator & yoga. 29. I reached 10K followers on Instagram. 30. I cut out negative people from my life. 31. I saw my favorite artists perform live like Haim, Grouplove, Kacey Musgraves, & Great, Good, Fine, Ok. 32. I hosted my first event as a blogger. 33. I made a wish in the Trevi Fountain in Rome. 34. I went to five music festivals this year. 35. I learned how to make paella in Barcelona. 36. I voted in my first national election.  37. I dyed my hair for the very first time. 38. I went to a Spurs game and a couple football games at my Alma Mater. 39. I learned a lot of new things about myself. 40. I tried SUP boarding for the first time. 41. I won another Instagram contest and got to go to Oyster Fest. 42. I reconnected with people I hadn’t seen in years. 43. I went to unique Austin events like Jimmy Eat Wednesday, Improv at the Hideout, and Backyard Story Night for my first time. 44. I took a road trip with friends to visit the Shiner Brewery. 45. I got asked to be a bridesmaid for two of my gal pals. 46. I went on a boat cruise around the Greek Islands. 47. I showed my parents a fun time around Austin. 48. I went to Wurstfest. 49. I started taking public transport and actually like it. 50. I finally felt content with being single.

This list really puts things in perspective for me. Like, “See? It wasn’t so bad.” It’s amazing what focusing on the positive things in your life can do for your mood. I’m glad I took so many snapshots throughout the year and wrote monthly recaps which helped me remember things I otherwise would have probably forgotten all about. You should try it. Write your own list of highlights! I genuinely want to know: What were some highlights of your year? What new things did you try? What did you accomplish? What brought you joy?