Hey 2016, I see you there, all beat up, bruised, and despised. WHAT a year. I think we are all ready to move on from this shameover of a year. Personally, it wasn’t all bad. I think balance is good- I’m laughing to myself just thinking about the mishaps. We all learned something in 2016- maybe it was a mess, but it was an experience. Here are some of my highlights- humorous and (semi)-serious.
Classically unsavvy travel moment:
Winner: Bike-riding in the frozen rain through the streets of Copenhagen in early February- not an experience I would necessarily recommend. Emphasis on February. Oh and don’t forget to double-check the details of your Airbnb or you might end up sharing a throw blanket, sleeping on a one-person hipster crate bed in the spare room of a Danish couple. Not that I know firsthand what that’s like or anything.
Runner-up: Walking the beach in Wilmington, North Carolina, we timed our trip just a smidgen off and barely missed the baby turtles. Let me repeat we almost got to see the sea turtle hatching and see millions of baby tiny turtle tracks in the sand. ALMOST. Sigh. #turtlelivesmatter
Ugliest cry moment:
Winner: OBVIOUSLY Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential election had me in adolescent-level despairing depression tears. Just ugly, weepy crying.
Runner-up: Saying goodbye to Ivan in the Detroit airport before the long lonely summer. It was the first time he told me “ti amo” and also I had to drive back to Columbus by myself from Detroit so tears were an understandable byproduct.
Best bad-ass physical achievement:
Winner: I ran my first 10k race in the ass-trickling sweaty humidity of late July and killed it. No humility necessary, I owned that race. Sorry not sorry to the dude who kept pace with me for the final 4 miles and who I left to eat my dust in the last mile.
Runner-up: Riding my friend’s bike to go run the 606 trail in Chicago and then, not knowing what to do with the bike helmet, I stashed it in the backpack and ran the entire trail with the pack. Despite my extreme dehydration, people were looking at me like I was training for battle. Bad-assery in all its sweatiest finery.
Most impressive food adventure victory:
Winner: I created a sourdough culture (my husband Ivan named it Robert) and taught myself how to make sourdough bread! I totally took tips from my amazing best friend Julie and her budding bread biz Vida Sourdough Creations and I also did what everyone else is doing and read Tartine Bread. Fabulous results.
Runner-up: My fascination with fermented foods actually began with kimchi- throwback to my Korea life! For a quick cheap laugh, read about it Korea is a constant catwalk….and the true feeling of being stared at ; 10 Myths About Life and Living in South Korea. I actually ate this stuff about twice a day for almost the entire year I lived there and although I feared I would have rotted out my teeth, it turns out those probiotics are all the rage these days. I made a shit-ton of kimchi. Cool.
Biggest big-girl life moment:
Winner: Yeah, yeah I got married in 2016. Boo-yah #lovewins. Take that governments, long-distance, and bureaucracy – a word I can still only remember how to spell correctly in Italian (burocrazia). But seriously, sometime between me visiting Ivan in Italy and him coming to visit me in Ohio, we decided to go all-in together on this life thing. Just as crazy and hazardous as it sounds. But live life big and ballsy right?
Runner-up: I paid for my own health-insurance for a hot minute. Gosh that sucked. Also I did my taxes. SHIT I’m so adult. Oh and I quit my job and moved to Italy so…damn.
Going into 2017, I’m planning on living life lighter. I had some major life changes this year and I’m ready to take it easy for a bit, to take things with a light-hearted attitude. 2016 was so emotionally exhausting and I have cried my eyes out between the goodbyes and the see you soon’s and the threat of the destruction of social progress in American society, it’s been a real whirlwind of a year.
Last year I wrote a list of goals for 2016 on a guest check while I should have been working. While I must have lost that actual list because I am truly horribly disorganized, I dinstinctly remember one specific of my pro-con list of whether or not I should move to Italy. I wrote that if I moved to Italy, I would have more to write about. SO here I am, writing and babbling away, constantly a bit confused and often translating my thoughts from my second-language to my native language. I won’t bore you with the specifics of my new year aspirations, but I will wish you a new year filled with joy in the small moments. Cheers to you! May prosecco and panettone be a part of your new years too, yo.