Like most people, I’ve been thinking a lot about 2016. While there have been tremendously heartbreaking setbacks, like Trump’s election, celebrity deaths, more personal sick days than I would have preferred, and not enough money in the bank, last night I began listing meaningful achievements and moments from the past year, and I was surprised by just how much 2016 has brought me.
- I interviewed Olympic swimmer Lynne Cox in my role as content coordinator for a neighborhood magazine.
- I got my first byline in Essence.com for an interview with teen filmmaker Gabrielle Gorman.
- I got a book published as a writer for hire and now have an Amazon page!
- I got an article accepted at The New York Times that I’m hoping pans out (I’m still holding my breath because I can’t quite believe it).
- I attended my first premiere in Beverly Hills, for the movie Loving.
- I got to hang out with Grey’s Anatomy actor Jason George.
- I shadowed writer and performer J. Ivy at a social media conference.
- A writer friend published a chapbook for me, and used it for three readings in L.A.
- My highest paying article rate increased by 800%.
- I was miraculously reconnected with my best friend from 6th grade.
This list isn’t meant to position myself as some sort of success story (and I haven’t included links for that reason). Rather, I often make myself list what I’ve been able to achieve because I’m usually too focused on what I haven’t accomplished.
It’s easy to get down on ourselves we compare our lives to others’. There will always be someone with a better resume, a better job, better health… you name it. But if we’re always focused on the carrot just out of reach, sometimes we forget those that have already come into our lives–even those carrots we never expected. One of those unexpected carrots was seeing my 2-year-old niece squeal for joy in the Santa Monica ocean. That was perhaps the best moment of the whole year.
Take some time to look back at your 2016… What from the year brings you joy? What meaningful experiences have you had? How has your heart soared? I’d love to hear your list in the comments!