2017

Livin’ on the Edge of 2017

It’s the return of my lucky number 7 in 2017. Looking back, 2007 was a monumental year because it was the year I graduated from high school and entered a new phase of my life. Now, ten years later, it’s time to make some more transformative changes. 2017 will be a year for wearing my heart on my sleeve, living on the edge, embracing the unknown, and speaking my mind. And while the grass may always appear greener(y) on the other side, it’s time to count my lucky stars and cherish the good things that I’ve got.

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In 2017, I resolve to…

  • Speak up and speak out
  • Solo travel to Italy
  • Learn a new language at a conversational level
  • Get involved with initiatives I care about through volunteering
  • Stake out a new career path in communications
  • Meet and exceed my reading challenge goal of 17 books in 2017
  • Get back into music through singing and guitar-playing
  • Try out a new fitness activity
  • Move to downtown Vancouver

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Memories of 2017.

January was a month of transition… the likes of which I had never experienced before. I celebrated my 28th birthday and officially entered my late-20s. Obama transitioned out of the White House and Trump was ushered in as the new POTUS… and unleashed havoc immediately. I participated in my first protest by demonstrating during the Vancouver chapter of the worldwide Women’s March on Washington movement. Near the end of the month, I was suddenly laid off from my job of three years and thrust into re-evaluating my career and life path for the upcoming year. Nobody said change was easy to navigate, but as I’ve learned this January, you’ve gotta march on. In lighter news, I spoiled myself with entertainment. I listened to long-awaited new music from Lauren Alaina, Jax, Ed Sheeran, and John Mayer. I finished binge-watching 30 Rock and started new seasons of The Flash, Supergirl, Jane the Virgin, New Girl, and Riverdale, then finished the season finale of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I watched a record-breaking number of films – Hidden Figures, A Monster Calls, A Fences, Moonlight, Split, A Dog’s Purpose, Manchester by the Sea, Arrival, Hell or High Water, Hacksaw Ridge, Lion, and Raintree County. I read the bittersweet poetry of Lang Leav and felt my fragile heart break and mend all at once.

February was a month for freewheeling funemployment. For the first time in years, I had no agenda to follow. I was a free agent! I spent my free time catching up with friends along the coffee shop hop, meeting new people and expanding my network at meetups and other events, getting involved with volunteer opportunities related to professional development and community engagement, and re-evaluating my values and goals for the next chapter of my story. Among the many valuable life lessons I learned were to know and believe in my worth, to say my piece to make peace, and to lean on friends when the going gets rough. Oh, and a little bit of music therapy (in the form of karaoke, piano bars, and great tunes) can do wonders for the soul. I read Chris Colfer’s YA book, Stranger Than Fanfiction. In theatres, I watched The Lego Batman Movie, I Am Not Your Negro, and the musical Newsies. On the boob tube, I tuned into three major entertainment events: the Super Bowl (Lady Gaga’s half-time performance FTW), the Grammys (Adele, Beyonce, Chance the Rapper, and Bruno Mars rule all), and the Oscars (who can ever forget the moment when Moonlight stole the spotlight from La La Land?)

In March, I applied 2017’s motivational mantra of marching on to greener pastures with my career trajectory by kickstarting my freelance writing hustle and volunteering with two organizations related my passions for female empowerment (YWiB Vancouver) and community engagement (Atria). I drew inspiration from YWiB SFU’s annual International Women’s Day event and vowed to be bold for change and to be limitless when standing up for the sisterhood with other fierce feminists as well as when handling my own life. In honour of IWD, I read numerous feminist texts, including Hidden Figures and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawelee. I listened to Ed Sheeran’s Divide and Drake’s More Life and grieved over the closing of HMV (RIP record stores). I watched Logan, A United Kingdom, The Mask You Live In, and Beauty and the Beast. I continued to catch up with friends and realize how I’ve meet so many great new people over these past five years especially. It was these friends who helped me come to the realization that I can do any and all of the things I want and that now is the time for great adventures. With that in mind, I spontaneously decided to take a trip to Italy with three weeks to plan. After a weekend retreat to Whistler with the YWiB Vancouver, I packed my bags and set off for my Roman Holiday (and more) on March 29th. Carpe diem!

In April, I went to Italy!

In May

In June

In July

In August

In September

In October

In November

In December

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Live Shows in 2017.

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox at the Auditorium in Rome, April 4th.
John Mayer’s The Search for Everything Tour at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, April 19th.

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Music in 2017.

(Spotify Playlist)

January
Lauren Alaina – Road Less Traveled
Jax – Funny EP
Ed Sheeran – Castle on the Hill
Ed Sheeran – Shape of You
Postmodern Jukebox – Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked (feat. Joey Cook)
Daniel Caesar – Japanese Denim
John Mayer – Moving On and Getting Over
Lauren Alaina – Doin’ Fine
Jax – Stars
Tyler Hilton – The Way That She Loves

February
Postmodern Jukebox – What is Love (feat. Casey Abrams)
Postmodern Jukebox – Side to Side (feat. DeAndre Brackensick)
Pia Toscano – Say You Won’t Let Go
Lady Gaga – Million Reasons
Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
Chance the Rapper – No Problem
Maren Morris – Once
John Legend & Cynthia Erivo – God Only Knows
Lana Del Rey – Love
John Mayer – Still Feel Like Your Man
Kelly Clarkson & Aloe Blacc – Love Goes On
John Legend – City of Stars & Audition Medley (from La La Land)
Jeremy Jordan – Santa Fe (from Newsies)

March
Ed Sheeran – Divide
Drake – More Life
Colton Dixon – Identity

Ed Sheeran – Dive
Ed Sheeran – Perfect
Colton Dixon – All That Matters
Candice Glover – My Mistake
Drake – Glow (feat. Kanye West)
Josh Groban – Evermore
Beauty and the Beast – Be Our Guest
Grant Gustin – Runnin’ Home to You

April
La’Porsha Renae – Already All Ready
John Mayer – The Search for Everything
Lea Michele – Places

La’Porsha Renae – Already All Ready
John Mayer – Emoji of a Wave
Lea Michele – Anything’s Possible
Harry Styles – Sign of the Times
Postmodern Jukebox – Feel Good Inc. (feat. Thia Megia)
Dean Martin – On an Evening in Roma
Kris Allen – Venice
David Archuleta – Up All Night
Janelle Arthur – Light Myself on Fire

May
x

June
x

July
x

August
x

September
x

October
x

November
x

December
x

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Television in 2017.

30 Rock
The Flash
Supergirl
Jane the Virgin
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Riverdale
New Girl
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Mindy Project
Orphan Black
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Broad City
Designated Survivor
The Handmaid’s Tale

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Films in 2017.

Hidden Figures (2017)
A Monster Calls (2017)
Fences (2016)
Moonlight (2016)
Split (2017)
A Dog’s Purpose (2017)
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Arrival (2016)
Hell Or High Water (2016)
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Lion (2016)
Raintree County (1957)
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Newsies Live! (2017)
I Am Not Your Negro (2017)
Get Out (2017)
Logan (2017)
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
The Mask You Live In (2015)
A United Kingdom (2017)
5 to 7 (2014)
Gifted (2017)
Born in China (2017)

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Books in 2017.

(Goodreads Reading Challenge)

Lang Leav – Love & Misadventure
Lang Leav – Lullabies
Lang Leav – Memories
Lang Leav – The Universe of Us
Sophie Kinsella – My Not So Perfect Life
Chris Colfer – Stranger Than Fanfiction
Margot Lee Shetterly – Hidden Figures
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We Should All Be Feminists
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
Dan Lyons – Disrupted
Reid Hoffman – The Start-Up of You
Peter H. Diamandis – Bold
Malcolm Gladwell – The Tipping Point
Chip Heath & Dan Heath – Made to Stick
Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale
Sheryl Sandberg – Option B

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Love yourself. Love somebody. Love each other.
2017: the year I woke up.