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.
In 2017, I resolve to…
- Solo travel to Italy – #DONE
- Meet and exceed my reading challenge goal of 17 books in 2017 – #DONE
- Learn the basics of HTML and CSS – #DOING
- Get involved with initiatives I care about through volunteering – #DOING
- Carve out a new career path in communications – #DOING
- Get back into music through singing and guitar-playing – #DOING
- Learn a new language at a conversational level
- Try out a new fitness activity
- Move out to Vancouver
- Speak up and speak out
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, Beauty and the Beast, and 5 to 7. 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 Italy on March 29th. Carpe diem!
In April, I traveled across Italy for two weeks of playing, eating, and exploring in Rome, Florence, and Venice. I saw all the major sights (the Colosseum, the Vatican City, the Duomo, Michelangelo’s David, the Grand Canal and all the small canals), ate all the pasta, pizza, and gelato my gut could handle, and ultimately, fell in love with each of these marvelous Italian cities. I already cannot wait to come back someday. After a nice break, I returned back to Vancouver mid-month and got back into the cycle of volunteering, freelancing, and jobhunting. I saw my first three concerts of the year this month – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (in Rome!), John Mayer’s The Search for Everything Tour (in Vancouver), and Solange’s Space performance piece at the Rennie Gallery (also in Vancouver). I listened to new albums from John Mayer, La’Porsha Renae, and Lea Michele and new songs from Harry Styles, Ellie Goulding, Kris Allen, David Archuleta, and Janelle Arthur. I watched Gifted and Born in China in theatres. I read a bunch of non-fiction books (Disrupted, The Start-Up of You, Bold, The Tipping Point, Made to Stick, and Option B) and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I started watching the television adaptation of the novel, which is outstanding in performances and alarming in relevancy…
In May, I began the exciting (though grueling) journey of jobhunting. During the process, I’ve learned a lot about the various marketing and communications opportunities with companies around the city and practiced and refined my elevator pitch (selling yourself is the most challenging sell of all). I helped with coordinating YWiB’s SOLD-OUT The Side Hustle panel and networking event, which was an amazing experience. I continued to stay involved in the community by attending and volunteering at events like Central City Foundation’s Fair in the Square at Victory Park, Lean In Canada’s Vancouver launch, and YWCA’s Women of Distinction Awards ceremony. I reached my reading challenge goal (of 17) for 2017 and am continuing to exceed that number! I read Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong, Rupi Kaur’s Milk & Honey, Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, and Daisy Goodwin’s Victoria. I listened to new albums from David Archuleta and Harry Styles and new songs from Niall Horan, Allison Iraheta & Halo Circus, Kris Allen & The Dames, Avalon Young, and Carly Rae Jepsen. I binge-watched How to Make it in America and Atlanta and the new seasons of Master of None and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. I tuned into the season finales of Riverdale, The Flash, Supergirl, Jane the Virgin, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and SNL. I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2, 20th Century Women, 20th Century Women, Their Finest, Something Borrowed, The Hollars, Table 19, and The Princess Bride (I know, I know, finally, right?). With summer just around the corner, I enjoyed many long walks along Coal Harbour and False Creek, and of course, brunches, dinners, and cooking sessions with good friends.
In June, the Summer of 2017 commenced with beach days and a yacht cruise, and the Summer of Music began, as I saw John Legend, Gallant, and Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox in concert in Vancouver. I also took a quick overnight trip to Seattle to see David Archuleta’s show at The Triple Door, go shopping, explore downtown and Pike Place, and meet up with my good friend Kat. Music and friends have proven to be the best motivators as I continue on in the seemingly never-ending jobhunt and cope with the challenges and anxieties that come with this process. I listened to new music from Lorde, Tori Kelly, Haley Reinhart, Casey Abrams, Tyler Hilton, David Cook, and The Dames. I binge-watched GLOW on Netflix and started the final season of Orphan Black. I saw Wonder Woman (twice), Power Rangers, and Despicable Me 3. I read Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, Sad Girls, and Of Mice and Men. In an effort to continue to try new things, I attended a workshop to learn about the basics of HTML and CSS and went to my very first escape room with the YWiB ladies. I got two new pairs of glasses and am finally embracing my geek chicness. And finally, June 2017 was especially noteworthy because The Hudsucker turned 5!
In July, I scored a ton of free stuff (with much thanks to endless “national holidays”) including free tea, free root beer, free ice cream, free french fries, free s’mores, a free backpack from JanSport, free lipstick from MAC, and free perfume from Kat Von D. Free is music to my free-spirited soul. Speaking of music, I broke my personal record of live shows attended in one month. I saw Queen + Adam Lambert, Jay Som, Saba, Xavier Omar, Bruno Mars, Camila Cabello, Ed Sheeran, James Blunt, and Lady Gaga live in concert at Rogers Arena and Phantom of the Opera live at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. I listened to new songs from Lana Del Rey, Adam Lambert, Demi Lovato, HAIM, Dalton Rapattoni, and Joshua Ledet. I watched Baby Driver, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Dunkirk, and The Incredible Jessica James. I started watching The Bold Type. I read East of Eden and Lilac Girls. Chris Colfer released the final book of The Land of Stories series; I saw him at Chapters Metrotown for his first book tour event in Canada. My niece celebrated her 10th birthday and one of my long-time friends from middle school got married and had her wedding in Vancouver…. reminding me of how time flies too soon.
In August, I get to start a new adventure….
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.
Solange’s Spaces Performance Piece at Rennie Museum in Vancouver, April 28th.
John Legend’s Darkness and Light Tour at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, June 1st.
David Archuleta’s Orion Tour at Triple Door in Seattle, June 13th.
Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox at Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, June 30th.
Queen + Adam Lambert at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, July 2nd.
Phantom of the Opera at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, July 16th.
JanSport’s Bonfire Sessions with Jay Som, Saba & Xavier Omar in Vancouver, July 22nd.
Bruno Mars 24K Magic Tour at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, July 26th.
Ed Sheeran Divide Tour at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, July 28th.
Lady Gaga’s Joanne Tour at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, August 1st.
David Cook at The Crocodile in Seattle, August 21st.
Coldplay & Tove Lo at BC Place, September 29th.
Gavin DeGraw’s Raw Tour at Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, October 14th.
Haley Reinhart at Chop Suey in Seattle, October 30th.
Music in 2017.
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
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)
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
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
Postmodern Jukebox – Feel Good Inc. (feat. Thia Megia)
Dean Martin – On an Evening in Roma
Kris Allen – Venice
Janelle Arthur – Light Myself on Fire
Kygo & Ellie Goulding – First Time
Solange – Cranes in the Sky
Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life (feat. The Weeknd)
David Archuleta – Orion EP
Harry Styles – Harry Styles
David Archuleta – Up All Night
Harry Styles – Sign of the Times
Niall Horan – Slow Hands
Allison Iraheta & Halo Circus – Stand Up
Ingrid Michaelson – Miss America (feat. Sara Bareilles)
Fleetwood Mac – The Chain
Avalon Young – Selfish
Lana Del Rey – Coachella (Woodstock In My Mind)
Carly Rae Jepsen – Cut to the Feeling
Lorde – Melodrama
Lorde – Perfect Places
Katy Perry – Power
John Legend – Penthouse Floor
Ariana Grande – Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Lecrae – I’ll Find You (feat. Tori Kelly)
Sia – To Be Human (feat. Labrinth)
Haley Reinhart – Baby It’s You
Casey Abrams – Really Saying Something
Brielle Von Hugel – Naked
David Cook – Gimme Heartbreak
Tyler Hilton – Stay
The Dames – Don’t Mess Around On Me
Luis Fonsi – Despacito
Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life
Joshua Ledet EP
Lana Del Rey – Groupie Love
Sky Ferreira – Easy
Adam Lambert – Two Fux
Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry
HAIM – Want You Back
Dalton Rapattoni – Signs
Joshua Ledet – Dream On (feat. LaPorsha Renae)
David Archuleta – Leo EP
Postmodern Jukebox – The Prayer (feat. Pia Toscano & Stefano Langone)
Kesha – Woman
Phillip Phillips – Miles
Haley Reinhart – What’s That Sound?
Dalton Rapattoni – Nobodys Home
Haley Reinhart – For What It’s Worth
Television in 2017.
Jane the Virgin
The Mindy Project
The Handmaid’s Tale
How To Make It In America
Master of None
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The Bold Type
Films in 2017.
Hidden Figures (2017)
A Monster Calls (2017)
A Dog’s Purpose (2017)
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Hell Or High Water (2016)
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Raintree County (1957)
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Newsies Live! (2017)
I Am Not Your Negro (2017)
Get Out (2017)
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
The Mask You Live In (2015)
A United Kingdom (2017)
5 to 7 (2014)
Born in China (2017)
20th Century Women (2017)
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 (2017)
Something Borrowed (2011)
The Hollars (2016)
Their Finest (2017)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Table 19 (2017)
Wonder Woman (2017)
Power Rangers (2017)
Despicable Me 3 (2017)
Baby Driver (2017)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
The Incredible Jessica James (2017)
Everything, Everything (2017)
The Casual Vacancy (2015)
Books in 2017.
Lang Leav – Love & Misadventure
Lang Leav – Lullabies
Lang Leav – Memories
Lang Leav – The Universe of Us
Lang Leav – Sad Girls
Chris Colfer – Stranger Than Fanfiction
Chris Colfer – Trollbella Throws a Party
Chris Colfer – The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We Should All Be Feminists
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah
Sophie Kinsella – My Not So Perfect Life
Margot Lee Shetterly – Hidden Figures
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
Sebastian Faulks – Birdsong
Rupi Kaur – Milk & Honey
Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give
Daisy Goodwin – Victoria
Maria Semple – Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
John Steinbeck – Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck – East of Eden
Martha Hall Kelly – Lilac Girls
Virginia Woolf – Mrs. Dalloway