2017 in Review: A Life Online and Off

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The recurring themes in 2017 were Craigslist, art (consuming and creating), experimentation and failure. I picked up some good habits and some questionable ones. I read and learned a lot – mostly about relationships and love, which sounds froufrou but as I get older, I realize how important the froufrou is. I learned to make oil poached shrimp, creme brulee and homemade hummus and peanut butter. I lost 10 pounds.

I like reading articles that expose me to new ideas so I hope this is helpful to you in that way. Or at least is interesting to read. I change a lot about myself every year. I might not be consistently improving – but it’s not stagnant.

January

I remember January 1, 2017 pretty clearly. I had just downloaded the 1 second video app, to record 1 second videos of your day and string them together for a short video. But the Redskins lost in a stunner my first day. I couldn’t think of anything positive to record except the wine that I was drinking. And that wine represented disappointment. It was a memorable but negative start to the year.

I started doing Chinese language lessons every day, starting with Mango and Pimsleur courses through my library. This is a habit I was pretty happy I developed because it helped me from moving backwards in my language learning. Ever forwards, I say. Even if only by a few steps.

I tried to avoid the inauguration hubbub by going to Philly, only to bump into the Women’s March there and also in DC as I arrived in Union Station. Longest line for a women’s restroom I’ve ever seen. I got to see my friend in New Jersey and we went to a great real diner. The kind where they don’t care about organic vegetables or calories. We didn’t even check Yelp or anything.

While I was in Philly, I went to an acupuncturist, who pressed on my abdomen, and was surprised I was in pain. I didn’t realize that your body isn’t supposed to hurt when you press it. I had forgotten that I still have this lemon-sized ovarian cyst that’s just been hanging out. My surgeon said we could wait until there was debilitating pain (oh goodie) to do anything. He also said I should consider having a baby pretty soon. So… there’s that. I think I’ll be ok if I don’t ever have children. I mean I have to be, because I don’t anticipate having children any time soon.

I got a new phone. Goodbye Apple! I miss you a lot, honestly.

I sent flowers to three different people in my office due to personal tragedy (2 in this month). I had hesitated about this because I didn’t want to be known as the “flower girl” but eventually, human decency won out over my reputation.

I had a party to meet my neighbors. I got an impressively low response rate for the number of people on my floor but I did find out that I live a few doors down from a preeminent climate change denier and next door to someone who works with my weekly lunch buddy.

I started a journal detailing the lessons I learned every day. I found I was repeating the same mistakes that I had learned already and writing has already helped me remember. This was the start of my journaling habit, which has been invaluable to me. My journal, once I finish typing it up, will amount to over 40 single spaced typewritten pages. It’s amazing how much I would have lost if I hadn’t written it down, typed it over and re-read it. And now it’ll be searchable.

February

I threw a Valentine’s Day party. It was nice to see some of my buds again and I enjoy throwing parties. I think I put too much stress on myself and take RSVPs too personally. But no way to get over that fear except putting yourself out there more often, right?

I met one of my very favorite people – on Craigslist. Strictly platonic section. I’ve had really good luck with this.

I started rock climbing but felt embarrassed that I couldn’t pass my belay test. I have largely stayed away since then.

I started dating again. It was positive in that I met some cool people and I went to a lot of great new bars. But I didn’t stay connected with anyone.

I dyed my hair blonde-ish. It would get progressively blonder throughout the year, and I can’t say they have more fun.

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Blonde at at the beach in Barcelona.

I volunteered at a legal clinic. Record number of people turned out asking for help. The people in DC had a general feeling of fear at this point in the year. Fear or anger. I work near the White House and I saw a lot of protests. It only bothers me when they block the bike lane and the streets.

March

My bible study ended (the hosts and leaders moved away) and we had an epic going away party. I initially started going two years ago after reading Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community and seeking community. I didn’t think I would ever fit in with this ragtag group of people but it’s amazing what can happen if you see a group regularly and everyone comes with an open heart.

I went to Barcelona and Rome with my friend and her annoying friends. I had a lovely time anyway. How could one not?

I saw Bastille in concert. They were very good. I hadn’t been to a concert in years. It was fun to feel young again.

April

I met someone promising and we went on 5 dates in quick succession but then he was moody on the last date and ended it. By text of course. But it’s better than ghosting.

Mr. 5 dates didn’t drink much so I posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a drinking buddy. I met someone who was thoroughly not my type, but he had posted a similar ad and got way more dick pics than I did.

I invited some friends to dinner and we started a monthly bougie dinner club – a girlfriend, my ex and my friend in Baltimore. It was my new ragtag group.

I learned that my bike brake pads were, I think the word he used was, smoked. I need to take better care of my bike and, you know, not bike when I can’t brake.

I started foam rolling after reading Taller, Slimmer, Younger: 21 Days to a Foam Roller Physique. I need to do this more often. My poor aching body.

May

I saw the Yayoi Kusama exhibit: Infinity Mirrors. It was one of the most talked about art exhibits in the world this year. I missed seeing art but I do not need to stand in this many lines. It drives the Type-A in me crazy.

I threw a tea party and bought a dress in a lemon print.

I tried out minimal running shoes based on reading The New Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health and Boundless Energy and fell in love. But time will tell how my knees feel.

I tried adding seaweed to my baths and it helped my sleep for awhile.

I finally visited my friend in New York. I haven’t seen her since my bachelorette. I don’t even think I’d met her girlfriend before.

I had fancy wine at my friend’s place in Baltimore. I met his soon to be girlfriend. We took our bougie dinner club on the road!

May also marked the last time I talked to my ex-fiance. So it’s been 7 months now.

June

I went to Toronto with the family. Actually, I thought I was going to Montreal. It’s amazing how poorly I read my emails. Toronto was great. I recommend the Bata Shoe Museum and all the Chinese food. All of it. I also got a sun tan that lasted for months afterward, because I kept biking to work. It was a little embarrassing when people asked me why I was so tan and I said I got it from visiting Canada…

I went to my friend’s 40th – korean BBQ and a strip club, at her request.

I started a one meal a day diet.

I tried salsa dancing and a billiards league and realized how impossibly bad I am at both.

Over the next few months, eight of my friends and colleagues will leave my firm or the area.

Around this time, I had to start forgiving myself for whatever had happened with my ex. But I found out that throughout the year I had trouble concentrating at work, perhaps adjusting to losing my best friend.

July

I went back to volunteering at my local food bank.

I visited the Air and Space Museum Planetarium for the first time.

I started dating a guy who made no eye contact on our first date and whose politics could adequately be described as Socialist. But he was very cute.

I saw the Moody Blues in concert. It was epic.  I’ve never seen so many drunk middle aged people.

I started volunteering with an organization as a consultant. The founder is so passionate.

I saw Ai Weiwei’s exhibit at the Hirschhorn, after watching his documentary, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and flipping through one of his books. It’s amazing how he just ignores the bounty on his head and does what he thinks is right.

August

I discovered Sixth and I – an event space that features authors, musicians and activities that feel handpicked by me.

I learned how to pronounce Tupac. It’s not two-pack, apparently.

I tried flotation therapy and got rid of this lingering headache from being around construction consistently for a year. I also did a month of infrared sauna therapy but I can’t tell exactly how many toxins that removed.

I started a coffee date with a colleague. It’s nice to have the break.

I played mini golf with my nephews. They are not good at it. But they really enjoy it. I don’t think they would enjoy it as much if they knew how bad they were at it.

This was the one year anniversary of my breakup. It’s getting better, I promise.

My mom made me pig’s feet stewed in black vinegar. She said it was supposed to help me with my lady times. Don’t know why all of a sudden she thought of this….

I turned 34.

September

The Socialist moved to Germany for a post-doc.

I got a kidney infection and still worked 70 hours that week.

I tricked out my bed with a new mattress topper, pillow and sheets. This actually made it harder for me to get up in the morning because I was so comfy.

October

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Paris on a cloudy day.

I went grape stomping and channeled my inner Lucille Ball.

I started working on my blog and Twitter. I made massive gains. I mean, as they say, I started from the bottom and now I’m a few inches off the ground.

I got a face massage at the no-frills Chinese place near me. I have a lot of tension in my face so it was quite nice.

I visited Paris and Amsterdam for the first time, tagging on the business trip of my Craigslist friend. If I’m being honest, I liked Amsterdam better. But I’ll always love a place that loves bikes. I saw the Socialist in Germany. It was surprisingly romantic.

I learned my Baltimore friend had cancer.

November

I submitted an article to a blog I like. I was rejected.

I tried Nanowrimo but fell behind quickly. I was writing a semi-true memoir. My title: “Your Grandpa was named Luck, and Other Lies my Parents Told Me.”

I went to Richmond to run a race in sub-20 degree weather and tour the much-maligned monuments.

I found a new Craigslist friend. He also found out he had cancer.

I learned my ex had moved to Atlanta. LinkedIn told me.

After a month of daily posting, I was featured on Rock Star Finance! It was very exciting but also very weird having visitors and for a moment, I considered trying more strategies to get more visitors. And while that’s important, I didn’t want to change what I wrote about. This blog will always be a passion project for me – and will probably never have a lot of visitors. I’m ok with that. But I will try to do a better job proofreading just in case someone does stumble on the site.

December

I cut out my home wifi to give myself less excuse to stay in my apartment. Apparently, I can still use a local hotspot – but at least I save $50/month.

I saw my good friend with cancer. He looks really good! But it’s a long road ahead.

I threw a college reunion party. A lot of people couldn’t make it, but I’m glad we didn’t cancel. It’s nice to catch up with people you’ve known for a long time and who like each other. I had to kick them all out at the end of the night, they wouldn’t stop gabbing.

I tried a lot of new things this year and I want to try even more in the next year. My resolution is to have 3 failures every day. On that note, on December 31, I asked someone out on okcupid and signed up on dancepartnerfinder because I’m a terrible dancer.

What was most memorable about your 2017?

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Hearts wall.

6 thoughts on “2017 in Review: A Life Online and Off

  1. Happy New Year Lisa! I am impressed that you not only read your journal but type it and analyze your activities. Wow. I too write daily and try to review journals once a year but eventually I become so bored that I stop reading! I am happy with my life but I don’t think anyone will be basing a novella on my actions any time soon. 😉

    Enjoy the new year and keep putting yourself out there with your entertaining, volunteer work and socializing. You may very well make a heart connection this year but if you don’t, it won’t be because you sat at home and watched mindless TV. Good luck! 😁

  2. Let me make clear that this is the first year I’ve written and typed up my journal. And also I have a terrible memory!
    Thanks for the encouragement. Good luck in your 2018 as well!

  3. As a fellow DC-er, I am intrigued by your no-frills Chinese place, as well as where you did your flotation therapy. I have been thinking about trying it!

    1. The no-frills Chinese place is in the Crystal City underground! It’s great. Flotation therapy was in Bethesda (about a mile from the metro) but I think there’s a place in DC as well.

  4. I read this post once a week. I’m a creep ha! Your 2017 was rich and filled with so much success (and a few failures, which you were so kind to share with us, makes me feel less alone!) This post inspired me to journal every nigh. While I’ve only been journaling a month, I keep looking back and I’m like “wow, nothing has changed.” 😂 I need to give it more time.
    I cannot wait to see what you conquer in 2018!

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