2016 has been a truly shitty year. But when I actually think about it, it’s also been a pretty great year. I’m talking about like, other than the entire world falling apart. And I think it’s more important than ever that I make an effort to remember the good stuff.
In the past I’ve called this annual entry my “personal reflections”, but this time I’m calling it the highlights. Because if I were really to reflect on this year I would touch upon a lot of darkness and tragedy…and I just want to keep this post as a beacon for myself in hard times.
So here goes, in more or less chronological order. This year I…
Started my new life of full-time self-employment! For the first time ever, I am neither at a desk job nor in school. I am writing and teaching and freelancing, and I am my own boss. It feels pretty damn good. For so long I was completely terrified to make this change…but this is the best decision I’ve ever made. I feel human again, now that I’m juggling a more reasonable number of things, and I’m so in love with my life.
Began teaching yoga. It’s been an incredible experience. I’ve loved every minute of it — even more than I expected to. My personal practice has changed a ton as a result. I’m also about to finish my 300-hour advanced yoga teacher training, I’ve just completed a prenatal yoga and a kids yoga training, and I’m currently halfway through my yin and restorative teacher training. There’s at least one more coming next year: an aerial yoga teacher training!
Sold my first two novels to Little, Brown. This still blows my mind when I stop and think about it. I’ve already blogged about what a wild ride the submission / selling process was, so I won’t go on about this too much. I’m just amazed to be so, so lucky. I have the greatest agent and the greatest editor. And along the same lines, this year I completed my first ever round of edits under contract! That was exciting. (And kind of terrifying.) Now to survive the second round…
Officiated a wedding for two of my best friends. It was such a beautiful wedding, for two people I love so, so much, and I’m still so thrilled that they gave me the honor of such a hugely important task. Writing that speech was one of the hardest things ever, but I’m so glad to have done it.
Traveled to Taiwan for book research. Another reason to be grateful for my book deal — I hadn’t visited Taiwan in about 13 years, and my revision gave me the perfect reason to go! I got to see some family while I was there, and had an incredible time (far better than I’d even hoped) tracing my character’s footsteps, stumbling upon unexpected things that then made their way into the novel. My husband went with me (vacation for him while I worked my butt off) and it was definitely one of the best trips we’ve done.
Hit Bodega Magazine’s fourth anniversary. As always, I’m so inspired by this brilliant and hardworking team of editors I work with. Bodega would be absolutely nothing without them.
Celebrated my second wedding anniversary (and eight years of being together). My time with my husband feels like it’s been a lifetime. It also feels like it’s been no more than a blink. Every morning when I wake up and look at him, I feel grateful all over again. Seriously — how did I come to be so lucky? I’m married to the kindest, most loving, generous soul.
Was awarded my first ever residency. I’m so thrilled to be going to Djerassi next year for a month to focus on writing the next novel. I’ve never before done a residency, and in fact I think this is only the second residency I’ve ever applied for — in the past even the idea of a residency has never been convenient in terms of my schedule and time off. (Thanks again, self-employment.)
Saw Hamilton: An American Musical live on Broadway. Truly one of the most glorious experiences.
I’m terrified for what next year will bring; I’m sure there will be plenty of awfulness. But here’s hoping that my luck keeps up.