Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016: Year in Review

2016 was the fastest moving year of my life. Here's what happened:

I started vlogging and realized I pronounce a lot of shortened words "wrong" like v-log/vlog, and B-B-Q/barbecue.

I witnessed the biggest snow storm ever.

I traveled on my own for the first time: to NYC with friends and to Colorado and California solo. It was my first time in NYC and Colorado, and my first time in California since I was 10 months old. 

I finally successfully applied eyeliner more than once. I even tried a smoky eye and didn't end up with a black eye. The secret is eye primer. I still haven't gotten the hang of mascara-it always looks clumpy on my eyelashes-or bronzer, but I added it to my makeup bag, so we'll see what happens in 2017. Most importantly, I finally learned how to take off makeup so I don't come out of the shower looking like a raccoon. Makeup remover cleansing towelettes are your friends. 

My life was almost like Friends except I needed the help of online dating apps to find dates. In twelve months, I extensively talked to about 10 guys (this number is important because I didn't know one had to go through so many people in order to find "the one"). I didn't go on dates with all of them, but as soon as I met some of them in real life, I knew whether or not it was going to work out. I'm a believer in love at first sight, so this kind of makes sense. 

I learned that some guys will ask you out but leave you hanging. Some will ignore you and hope you get the hint. Some will mutually know it's not going to work out. Some will ghost you and unghost you. Some only want you for your looks. And some will try really hard.

I also learned that I'm really good at breaking up with boys and that I could easily have a boyfriend if I lower my standards or am less picky. 

And last but not least, I learned to love unconditionally because no matter how much you love someone, you can't force them to love you back.

I spent a whole year being vegan and was dedicated to the cause more than ever-so dedicated that I kind of got into a fight with my sister about it (seems like I can't get through a whole year without having a huge fight with a family member). Being vegan also conflicted my relationship with a boy who didn't think we could have a relationship if I was vegan (he doesn't know how to cook). 

Unfortunately, I still don't know any vegans outside my family because I'm anti-social, etc., but I'm hoping to find more of them in 2017. I can't volunteer because of work, but one of my New Year's resolutions is to try some way to get involved in the community. 

I also missed Veg Fest because of the stomach flu :/ More on that later. 

In addition to learning how to apply and remove make up, I also learned how to cook through a lot of trial and error, which is what cooking is all about. I was pretty good when I was following a recipe (mostly from Vegetarian Meals: Good Housekeeping Favorite Recipes), but I needed some practice otherwise. Even the best cooks mess up sometimes (I realized my mom's food never tasted the same).
I just got Thug Kitchen for Christmas, and I'm super excited to use it. 

My Instagram game stepped up at work (page coming soon), as my style (and closet-I finally got some sweaters) continued to grow (while my wallet shrunk).

I also showcased my rapping skills this year. Some people couldn't take me seriously, and some really disliked my rapping.

And of course I had to throw some social commentary in: 

I have a lot more to say, but I've been too lazy to write out my thoughts. Here's hoping 2017 will bring less procrastination (one of my resolutions is to make like Nike and "just do it").

Speaking of social commentary, I got into another big argument on Facebook when I shared one of Bon Appetit's articles (linked in the How You Should Eat Pho article) with the caption "My culture is not a trend." Let's just say a lot of people were on Bon Appetit's side. 

Outside of the internet and in the real world, I got sick...a lot...and realized how healthcare works. I made a video about this but didn't post it because 1. it was mostly me complaining about my medical bills 2. The election had just happened, and I didn't want to talk politics, but long story short, The Affordable Care Act has negatively affected me (I didn't know I could be on my parents' plan until I turned 26/I left my mom's insurance to save her money but ended up costing both of us more money-her rates went up when I left). 

If you want to hear the long story, read the next paragraph. If not, skip ahead. 

I never received any bills, so I thought my insurance covered everything. I was sent "Explanation of Benefits," but ignored them because I thought they were spam. I was notified of my prior bills (the ones that were never sent to me) by a collection agency, who charged me interest. I only logged into my insurance after receiving these bills. That was when I found all the ignored EOBS and learned what a deductible is and that mine is a lofty $2,000-a number that I will never reach, which means I'm wasting $40 a month on health insurance I'll never get to use because I can't afford to pay the fine for not having health insurance. For me, going to the doctor's without insurance is cheaper than going to the doctor's with insurance. The thing is all the ailments I had were self-diagnosed, but I had to go to the doctor's in order to be cured. I also went to the doctor's a couple more times than I had to because I thought it was free. How childish of me.

I received a fortune cookie that perfectly described this situation:
"Good health is a man's best wealth."
Never again will I go to the doctor's-even if I'm dying.

To end this reflection on a more positive note, 2016 was a year of personal growth or in Kylie Jenner's words, "realizing things." I became more independent thanks to Pokemon Go and a person mentioned above, who made me value "me" time. I became more mindful thanks to a couple of mindfulness books my uncle gave to me, and last but not least, I finally found people, including me, who value me.

One of the many nice pictures I have of 2016. 
Cheers, 2016-you weren't that bad as Buzzfeed made you out to be.

Edit: I was also really sad in 2016 because of said boy, which is why I had lulls in creativity, but it's 2017, and I'm done with that shit.

P.S.S. I also learned I'm allergic to cactus this year after eating tacos and breaking into hives. Good times.