Thank You, 2017


There's been a meme going around the interwebs that goes something like this: "2016: Caterpillar; 2017: Cocoon; 2018: Butterfly." Cheesy? Yes. But also, accurate. At least for me.

2017 absolutely felt like a cocoon year. It started off with me still reeling from a rough 2016. I spent a lot of this year feeling vulnerable and apathetic, aimless and lost. I cried a lot on my way to work, I spent more time journaling than I have in years, I did a lot of going to bed right after I got home from work and I hunkered down for most of the year, not really having the energy or the desire to give much to others. I was just depleted... I couldn't "give" anything because I sort of felt like I had nothing left to give.

And for much of the year, what little I had left seemed to get exhausted by the news. Natural disasters, mass shootings, Trump's latest atrocity... there was never a time where it felt safe and so the cycle of vulnerability followed by my defense strategy of retreat and apathy continued.

But as I sat down yesterday reflecting, prepping this annual recap and looking at pictures from the year I realized that despite months of working through that depression, a lot of good stuff did happen in 2017. For instance, instead of deaths, there were births: 7 of our friends and 6 of my co-workers welcomed new babies into the world. Instead of poor health, there was self-care: unlike 2016 where I was constantly sick and stressed out and googling WebMD about my newly uncovered Lynch Syndrome, I don't think I visited WebMD once this year or had one health-related anxiety attack.

This was the year that Ryan and I began apart and ended engaged; the year that I recommitted to taking care of myself spiritually and healed so much through A Course in Miracles, surfing and solo travel; the year that I got involved by marching in protest, joining ACLU, making frequent calls to my representatives in Congress, donating when I could, making lifestyle changes and learning about important issues; and the year that I really learned how to let go of what wasn't serving me.

Ultimately, I'm thankful for 2017. It may have often been a dark one internally, but I see now how those dark spots were so necessary for what's coming up ahead. Here's a look back at everything that went into it...

  • Speaking of the Great Orange Embarrassment, I headed downtown to march in protest with 30,000+ other San Diegans in the Women's March
  • Makena, Des and I got to laugh at the great Ali Wong at Balboa Theater to close out the month.

  • Blog life perks continue and I got to take my dad to an SDSU basketball game and hang out in the VIP lounge before the game and at half time.
  • turned 4!

  • A group of us headed out to the desert for the Super Bloom, which was an awesome trip despite the fact that I burned my hand on the fire pit. 
  • Bonnie and I went to the first of several Andrew McMahon shows this year, this one at the House of Blues downtown. 
  • We got another annual St. Patrick's Day dinner in the books. 
  • Ryan and Banjo moved back home after he and I spent some time living apart. 

  • Kicked off April with a day trip to TJ to check out some new places like Plaza Fiesta for drinks and El Taller Baja Med Cocina for dinner. 
  • We took my dad and stepmom to Petco Park's Opening Day.
  • After 7 amazing years, we headed out to the desert one last time for what I dubbed #LastChella and Ryan threw me a surprise 31st birthday celebration at camp while we were there.
  • Bonnie, Makena, Jason and I took a party bus down to Chula Vista to see Kings of Leon perform while Ryan was on a surf trip in Mexico. 

  • In a whirlwind of a terrifying week, we found out Brewer had idiopathic Canine CNS disease and luckily caught it fast enough to combat it with chemo and steroids. He went blind in one eye, but the worst case scenario would have been fatal. 
  • My friends Shanna and Tori and I went to my second Andrew concert of the year, also at the House of Blues downtown, and they helped me take my mind off of Brewer's medical scare.
  • Lots of celebrations! Our friends Paul and Alicia's wedding in Ramona, our friend Anajli's baby shower, and my friend Shanna's daughter's high school graduation party.
  • Our good friends Jeff, Ian and Jason performed another great show as Impossible BW.
  • I got promoted from a Manager to a Director at work!

  • On a nice, sunny afternoon Ryan and I went to Belmont Park on a whim (my first time!), rode some rides, got beers on the beach and had a nice casual dinner at sunset by the docks. 
  • My first and only real dose of art this year was at the pop up Wonderspaces exhibit with Liz and Makena.
  • We had a great time at the OB Street Fair and Chili Cookoff.

  • Rode our bikes to Liberty Station to celebrate July 4th with our friends and then biked back in time for our first fireworks paddle out in OB!
photo credit: @jenawillard
  • Warmed Lindsey and James's new home at their housewarming party.
  • Started to really learn more about the way that plastic, specifically single use plastic is affecting our oceans, and decided to start making some serious lifestyle changes
  • Was relieved to see Brewer finally start to make some progress after a long summer of chemo and meds. 

  • Pretty impulsively decided to take off on a solo 2 week road trip with Brewer to celebrate his recovery. Drove through Utah and Idaho to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, then on to Glacier National Park in Montana. After that we headed into the Canadian Rockies and visited Waterton National Park, Banff National Park and Jasper National Park before heading back home down the west coast. It was an amazing, much needed trip that really helped me to change perspective. 
  • Finally bought my own board, a Stand Up Paddle Board from Isle SUP & Surf, at an incredible warehouse sale. 
  • Ryan went back to school to get his teaching credential and start a new career!

  • We hosted a little Labor Day weekend barbecue and beach day for our friends and family.
  • Ryan and I got some free tickets to our first NBA game, a Lakers preseason game in Orange County.

  • After a crazy start to our sixth anniversary, which involved waking up to find Ryan's truck had been damaged by a hit and run, we celebrated with a nice low-key dinner and wine on the beach with the dogs. 
  • A group of us made it out to OB Oktoberfest for a great evening of seasonal beer. 
  • Bonnie and I went to see an amazing acoustic performance by Regina Spektor at Balboa Theatre and had a fun night out with our friends Megan and Ernesto after at the US Grant. 

  • I went on my first run in a year and Ryan did his first race ever when we kicked off November with The Color Run 5k with our friends Des and Ian. 
  • Got to spend my Dad's 68th birthday with him, cooking him dinner at his house. 
  • Ryan and I went to our first SDSU football game with our friends Megan and Ernesto. 
  • My brother and Claire came out for a weeklong visit and we got to spend some quality time together in Julian, at Liberty Station and in OB. 
  • While they were here, we hosted Thanksgiving for 17 of our family and friends and 5 pups!

  • My brother and Claire got engaged back in Boston!
  • We did all the seasonal things the first weekend in December, from going to December Nights in Balboa Park to picking up our Christmas Tree to watching the OB Holiday Parade. 

  • We attended both our work holiday parties and Ernesto's birthday drinks in one weekend, fully getting into the festivities of the season. 
  • Only a few days before Christmas, our landlords put a new roof on our rental and unfortunately, thanks to our open beam ceiling, we got up close and personal when the old roof disintegrated into our living room and created a giant disaster that we spent the last two weeks of the year dealing with.
  • One last trip to TJ was calling our name and we headed down to Mexico with Makena and Jason and some new friends for Christmas shopping and drinks.  
  • On Christmas morning, Ryan surprised me by proposing on the beach at sunrise
  • I took my dad, Ryan and Bonnie up to San Juan Capistrano to see my last Andrew show of the year, Andrew's acoustic performance at The Coach House. 
  • We celebrated Ryan's birthday at The Casbah with the best friends and some local music.

Last night, for New Year's Eve, we stayed in with the dogs, watched some TV and dozed on and off. By the time midnight rolled around, the party house down the street was raging at full strength and so we went outside at midnight to welcome in 2018 under the almost full moon.

As for 2018? Well, I'm looking forward to this "butterfly" year. So thank you, 2017, for getting me here.