Reflecting on 2017

I’m back to do some reflecting on 2017! I know I’ve been totally MIA lately, but I’m getting my life together … well, back together at least!

Last year, I did a post called Reflecting on 2016 and it was nice to get everything out of my head and into written words. It’s a tradition that I’d like to keep alive, so here is my Second Annual Reflection post. (That sounds so official, right? No? Just to me?)

From what I’ve heard, read, and experienced, 2017 was really just awful. I had a lot of other words in mind besides “awful,” but it seemed the easiest and friendliest word to use. Anyways, 2017 sucked for a lot of people. I definitely suffered some setbacks this year too. However, I want to focus on the positives of the year.

Without further ado, let’s get started on some positive notes so we don’t bring 2017’s negativity into 2018!

2017 Milestones

⇾ I turned 20! I had dinner with my little sister, Ani, at Panera. Their mac and cheese… just yum! (I’m actually writing this post on my 21st birthday too. I feel so old now!)

⇾ I went on my second weekend away with my boyfriend at the time to Morehead City, North Carolina in February. It was very, very cold by the water!

⇾ I flew out to Seattle, Washington in March for an international symposium about accessibility in information technology for students in higher education and for employees in the workplace.

⇾ I met a domesticated potbelly big in the forest while on a class field trip. I’m convinced that she was the spirit of the forest.

⇾ I completed Questival in March with Margaret and our boyfriends at the time. It was honestly a great experience that I never want to do again because it was exhausting.

⇾ I started a stable and consistent workout and health plan. Sure, it died a few months ago, but I kept it up for months. Now I know that I can do that again!

⇾ I started an Instagram account for this blog. (Go check it out!)

⇾ I flew out to Montreal, Quebec, Canada for an international symposium about the stakeholders in accessibility work in late May/early June.

⇾ I saw so many beautiful sunrises and sunsets!

⇾ I traveled to Mexico with my family for a few days on vacation in July. It was beautiful, and we had amazing food!

⇾ I photographed so many amazing pieces of street art everywhere I went! (The photos are up on Instagram if you want to see!)

⇾ I traveled to the Blue Ridge Mountains with my dad in July to visit Mt. Lyn Lowry, where my great-grandmother’s ashes were spread. It was really hard for me, but I’m glad that I finally worked up the courage to go.

⇾ I went to Charlotte Pride in August and it was PHENOMENAL. The first day, I went by myself. I ended up seeing my friend from elementary school who I haven’t seen in years and hung out with her! When the live music started at the end, I capped off my night dancing on a bench. … I know, right? That doesn’t sound like me, but it happened! The second day, I went with my little sister and saw the parade (it had dinosaurs in it!) and met some interesting folks!

⇾ I traveled to Denver, Colorado with my dad and his wife for my dad’s birthday in September. I did my own thing for most of the trip. Basically, I went used bookstore-hopping and got a lot of coffee!

⇾ I bleached my hair and dyed it indigo. (Margaret helped so much!) Due to my inability to tell time, it got so late that I just lived as a blonde for a day. I did not have more fun at all.

⇾ I participated in a video for a project called State Against Hate. My part didn’t end up in the final version, but I was so flattered and happy that they wanted the Allies for Students with Disabilities to be involved!

⇾ I helped paint the Free Expression Tunnel at NC State for National Coming Out Day and for National Indigenous People’s Day in October!

⇾ I met NC State’s Chancellor Woodson! He’s super nice and was very receptive to my thoughts on the state of accessibility on campus!

⇾ I ate a lot of really great food, including some wonderful brunch dates with Margaret!

⇾ I rode ferris wheels and carousels at the NC State Fair with Margaret in October! Oh my goodness, fair food is absolutely amazing. Chocolate covered cheesecake with sprinkles on a stick, fried mozzarella on a stick, fried Oreos not on a stick… yum!!

⇾ I baked almost 150 mini cupcakes for an Asexual Awareness table in Talley, which I also staffed for an hour.

⇾ I gave my first presentation as an NCBI facilitator to a class of my peers!

⇾ I met Porsha O. in October! Her spoken word poetry is amazing, and I love the themes and messages she uses! Bonus: She followed me on Instagram and likes my posts! Ah!

⇾ I volunteered with Margaret in October at the Annual Equality NC Gala. We got to meet tons of influential people, kept cool rainbow lanyards, and got Jimmy John’s when our food never showed up. We even played games like one word stories, which turned out …interestingly.

⇾ I went to an event at Legends Nightclub in Raleigh in October called Scare ‘n CARE, which benefited Equality NC. I felt right at home in the performance environment, being a belly dancer. There were fire eaters/performers, a fashion show, a burlesque performance, and more! I met so many incredible performers, including an amazing belly dancer from Virginia. I got super sick the next day, but I’m so glad that I dragged myself out on my own to experience that event.

⇾ I made yet another pecan pie for Thanksgiving! Apparently, my skills are in demand! I also made my Thanksgiving leftovers last for almost an entire week!

⇾ I flew out to Seattle, Washington for a conference about accessibility in December. There were a few familiar faces from March, so that was nice!

⇾ I started dating a truly remarkable woman. It’s crazy to think that we met onto 7 months ago; it feels like I’ve known her for years. We’ve been dating for 5 months and she makes me so unbelievably happy every day! I’m so glad that she’s in my life!

⇾ I completed an internship with Rural Forward NC during the fall semester. It was absolutely incredible and I loved every moment of it. It was truly my dream job. I had my very last day (we had a holiday party!) 3 weeks ago on December 12. I already miss everyone! I’m so psyched to see how projects develop while I’m abroad in Ireland this semester!

⇾ I was accepted into an exchange program at University College Cork in Ireland for the spring semester! I’ll get there on January 10 and settle in before my orientation on January 11 – 12. I’m seriously not looking forward to that +5 hour time difference, but I’m honestly just so excited for this study abroad experience!

⇾ I kept up a gratitude project with Margaret during the fall semester. Each day, we individually put up a sticky note with something we were grateful for that day. It was a great way to encourage positive thinking!

⇾ I upheld my position as the President of the Allies for Students with Disabilities. I worked with the university on some cool projects and learned so much on my conference and symposium trips.

⇾ I had surgery to correct my deviated septum in September, which required the surgeon to fix a 90% deviation and to reduce the swelling of my turbinates. He’d already told me that it was the worst he’d ever seen, but apparently the whole structure of my nose was collapsing and he hadn’t been able to see that until the surgery began. While it may have been pretty much a whole rhinoplasty in the end, the surgeon did amazing work and recreated the structure. I had an extra week of recovery because of that, so I got a week to sleep and not go to class. Once it finally healed, I found that I could breathe so much better. I didn’t realize just how bad it was before. Total game-changer!

⇾ I got an awesome new haircut at the Coven Salon in Raleigh. The back and sides are shaved, and the top is pretty short. I think it looks totally badass! I just got it cut last Friday, but I’ve already forgotten what it’s like to have longer hair! This is why I only trust Elizabeth with my hair!

⇾ I met a lot of great people that I had amazing adventures with. Thank you all for being so wonderful!

As a disclaimer, I don’t mean for any of this to come off as bragging. I worked very hard for some of these opportunities, but most of these accomplishments are the result of pure chance and luck. I am so grateful that I was able to do all that I did.

Today’s theme song is this. I had a problem with the music file last night so it just kept playing over and over. Someone introduced me to this song, so blame her if it gets stuck in your head!

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