2015: A Year End Review

When I sat down to write this I was feeling pretty good about 2015, but after reflecting on my year and re-reading my recap for 2014, I haven’t made that much progress. Another mostly forgettable year, perhaps proving my theory about reaching my 30s and remaining single. Still, I continue to be optimistic that good things are ahead. Or at the very least, the acceptance that this is what life is is ahead which will bring with it some type of contentment. (Self proofing note: This sentence is difficult to read. Feel free to leave your edit suggestions in the comments.) And yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “Rachael, you’re a total sad sack,” but I swear in my mind this is a totally optimistic outlook. We’ll address that more in my resolutions, but now, the year end breakdown…

Best experience: Unplanned Branson weekend getaway.
Worst experience: Mom’s surgery. (She’s fine now.)

Top 3 movies I saw:
1. Inside Out
2. The Big Short
3. Spotlight

Bottom 3 movies I saw:
1. The Sisterhood of the Night
2. Maggie
3. The Boy Next Door

Most enjoyable movie watching experience: Wild Tales

Best musical discovery: The Fjords “All In”
Best musical rediscovery: Frida “I Know There’s Something Going On”

Best sports moment: Kevin Durant is healthy again. I don’t know if that’s a “moment” per-say, but it’s my list, so I’m counting it.
Second place goes to all of those pictures Steven Adams has been posting with his shirt off.
Most heartbreaking sports moment: Tony’s injury… then Dez’s injury… then Tony’s injury.

Best new TV series: Scream Queens
Binge watching recommendations: Making a Murderer (Netflix); Show Me a Hero (HBO); Master of None (Netflix)

Top 3 local discoveries:
1. Top Golf (North OKC) – I’d never picked up a golf club in my life when I walked into Top Golf. However, I still managed to have a great time completely whiffing and making an idiot out of myself in front of my co-workers. I will definitely be invited to golf with clients based on my outstanding performance. I also went back with a friend later that night and got donuts that you inject filling into with a syringe. They were pretty tasty and I don’t even like donuts.
2. Yucatan Taco Stand Tequila Bar & Grill (Bricktown) – Since I’ve started working downtown I’ve been introduced to many new restaurants, but the one that stands out to me is Yucatan. Maybe it’s the flex Friday margarita talking, but everything I’ve had there is delicious. Plus it comes with a nice view of the canal.
3. Kamp’s 1910 Cafe (Downtown) – I honestly don’t remember a thing about the food, but I vividly remember the Fudge Bomb Latte and that alone is worth the trip.

Bragging rights for 2015:
I made Jemaine Clement laugh uncomfortably with an inappropriate sexual comment. It’s a real skill of mine.

Top 5 road trips:
1. Unplanned weekend trip to Branson, MO
2. Family vacation in Branson, MO
3. Labor Day in Branson, MO
4. Mad Max at the Admiral Twin in Tulsa, OK
5. Splatter U at Circle Cinema in Tulsa, OK

Other things worth noting:

I got a new job (again), this time in a field I’m actually interested in – writing. In March I became a Content Marketing Specialist for BigWing Interactive. Don’t know what that means? You can read all about it in the ONE other blog post I wrote this year. (Ugh. Ashamed. More on that later.) To say it’s been a challenging job would be putting it mildly. I’d need to borrow some hands to tell you how many times I’ve heard some variation of the phrase, “I have no idea how you do your job. It sounds impossible.” Yet, I’m happy I’ve had the opportunity to work for BigWing for the past nine months. Yes, I’ve had struggles and no doubt that they will continue in 2016, but I have learned more than I ever thought I could and I think I’ve come out better for it. I adore my co-workers and the culture they’ve built. The “suits” actually ask for your opinion and encourage grass roots change. That is different than anywhere I’ve ever worked in my 16 years of steady employment. They’re trying to be better. We’re all trying to be better. That is a rare and beautiful thing. And while I wasn’t blogging here, I was creating a few things I’ve pretty proud of elsewhere. Like this. And this.

I also once again upped the amount of work I do for free by taking on two new podcasts – Mr. Presti’s Neighborhood and Pulp Flicktion. As you hopefully gathered from the name, Pulp Flicktion is a movie podcast where me and two dudes just sit around and talk about new films, old favorites and occasionally TV. It’s the brainchild of Jacob (one of the aforementioned dudes). Mr. Presti’s Neighborhood, which will henceforth be referred to as MPN, is a OKC Thunder podcast inspired by the community on DailyThunder.com. The host stays the same each episode, but we rotate guests. In 12 episodes we’ve gone from talking to other fans to chatting with The Oklahoman’s Anthony Slater, ESPN’s Royce Young, SI.com’s Ben Golliver and NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin. Kind of crazy these guys take a couple hours of their lives to talk to us nobodies, but they do and it’s been incredible. I’m really hoping for big things in 2016. Oh, and since I haven’t said it yet, I’m the producer for MPN, so don’t expect to hear me on there. I leave that to the professionals.

2015 resolution ratings:
Do something – C-

2016 resolutions:
Take a road trip one weekend a month. That’s 12 trips, math whizzes.
Why not start off super ambitious, right? These don’t have to be huge trips, just places that aren’t my couch. Mt. Scott in Lawton, the Castle in Muskogee, Oklahoma’s “Little Italy” in Krebs, the Talimena Scenic Byway in Hodgen – we’re talking mostly day trips here. Maybe a few out of state destinations, but within 6 hours. I’m open for suggestions. And companions. I assume I’ll be taking most of these journeys solo.

Write for pleasure.
There is some truth in the advice to never do anything you love as a job. Writing is something I enjoy and find therapeutic, that is until it’s tied to a deadline and a paycheck. Then it becomes work. Thinking of writing as a job has squashed my desire to do it in my free time. (I actually try not to look at a computer at all in my free time because computers equal work.) But I do love it. And writing this year end recap for you fine folks is considerably different than writing a blog about auto recalls. I need to do this type of writing more to help even out the work writing.

Stress less.
If there was one word I would use to describe 2015, it would be “stressful.” Isn’t that a shame? 365 days and I used the bulk of them to stress about everything from deadlines to dinner locations. What a wasteful use of the blessing of time. I cannot allow myself stress that much in 2016.

Own less.
I like things. Things are cool. I, however, feel like I own too many things. My apartment is brimming with just stuff. I don’t need approximately 43% of it. It’s time to downsize and give away the things I don’t use, don’t need and have no sentimental attachment to. Ideally I’d be a minimalist… or a semi-minimalist. Minimalist, Jr. I started my efforts a few months ago, but have yet to do anything but clear out my dresser.

Be happy alone.
This Christmas my cousin gave me a plush toy of Sadness from Inside Out, and while it was hilarious, it was also a red flag… okay, it was more like a shovel to the head. I know I’m not the happiest girl in the world and some things that I consider happy thoughts sound borderline suicidal to you Chipper Charlies out there. I consider myself a realist, but I’d be lying if I told you my view doesn’t skew pessimistic at times, especially regarding my life. Some of you will get this because you’ve been in my shoes – being alone is, by definition, lonely. Loneliness is sad. I have a handful of the absolute best friends in the world and an incredible family that love me more than I deserve, but I do not have my “other half.” I’ve never had another “half.” And yes, I realize I’m being too transparent for the internet right now. Even the Bible tells us in Genesis why God created women – “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” We’re built this way. Maybe there is a “helper” out there for me. Maybe there isn’t. Somehow I’ve got to find a way to be happy experiencing things alone, otherwise I might miss out on my whole life just waiting around for someone who may not even exist.
Geez. Even I think that’s a pretty Debbie Downer statement, which means it’s time to wrap this thing up. But how?

How do I pull out of such an unfortunate spiral?

I’ve got it!

Happy New Year, jabronis!

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