The first week of the December has come and gone, friends! How are you doing with the December Reflection Challenge? It’s been helping me slow down for just a few seconds every day to reflect on all the good things that happened in 2016 – my happiest memories, biggest accomplishments, and favorite milestones.
And now we’re coming to the end of the week, which means it’s time for me to do a Weekly Wrap-Up and account for what I crossed off my bucket list over the past seven days. Only this time I’ll be looking back on the past two weeks, since last Friday I posted my Winter 2016-2017 Bucket List instead of a Weekly Wrap-Up.
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been feelin’ the lazy bug lately. My fall semester of grad school is wrapping up and that means it’s finals time for me. Which means all I want to do is wrap myself up in some cozy blankets, pour a nice glass of wine, stare at my Christmas lights, and ignore any and all responsibilities I have to be a real person.
(I may or may not be doing that very thing as I sit here on Thursday night typing this. Hello, Pinot Noir. You are my friend. Please don’t make me do a single thing.)
But anyway, I’ve been trying to push through my lazy bug, make like Nike, and just do it. Life is short. This winter, though it may seem long at its outset, is actually going to zip by super fast. I want to make the most of the time I have.
And that means doing more than just sitting on my couch with my lovely, delicious, perfect-in-every-way Pinot Noir.
So I’ve been getting to it and making the days count. I’ve been dreaming and striving and working and chasing adventure.
Even though my roommate just said, “That’s my favorite thing about myself” to a video of her lounging and finishing a glass of wine, and I kind of agree with that sentiment when I think about myself.
Anyway. Enough about wine. This post isn’t about wine.
It’s about what I did this week to make life worthwhile.
This week, I…
1. Threw an epic party! (#8, short-term list)
This week my roommates and I hosted a lil holiday shindig, complete with fantastic decorations, lots of delicious food, and ugly holiday sweaters galore. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a while, friends. People are hilarious.
Especially when they play Heads Up. Have you ever played Heads Up, aka one of the best apps out there? It will make your sides hurt with how hard you’ll crack up to what your friends do and say.
And overall it was just nice to have lots of great people in one place. There was a warmness in our house and I loved that feeling.
Community, man. It’ll make you a total sap.
2. Started writing poems every other day…again. (#5, short-term list)
If you’ve read some of my other Weekly Wrap-Ups, I talk about how I failed at one of my short term bucket list goals to write a poem every other day during the fall.
So I made it a goal to revisit this bucket list item during the winter. And so far I’ve been mega successful. More successful than I anticipated, in fact. I don’t expect this to last, but I’ve been writing poems every day rather than every other day.
That’s been nice. I feel more in touch with myself and who I am when I’m writing creatively. Writing has always been a part of me, and it makes my heart kind of sing when I’m diligent about tapping into that.
I know there will come a time when I just won’t want to write a poem on a day when I’m supposed to, and I’ll have to push through that barrier when I come to it. For now I’ve set reminders on my phone so I don’t forget to pull out a pen and paper and capture something.
But this whole process has taught me a lot about failure and what it means to me, and what messages I’ve internalized about failing that have not served me. I’ll definitely be posting here about it, so stay tuned.
3. Signed up for another Spanish class. (#3, short-term list)
GUYSSSSS. I’m so excited about this one!
I asked my Spanish teacher if she thought I’d be ready to take on the next class in the series of Spanish classes offered by Fluent City, and she said yes! So I signed up for Spanish 4 while there was a deal going on at the language school.
Woo! We’re on our way to fluency, people. And that’s kinda cool.
I do feel that my Spanish has drastically improved at Fluent City. They’re approach to teaching languages is super effective and I am a huge fan. I can’t wait to take Spanish 4 and I’m so pumped about the opportunity to get even better!
Definitely check them out if you’re in a major city – they may have classes in your area for a language you’re interested in learning.
4. Lived in NYC and took advantage of city opportunities. (#40, long-term list)
Crossing off #40 on my long-term bucket list is really special to me. Like, makes-me-wanna-cry special.
Like many people, I had teenage dreams of living in NYC for a few years in my young adulthood. Something about this place captured me: the energy, the struggle, the excitement, the endless opportunities, the weird and fascinating people, the beauty of contrasts everywhere you turned.
When I got the chance to move here from Virginia to pursue graduate school, I knew I had to come. I turned down the top graduate program in my field so that I could spend a few years leaning into everything NYC has to offer, because the other program was in Michigan and while Michigan is super cool…something about the city sucked me in.
And for the first year and a half of living here, I never felt like I could cross of #40 on my bucket list, which was to live in NYC and take advantage of city opportunities.
I always felt like there was more to NYC than I had grasped. I felt like I would never fully hold NYC, that there would always be more to do, more to see, more to feel.
And that’s still true. I could spend entire lifetimes living in NYC and I would never finish discovering new things about it.
But lately, as I’ve had a few friends come and visit me and I’ve planned for the upcoming arrival of others, I’ve felt a growing sense of something I’d never felt before: belonging.
I felt kind of, just a little bit, like a New Yorker.
I know the secret bars, the most peaceful times of day to ride the Staten Island Ferry, the best subway cars to get on during rush hour so that you’re less likely to be pressed into someone’s armpit. I have a bagel place. I know I would pick The Whitney or The Met Breuer over the traditional Met any day of the week.
I could practically give tours of the 9/11 memorial or the most gorgeous parts of Central Park, but I also know that there’s nothing quite like a long run down Riverside at dusk to make you feel a part of the throng, like your soul is being knit into the hum wafting across the lights in all the windows and you’re connected to everyone else somehow in this crazy supernatural way, just because you’re here, you’re part of it, you’re in New York.
Cheesiness aside (time to put down my wine, huh?), I feel this beautiful, comfortable, jarring centeredness when I walk down the street that wasn’t there before.
And while I could spend ten more years just eating up everything NYC serves me, I know that if I leave in the summer after I graduate, I’ll have done exactly what I came to do.
Thanks for reading this! What’s going on with you this week? Have you crossed anything off your bucket list lately? What are you going to do in the week ahead to make it a meaningful one?