(All photos in this post were taken by me during 2016 – and I’m linking up my post with Writes Like a Girl, a fashion blogger I’ve grown very fond of in the past year!)
First things first, you may want to grab a cup of tea because this post turned out to be longer than I was expecting! My 2017 word of the year is POWER (which I’ve felt the need to type in all caps or flex an arm muscle and use a deeper voice when saying out loud). Now, hear me out before you write me off as a super-villain who’s attempting world domination. Of all the millions of words I read in 2016, I was struggling to find to the one to describe my focus in 2017 until that AHA epiphany moment struck.
My word last year was risk and I felt like I only half lived up to the potential there. I took major “risks” in certain areas of my life and by risks, I mostly mean that I openly embraced change. In January, I left my stable job at one of the best law firms in NYC to join a new company and that was one of the hardest decisions ever. I couldn’t be more happy to have taken that chance because after the past year of working with the incredible team of people at my company I know that I’m in the place where I belong career-wise and it’s where I see myself for the long run. I also married my best friend Andrew and we moved into our own apartment together. This transition was one of the happiest and most seamless of my life. I’m thanking the stars for aligning and letting me cross paths with the most amazing man in the galaxy. People often say that the first year of marriage is the hardest but having hit the 6 month mark, if this is the hardest we should expect, we are blessed beyond belief. So while I did take those bigger risks, I still let fear and anxiety control the majority of my everyday choices until the end of 2016. That’s where my 2017 word comes in.
When I started thinking about 2017 and the things I wanted to focus on (saving money, reverting back to my healthy diet, etc), the first word that came to mind was responsible. While I do want to be responsible in these senses, I couldn’t help but feel like that was such a BORING word choice when there are so many others out there. Plus, it didn’t totally capture everything I wanted to aim for. One of the major goals I’ve set for myself (which I’ve already started being better about) is to go out more. To see the friends I love so much, to explore my city that I’ve been having warmer feelings for again, to pay more attention to my blog, and to put more effort into writing and creating YouTube content that I’m happy with. Then I realized that all of these things I want to do are things that I’ve been choosing to neglect. And I have the POWER to change that. So simple as that. I’ve really put a lot more thought into evaluating things this New Year which I suppose is a product of getting older (and hopefully wiser).
A phrase I’ve been hearing a lot of people say lately is “new year, new me.” This couldn’t be further from what I want. I’ve spent the past 29 years molding myself into the me I am today and I’m happy with that person. While there are choices I’m planning on making to push myself out of my comfort zone and minor routine adjustments that I want to make to better my quality of life, I’m not looking to start fresh as a completely new me. Just a better version of the me that already exists.
I can honestly say that this is one of the first years that I didn’t start with the mindset of “2017 will be the year of me!” I feel like I’ve undergone more personal growth in the past couple of years and achieved major milestones far beyond where I ever saw myself at this age. I’m happy. For me, 2017 is the year of my husband, my family, and my friends. I want to do everything in my POWER this year to help them along the way to finding their own happiness in whichever form they’re seeking. I’m not at all saying that I have zero goals and I’m striving for nothing, I’m just saying that I’ve been able to identify the things that make me feel the most satisfied and the things that I want to do going forward. I’m past the figuring out stage which has made me feel as though my path is more clear. I don’t need to exert energy to drowning out the noise and that has made me feel free to be more creative, more apt to relax in the ways this introvert knows will effectively recharge her and like I have more time to give to others. I decluttered both physically and mentally in the latter half of 2016. I don’t feel like I need to be the center of things because I have a firm grasp on where my center is. I’m more interested in investing my time into the people I love and being able to celebrate their successes with them, knowing that I’ve been there for them when they needed a push. I’ve always been a quieter person. I’m a listener who truly hears and my power of observation has always allowed me to see things that others aren’t able to at first glance. This year, I want to make the most of that skill.
TL;DR – 2017 is about me having the POWER to change the things I want to change, utilize my strengths to the best of my ability, continue to focus on self care, and most importantly, to invest my time and energy into the relationships I hold closest to my heart.
Top Ten Tuesday’s are a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which anyone who participates creates a Top Ten list of books based on a weekly prompt they provide (the list for advance topics can be found by clicking the link above).
This is my first time participating in Top Ten Tuesdays after reading plenty of everyone else’s posts throughout 2015. I thought bookish resolutions would be the perfect place to jump in since it’s January which means it’s a great time for new beginnings and fresh starts! I’m not necessarily going to be creating a post for the topic every single Tuesday but I’ll definitely be joining in on the topics I find most interesting.
1) Reading goals
In 2015 I set my Goodreads reading goal at 100 books and I ended up surpassing my goal by 8 books which I’m very proud of considering that I had some slow months in the latter half of the year. I’ve decided to set the same 100 book goal for myself this year because I have a lot going on (ie. wedding planning) and since I was satisfied at the end of 2015, I’ll be happy if I reach or surpass the same goal in 2016! I also want to complete all of the 2016 Reading Challenges I signed up for!
2 Reviewing goals
I did a fantastic job of reviewing the majority of books I read in 2015 and I want to continue on that path in 2016. There were a few reviews that I wish I would’ve written a little closer to when I had finished reading (just because procrastinating bothers me, not because I feel like it effected the content of the review in any way).
3 Book Buying Goals
Unlike most people, my book buying goal doesn’t necessarily have to do with buying less books or spending less money on books because a big goal for me in 2016 is to build an even better Book Collection. I really want to invest in collectible editions of some of my favorites (I’m particularly eying some Folio Society editions). I also want to make a huge effort to read my new release books right away instead of letting them sit on my shelf until they end up in a video like this.
4 Book Photography Goals
I mentioned in my End of the Year Survey that I’ve gotten really critical of my photos to the point where I don’t post as much as I want to because I feel like the reality of my photos don’t live up to the ~expectations~ I hold myself to (it’s RLY hard to get good photos when you leave for work before the sun rises and come home after it sets). I want to make an effort to take a bunch of photos on weekends that I can edit and post throughout the week. My goal is to to post at least one Bookstagram Photo a day (Monday – Friday) for all of 2016. Ambitious, I know!
5 BookTube Goals
I’m really proud of how consistently I was able to post videos on my BookTube channel in 2015. February will be my one year mark and there’s a good chance I will hit 100 videos by that time! (Thanks in huge part to Andrew’s incredible editing skills). In 2016 I want to keep doing what I’ve been doing because it’s my favorite non-work-thing-that-I-treat-like-a-work-thing that I do.
6 Read-a-thon Goals
I want to actively participate in at least 3 read-a-thons this year. I’m currently working on the TBR Takedown 3.0 event which runs through the 10th and I’m definitely planning on participating in BookTube-A-Thon again because that was one of my favorites. I’m also considering RYBSAT. I’ve always wished I could do Deweys 24 Hour Read-A-Thon but I’m an old lady so there’s no way I could stay up for 24 hours reading. There have been numerous times where I’ve tried to read before bed and woke up to my book falling on my face.
7 Book Blogging Community Goals
2015 was the year that I discovered what a huge community of book bloggers there are, thanks in large part to Alexa of Alexa Loves Books who hosted the Book Bloggers Love-A-Thon. I met the majority of book bloggers I interact with regularly during that event and I couldn’t be more thankful! I want to participate in so many more events like this in 2016 (like the OTSP Secret Sister Project, TBTB Secret Santa which is how I met Michelle of Pink Polka Dot Books and I’ll definitely be doing the Love-A-Thon again). I’m really looking forward to making even more online friends that may someday turn into IRL friends. I also want to attend more bookish events since there are SO many in NYC. I feel like I have no excuse for not going to them all! And lastly, I want to make an effort to comment more on the sites that I follow and read every single day. There are probably a ton of people who don’t even know that I keep up with all of their post because of my lack of comments but I swear I’m there and I’m listening!
8 Book Unhaul Goals
I really need to do a major book unhaul and purge my current collection of books I’m never going to re-read, books I thought were okay but I don’t have shelf space for, books I really dislike but I’ve kept so I can hold them up for negative questions in BookTube tag videos and just some old ones that I’ve lost interest in. I just need to make sure I can find a good place to donate my babies and to know that they’ll be loved once I let them go!
9 Goodreads Goals
My number one Goodreads goal (besides the year challenge I previously mentioned) is to keep extremely organized shelves so my end of the year posts will be easier to complete. I remember last year seeing the billion shelves many book bloggers have and thinking yikes! that seems like a nightmare to keep up with. Then I did all of these end of the year posts and I kept thinking, WHY DIDN’T I CREATE MORE GOODREADS SHELVES?!
10 Bookish Organization Goals
Since 2016 started I’ve been using Hazel of Stay Bookish’s Book Blog Planner and I’m pretty obsessed with it! The design is just beautiful and it’s really helped me stay organized so far. I may have even outlined some things I want to do in December of 2016 because that’s how far ahead it’s inspiring me to plan. I also want to make sure that I always carry TWO notebooks (one for blog ideas and one for BookTube ideas) with me at all times. The amount of times I’ve had a great idea and forgotten it due to not writing it down is unacceptable. Lastly, I’m going to continue keeping an iPhone list of books read by month in addition to Goodreads updates because I’ve been doing this since 2012 so it’s really just pure habit at this point.
Hi everyone! I’m super late on my 5 Fandom Friday post this week due to the holidays. Since traveling back and forth to my parents, grandparents and Andrew’s parents houses already constituted carrying gifts, Christmas cookies, clothes, etc., the addition of a laptop to that list did not sound appealing to me in the slightest so I decided to give myself a short break and resume blogging when I returned to NYC. I’m really excited about this weeks topic because my blog was just redesigned by the amazing 801red and ever since my new layout has debuted I’ve been feeling really enthusiastic about posting and sharing more on my personal site. Here are the things I want to focus on in 2015:
1) Connect More With Other Bloggers – I’ve made so many new friends and I’ve started reading SO many more blogs since Megan and I debuted 5 Fandom Friday and it’s made me love this ever expanding community to pieces. I really look forward to seeing what other people post and while I don’t get to comment on everything (especially if I’m reading at work), I want to make more of an effort to email myself a reminder to comment later on posts I really enjoyed so other people know that I appreciate what they’re putting out there.
2) Take Better Photos – I must’ve been a good girl this year because Santa blew my mind when he brought me the Canon Rebel that I’ve been DYING to own (I even wrote about it on a previous 5 Fandom Friday post!). I feel like I’ve come such a long way with photographs (I actually cringe when I look at some of the first things I posted on this site), and photography has become an activity that I really enjoy. It’s almost therapeutic in a sense. I want to continue improving my skills and I may even look into some courses on my camera so I’m getting the most out of it that I possibly can.
3) More Bookish Posts – One of the reasons I’ve been more absent from social media in the past few months is because I cannot stop reading! I’ve been really into as much YA lit as I can get my hands on and I’m really looking forward to sharing more recommendations, book hauls, and just generally bookish posts on this space. I may even add in a YouTube component for reviewing things since Andrew and I have acquired some fancy lighting equipment and microphone recently. Here’s the end of the year book survey I recently filled out!
4) Host More Giveaways – I’ve hosted quite a number of giveaways over on Wear Pink Wednesdays, but I really want to offer more to my readers here and I think one of the best ways to do that is by hosting giveaways. I’ve worked with companies such as WeLoveFine, QuirkBooks, Sideshow Collectibles, Big Honcho Media, and several comic book publishers in the past and I’m really looking forward to branching out and partnering with more companies in the future!
5) Utilize Editorial Calendar – I always feel like I can’t post more than one thing per day and I have no idea why I’ve mentally set this restriction for myself. It’s led to me not getting to post about certain events until much later, or even at all in some cases, and then I feel bad that I’ve already put in the effort for an unpublished post. I’m going to start utilizing my Flashback Adventures tag much more so I can catch up on some missed events.
PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS
- Write a Complete First Draft of an Original Novel – A few years back I had been accepted to go back to school for screenwriting but due to a scheduling conflict with work I was unable to attend. Since then I’ve been spending a lot of time writing for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink, and while I would never in a million years give that up, I am going to make a conscious effort to spend time on more personal works as well.
- Read More Books – A couple of my friends and I have decided to keep a collaborative spreadsheet of the books we read as a way to motivate ourselves to read more. It is by no means a competition because reading is an enjoyable pastime, but rather a reminder that if others can find the time to read, so can we. I had been worried that I didn’t read enough in 2012 until I tallied my list and realized that I had in fact surpassed 100 books/graphic novels. I may post my list in the upcoming week.
- Save More Money – As I’m sure everyone in the geek community can relate to, when new things are released whether it be books, movies, toys or whatnot, I can never resist supporting my favorite fandoms with my hard earned salary. But sadly, I think it’s time for me to become more selective and attempt to be a fiscally responsible adult.
- Move to NYC or Brooklyn – This is going to be the big motivator to force me into my last goal. I lived in New York City during college and it was the greatest experience of my life. Ever since I graduated and moved back home I’ve wanted nothing more than to move back to the place I feel most at home. I spend a ridiculous amount of money commuting back and forth since I’m there 3-5 times a week every single week and train ticket prices are increasing yet again next year. Luckily I do have plenty of friends that let me stay with them, but I would really like a little place to call my own.
- Be Healthier – I am in no way stating that one of my goals is to lose weight because I’m quite happy with my body just the way it is. I have been a vegetarian for almost 4 years now and in that time I have learned the types of foods I need to eat to get all of the nutrients my body requires. I’ve read several books about the food industry and it’s a topic that I find fascinating. Towards the end of 2012 I started eating more sweets than ever and even some unhealthier meals which I am not proud of. I’ll be getting out all of my cravings today and starting the New Year by reverting back to my usual food choices. I have always relied on walking around Manhattan (I walk at super speeds) to be sufficient exercise, but I am also considering giving yoga a try.
- Take Some “Me” Time – This has always been something that I have struggled with. I am ambitious and enthusiastic and when given the opportunity to do anything I leap at the chance. I need to learn to not feel guilty about saying no and to remember that it’s important to take some time for myself as well. It’s this time that will allow me to focus on my novel and on reading more books. Both of which sound like the ideal way to spend extra time.
- Making New Friends – I think it’s important to have a core group of people you can rely on and who can rely on you. I very lengthily touched upon the friendships I have cultivated in 2012 in my previous post and I plan on continuing this trend for 2013. I would definitely classify myself as a people person. Everyone is the main character in the story of their own life and I find it fascinating to hear all about others experiences. Fiction is absolutely wonderful but it is romanticized and I think it’s important to stay grounded in the real world instead of living solely in a deluded false reality. Life is all about connecting with others and sharing in experiences together.
- Maintaing a Positive Outlook – Yes, I’m an optimist. No, I’m not planning on changing that, even after the chaotic previous year I had. I had a conversation with my best friend Melissa (@mechamelissa) this past year that I stand by wholeheartedly. After some of the experiences I had, I began to wonder if I should be more skeptical of people instead of being my usual trusting self. But then I quickly realized that I am never going to change who I am and what I consider to be one of my better traits because of other people. Things happen, not everyone is genuine, and some people have bad intentions, but I’m going to continue to take everything in stride and never lose faith in my belief that people are generally good. I am still going to behave in the same manner upon meeting new people and treat them with the same kindness, respect, and trust that I think everyone is entitled to until they may prove otherwise that they are undeserving.
- Regularly Updating My Social Media Sites – The internet in all of its forms provides endless hours of entertainment. I love my twitter, I love my tumblr, I love my blog and I love my instagram. I update each of these on regular basis (twitter being the most up-to-date and linking with all of the aforementioned sites). This blog was only launched in September but I have already written a number of posts, and I am going to continue to do so, at a more frequent interval throughout 2013. I do however, tend to neglect my Facebook, Goodreads, GetGlue, and This is My Jam accounts, but I am going to make a strong effort to keep them more up to date as well.
- Traveling – After a few years of taking a hiatus on vacation travels due to a terrible fear of flying, I overcame my fear and I traveled more in 2012 than I had in the past six years combined. I went to Florida twice, Atlanta, and Baltimore all within a span of 3 months. It was a lot of fun feeling like a jet setter and now that some of my very best friends are scattered throughout the US between the East and West coasts I plan on continuing my traveling trend. My top choices for travel destinations in 2013 include LA to visit Jen, Boston to visit Betty, Florida again to visit Kristin, her husband Patrick, and my cousin Rachel, and either Chicago for the Wizard World convention or San Diego (finally) for San Diego Comic Con which always occurs right around my birthday weekend.
Every year around December 31st when the weather gets colder and the year is coming to an end, I tend to spend some of my time inside reflecting on what I learned during the year, things I’ve accomplished, and things I want to spend more time improving upon in the coming year. I’m so pleased to say that 2012 is shaping up to be an incredible year for me. There is no doubt that it has also been one of the most chaotic and dramatic years of my life to date, but overall the great things that have occurred highly outshone the bad. I have so much to be thankful for that I wanted to write it all out and document the things that have contributed to my happiness.
Friends – There is no denying that 2012 was a pivotal year for me in the friend department. As I stated in the family section of this blog post, after my mother was diagnosed I had hit the pause button on my life. When 2012 rolled around, and my mother was newly declared as cancer free, I was able to press resume. In my time at home I had made some new friends online through twitter and tumblr and such and I had a great time meeting and becoming close with many of them in real life. But I refer to the year as pivotal because as things go, I suppose I have always been a tad naive when it comes to dealing with people. It’s hard for me to envision or believe anyone to be capable of such terrible things perhaps because I (luckily) could never put myself into whatever mindset is required to commit some of the acts I’ve witnessed this year. For a long time I have always considered myself to be a problem solver and when I see that someone is in need of a friend or advice I do whatever I can to be there for them. This year I learned that some people are simply beyond help and no matter how I may feel, it is not fair to myself to shoulder the responsibility of trying to make them happy. Maybe that’s slightly depressing, but maybe it’s also just reality. But overall and despite everything, I am so honored and happy to say that I have met some of my closest friends this year. That is why as cheesy as it may sound, I am still a firm believer in the theory that everything happens for a reason. When times get tough you find out who your true friends are and I cannot even describe the insanity I may have faced if it weren’t for Melissa, Giovanni, and Cassie. Others have been there for me as well, but the three of them have really gone above and beyond and I love them to pieces! I also met my co-super villain, the lovely Jen who means the world (that we’re planning on conquering) to me! As someone that’s always had a close knit group of girl friends, I’m also really pleased to say that immediately fit in with Betty, Sarah, and Lauren. They’re such a warm, welcoming and fun people and I’m really looking forward to seeing lots more of them in 2013. Especially since we realized that we are the Birds of Prey and this community needs us! And of course there’s Taylor, Tom, and Juan, who have provided endless hours of entertainment with their clever puns and good hearted conversations. Oh! And I could never forget to mention one of my fondest first encounters this year. I had planned on meeting my friend Rachael and former co-blogger/new friend Kim who I hadn’t previously met in person for happy hour. Upon arrival, Kim told me that I reminded her of one of my favorite fictional fairies, Tinkerbell!! I realize this paragraph is getting to be quite lengthy, so I promise I won’t go on much longer. But I also have to mention Alan, who is a warm hearted and knowledgable close friend, Chris, who is an unbelievably talented fellow with a great sense of humor, Marlene, a genuine and kind comic lover who attended an awesome zombie Quidditch match with me, Dan, a cheerful and awesome friend who shares my love of Doctor Who and pens one of my favorite comics, and my longtime best friend and twin, Kristin, who you shall hear more about in the next section!
Work – Kristin and I created On Wednesdays We Wear Pink in August of 2011 and we’ve been the perfect pair of co-writers ever since. We have complimentary strengths and in all of our time together we haven’t yet had a disagreement. I am so thankful to have been blessed with such a fantastic partner. We started our site as a blog where we would each take turns writing a post every other day. Since then, we’ve redesigned, upgraded, and evolved into a site that we’re both incredibly proud of. Our baby has blossomed! In working on our site, we’ve been able to attend a ton of conventions, movie screenings, press exhibits, and even speak weekly on her husband’s hilarious radio show. It also opened doors for us to other opportunities, some of which we can’t discuss just yet :o) This year, I have been lucky enough to attend Toy Fair, where I helped Gary film a segment for G4, which is crazy to think about since neither of us had known it would be their final year, Book Expo America, Star Wars Celebration where I modeled for Her Universe, DragonCon, Baltimore Comic Con, New York Comic Con, and Spooky Empire. And as I also briefly mentioned in the previous paragraph, Jen and I began filming a weekly comic book club called the Super Villains Comic Book Club (@SuperVillainCBC), in which we drink wine and discuss a trade or two each Thursday night. We had Kyle Higgins as a guest on one of our shows, and we have a lot more surprise guests planned to appear in 2013! We’re both so excited to be doing this as it’s a project that we’re both deeply passionate about. Another amazing opportunity I had was to fill in for Jill, and cohost the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast with Alan where we talked about Marvel NOW, Superman and Doctor Who. I feel like I’m forgetting so many other things, but I promise to keep better track for next year. It’s especially much easier now that I’ve launched SuperSpaceChick.com.