2016: The Highlights.

I was going to make this post about good decisions I made in 2016. But then I got going and it kind of merged with the “times that were good” topic. So I am just going to make it a general 2016 highlights reel.

I thought about doing a separate post about the lowlights of the year. But that seems like it would be a bummer to both read and to write. So I’ll just do a quick recap here and then hurry on to the good stuff. 2016 was maybe the worst year I can remember, but you know that because I spent a good deal of it crying in your general vicinity.

I spent most of the year in my weird ‘I think I’m going to Australia but I don’t know when’ limbo state. I was working so hard to be okay with having no control over all of the big stuff in my life that I started to struggle when I couldn’t control the little stuff. This led to the now-hilarious cracked mug emotional breakdown. Also the ‘the boy doesn’t like me back’  meltdown.

The figurative rug was pulled out from underneath me when I did not get the visa I had waited over a year for. Even though it was taking so long, I really and truly thought I was going to get it and go.

So to recap, I would have to say the low points of 2016 were: (1) the huge sobbing meltdown I had on your bedroom floor, (2) when I completely lost it over that mug breaking and couldn’t figure out why I was such a mess, and (3) that time I called you bawling on the floor of the office. They are all kind of funny to me now, which I think means I have made a lot of progress.

Now, on to the good!

1. I got bangs

I had kind of wanted bangs for ages, but never got them because I wasn’t sure if they’d suit me and I have a pretty serious cowlick that I thought would destroy any attempt. However, I finally found a hairdresser that I trust and who consistently makes my hair look good. She told me I had the face shape and that they would work if I put in a little effort. So I went for it. I know you don’t need proof that they were a good idea, but if anyone else reading this does, here you go:

2. I stopped trying to obsessively treat my breakouts and switched to more natural skincare products

I realize this is a fairly me-specific thing. But I spent the last few years trying to obsessively get my face to clear up by using scrubby face washes, harsh astringents, weak face moisturizers, and acne spot treatments. I visited you once this year and you were all about the tea tree oil. You were mixing it into your face moisturizer and singing its praises. So I decided to give it try. Instead of buying expensive face creams, I switched to Aveeno baby lotion and started mixing tea tree oil in to it. My skin cleared up in a week or two. It was like I was living in a Proactiv commercial. I think part of the problem is that the face creams I was using were not actually moisturizing my face and my face was actually breaking out more because it was dry.

I now use Aveeno baby lotion exclusively on my face and it is working like a dream. I am also a fan of mixing in oils depending on how things are going. I use tea tree oil if my face is oily. Otherwise I usually use Rose Hip Oil.

I have also moved to some other more natural face/cosmetic products. I found an all natural face wash and I use a witch hazel toner. My face is loving it.

Not face related, but I also finally found a natural deodorant that I like and that works. Am I convinced regular deodorant is the worst and will definitely give me cancer? No. But I am not a super sweaty person and I thought that using something natural would make me feel a bit better. AND IT DOES.

3.I switched to a menstrual cup

Some might think this is too much information and I am sorry. Actually, I don’t care at all. This is literally one of the best things that happened to me this year. I will never use a tampon again and I am so happy. This is more comfortable, lasts longer, is significantly cheaper, is environmentally friendly, and has no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. I literally could not be happier. Seriously, I cannot recommend it enough. But you know that because I straight up preached you a sermon on this earlier in the year.

4. I left my job at CROW and went back to work at the sawmill

This maybe sounds bad, like the job at camp was bad or something. That is not the case. It was simply that I had a very hard year and it was time to leave. The whole visa thing really took a toll on my mental health and by the time I found out it had fallen through I was pretty broken. My job at CROW was sometimes undefined and stressful. I knew that another year isolated out at the lake would have been a bad idea for my mental and emotional health. I needed to leave and process the year. It worked out really well that I got the job at the mill just before I found out about the visa. It meant that I was super busy and didn’t have time to lay in my bed and spiral when I initially got the news. It also meant that I had a way to make some money and a way to transition out of work at camp. It also gave me a lot of time to think through everything. One of the features of my job at the mill is that the work is usually fairy monotonous and it is almost always noisy and you work with hearing protection in. This means that I spent 10 hours a day in my own head. At first this was pretty painful. But it meant I had to work through my thoughts and the events of the previous months. It was very good for me overall.

4. I went to Wapiti and convinced you to come with me

Okay, I didn’t need to convince you. I just asked you to come and you hopped right on board. It was a super fun weekend and one of my favourite memories from the year. It is preserved in my memory as a sun kissed, cider filled, feather earringed, tie-dyed overalled BFF fest. We may not see each other as often anymore, but we do make the most of it when we do. I gave you the mission of getting a new and fantastic music festival profile picture for me, and you delivered like a champ. Also, our photos of the weekend in general were just awesome.

5. I figured out my face shape

Okay, so this one is a little bit weak. But I have been wondering for ages and I finally measured it out. I have a heart shaped face. Guess what hairstyle works great for heart shaped faces! BANGS!

6. I figured out my Myers Briggs Personality

I have been frustrated that I could never figure out what I was. I took a bunch of online tests in the past, but I always seemed to come out differently. I had one type that would come up more often, but I kind of dismissed it because it was called “The Artist” and I was convinced I wasn’t artistic.

Cut ahead to a night at a close friends house a few months ago. There were a few of us hanging out and we were about to start playing a game when someone cut in with, “What if we did personality tests instead?” So there we all were, doing online personality tests, and I thought I would give the ol’ Myers Briggs another go. I did the quiz and got a personality that was so completely wrong. I read it out loud and everyone was pretty confident it was not me at all. I decided I would pull up “The Artist” one I sometimes got and read it to them and see if they thought it was a better fit. They had changed the name of it from “The Artist” to “The Adventurer.” When I started to read it out it became very clear that it was, in fact, my exact personality. They when I visited you a few weeks later I read some of it to you and you straight up laughed at me and how accurate it was.

So it is official, I am an ISFP. It is kind of funny that you are my best friend and you are a INTJ. So basically we are entirely opposite except for being introverted. It’s kind of cool actually. Maybe that is why we are such good friends? But also surprising that we don’t fight/disagree more often. Really, if you don’t count Drive, I have a hard time thinking about anything that we have really ever fought over.

7. Got two new tattoos

One was planned and professional, the other was a completely impulsive stick and poke. I regret neither.

I still don’t have a good healed photo of the tree. I will have to do that some time. Thanks again for driving me to my tattoo appointment when I was completely and severely sleep deprived.

8. I was a second shooter for a wedding

I got a random message from a photographer acquaintance asking if I was interested in being a second shooter for a wedding. Turns out all her usual second shooters were busy and she was super desperate. Part of me wanted to say no because it was something I had never done before and, therefore, I would likely not be good at it. And I don’t like doing things I am not good at in front of other people. However, I talked with her a bit and found out that due to the nature of the wedding there was very little pressure on me to get any of the shots. Also, it really intrigued me. I want to be a better photographer and I want to learn how to take pictures of people. I said yes and jumped right in. I had fun, learned a bunch, and actually got some good shots that the photographer used!

I had intentions of doing my own edits of a bunch of them to practice, but I only got around to doing like two. My Lightroom skills are still a work in progress.

 

9. I went to a live Olympic-level curling match

I seriously loved this so much. I watched the Men’s Final of the Grand Slam of Curling when it came through Cranbrook. It was a match between the currently number one ranked Swedish team and an amazing and young Scottish team (I was totally team Scotland, I think I just really liked hearing them yell in their Scottish accents). The Swedes won. As I understand it, I think that this win was actually what put them into the number one in the world spot.

Some things you might be interested to know about watching curling live:

(1) Curling warm up is twenty minutes of dudes sliding the full length of the ice in their rock-throwing lunge to pop music. I could have watched them warm up for hours. I wouldn’t have even been mad if they never actually played the match.

(2) When you watch curling on tv and they are lining up their shots, it always seems like they are just pointing and gesturing and trying not to give away their strategy. That is not true, they straight up yell their plans across the ice at each other. If the teams happen to be from Sweden and Scotland, this makes for some entertaining times.

(3) The ends go by really quickly and they hardly stop between them. When they are covering curling on tv I think they just always skip the first few throws and then a few in the middle as well so it seems like there is more time between each one. It actually goes quick fast.

I really want to show you some of the videos I took (particularly of warm up), but it is complicated to link video to this blog and I am not going to upload them to Youtube. So I will just give you a few photos.

 

10. I climbed Racehorse Mountain for the third time

The first time I climbed it we set up a wooden marker at the top. And by ‘we’ I obviously mean some of the guys in my COLTS group carried up these railway-tie things and put them at the top. The second time I climbed it with our PITs Seth and I dragged one of railway-tie things back to the top (it had kind of fallen off a cliff thing) and we all carved our names into it. This time when we got up there it was still there and my name was still there. There is something great about getting to the top of a mountain and finding your name there. Also mountain top selfies are super fun.

 

I could probably keep going, but ten seems like a nice round number.

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