2016.

You know what’s funny? I started this post in early December cause I knew it could get forgotten about. Whoops. It’s still the first week, it’s fine.img_2841

People are talking about how much 2016 sucked. Quite frankly it was one of my better years. Hasn’t been my most noteworthy blogging year, so I’m cranking this baby out in case SunshineShannon is still on hiatus come New Years Eve.

2016 was…

1. The year I made myself leave California. The looming sense of figuring out my next steps and the gut feeling telling me they were not to be found in San Francisco finally came to a tipping point. I left three jobs, my close friends, put my relationship on pause, packed my life into my car and drove. You don’t always need change to come to you on it’s own, sometimes you can force it. Lesson #1 of 2016.img_20012. The year I experienced unemployment. Hands down best 6-8 weeks of the year. Maybe ever. Counting all my blessings for having such a soft spot to land as I started over. See my post on New Mexico for pieces of why it was so perfect.img_18873. The year I got my first desk job. And a 401k. And became convinced I was selling my soul to a cubicle. And overcame that nonsense (via help from this human).

4. The year I lost my first desk job. (well, we’re still “waiting to see” what the verdict on this “restructuring” will actually be, it’s safe to say the job I was starting to love no longer exists.)img_27225. On a related note, it was also the year I realized that a 35k salary is pretty meager. Having earned less over the last two years combined, I was drunk on the illusion that benefits and a salary meant I’d be living the American Dream. My living situation cost more, my gas expenditures are insane, and I made the personal decision to invest more into health and happiness, and at the end of the day I was back to the same amount of pocket change that I had before. While it is undoubtedly easier to earn my living (normal hours, a non-treacherous commute, weekends off), the cash disappears just as quickly. While my quality of life has increased with my ability to pay for gymnastics and circus classes, a boba tea obsession, and a comfortable commute to work, that cost me the difference in my income and I still feel pretty scroungy. To be clear, these are not complaints, just Realizations from a Millennial. Anyhow, 2016: The year I understood the Paycheck Disappearing Effect from the lens of a salaried employee. Lesson #2:if you increase your quality of life with your paycheck, you do not actually have more spending cash. (Lesson#3: investing in your health and happiness is worth it). img_3233oh. it’s also the year i got a tattoo (:

6. The year I lost my respect for the government. To add this to the list with the least amount of political rambling, my take home from the 2016 election was that I no longer respect those running the country. I’m pouring all that hope into the smaller non-governmental organizations doing what I believe to be the positive change the world needs. While I’m still scared and confused as to what decisions the government will make in the next 4 years, it got easier to stomach when I realized that they do not have to speak for me. I can still fight for what I believe is right – look at history. Fighting for what was right- and succeeding- is no new thing. In-country oppression isn’t new, nor impossible to fight just because our leader may no longer be a peoples advocate. Lesson #4: kindness and intelligence are not inherently linked to elected officials. Nonetheless, I voted in the hailstorm that was the 2016 election.img_3529

7. The year I witnessed dying. This wasn’t the first time a relative passed away, but it was the first time I witnessed the process first hand and through adult eyes. My Grandad, who I spent a ton of time with throughout my life, was in hospice care for a couple months. Hospice’s job is to let you die comfortably. It’s a crazy thought, but it’s kind of wonderful. Anyway, he left the world in the best way. In his own home, surrounded with his family, his mind in tact, and weekly visits from a nurse named Candy who was just the best.IMG_3474.jpg8. The year I finally realized I was aging. Zero complaints, but I figure I should mark this moment in time because we all have it and there’s no going back. I remember being super pleased with turning 22, and 23. I knew I was in my total prime and those years were a blast. But then this year I had the Holy Crap. I’m 25 which means I’m almost 26 and that’s basically 30 which is the age 10-year old me expected to have life figured out. All of those things above are not important, but it was the first time the thoughts passed through my brain. It’s officially not frowned upon for my peers to be getting married and having babies and it’s now plausible that some of my classmates have impressive career skill sets or are making six figures. What? Yeah idk. Just food for thought now that I can’t really cling to the Recent Grad title.img_3473Let’s call this list at .Welcome, 2017. May you bring more goodness and less suffering. And maybe a new timing belt for my car and perhaps a kitten or two (:

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