Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: 100 Things That Happened This Year (part 2)

No joke, I actually tried to do myself a favor and started this list in January! But everything seems so slow-going in the beginning, and I often don't pay attention to what's going on because I take it for granted. So then I got bored and stopped, and I'm grasping for memories now. Of course things are always happening, changing, both within us and around us. But so much of what happens are small moments that don't seem worth mentioning, of course until you're sitting down at the end of December trying to come up with a list such as this. It's like waiting until the end of the semester to take notes, talk to the professor, study for the final. But I digress. Picking up where we left off, again in no particular order:

51) Had my 39th and final Session with Sue 
52) Moved back in with my mom after graduating
53) Went on a girls' trip to Atlanta with my cousins for a week in June. Never again.  
54) 168 Asian Mart!!!! In addition to H-Mart, Blossom Cafe & Bakery, Pastry House Hippo, Ajishin, and One World Market. So much fantastic Asian food in Michigan and I haven't even gotten started!
55) After following each of them for years on YouTube and Instagram, I was able to witness the powerful ministry of the Poets In Autumn live! 
56) Two of my younger cousins became Zetas
57) Overcame being intimidated by the MSU Music Building and held rehearsals with Hilena there
58) Kept track of my outings for a while because I'm a corny homebody who doesn't get out much. Tried to recreate a habit I developed in Paris of going out and doing something whenever I had free time, but pickings are decidedly slimmer in Michigan and my boldness tends to wear off when I'm not abroad
59) After 3 years, gave up my crush on YouTuber/comedian/writer David So. Still a  fan, tho! Congrats on the girlfriend!
60) Long Island Ice Tea became my drink of choice
61) Took up throwing my time and hard work into a dark hole of waiting, no answers, and "no calls please"─a.k.a. applying for jobs 
62) Happened upon the Québécois film Incendies while up late fighting sleep one night. It left a profound impression on me, but I was not emotionally prepared. That film stuck with me for days.
63) Went shopping and bought an array of clothes by myself for the first time because Ma kept nagging me about being professional, looking raggedy, wearing the same clothes all the time, blahdeblah. But then I ended up spending over $100, so I came to my senses and haven't bought clothes since. Cheapskates unite.
64) Visited the Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta with my cousins on the day that the Supreme Court upheld marriage equality. Leaving the museum my cousins and I waded through an LGBT celebration and rally that'd formed around the building, and it was the most beautiful moment.
65) Gave McAlister's Deli a try. I can only vouch for the orange cranberry club and the broccoli cheddar soup, but it's pretty good
66) Sang in a circle with a group of my sisters in Congo Square, a sacred space of expression for our ancestors
67) Learned how to eat crawfish! ...and have since forgotten, haha
68) Didn't read a single book that I hated
69) Hopped on the 'Blackish' train late due to skepticism. Binge-watched the first season just in time to watch the second season as it aired and now I'm a fan
70) Participated in all the commencement hullabaloo even though I hadn't wanted to originally
71) Speaking of which, was invited to a righteous senior send-off and meeting of the Black minds in JMC, hosted at the home of one of the tallest and most accomplished academics in the nation. And she's Black too!
72) Bought Madison clothes for the first time since puppyhood. She wasn't a fan.
73) 'Being Mary Jane' aired an episode about depression and suicide among black women ("Sparrow") and I felt like it spoke light to my darkness.
74) Dealt with my post-grad feelings of fear and inadequacy by becoming a hermit. Still working on this one too.
75) Words and phrases I learned from my Louisville cousins: "fahr" (fire, adjective describing something that's delicious or otherwise really good), and "be on yo' neck" (to be turnt or wasted; inebriated beyond help)
76) Rode a streetcar for the first time, in New Orleans. Super slow. Only tourists. Wouldn't recommend.
77) Stromae put his entire Racine Carée concert on YouTube for free and I just about lost my mind.  
78) Thought my podcast diet was full until I happened upon 2 Guys and A Girl during that floaty do-nothing week between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. Their production most resembles a real radio broadcast and they are hilarious.The "Gucci Mane Appreciation Show" had my head hurting from laughing so hard.
79) Big Eyes. Amy. Inside Out. Twinsters. Straight Outta Compton. Creed. (all reviews here)
80) Resisted joining any more social networking sites for yet another year. Been on the same four sites for the past three years, and that's enough. Trying not to let social media swallow me up.
81) Thanks to my new hand-me-down digital piano, was able to tinker around and put rudimentary chords to 7 of my songs. 183 more to go! 
82) Got spooked out of performing again; it's been over 3 months now. Takes so much courage to get up in front of people and do something that you really care about. Just don't feel like I have it in me right now.  
83) Spent December 24-26th hanging out with my cousins, we even had a sleepover. Have no idea how they hashed things out, but all the girls were getting along as if the Atlanta debacle had never happened. 'Twas nice. 
84) Played with the idea of getting a collarbone and/or behind-the-ear tattoo. Basically copying my friend Nyasha 'cause she's fly
85) Let my yoga practice fizzle out. Maybe I'll reignite it in 2016 
86) One of my French professors gave me his copy of Hiroshima mon amour as a parting good luck gift 
87) Was so annoyed with a customer coming at me like I was her personal DJ that I went home and wrote this multi-point piece (part 1, part 2) about why she was wrong 
88) Discovered Bigflo & Oli. When I was in Paris last summer, my fellow interns would tell me how lame they thought most French music was, but this duo of rapping brothers is dope! 
89) Other phenomenal artists I became aware of this year: Cécile McLorin Salvant, Eryn Allen Kane, Andra Day, NAO 
90) Was super into 'Unpretty Rapstar Vol. 2' (Korean reality show competition for female rappers) for a good little minute! I stopped after 5 episodes because it started to feel silly, but a lot of those women impressed me. Yezi, Yubin, Hyorin, and Truedy especially got bars! 
91) Subscribed to Chonunmigooksaram on YouTube! She works hard and lives freely in Korea, and she introduced me to animal-shaped tea strainers! Might switch to loose-leaf tea just to have a little plastic platypus or manatee sticking out of my cup every morning! 
92) In "I'm a big girl now!" fashion, started keeping spreadsheets of every dime I earned, spent, and had in the bank. Happy to confirm that though I may be monetarily poor, I mainly spend money on the essentials: Books, food, and transportation. 
93) Spent my first month back at home decluttering my life, organizing all the books I own and clearing my room of 20+ years of junk. Brought back so many memories. 
94) Started eating avocado. I understand what the hype is about now! 
95) Did a few open mics/Jazz Nights at New Way Bar in Ferndale. Small place but the food is bomb and the atmosphere is laid-back.
96) Started watching 'The Facts of Life' reruns. Show's corny but quite good. 
97) Detroit jazz legend Marcus Belgrave passed away, may he rest in peace. He taught so many of us, including me during my alto sax days.
98) Transitioned to watching Japanese dramas without English subtitles! 
99) Danced in a random restaurant/bar in Royal Oak until 2am with two of my dear friends. And this was AFTER losing control of ourselves at the Stromae concert
100) Found a large community of Black women and Black creatives living in Japan via Facebook. Now whenever I get over there, I'll have more folks to reach out to.

And there you have it. Again, to read my lists for 2013 and 2014, click here.

I hope this year has been at least a little kind to you, and that it brought you many experiences and stories to tell. I hope 2016 brings you even more. Be Happy and God Bless. Happy New Year.

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