2017: My Year in Review

2017: My Year in Review


I had NO idea what my year was going to look like going into both 2016 and 2017. Like I was literally feeling like I was staring-into-a blackhole-time-vortex-nothing-exists-oh-my-god kind of no idea.  In general, 2016 was not a good year for me. The idea of 2016 gave me debilitating anxiety. Unfortunately, much of that anxiety was not unfounded. I ended 2016 depressed, so there were many ways that 2017 could easily surpass 2016 in terms awesomeness.

Almost every day of 2017 I have been highly aware that my life was full of so much good. This year could not have been more different than 2016. Still, I began the year not knowing how my life was going to turn out and I can’t tell you just how scary that feeling is. It would have been nice to know that in 2017 I was going to:

  • Ski in the alps,
  • Hang out with my best friend in 5 different countries,
  • Do a project for LVMH,
  • Hang out ALL SUMMER with my two best friends from home,
  • Just be able to do whatever,*
  • Read so many books until whatever time in the AM I wanted to as often as I wanted to,
  • Be able to drink English Breakfast tea again (caffeine has been a big no, no for my anxiety, so the fact I can tolerate some level of caffeine means I’m doing well),
  • and get to raise a puppy!

* See, when you get to do whatever it really means just that. For example, in the fall I did a bunch of acting. I was a background actor in the Handmaid’s Tale and filming like right next to Rory Gilmore aka Alexis Bledel, going out of my comfort zone and took improv classes. Being able to do whatever is the ultimate freedom in life and ugh, I’m so lucky…

I also want to showcase some pictures I probably wouldn’t post anywhere else for their lack of aesthetic, but they’re the kind of pictures that I have saved on my phone because it reminds me of the small unstaged moments. And 2017 was a great year because there were so many amazing small moments that I was able to enjoy and be present and in the moment for.

It’s crazy how many “notable moments of awesome” I had because this isn’t even an exhaustive list of the things I did this year. 😳 It really, truly, does not escape me for a second how good I have it right now.

While there were definitely lows I wanted to give a run down of all the positive things that happened:


Costumes from the 1989 World Tour on display at the Taylor Swift Experience in NYC

Notable moments of awesome:

  • Meds for depression were working and I became a functional person again.
  • Strolled around museums in NYC (my favorite activity ever).
  • Moved to Italy. Okay, I’ll admit it was a little lot scary at first. I will never forget the moment I got into a cab and realized I couldn’t speak a word of Italian. I didn’t even know how to tell the driver where I was going because the address I had didn’t make sense to me. That was super scary.



Old school pin ball machines featuring Wes Anderson’s films/shorts

Notable moments of awesome:

  • Made friends.
  • A friend showed me how to drink from the Milan city fountains and after that I only drank city water (because my tap water sucked).
  • Finally went to the Prada museum and had the BEST cappuccino in the Wes Anderson café.



There was an enormous dog park next to school and sometimes I’d go early and just go hang out with the dogs.

Notable moments of awesome:

  • Traveled totally by myself for the first time and it was actually okay! (For some reason moving to Nicaragua, China, and Italy doesn’t count in my head because I wasn’t going for the sole purpose of being a tourist). I went to Paris btw.
  • I was walking inbetween the coolest mannequins in the most fashion outfits amongst the most fashion people in Collette during Paris fashion week.
  • Discovered Monoprix.
  • Lined up at the new Five Guys on Champs Elysees and everything tasted just like at home.
  • Rounding the corner of the ski trail and seeing Mont Blanc just THERE and being all majestic for the first time.
  • Just chatting with friends in front of a fire in our little Air Bnb cottage on the border of France and Italy.
  • Had the BEST time hanging out with my friend Marie in Barcelona – I hadn’t seen her since Nicaragua. We ate some amazing food.
  • Successfully sneaking into the Alcazar in Seville because I wasn’t gonna come all that way to not see it and it’s not my fault they closed the ticketing booth an hour before closing. (Then I just hung out with some peacocks until I was kicked out (because they were closing, not because I got caught)
  • Got to see Picasso’s Guernica!


A view that was literally breathtaking because of the lack of oxygen. I got a little lightheaded skiing at that altitude (3883 M/1 2739 ft).

Notable moments of awesome:

  • Standing at the top of Zermatt and just feeling like I was standing at the top of the world, with mountains as far as the eye could see.
  • Picnic with friends in Parco Sempione.
  • Just happily sipping on my HK style milk tea and munching on HK style waffles while shopping in the Milano Rinascente. Milk tea was a big part of my semester in Beijing, and HK waffles remind me of the Chinese malls back home, and it was just a weird clash of worlds that made me really happy.


Lucas and his socks.

Notable moments of awesome:

  • Got to see my best friend in Munich and he brought me Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and IDK what I was happier about.
  • Drove myself on the autobahn to the Munich airport without GPS (PS smartcars are not meant to go more than 120 km/h…)
  • Got a haircut in Italian! (Oh how far I had come!)
  • Lucas came to visit me in Milan!
  • Just hung out with Mara (Dutch friend I met in Beijing) and Lucas (Canadian, lives in Chicago, was with me in Amsterdam for a couple days) in Rotterdam and nothing has ever been more serendipitous.
  • Sarah flew to Milan to visit me!!!! And we had the best freaking tiramisu ever out on a patio overlooking the Duomo.
  • Sailing in Lake Garda (and learning very quickly it was not wise to bring out two novice sailors in 15 kt winds).



Notable moments of awesome:

  • My second birthday in a row abroad and it could not have been more perfect. Sarah and I had an amazing tiramisu at Cova and then I took my friends out to dinner at a beautiful restaurant.
  • Sarah and I went to Ravenna and it was SO amazing because we were looking at the art we studied together in AP art history.
  • Sarah and I had a map-less one day romp in Firenze and we ended it with a lavish tea at the Four Seasons (and a sprint to the train station).
  • Sarah took me to the freaking opera because she’s the loveliest person to ever exist and there were many farm animals featured in the opera and it was just so extra and awesome.
  • Walking through Ikea with a tiny puppy sleeping in my bag.
  • Puppy, puppy, puppy



Notable moments of awesome:

  • I bought a pool unicorn on a whim.
  • Became obsessed with soft-serve ice cream cones dipped in rainbow sprinkles.
  • Chilled up in Muskoka with Eryn and fam.



Bloo used to sleep like a puppy ninja. Always with limbs sticking outside the crate and always belly up.

Notable moments of awesome:

  • On the one night I was determined to be lazy and not leave the house, Eryn was oddly insistent that I go over to her house. Obviously, she was gonna surprise me with left over cake, which is the only reason I’d ever leave my house when I didn’t want to. And when I got there, there was actually cake!!! What can I say? I have a sixth sense for dessert. Also, Eryn got engaged, hence the was cake.
  • I started and finished Marie Kondo-ing my life. I like when my belongings have “homes” and when I do things like move, I am faced with two homes worth of stuff it caused me a lot of subconscious anxiety. I literally went through all my possessions and I have been Konverted.



The bloob waiting for me at Pearson airport

Notable moments of awesome:

  • Seeing fjords in Iceland.
  • Showered for the first time after camping for 3 days and then went for a really nice dinner in Reykjavik our last night in Iceland.
  • Bloo and Molly met for the first time!



I’m wearing a nice dress under there! It was just so cold and after I put on the gown, I realized no one would really see what I was wearing anyways…

Notable moments of awesome:

  • Bloo walking around in a sunflower cone for a couple weeks. It never got less funny.
  • Walking across the convocation stage in sweat pants.
  • Ate lots of Halloween candy with Eryn on her couch.



The picture I sent home when I was at the Getty

Notable moments of awesome:

  • Watched Eryn try on wedding dresses and she literally looked good in every. single. one.
  • We put shoes on Bloo and it was better than Youtubing dogs wear shoes for the first time.
  • Had a pretty much perfect day. I went to see Hamilton with Lucas, then we had Shake Shack for dinner, and did laundry while listening to Taylor Swift’s new album.
  • Spontaneously met up with Ankita in LA (friend from home, lives in Pasadena now).
  • The chats Lucas and I had while driving up the coast in California.
  • Hanging out with Lucas and Eryn at the same time. Never happens. Has probably happened once before in the past 5 years.
  • Spent a couple hours in the biggest Anthropologie store ever.


Ice trekking on Perito Moreno glacier in the Patagonia

Notable moments of awesome:

  • Gingerbread and gluhwein parties with good friends.
  • Ate poutine and mini donuts at the Toronto Christmas Market.
  • Had a really cool experience on set filming Designated Survivor.
  • Saw the home of Frida Kahlo in Mexico City.
  • Experienced the legendary Patagonian winds.
  • Drank water straight from a glacier.



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