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December 21, 2017 Comments (0)

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same—Except in 2017

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Photo Credit: Unsplash / Michal Lomza

I could easily say 2017 was “interesting.”

But that would be going with a generic adjective people use when they’re too lazy to actually come up with a legitimate description. The truth of the matter is, 2017 was horrifying (for the world), relatively bland (for pop culture) and confusing, yet motivating (for me, personally).

Well, to begin, waking up literally every single morning to a handful of L.A. Times and CNN push notifications regarding either a horrible Trump decision, a deadly fire, a mass shooting or other form of terrorist attack, was no motivating way to start a day. I get that most hard news in general isn’t good news, but it gives me chills thinking about how 2017 marked the year that Columbine was no longer one of the 10 deadliest shootings in modern U.S. history. It used to be that we feared getting on a busy freeway in the rain, or walking alone to our car late at night—now it seems our lives are at risk by casually strolling down a busy sidewalk in the middle of the day. Yes, to the United States as a whole, 2017 was the the worst year I can remember.

Photo Credit: Unsplash / Alex Iby

But for me, personally, it really was an “interesting” year.

Let’s start with the craziest, most enlightening thing that’s happened to me ever: the spiritual awakening that took place right after my birthday in July.

My cousin Mollie was visiting from Boston, and she is a certified reiki specialist. I’ve had the process done in the past, and felt nothing. When Mollie performed this on me, everything transformed. It was legitimately life-changing. After feeling in a rut around my birthday, it was like my life was turned upside-down (in the best way possible). I recounted the entire experience on Sweety High, but in short, the process made me feel so much more positive, strong-willed and confident. It was incredible, and the two months or so that followed were the most amazing months I’d experienced in a very long time.

In addition to this spiritual transformation, the year had other highs. I made a difficult decision that I don’t regret for a second, I kicked a poor habit, I kept one of my new year’s resolutions (drink enough water each day!), I finally created a living space that feels like home, I finally utilized my oven, I strengthened so many friendships, I have a really fun job, I have my health and my family, and (for the sake of vanity) I finally found a haircut and color that I absolutely love (this has probably never happened).

Photo Credit: Unsplash / Amy Treasure

But amid the positives, there also was this feeling of confusion and longing for old times. This was the first year that I really noticed the change in generations. Long gone are those iconic days of AIM and BBM—and granted, they’ve been gone for quite some time, but to really see just how much everything around me has evolved or gone away in the last year was difficult in many ways, because those things from the past were connected to some of the best times of my life.

I mean, even the seasons didn’t feel the same this year. My favorite season fall totally came and went—and despite throwing my best annual fall party to date, there was barely a breezy day to the season’s name. And then you have winter, which has basically been summer reincarnated. These two seasons, which I normally love for their peacefulness and comfort, didn’t quite feel as such. I also miss busting open a magazine for a dishy breaking exclusive—now everything’s online or on social media. Little things like these all added up for me.

I also spent a lot of time worrying this year. I guess I always do that, but in the past I was more worried about what everyone else is doing, as opposed to thinking about age and the future. This year, I focused less on petty thoughts, but rather lived days in fear of what will happen to my loved ones in the future, what will happen to me in the future. Even though I held a positive outlook for the most part, as you get older, you think more about where you’ll end up, how you’ll die, if you’ll finally get married, if your parents will receive heartbreaking health news, if you and your friends will drift apart. It’s a lot to think about. I am a free-spirit in a lot of ways, but I can also be bogged down with negative thoughts. Sometimes it’s hard to live in the moment, when there’s always that what’s-to- come-next. I am so incredibly lucky in many ways, but it’s always easy to think about what you’re lacking, and that’s really difficult. And even when you are counting your blessings, you’re left wondering if something really bad is bound to happen.

When it comes to technology, some advancements have been truly remarkable. I think I speak for everyone when I say Lyft/Uber, Waze and Venmo have been life-changing. I can’t imagine a world without them. But at the same time, technology has become so advanced, that it’s really hard to keep up. Everything is about paid sponsorships. Everything is about social media. Remember when we simply posted a status update on Facebook? It’s great that we have access to so much, but I actually do long for simpler times, because now nothing’s special, nothing’s sacred. Even two years ago, I would spend countless hours finding new music and being so excited to share my findings with whoever would listen—but now, every song, every artist, everything is everywhere. Not only has music (mostly) gone to complete shit overall, but it all sounds the same, and really, finding a hidden gem just isn’t fulfilling the way it was in the past. I really miss finding rare songs on YouTube and converting them to .mp3 files that I could download to my iPod. The songs on my iPod are the best. Need to revive that thing.

Photo Credit: Unsplash / Sabri Tuzcu

There’s just so much to keep up with, like especially with TV. I seriously do not get those people who watch every show. There are so many freaking shows and so many networks. I am literally blinded by all of the gigantic billboards on Sunset Blvd., because new day, new show. WTF! I really just long for those simple days of The Hills. There will never be another show like that, and those days were so classic.

Going back to the change in generations, this was this first year that cyber stars and “influencers” really came to the forefront in the mainstream. As someone who has only ever followed one YouTuber in her life (Chris Crocker—that “leave Britney alone” dude, who had a slew of funny skits in his prime), you can imagine my shock and confusion when hundreds of names I’ve never heard of (and hundreds of videos I cannot relate to) were spewed out left and right. It’s been a lot to take in. I suddenly feel like that old lady going on those “when I was your age…” rants to my much-younger coworkers. Yes, really.

Photo Credit: Unsplash / Aris Sfakianakis

For the first year ever, I found myself going to events and not recognizing a soul (whether guest or celebrity/”influencer”). And everything has become one big curated Instagram party. Don’t get me wrong, I grew to fall in love with Insta Stories this year, but for the sake of pure fun.

It’s a good thing I’m so into makeup and skincare, because goodness gracious, there is so much to keep up with in that realm. Even following it as much as I do, there’s still so much I haven’t used or heard of, but I will say, thank goodness for advancements in this area. I’ve often thought back this year to when I was in high school and I had the crappiest hair you can imagine. It was insanely frizzy, I think burnt orange (gotta love a stripey highlight from a shitty hair salon!) and I never envisioned the day I would have enviable locks. This is the very first year (thanks to services, products, tools and incredible stylists) that I’ve been able to manage my hair and feel confident with it when I leave the house. I’ve also gotta say thanks to whomever came up with highlighter for the face. GAME.CHANGER.

So in that regard, I am definitely grateful for advancements in technology and products in general.

In retrospect, 2017 was a different year, I guess you could say, but not a bad year (personally speaking). Mixed emotions, but I think it paved the way for positive steps in 2018. I firmly believe that each year makes you stronger for the next year, and quite frankly, even if I can’t relate to the current batch of youngins, I enjoy getting older for many reasons. I think life gets better each year you age. I’ve finally come to terms with the changes in generations and technology, and accepted what is the new normal. It’s still a little challenging to adapt, but alas, that’s how it’s gotta be.

Happy, healthy new year to everyone! As I sit here setting my intentions for a strong 2018, it’s interesting to go back and read my intentions for 2017, knowing what I know now. In the year to come, I would like to update my blog more (it’s been hard to balance with a full-time job), eat better and workout more (same ol’, same ol’), and continue along the path I’ve been going down, because for the most part, I’m making positive strides. I just need to put forth more effort in most areas and sometimes sacrifice fun for what’s ultimately going to make me a happier, better person. I can do it.

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