Tens: A Year in Review

The end of the year comes—like sleep and falling in love—slowly, and then all at once. I've been planning for 2016 for weeks now, looking at things already on my schedule and placing others in wherever I can make them fit. But in my eagerness for that fresh start I so love each year, I want to make sure I give 2015 its due.

It's been a good year. Not without its low points, of course, but with more high points than I can count. So like any good Type A blogger, I decided to make some lists to send 2015 off with gratitude.
Blog Posts
I try to not ever post something I would look back on as "filler." You guys take the time to come here and read each post to see what I have to say, so I always try to write and publish a post I'd like to reread. Even still, there were a few that stood out to me, and judging by comments and page views, all of you too:

1. Blogging is Stupid ++ "Blogging is stupid because it's just people talking about their lives. [...] Blogging is amazing because sometimes, it's just people talking about their lives. [...] Blogging is amazing because people are amazing, interesting, insightful, compassionate, kind, funny, smart, intuitive, creative, clever, and passionate."

2. Worth It ++ "I knew what I didn't want. I didn't want to be instructed on how or when to be creative. I didn't want to be given "creative freedom" in constraints. I wanted to do my best work the best way I knew how, and I wanted enough respect from my employer to be given the trust that I knew better than he or she did what that was. I wanted work to be about work; I didn't want my life to be about my work."

3. The One Percent ++ "But you only get one first marathon. This was mine."

4. My Life on the Mat ++ "As Ro's student, I felt a connection with a person that I had never experienced before. It was like her commitment to her practice, and her commitment to teaching, equipped her to see something in me that others couldn't, and that I didn't know was there myself. It was being her student that made me realize I wanted to be like her."

5. Yes, Of Course I Am ++ "Yes, of course I am a feminist. Why would I be afraid to say that? I'm not afraid to label myself a woman, a writer, a Jersey Girl, a daughter. What's the flaw in the word "feminist" that has me hesitant to embrace it? It's a descriptor of me as much as the other things."

6. Wild & Wonderful Wandering ++ "I improved my practice, for sure. I learned principles to be a better student of this discipline that I use to shape my mind, body, and whole life. I laughed a lot and even refined my yoga philosophy a bit more. I had some wonderful conversations with a dear friend and met some new and fantastic people I wouldn't have otherwise crossed paths with. I am full of gratitude for this entire experience."

7. 10 Things I Know Right Now ++ "It can be scary—especially for a Type A planner obsessed with her spreadsheets and physically dependent on her lists—to have so many things fall under the "don't know," "not sure," and "ask again later" categories. And not little things, either. Big things, the answers to which impact my livelihood, stability, security, and wellness."

8. Real Women Have Bodies ++ "Skinny girls aren't "lucky." And yes, we can understand what it's like to struggle with our weight. To feel gross in anything we put on. To stand in front of the mirror and hate what we see. To hear comment after comment about what we're eating and how we look. To want to just lose a few more pounds—in just a few more pounds, life will be perfect."

9. Try ++ "I don't always do everything right, but I try to do right by everyone I meet. I'm often kinder to others than I am to myself, and have more than once been too kind to someone else. I've had my kindness mistaken for weakness. I've also been accused of being a bitch."

10. No Fear ++ "And it took writing this post for me to realize I used to be afraid of a lot that I'm not afraid of anymore."

Instagram Photos
1. That time I met Tracy in person for the first time!
2. That time Tracy, Kristen, and I spent the weekend in D.C. for the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon! (Included, meeting Carly the very next day, which I ludicrously did not Instagram a picture of.)

3. My 26th birthday celebration selfie. Call me vain, but I dug this one and this was a cool day.
4. A very Bad Yogi black & white.
5. When we went Wandering.

6. When we celebrated the Solstice and first ever International Day of Yoga in Times Square with tens of thousands of yogis.
7. When I said goodbye to my amazing team and left my job after three years for a future I had no idea of.

8. When I crossed the finish line of my first marathon.

9. Christmas Eve photo traditions with my beautiful, ridiculous family.
10. The obligatory running shoe picture on my two-year running anniversary.

Books
Steph and Jana are hosting a very special edition of their wonderful Show Us Your Books linkup tomorrow, but it falls on the same day as my and Tracy's Training for Tuesday (join us!). I'm sharing mine today, and can't wait to see your best books of the year. P.S., I'm still in the middle of two books that are strong contenders for this list—I'll talk about them in January—but I confined this top 10 to books I had read and finished before drafting.

1. Landline – Rainbow Rowell (review) ++ I still remember how badly I wanted to get back to reading this every time something pulled me away. It wasn't even an option not to include it on this list.

2. The Martian – Andy Weir (review) ++ One thing I forgot to mention in my review of this book is this: It's not terribly well written. There was a lot of scientific language that wouldn't have made sense to me if I tried to understand it. If I had read it rather than listening to the audiobook, I wouldn't have liked it so much. BUT. It was immensely entertaining, and it gave me a strong emotional reaction. It was one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I had this year.

3. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories – B. J. Novak (review)

4. Rabbit, Run – John Updike (review)

5. Shotgun Lovesongs – Nickolas Butler (review)

6. Where'd You Go Bernadette – Maria Semple (review)

7. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes ++ I didn't review this one on the blog, because it took me an embarrassingly long time to start linking up for Show Us Your Books. Anyway, it was the first Jojo Moyes book I read and after a slow start, I ended up really loving it. Moyes' writing was smooth and graceful and I really enjoyed the characters, their development, and the intricacies of their lives. 

8. Yes Please – Amy Poehler (review)

9. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn (review) ++ When I started thinking about this list, Gone Girl popped into my head immediately. I thought that was interesting because honestly, a couple of months ago, I had super mixed reactions to the book (see review). In the end, I'm putting it on this list because no matter what I thought of the ending when I first read the book, this one still gives me very strong emotional reactions even months after the fact. I would have done some things differently had I been at the helm but I can't argue that this book did, for the most part, what a book should do.

10. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin ++ I haven't reviewed this on the blog yet, but I will in January when we reunite for SUYB. It took me ages to read and I don't know why. I loved it so, so much.

Experiences & Moments
One of the really special things about having a lifestyle blog is that we can look back and read in great detail some of the most important moments of our lives. Some of these moments might have faded into oblivion with a few turns of a few calendar pages, but because of this space, I can remember them vividly, now and for years to come.

Some of these link to posts or moments mentioned above, but this year brought me some really incredible, profound, life-altering moments and experiences that bear repeating. Like:

1. Setting a half marathon PR at Rock 'n Roll.
10. Releasing the first issue of the literary magazine I co-founded and am managing editor of, Hellbent.

And that's 2015 in a nutshell. Of course, some links and photos could never capture all the nuances of this incredibly adventurous, fulfilling year. But at least I have these words and snapshots to help me never forget.

What have been the highlights of your year?

Comments

  1. So much of your year has been about running and yoga - two things that make you so happy!! How fun to look back on all the memories - especially instagram - that's my favorite!! Might have to steal that idea! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. what a great recap! and AJ Fikry was such an amazing book, as was The Martian that was the best book I read in 2015.

    Here's to a great 2016 filled with lots of adventures for you!!

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  3. What an amazing year for you! Absolutely a turning point and without a doubt I can call it "magical". Here's to making your 2016 Tens list! :)

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  4. wow! i loved the way you did this recap post, so fun. i also loved looking back on all the things you've done - you're so amazing. i also like what you said about filler posts- i don't mind my silly posts every now and again but next year i want it to be more of a memory maker / what's on my mind, less like buzzfeed-y because it's not as fun to re-read. any. just rambling, i'm tired and my brain is broken.
    so glad you loved AJ Fikry <3

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  5. Happy to see some of my favorite past reads (Shotgun Lovesongs, Gone Girl, Me Before You) on your list, as well as The Martian and Fikry which are on my list this year.

    I love when bloggers give a top posts of the year thing for their blog. I try to do it and it gives me some direction on other blogs for things I might have missed.

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  6. You, my friend, had an amazing year!! Cheers to next year!

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  7. So many of my favorite books from this year and years past on this list! You have good literary taste, my friend.

    Thanks for linking up with us! And kudos on the John Green reference.

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