I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing a “Year in Review” post for the last couple of weeks, and until recently, I had no idea of how I wanted to write it. Now that I know how to write it, it’s high time I get this thing out and in the open. It’s truly hard to believe that 2011 is winding down to a close. I feel like I was just surrounded by my friends, sipping champagne, and watching the ball drop. Now here I am, in the last week of the year, blessed to have gotten to this point, and amazed at how awesome of a year I had. The best way for me for me to remember my year, and to take you along for the ride with me is to give you the Top 10 (in no particular order) Moments of 2011. Here we go!
10. In April of this year, I decided that I no longer wanted to perm my hair…mostly because it was costing me too much money on a biweekly basis to keep it up. I went to the hair salon one day, asked my stylist to chop all of the perm out, and haven’t looked back since. Having a tiny fro (which then became a medium fro) was such an awesome thing – I gained some self confidence, got to play around with products, got some cool accessories, and really started coming into my own. A little less than a month ago, I decided to start the process of locking my hair, and I’m definitely excited to see where it is by the time I write a post like this in 2012!
9. I left the nest! In September of this year, I did what I had wanted to do since I graduated from college – move out of Mom Dukes’ house. Now, anybody that knows me knows that that wasn’t because we had a bad relationship or because she tried to dictate my life, because she didn’t, but it was time for me to spread my wings. I feel like my relationship with her is now stronger than ever, AND I have two of the best roommates a girl could ask for. Win-win!
8. This July, I took my first trip to Canada and descended on the city of Toronto for its annual Caribbean celebration, Caribana. I had the time. of. my. life. From the epic dinner I had with my friends upon getting into the city, to the parade, to the hype-as-hell Sunday night party, I had a ball up there. I’m sure I’m going back next year.
7. I’m a smaller version of myself than I was a year ago at this time. In December of 2010, I weighed 210 easy. Nowadays, I’m teetering around the 190 pound mark. I haven’t lost a pant size yet, and I need to get back into the gym/back into exercising and revamping my diet, but I’m making progress. 2011 showed me just how important it is to be fit, and to physically feel good about yourself, and that’s something I’m definitely taking into 2012.
6. I thought that 2010 was the year of meeting people from the internet. Nope, 2011 took the crown and took the crown early. From the now infamous Three Deez VSB Weekend in DC in April to the DMV Tweetup Cookout in June and all of the random encounters in between and beyond, I have met a lot of people from Twitter this year. Some of them have turned out to be really great friends, and I’ve shared some amazing experiences with a lot of the people I met this year. If you’re reading this and you were introduced into my life in 2011, I am so glad to have met you and I hope that 2012 tops how awesome this year was for all of the social happenings, and I hope we create even more memories next year.
5. I started this blog this year! I’d had a blog for a while, but I actually sat down and took the time to buy a dot com and start an adjoining Twitter account for my little corner of the internet in 2011. I haven’t posted like I wanted to, but I’m proud of myself for taking a chance on this, and so thankful to each of you reading this right now. You push me to continue honing my craft, and apparently, you care somewhat about what I have to say – that means the world to me.
4. 2011 was the year I got back to my roots, and rediscovered my dormant love and appreciation for photography. From taking photos to editing photos to looking at photos, I love everything about being behind the lens of a camera. 2012 is sure to bring a host of updates and progression in this area of my life, and if you want to follow my challenge to myself to take 1 picture a day for all of 2012, you can do so here.
3. Three words: The Foreign Exchange. If you’ve spent any time with me ever in life, you already know how I feel about them. So it’s only fitting that 2011 was the year that I first saw them in concert (3 times- Falls Church, VA, Baltimore, MD, and Charlotte, NC), and the year that I made it my mission to expose everyone I could to their music. If seeing them in concert and getting to meet them wasn’t awesome enough, they also have a picture I took from the Charlotte show as their Twitter avatar. *squeals*
2. In the vein of music, 2011 was the year that I chose not to deny myself from seeing any and every concert I wanted to see. From Eric Roberson to Sade and John Legend; Jill Scott to The Foreign Exchange; Phonte and 9th Wonder to Rebirth Brass Band; to Jay Z/Kanye West and The Roots this coming Friday, I’ve exposed myself to a wide array of music, and have had experiences that I can’t put a price on. I have to keep that going next year…
1. I turned 25 back in October, and as cliché as it may sound, I really do feel like my life took a drastic change that day. It was that day I decided to cut out toxic people from my life, to focus on honing my God-given talents of writing and photography, to appreciate my family and friends more than I ever had before, to chase my dreams no matter how unrealistic they might currently seem, to open my mind to the idea of new ways of thinking, to take time to treat myself better than ever, and to simply have fun and chase my happiness down no matter what it took.
If you’ve made it this far, you’ll see that 2011 was a year of great change, great triumph, amazing discoveries, and life-changing experiences. Yes, there were negative experiences throughout the year, but they don’t really have a place in this post. The last year has taught me many valuable lessons about myself, and I am grateful for every experience I’ve had, whether it was viewed as positive or negative at the time. I hope that 2012 is an even better year for me, and equally as amazing for you, my readers. I appreciate you all, and Happy New Year!