Since I did this for 2015, thought I’d continue the trend for this year.
Well besides Trump winning, Brexit happening and the year wrapping up with some devastating celebrity deaths, 2016 had some decent moments for me.
I did a lot more traveling this year than I have in the past years, mostly for work though.
This past late November/early December, I went on my first G Adventures tour to Costa Rica. It was also my first adventure type, nature-y focused trip I’ve been on. I did things that were totally outside of my comfort zone, things I would normally be afraid of and would hesitate to do. Like, for example, I went canyoneering [while it was pouring rain], ziplining “Superman” style high up above the canopy forest and did the Super Tarzan Swing (where you jump off from high up and free fall for almost 5 seconds before you swing back and forth), went on a night walk through a forest where there were creepy crawlies galore including snakes, tarantulas, and insects. And most significantly, I went on the Cerro Chato EXTREME hike, which really was extreme, up an inactive volcano beside Arenal Volcano.
And while these were activities that made me all nervous and scared to do at first, I have no regrets and I’d even say this was one of my best trips I’ve been on.
More pics, videos and review on the activities below.
In 2015 was pretty fun.
There was a lot of trips.
Work was nuts.
And it went by kinda quickly.
One year ago, I was pondering whether I made the right decision in leaving my job for a new, quite different job opportunity. At the time, it was a decision that I felt unsettled about because not only was it a whole different type of role but also a whole different work culture. Now that it’s a year later and I’m no longer in that role, I’ve realized I should have seen the signs that it was not the right opportunity for me and unfortunately, I got caught up with the prospect of an increased salary and the overwhelming feeling of wanting an escape [from my previous job]. These reasons alone, I’ve learned and you too shall learn from my mistakes, are not good reasons for making decisions when it comes to your career.
Living on my own for the last few months has been what I can only describe as a self-growth experience; one that began with, admittedly, some shaking and crying. Though to be fair, I was left in a condo without any furniture and all I had was a chair, my TV and all my moving boxes so it was a traumatic awakening to say the least.
Now I have adjusted and I do enjoy it.
There’s no one to judge my impromptu dance parties
Sometimes, I will blast Robyn’s Dancing On My Own and pretend I’m on Girls, pulling out the ridiculous dance moves that had anyone seen me doing would probably die of laughter. But who cares? No one can see me! I actually started doing this because my upstairs neighbour is apparently an elephant who does Irish jigs and I’m not sure if they are stomping or just have an incredibly heavy tread, but I discovered that the only way to drown out their sounds is to have dance parties. Their stomping even supersedes the sound coming from the TV.
I recommend you dance like an idiot to your favourite song, even if you do live with people. Dancing should be a judgement free zone anyway.
Since my last entry, I’ve been about a month and a half into classes. So far, I have to say that this has been a surreal, fun and fantastic self-growth experience. While in early classes I used to dread being chosen to join in the scene, groaning and panicking in fear of doing something stupid in front of the class, I’ve now decided on embracing being stupid and ridiculous in front of the class. Improv is about making mistakes and doing dumb things, so as my teacher says, so who cares – if it gets a laugh, great. If not, move on.
I also really get what Tina Fey refers to as improv as kind of a cult. Ever since I started taking classes, my mindset has become “I LOVE IMPROV!! I MUST SHOW THE WORLD MY LOVE OF IMPROV” and people who don’t get it, I don’t really get them. There’s something about being surrounded by people who have the same mindset, who appreciate comedy as much as I do that they will use their time and money to immerse themselves in this world.
In further trying to “expand my horizons” and cross an item off my bucket list, I signed up for improv classes at The Second City. Reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants really inspired me to get outside of my comfort zone (Oprah is like my religion and Tina Fey is my spirit animal) and push me into getting into an environment that’s all about thinking on my feet. Improv is a great way for funny and unfunny people to hone their skills for both life and the workplace, at least that is what Bossypants indicated.
So far, I’m two lessons in and I will try to blog in a series my experience as a newbie in improv.
A mere month (or so) ago, I had put “meet Oprah” as my Before I Die aspiration, thinking it would never, ever happen. Sure, I may have deluded myself into thinking that Oprah and I were totes going to become BFFs, or the next incarnation of a buddy cop comedy duo like Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, after she tweeted me back in October. But let’s be real, there’s us mere plebeians and there’s Oprah — these paths rarely cross.
But, the stars must have aligned because on April 13th, 2013, I did end up meeting Oprah-freakin’-Winfrey. Alas, this meeting didn’t result in her asking if she could adopt me or inviting me to a sleepover where we would braid each other’s hair and chat about cute boys (then eventually offering me a show on OWN to try out cupcakes, burgers and pizza all over the world). It was still a remarkable experience, one that I cannot put into words how awesome it was, but I will try to in this post. Weeks later, I am still in disbelief.
Since I took this little journey of trying to exercise more a year ago (as documented in my sparse blogs on this topic), I can say that I really do now get how people say they are addicted to the gym. Well, maybe not the gym per se because people are gross at the gym, but the feeling of accomplishment post-gym visit is exhilerating. Follow that feeling up with a protein shake, and you really do feel like you are hitting a stride in health and wellness.
After many group exercise classes, purchases of various gym accessories (like weight-lifting gloves and an armband for my iPod), weights lifted and more than a bajillion spritz from the antibacterial spray to wipe down all the gym equipment used, I think I am seeing results.
When I first entertained the idea of joining a gym, it was in the summer of 2011. I had a body composition analysis done back at Extreme Fitness and I got my results, as shown below: