Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013: A Recap

I know you were all just hoping that you would log on to The Daily Bailey and see a recap of my past year, so let’s do that, shall we?


Um, big year, it was. As I was telling my dad over Christmas, it wasn’t the most fun year and he said that didn’t prevent it from being a good year – in other words, it was uncomfortable but it moved me forward, worked out some kinks in the hose of life, was productive in a gross-looking and feeling way.

Toward the end of 2013, I was saying and thinking a lot that I was looking forward to a new year. I realize that a date on the calendar doesn’t act as a reset button, and I’m not one to think in such terms of January 1st as some grand day of power and influence.

But. I’ve been looking forward to January 1st.

Pops is right – some necessary things happened this year, and I have entered 2014 – if I do say so myself – on a good foot because I endured some rough patches during 2013.

All that said, as I was cleaning my apartment and reflecting/prepping in my head for this post, I realized I’ve done quite a bit this year. And I did quite a bit the year before. So perhaps this maybe cheesy yet semi-traditional action of reflecting on the year past is a good thing. Helps us realize, “Um, Bails, your life is not as boring or unfair or whatever-else-you’re-inclined-to-think-about-it-on-a-bad-day as you think it is on a bad day.”

So let’s recap, in briefer list form, what happened for me in the last year. And I’m sure you will get some sort of more thought out, less listy reflection at the end. You’re excited, I know you are.

One wedding
One baby shower
Disneyland not once, not twice, but three times
“Acted” (I use this term loosely) in a film. I have to say, the day of filming started on a rough note (little sleep/emotional night), but I had so much fun filming and making new friends that day. Great time.
Saw Anne Lamott twice
Managed, amidst very little writing, to write my 1,000th blog post
Went on many interviews
Took an awesome trip throughout the Midwest. This was perhaps the most welcome respite during the entire year – I remember it oh so fondly.
Got a JOB!!! Praise. The. Lord.
Got myself my first Los Angeles big girl apartment
Lived with the most generous people on the planet prior to moving into that apartment
Two brief but snuggly reunions with the best cat ever, Sir Diblets McGee
Ran a half marathon. On an injured foot. Genius.
Attended Grandma’s 95th birthday party
Spent Thanksgiving with my darling friend Jeffrey 
Danced with this longtime college pal in Chicago: 

Grew my hair quite long

Then cut it rather short

Had a delightful afternoon in Malibu with some dear friends on my 28thbirthday. Followed by a viewing of the Fran Drescher movie “Beautician and the Beast” (my friends did not join me for that part)
A trip to Northern Cali to see my friend Courtney, and hung out with her during her trip to Southern Cali

Introductions (people, places, television casts I met last year):
Writer Sandra Tsing Loh – HYSTERICAL (note: did not meet her personally, just her writing)
Some attractive men who failed to take me on dates. One asked me on a date, but failed to actually take me there. Y’all need to get with it. Have a meeting and review the following agenda: Meet girl. Tell girl you’d like to hang out. Hang out with girl. This is not that complicated.
My dear, precious friends John and Mary, who have been an amazing addition to my life. Shout out to mutual friend Ann for introducing us across many state lines. Spent several moments in awe that these two were added to my life. They’re kind of a perfect friendship/family fit.
The Mizzou 2013 edition LA-area alumni football watch party crowd.
A charming laundromat called El Gringo Lavanderia. They have video games, vending machines, giant washers, and dryers that dry things in approximately 10 minutes for a mere 25 cents. And their “mascot” is an Uncle Sam-ish sombrero wearing man (somewhat sadly he only comes in cartoon form, on posters and the charge cards that one uses to run the washers and dryers).
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS – Best show on television. I mean it when I say this show has changed my life. Be on the lookout for my full reflection post regarding the whole series – I have about eight episodes left, so meanwhile don’t ruin it for me.
This song.
A super fun island themed restaurant at the Disneyland resort – that was decked out for Christmas when my friend Rosie and I went there, and thus made me feel like I had stepped into a movie in which woeful travelers found themselves welcome in a bar when their travel plans went awry.
A Year and Six Seconds – fantastic book by Isabel Gillies. I devoured it.
Video editing. I decided to dink around with some free video software on my computer, and started reviewing Pixar films.
Writer Jan Karon’s Mitford novel series. People. I hardly ever read fiction – just ask my brother Riley – and I read almost three entire books of this series in just one year. This speaks volumes to how wonderful these books are, pun intended.
The church retreat. Still soaking up the memories.
Some new precious church friends.

The sweet, amazing Nelson Mandela. I cried on December 5th. What an incredible man.
College professor Alan Bloom. Survived by a loving wife and three young sons who no doubt adored him to pieces. He was a fan favorite at Valparaiso University and his death was a shock to us all. Much love and peace to his family.
Will Gray, a member of Pacific Crossroads Church in LA, CA - an inspiration and an example of faith for us all.

Read more books by author faves Anne Lamott, Bill Bryson, James Herriott
Recorded more episodes of The 90s Podcast – AKA “Two girls, a guy, and a podcast” (we’ll be back in the recording studio this weekend! Three new episodes coming at you!)
Entered and exited 2013 without a boyfriend. Please contain your shock. 
Spent my first full calendar year in California!
Continued to struggle with the fact that California is far away and people don't love to buy expensive plane tickets. Yet also continued to love the warm, the sun sun sun, new friends and old - and the grown up experience of turning those friends around you into your family.
Reunited with two high school pals (see, guys, you should move to California, everyone's doing it!)

Went as Garth Algar for Halloween for the second time in my life. Let’s not talk about how much I apparently look like him. (This pic is from the first time I dressed as the man who can "go to a movie on a school night [snaps fingers] like that")

I’m already self conscious about looking like a boy, given my extreme doppelgangerness with my younger brother.

Marked 10 years of friendship with this kid:

New travels:
San Jose, CA
Iowa City, IA (I maybe went there as a kid, but don’t remember)
Lincoln, NE (see note above)
Viroqua, WI
Long Beach, CA (not that far away but hey, it was new)
San Francisco, CA

Some great movies I saw for the first time:The Descendants
It’s Kind of a Funny Story
The Internship

Also, since you asked, here are some of my resolutions for 2014:
Run the Disneyland Half Marathon
Improve my horrible, terrible posture
Keep my home and car clean
Write. Write write write. I don’t know what this looks like exactly (draft of a book??!), but my cheerleader named Dad tells me this needs to be a focused/structured goal in order for it to happen.
Don’t eat at McDonald’s for an entire year. I have two days down. I can do this.
Go on a cruise (this is not exactly a resolution, just a fun plan)
Wear sunscreen. I did well with this goal in the first part of 2013, then began to fail. Renewing the resolution.
Donate blood
Stick to a routine. Stick to that routine like honey would stick to clumps of hair on a barbershop floor.
(Maybe) read all the Narnia books?
(Maybe) read all the Little House on the Prairie books?

I should probably make some resolutions like “reduce caffeine intake” and “limit amount of sugar intake so you don’t rot your teeth out of your head,” but, well, I’m not ready to put such incredible commitment in writing. That’s about as scary as telling someone I’ll spend the rest of my life with him.

Other things/thoughts/the promised and/or dreaded reflective reflection of my year:
Well let’s see, Friends.

I’ve spent approximately the last six months – maybe the whole year – in a primarily bad mood. I’ve just been a delight to be around. I mean, what can I say? I’m just kind of cranky. I’m so, so, so grateful to have a job, and a meaningful one at that, with a supportive and encouraging boss, in a field (mental health) that I care so so much about. But I’m also still single – which, by and large, most of the time, honestly I kind of love – and spent a lot of the year being unemployed, which really wears on your psyche and sense of self worth, and then in the last few months of the year I suddenly became insanely busy! Which made me excited at first but then very cranky.

But I have everything that I need. And I always have. I am healthy. My parents love me and let me know it. I have sweet, sweet friends. Occasionally boys tell me I’m pretty (usually after I’ve moved thousands of miles away from them. Seriously, boys, you need to have that meeting. Get it together.). I complain about my calendar being too full, and several times a year I do feel left out, forgotten, etc., but every day in this city I see people on the streets who don’t have homes and wonder if they even have friends. Almost every weekend I have a place to be with people who care about me and though I take it for granted I do realize what a miracle that is.

On a side note, the Kansas City Chiefs made the playoffs and the Missouri Tigers not only played in the SEC championship game but also got a bowl game. Great year to be a fan of Missouri sports teams.
I got to see my friend Michelle twice this year, very briefly but at least that much. For my sake, I wish she would move here, but she is doing awesome work at her job and I’m super proud of her. But I miss her a lot and often wish we could just simply hang out.

I also get random but very strong pangs of wanting to simply be in the same room as Nick, my pal who, as of September 2013, I’ve know for 10 years. He and I got to spend a week together in August and I loved it.
Let’s not even talk about how I miss my niece and nephew, the adorable cutie pies with the giant eyes and perfectly cute teeth (respectively) who I just saw over Christmas.

I got to babysit said niece and nephew with the ‘rents during Christmas – these are the privileges of being the only non-married sibling in your family; send your brother and his wife on a date, stay in with your parents and babysit! I kid, but we had a great time, watching The Muppet Christmas Carol, eating spaghetti and dancing to Justin Bieber.

Mom and Dad took me on my annual shopping spree to Macy’s where many clothes were purchased for me.

OK, OK, fine. I am the only daughter in my family and I am a little bit spoiled.

Also, I love Macy’s. Y’all should start shopping there. Ninety five percent of the time when someone compliments a piece of my clothing, my response is, “Macy’s!”

I got to go on a date with my sister in law during Christmas, where we got real about life over Panera snacks. This is becoming a tradition of ours and I treasure it. She and I have known each other for 10 years now, and I really value the ease I feel in being around her – being able to cry, be happy, be sleepy, and just be whatever I am in the moment with her. I also got to bond with my brother Patrick twice during my Christmas trip, which I will cherish forever.

At this current moment in time, I am feeling positive about life. My mood has not always been so generous, but I’m going with it. I am glad the copious job searching of 2013 is over. I am hoping for a better tax return this year. I am still obsessed with cross stitching, reading, and cats. I still love to write and dance. I still want to get married but am still unable to fully imagine such a commitment. I am excited for the Barbie-sized oven in my apartment. I still love to do laundry and dishes. (I am making myself sound very domestic here.)

OK, this is getting long. Rather, not getting long. It's already long. So finally! In conclusion...

...the Anderson Cooper/Kathy Griffin New Year’s Eve special is fantastic. Captivating. I laughed a lot, and they are precious together. You should check it out this year. Dec. 31, 2014 – set your DVR, if you have such technology. At least one of us doesn’t, and she supports your Luddite status.

Over and out. Many blessings to you all. Health and love. May furry pets grace your presence and may you not feel or be left alone during this year or any to come. Thanks, as always, for reading. XO

Also, sorry this post was kind of all over the place. Hugs from California. Come run a half marathon with me in 2014, it will be fun!