It’s been quiet around here! Some of you may know already from social media or my podcast, but I should probably mention my hiatus here too. For the sake of my own mental health and some family things happening, I’ve been taking a break from the internet to focus on “real life” more. For me, that means: Less time on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook and not giving myself an obligation to post online.
I’ve always been a chronic over-sharer, and that’s still true, but since 2016, it’s been kind of weird to exist online. It’s changed; things feel so much more tense. It feels like there are emotional news stories looming anytime I go to the Twitter app. And while all this is happening, it feels so trivial to blog about skincare or post a selfie. A combination of guilt, mental stress, and personal events have made this shift necessary, which is why, in 2017, I didn’t focus on the internet.
Of course, that gave me an identity crisis, because who am I if I’m not posting things online? Who am I if I don’t cosplay — a hobby I’ve fallen out of doing as frequently over the same time period? Learning how to exist, just as Mia, not as Mia Who Does Things, has been an interesting exercise in uncovering who I am, my true values, and what I actually want from my life.
In short, I realized I don’t want to measure my life in blog posts or #content. For one, that’s my day job, so I’m doing that anyway. And more than that, the stuff I’m most proud of making is stuff that came from a true desire to create — and that’s what I want to capture now.
When it came time to reflect on another year gone by, I decided to do what I did last year and post highlights from my favorite parts of the year. I — somewhat selfishly — want to remember all the good things from 2017.
2017 is the year I…
- Got engaged! (And there’s a whole video of it happening)
- Went to CES in Las Vegas for work supporting Hidden Figures and met Octavia Spencer and Soledad O’Brien (among others)
- Stayed up all night being an extra in a big Hollywood movie
- Attended the women’s march at the Austin capitol
- Modeled for two Hauntwell photoshoots
- Got two new tattoos (one, two) and started my half-sleeve tattoo
- Decided to grow out my undercut (and, almost 11 months later, it’s pretty much grown out!)
- Participated in panels around LGBTQ+ issues at HavenCon
- Helped to organize my job’s presence at Pride and became an Out Role Model
- Finally finished my Invisalign treatment
- Went to Disney World… twice (I swear it was on accident!)
- Bought a house with my partner, remodeled, moved in, and finished unpacking
- Co-created an enamel pin for my podcast, Fake Goth Girls
- Dabbed all over San Diego during SDCC
- Saw the McElroys at MBMBAM and TAZ shows in both Austin and San Diego
- Reversed my awful skin and healed my cystic acne
- Cosplayed Taako from The Adventure Zone
- Discovered I look really, ridiculously good looking in black lipstick
- Visited Seattle (and my friend, Hadeel) for Geek Girl Con with Camille
- Played another 170+ hours of Overwatch with friends
- Other media highlights: Animal Crossing Pocket Camp (!), Magicarp Jump, Dream Daddy, Stardew Valley, Great British Baking Show, Neo Yokio
- Was blessed enough to go to Tokyo for work and bring my partner along with me
- Visited Tokyo DisneySeas and had a blast
- Pursued offline creative activities, like sewing (for fun, not cosplay) and learning to knit
2018 Goals & Priorities
After thinking on what I enjoyed about 2017, what I didn’t enjoy about 2017, and what I wanted my 2018 to look like, I landed on these priorities. (This week’s episode of Fake Goth Girls talks about goals and resolutions in even more detail, if you’re curious!)
1. Engage in creative activities more often (sub-goals: keep up knitting, sew for my own enjoyment, learn to knit socks, try embroidery)
I discovered that making things I want to make, especially tangible things, is really enjoyable for me and good for my anxiety, so I want to keep that up. I learned how to knit near the end of 2017 and have been really enjoying it so far!
2. Practice gratitude and document the good stuff (sub-goal: use the 1SecondEveryday app as one method of documentation)
Depression means your brain is really good at convincing you that good stuff just doesn’t happen in your life. Looking back on this year, I would describe myself as lucky and blessed, but a lot of times, I don’t see that in the day-to-day. Gratitude logs help fight that urge to focus on the negative, so I’m bringing that practice back into my life.
3. Use less single-use plastic, especially straws at restaurants
I always try to pick one goal that makes me feel “more vegan” — last year, it was replacing all our household products with cruelty-free versions. This goal is only tangentially related, but plastic is pretty awful for our environment and I’m betting once I make an effort, this will be easy to remember.
4. Prioritize mental health and glamorous self-care above all else
I keep saying that sometimes the best #selfcare isn’t Instagrammable, and that’s what I’m focusing on now. Things like therapy, taking my vitamins and medication, and skincare are all on that list.
My goals look a lot different than they usually do. I typically have a page (or pages) of goals and choose a word as my “theme” for the year, but this year, it just didn’t feel right. So, let’s see what happens with these!
Here’s to a good 2018!
P.S. What are your goals/resolutions? Please share, I’d love to hear!