A Farewell to 2016


It has become a sort of tradition for me to write an end-of-the-year blog post. All in all, 2016 sucked. You know it. I know it. We all know it. It was a year of heartbreak and terrorism and protest and disappointment and drastic changes. It was a tough year with a lot of negativity. But I don’t want to dwell on that. That’s not what the holiday time is about. So, I am going to focus on the positive – the positive both in my life and the world around me.

Me: Starting off, I rang in the New Year of 2016 in Toronto with some of my best friends. We achieved our dream of going to The Lockhart – a Harry Potter themed bar in Toronto, sang Hail to the Victors at midnight, and argued over anything and everything like we always do. Ah, so much hope at the beginning of the year. I had never been to Canada, so this was a check off the ol’ bucket list for me.

World: In January, this year took a huge plummet downwards with the loss of stars David Bowie and Alan Rickman. As a life-long Harry Potter fan, Rickman’s death really struck a chord in my heart, and I was deeply saddened. But, in the light of these tragedies, my social media was filled with hope and love – outpouring love, and I was reminded how strong the Potter community is. I hadn’t felt that love in a long time, and it was refreshing and heartwarming.

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Me: For Spring Break this year, my best friend and I took a 6-day road trip to Louisiana together. Being able to show her around my hometown, my school, my favorite restaurants, etc. was so exciting and I absolutely loved having her meet all my friends from high school. It was such a cool way for me to show her the other side of me she never gets to see in Michigan. Not to mention, we got to eat and drink and be merry in New Orleans. We even stayed in a really cool mansion hotel while we were there.

World: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in Hollywood in April. That’s pretty sweet. (Do all of my happy moments of this year revolve around Harry Potter? Quite possibly) —- Okay, fine. Also in April, California signed a bill to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. Positive change!!!!

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Me: The spring time was craziness for me – experiencing loss and struggle with school, losing my pet dog of 11+ years and hard times in the lives of some of my closest friends. Despite all of this, I was able to visit my best friend at Purdue and attend the Holi fest there. It was a great vacation away from the madness. I also was chosen to be one of the co-directors for Camp Kesem at the University of Michigan for the 2016-17 year.

World: Cleveland won the NBA title in June. That was awesome for Cleveland, I guess. We also had a huge win for the fight for net neutrality in June!

Me:  I had a really awesome internship in Detroit this summer at an organization called Alternatives for Girls. I was able to experience a side of Social Work that I had never experienced before, and I learned so much. My eyes were opened to so many new things from the girls I worked with, and I truly enjoyed every day I was able to work there. I was also able to have a lot of cool experiences with friends, and I traveled to DC for a weekend to see some friends who had moved away!

World: A new Harry Potter book came out!!!!! (Sorry, I didn’t want to disappoint on the Potter trend) Other than that, the summer kind of sucked – with Brexit, the Orlando Pulse club massacre, police violence, the GOP convention, etc. — BUT Michelle Obama summed it up nicely when she said at the DNC, “When they go low, we go high.” (defining a lot of the rest of the election season). Michael Phelps also became the “most decorated Olympian in history”

Me: Becca and I rang in the beginning of our year as co-directors of Camp Kesem with another incredible year of camp. Despite the madness of camp (especially being on the admin side of things), it was honestly the best year yet. There were so many memories made that I will cherish forever. I also got to achieve a life-long dream of seeing Coldplay in concert!!

World: Everything started going more downhill as the election time picked up…but Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize. That was cool.

Me: I turned 21 in Lafayette with some of my best friends and watched my best friend get married. Can’t get much better than that. I cried a lot. There are probably a lot of professional photographs of me crying to come.

World: Sorry – I don’t think I can be very positive about the world during these months. Brangelina got divorced. Trump won the presidency. I just don’t know. There were a lot of tears (not about Brangelina). What I can say – we have our first Indian American senator and the Cubs won the World series.

OH WAIT – A NEW HARRY POTTER MOVIE CAME OUT! DID I MENTION THAT?

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Me: And in the close of this year – I finished up the year attending my favorite weekend, the Camp Kesem National Summit, at our camp in Fenton, Michigan. My chapter raised over $26,000 for our kids in one day on Giving Tuesday. I finished my hardest semester of all time of 18 credit hours. I watched my last Michigan football home game as a student. I toured the Big House with my friends and reminisced on my four years here – oh wait…I WAS ACCEPTED TO THE #1 SOCIAL WORK SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY! Possible 2 more years in the best city to come 😉

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World: This last month sucked. A lot of celebrity deaths. The bombings in Syria have only gotten worse – more gruesome and fatal. Despite this, there were some wins. Fidel Castro died, marking the end to a symbol of abused power. The war on marijuana is ending – with more than half of states making the substance legal. Overall, despite the hatred and disappointment of the events of 2016, there was a lot of love, a lot of hope, a lot of positive change. There is hope for the future of our world, and I believe in this hope.

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On Going Home


This past week, I visited home for the first time in seven months. My parents moved shortly before I went to college, so when I went “home” for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was in a foreign place, as far as I was concerned. This week, I saw my best friends for the first time in a long time. At first, I was sort of nervous. There was so much that had happened in the past seven months. I’m a completely different person (or I would like to think that I am). I knew they were going to ask me to tell them stories, and I didn’t even know where to start.

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As the plane descended into Baton Rouge, a city of my childhood that I hold close to my heart, I started to get emotional. The last time I had been there, I had been a different person. I had been so uncultured and sheltered compared to how I am now. The level of cheesiness only escalated when I started playing “Callin’ Baton Rouge” as we flew over Tiger Stadium and into the Metro Airport. I got off the plane and waited for my bag nervously. Then out of nowhere, four of my best friends came running at me and attacked me as if it had been years rather than months that we had been apart. We laughed and hugged, and headed back home.

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As we were in the car chatting and laughing, I realized something: nothing had changed. Obviously, so much had changed, but not really.  We picked up right where we left off. It was like I had never left. We talked about our high school and our other friends like we were all still there with them. It boggled my mind that we could just pick right back up where we were when I left.

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One night, I was at my friend’s house and we sat there talking about an event that had happened three years ago. If someone were to have walked in on our conversation, they never would have guessed that it had been so long ago. It was like nothing was different about our lives now compared to our lives during our junior year of high school.

The concept of the passage of time always confused me, but I had never really thought about it much before. The fact that a few months can feel like years, or that a week can feel like no more than a day is pretty crazy to think about. More than anything, this week reminded me that I have such an amazing community to come back to no matter what happens. So, thank you to those people. You know who you are. You’re so special to me, and I wouldn’t trade our friendship for anything.

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And when the day arrives I’ll become the sky and I’ll become the sea and the sea will come to kiss me for I am going home. Nothing can stop me now.
– Trent Reznor