I recently had a conversation with my most-successful-business-owner friend (yes, I know this is a dubious category -- hi, Kristen!) about how her business slows down toward the end of the year and she feels like she ends up wrapping the year on a low note even though it was full of immeasurable highs.
I feel like I often fall victim to this way of thinking as well -- moving so quickly past major successes that I forget to celebrate them because I'm on the next thing. Earlier this year, in fact, another friend (hi, Caro!) called me out on this and introduced me to the donut manifesto. The idea of the manifesto is that you treat yourself to something small (in this case a donut) every time you accomplish a goal. That way you pause for at least a few moments to celebrate your achievement before being off to the next thing.
Since 2017 is wrapping up in a few hours, I thought I'd take some time to count my donuts for the year and compile my donut-worthy 2017 achievements.
So in no particular order, this year I ....
Interviewed (and mostly produced) 25 episodes of CHIRP Radio's local artist interview podcast. Some of my favorites were these episodes with: Matchess, Air Credits, Tortoise, Half Gringa, Ravyn Lenae, BJ the Chicago Kid, Vagabon, Liars, and Lykanthea. I also started a new, small series I've been calling "In Conversation" where I got to have conversations with a few of my favorite artists about trans representation in the Chicago music scene and sexism in the music industry. One of those conversations even led to my first appearance in the Chicago Reader.
Oh, and hosted Girl Power Hour on air at CHIRP every Tuesday morning (6-9am CT)!
Worked with Forth Chicago to host events, run their social media, and launch a brand new podcast called Go Forth, where we interviewed Chicago's most fantastic creative women entrepreneurs. Every episode of that podcast is a gem, but interviewing Julie, Jenna, Alia, Emily, and Kelly were particular joys.
Oh, and hosted a Go Forth podcast wrap party and panel (my first public event!) with some of my favorite podcast guests. Shout-out to my co-collaborator Amanda for making all those things happen with me.
Wrote a dissertation proposal and defended it to a committee of my favorite scholars in my department. This means I'm officially ABD and (theoretically) working on my dissertation full time to (perhaps) complete my PhD in 2019.
Oh, and traveled to Atlanta and Berlin to give papers on parts of my dissertation to a lot of academics.
Saw a TON of great art in all media (even though I was crazy busy with all the aforementioned projects).
- Fave concerts of 2017: LCD Soundsystem at Pitchfork, Liars at Riot Fest, Ravyn Lenae at Mamby, Big Thief at Thalia Hall, Alvvays + Jay Som at Thalia Hall, Half Gringa at the Whistler, Future Islands at the House of Vans opening, Dan Deacon w/Marijuana Deathsquads + Art Credits at the Empty Bottle, Angela James in residency at The Hideout,
- Fave readings + podcast tapings of 2017: Patti Smith reading at Music Box Theatre, Call Your Girlfriend at Lincoln Hall, Longform at The Hideout, Love + Radio at The Hideout.
- Fave art exhibitions: Yayoi Kusama at The Broad (LA), Non-Binary Portraits by Laurence Philomene at Cogalleries (Berlin), Pre-Vinylite Society female screen painters at Chicago Arts District, finally going to The Brooklyn Museum to see Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party.
Edited the fourth edition of Lady Parts zine and made a new series of zines with mini-essays on some of the feminist topics most important to me. Then tabled Chicago Zine Fest and sold a ton of copies of them.
Hosted a strike event for International Women's Day with Forth Chicago where I did a teach-in on Intersectionality (with that yellow zine up there) and ended up on the Chicago evening news!
Oh, and I taught three sections of a course on sex and gender where I used that zine to enlighten a few college minds.
Ran a 10k and did a *ton* of work on body-love, including writing an incredibly vulnerable essay about my relationship with my weight that got more responses than probably anything I've ever put on the internet (even my very best cat and food pictures).
Made my most ambitious zine since 2013 for an exhibition curated by my friend Amanda Roscoe Mayo and remembered what it feels like to be an artist and explore materials.
Wrote a feminist mantra every Monday and then published a book of the compiled and revised mantras. This may be my favorite thing I've ever created, and I get all warm and fuzzy every time I think about it.
Managed to take time off and go on actual vacations to visit friends in Los Angeles (twice!), San Francisco, Joshua Tree, North Carolina, New York City, and Milwaukee (twice!).
Okay, I think that's all the donuts for 2017, and *damn* I'm exhausted just compiling that list, let alone doing all those things.
Up first thing in 2018 is the Fifty Feminist Mantras book party (tickets here!) and then the launch of my most ambitious project yet. See you in the year of the dog, y'all!