16 Good Things in 2016

In honor of this week's mantra, I'm working on refocusing my energy on the positive things that have happened in my life this year.

And how am I doing that? you may ask—why, a listicle of course! With GIFs! A gifsticle!

So, in no particular order (because hierarchies are for patriarchy, duh!), here are 16 good things that happened in my world in 2016 and gifs to go with them.


1) I hired a personal trainer and got a lot stronger without it being about losing weight or counting calories or any comparative #fitspo energy.

Anna Salmi  know's what's up with working on her fitness.

Anna Salmi know's what's up with working on her fitness.

2) I traveled to Rome, London, and Peru and got to see the Colosseum, Big Ben, and Machu Picchu.

Analog vacations with  Blanca Viñas .

Analog vacations with Blanca Viñas.

3) I listened to a ton of girl power pop. New music from Rihanna, Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, and Solange ruled the airwaves this year and helped bring female perspectives (especially woc!) to the front and center of pop culture.

Pop Aesthete  makes the very best pop culture gifs & I love him.

Pop Aesthete makes the very best pop culture gifs & I love him.

4) I gave up my reliance on take-out and learned how to cook; I started an amazing Sunday Dinner tradition with my best friend that I look forward to every week.

Aren't  Thoka Maer 's pencil gifs the cutest?!

Aren't Thoka Maer's pencil gifs the cutest?!

5) I launched this blog and began writing regularly. I remembered how important it is to listen to that voice inside of me that loves words more than most other things.

Amelia Tour  is an ambidextrous-illustrator-queen.

Amelia Tour is an ambidextrous-illustrator-queen.

6) I spent a lot of time in bed with the coolest cat around, and I didn't feel bad about a second of it.

Yeah this was definitely most of my 2016 (minus the bangs, thank  Goddess ). 

Yeah this was definitely most of my 2016 (minus the bangs, thank Goddess). 

7) I interviewed a ton of rad bands for CHIRP Radio.

Babe jammin' out by  Al Boardman .

Babe jammin' out by Al Boardman.

8) I spent a week in Miami with one of my fave babes and another week in California with two of my mains.

Anna Sudit  understands those poolside vibes.

Anna Sudit understands those poolside vibes.

9) I met a few amazing women who are helping me expand my circles and find my place in Chicago.

Hey new friends, it's me over here!  Laura Berger 's on top of those social anxiety vibes.

Hey new friends, it's me over here! Laura Berger's on top of those social anxiety vibes.

10) As a result of those women (and a few long-term pals here), Chicago has finally started to feel like home.

Finally learned to love living by the lake á la these  Karan Singh  water vibes.

Finally learned to love living by the lake á la these Karan Singh water vibes.

11) I watched all of Grey's Anatomy and channeled as much Christina Yang energy as I could muster.

tumblr_mjcr0fcnGn1rqw7l9o1_500.gif

12) I took a last-minute trip to Portland to visit my college roommate, and she inspired me to get my finances together and work on a new business venture.

Cécile Dormeau  makes every woman look so strong.

Cécile Dormeau makes every woman look so strong.

13) I paid off $3000 in credit card debt and got myself back to a debt-free existence!

14) I met a cute boy with a nice beard and a cool bike who likes to cook food and go to shows with me.

I'd spin in circles with  Amelia Giller  all day long.

I'd spin in circles with Amelia Giller all day long.

15) I learned to see all the good around me.

All-seeing eyes by  Dai Ruiz .

All-seeing eyes by Dai Ruiz.

16) I started learning to let go of everything else.

"My cup runneth over" as visualized by  Koba Nieuwoudt .

"My cup runneth over" as visualized by Koba Nieuwoudt.

What's one good thing (or sixteen good things) that happened in your life in 2016, friends?
I want to hear all about them.

Always,
A

Bechdel My Life

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the Bechdel Test. I wanted to think about how the energy I put out into the world impacts what the world throws at me. So I thought that maybe I should think about who I'm talking to and what we talk about (aka I spend too much time talking about men, maybe if I change that, then other things will change too).

A mis-shapen pie chart illustrating how my conversations went for two weeks.

A mis-shapen pie chart illustrating how my conversations went for two weeks.

After thinking about the three criteria of the Bechdel Test (that a conversation have (1) at least two women in it, (2) who talk to each other, (3) about something besides a man), I wondered whether or not my life would pass the test. How many conversations do I have with other women that are not about men?

I decided the only way to find out was to start keeping track. So the next day I opened a new note in my phone and began a pretty unscientific practice of tracking the conversations I was having. For the most part, after a conversations I would note whether I was in dialogue with a man or a women. And if the conversation did include at least two women, then I noted whether we discussed men or something else.

I have absolutely no training in statistics. That's why these are pseudo-stats, after all. But after about two weeks of tracking, I came to two conclusions:

  1. I definitely talk to more women than men. (*dancing girls emoji*)
  2. We do a decent (although maybe not great) job at not just talking about men.
Of my conversations with women, here's how the content-breakdown panned out.

Of my conversations with women, here's how the content-breakdown panned out.

In my last post, I mentioned that of the 6686 films bechdeltest.com only 57.2% pass the test.  Of all of the conversations I managed to track in my life, only 47% passed the Bechdel Test. BUT of my conversations with women, 62% of them passed.

So ... you win some, you lose some? The goal isn't to quit talking about men entirely, just to recenter my life around something other than boys. Like my career or my cat or my desire for chocolate. Anything really.

But what about you all? What have you been talking about lately? 

Always,
A