It’s cliche to say…but 2017 was a year I’ll never forget. I crossed a lot of things off of my own bucket list. I published my first book:

 

Helped Bette graduate training school:

Traveled on a book tour that took me to the UK and beyond:

   

 

 

 

 

 

Camped for ten days at Burning Man in an RV:

 

Ran the NYC marathon for team Shatterproof:

Raised over 3k dollars to help others with addiction and spoke up about my experience with the disease, which you can watch here:

Traveled in Thailand for a month by myself:

Learned to breathe underwater (Thanks, Ocean Sound!)

And despite making friends with an elephant (and sharing my bed with a scorpion one night in the jungle), I did get a tiny bit lonely. But that was okay because, like, the elephant was really sweet.

I drove across the country with Bette…

FLEW with Bette..

Started working on a second book and a TV show…

I wonder what it’s about…

AND after two years of basically being the most single, introvert, i-only-wanna-write-by-myself author girl ever, I started dating again, which has been an adventure in itself…especially in LA.

Is it possible to cram too much into a year? Maybe. When I think back on 2017 I almost feel out of breath. And if anything was missing from the year— it was downtime. Taking more moments to decompress and focus more on what I am doing instead of the next thing I need to be doing.

Nonetheless, here I am in Silver Lake, watching the year come to an end, trying to take a few minutes now to think about what I learned. I struggle to put a finger on one thing, but one idea that comes to mind is accepting imperfections. When I was writing my first book in 2015 and 2016, I spent a lot of time alone, living in my own head and oftentimes being very hard on myself. I also spent two years being rather single, certain I didn’t want to date anyone or let anyone in because there was too much risk involved in trusting another person. Then I finished the book and moved to California. When I arrived I thought surely I needed to keep living alone so I could keep things in order and continue to put tons of pressure on myself to (attempt to) be perfect. But then instead (by pure miracle), I found a house and ended up moving in with my brother, sister-in-law, best friend, and Bette. And when you live with multiple people plus one crazy basenji, there is absolutely no way for things to be perfect all the time. And not only did I learn to accept imperfections, I realized that in a way I actually preferred them.

Some of my best memories of 2017 are standing over the sink blasting Johnny Cash, sharing two 16oz filets on a cutting board with one fork and one knife and four people because the rest of our silverware was packed away in boxes and we also didn’t have any plates. I loved the morning we were scrambling to pack a Prius to drive to Big Sur on a last minute thrown-together adventure that eventually left us camping outside in the freezing cold with all the wrong gear. Or the night we decided to go to Disney Land even though we all had work to finish and it was windy and raining. We arrived at the park and ran straight to river rapids ride. We were the only people on it and got totally drenched, but we were laughing so hard I don’t even remember the being cold and uncomfortable part. So far I’ve learned that life is not perfect or certain, and it never will be. And by trying to let go of my need for things to be one way, I could make a lot more room for love and laughter and fun. Even with Bette…no, she isn’t exactly the friendly, stranger-loving, face-licking pup I planned to end up with,  but when I watch her refrain from barking at the woman with the huge scary suitcase for the first time, or allow a new human to stand next to her without nipping, I feel proud that she is my dog, and I wouldn’t have her any other way. And when it comes to the whole dating thing, once I could accept that no relationship is perfect and people are not perfect and it’s totally okay to just have fun, I realized that dating and guys weren’t even all that scary. Now if only I could convince Bette the same thing..

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