The top 5 of 2017; life version

I’ve said many times that 2016 was the worst year of my life, and I still stand by that. It was a year that swallowed me whole, left me traumatized and alone, depressed and scared. This year though, was a year of recovery. If 2016 hallowed me out, then 2017 was about finding my way to being a full human again.

So here’s a list of top 5 moments that made 2017 a much better year than last. Even if it wasn’t the best year ever, it was still a year of progress and I’m thankful for every moment and every person that made that progress possible.

1. Kendyl made her first big girl purchase.

I’ve never owned anything that was completely in my name. Even when I was off in Dallas living on my own my apartment had my grandma as a cosigner. Since my credit was nonexistent I really didn’t ever have an option to be completely “on my own.” This year though, after building up credit and saving my money for a down payment I was able to buy a car completely by myself. At the time when I was signing all the papers, and getting my car loan in order it didn’t really feel real but as soon as I drove off the lot a huge rush of joy filled me up. I turned up the radio, and screamed. I’ve had a lot of setbacks, dropping out of college, moving home, losing my independence but this? This finally felt like I was making progress back to being a full time adult.

2. Being alone won’t stop me from having a good time.

Last year I bought a ticket to go see Halsey in concert. I had no one to go with so I was planning to just ride it out solo. Unfortunately, I chickened out and ended up just hanging out at home, ticket wasted. THIS YEAR THOUGH, I traveled to Austin to see a Korean band I really like. I vaguely knew a couple of people from twitter who were going but had never met them in real life so I was showing up alone, in a city I’ve never lived in to see a band that I’ve love. I was extremely nervous, I’d never been to a concert by myself before and this time around I was actually going to wait outside the venue all day so that I could stand near the front for the show. I showed up to Emos in Austin at like 7 am and got in line with about 30 other people for a show that wasn’t starting until 7 pm.  It was a tiring, wild experience but I was able to make friends with people in line and ended up having one of the best concert experiences ever. This really taught me that I don’t need to be with someone I know in order to attend events for things I’m interested in and that was a really freeing lesson. I’m looking forward to more solo experiences in 2018.

3. California made my feet hurt but my heart happy.

This year my friends and I went to California for E3, a huge gaming convention that was opening up to the general public for the first time. Since gaming is one big way my friends and I stay connected this convention was a big deal for us. My favorite section by far from E3 was Nintendo. We got to play with a Nintendo switch and try out the new Mario game and wow I fell in love. The entire Nintendo area was just so colorful and gorgeous and put the rest of the convention to shame. After E3 we explored the Santa Monica pier and also got to spend a day at Disney. As a huge Disney lover this was probably my favorite day even though my feet were dying by the end of it. Overall, it was a great trip and I’m so thankful I’m able to travel with my best friends.

4. So I told my mom I like girls.

High key, I’m going to write an entire other post about this but it deserved to be on this list. This was the year I finally came out to my mom that I was bisexual and that was a huge deal for me. It was a step into fully accepting who I am and having my family accept it as well but like I said, more on this later.

5. My brain is finally back to being normal.

Towards the end of the year I was able to finally say, “You know what? I’m doing okay.” The past couple of years have been hard on my mental health. I was trying to overcome depression, trauma and loneliness but this year I think I finally conquered those demons.  I’m sure it will be an on going battle, my depression isn’t suddenly cured but I finally feel equipped to handle my emotions. I’m no longer swimming in a sea of despair and am actually looking forward to my future, something 2016 Kendyl could never imagine.

So there you have it, my top five moments of 2017. I’d like to thank everyone who made this year possible, my family, my best friends and the random strangers I’ve met on the internet. If 2017 was a year for recovery, I hope 2018 will be a year for success, whatever that may mean.

 

 

The top 5 of 2017; books version

Let’s just get into it shall we? Here are the top five books that I read in 2017, not all of them were released this year but they were new to me so that’s all that matters.

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER BECAUSE I CAN NEVER PICK FAVORITES.

1. what is not yours is not yours stories by Helen Oyeyemi

whatisnotyours

In the past couple of years I have gotten to love collections of short stories and this book has soared to the top of my favorites list. First of all, this book will fuck you up. This book made me laugh, cry, cringe, think and gave me nightmares. It didn’t leave my brain for days and honestly is still wedged in there a little. I’m not even sure how to talk about this book because it’s just such an experience.

The stories are sometimes mystical, funny, scary, beautiful, heart wrenching, supernatural and wow all the adjectives in the world could apply to this book. The characters are also so diverse, different ethnicities and sexualities are represented throughout and the fact that some characters from one story pop up in others will leave you wondering how the worlds connect.  I loved this book and it’s definitely one I will reread over and over.

2. i hate everyone but you by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

ihate everyone

All of my best friends live miles and miles away from me so a book about two best friends going to colleges across the country from each other appealed to me in a huge way. The book’s format is that of emails going back and forth between the main characters so having them talk and fight and figure life out through text was relatable as hell and it never felt out of place to only hear the two main characters voices.

There are so many reasons I love this book but the main one being I absolutely loved how the two main characters fought. Whenever the characters would fight it was as if I was reading my own texts between my best friends and I. The bickering back and forth and also instantly making up was so spot on, I loved it. This book doesn’t stop there though with its authenticity though, the authors tackle LGBTQ+ and mental health in such a way that never felt forced like some other YA novels have felt to me.

3. The Gallery Of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz

gall

The first thing I want to say about this book is that it’s a slow burn. This book took me a couple of days to finally finish (as someone who usually reads a book in a day this was a big deal) but at the end it was worth it. I’ll be real, one huge reason this book is on this list is because the main character is bi and as a newly come out bi female this representation was important to me. Other than sexuality this book is about art, as the main character is also a painter and her sister a musician and her best friend a dancer. I loved the way the book tackled enjoying art and being your best self and what that all means. Overall, a great YA fictional read.

4. What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

whathapep

Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election and the world has never been the same. This book hurt. Her insight into the election and after and her hopes and dreams to what could have been was like a stab to the gut. I’d go from reading about gun violence and what she would do to help prevent it to reading Trumps latest ridiculous tweets and that difference was painful. This really is a must read for anyone who cares about what happened during the presidential election.

5. Brain on Fire My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

brainonfire

I am so late to this book. It came out in 2012 but man is it SO FUCKING INTERESTING. It’s a nonfiction memoir about Susannah Cahalan, a young reporter living in New York who suddenly develops some crazy symptoms and his in the hospital for a month. The book is an honest, crazy, and fascinating look at what happened to her and how she was able to get back to herself.

I just want everyone to read this book because it really blew my mind, from how her early symptoms were ignored by doctors to the simple test that finally gave an insight to her diagnosis. By far, one of me favorite nonfiction books ever.

So there you have it, my favorite books of 2017. If you want to keep up with all the books I read check out my Goodreads, I’ve been using it since 2009 so it’s a pretty accurate account of what I’ve read, what I’m reading and what I want to read.

https://www.goodreads.com/kendylgoodman