Last year, many people said that it couldn’t get any worse than 2016. Those same people characterized 2017 as a year that said “wait hold my beer” to that statement, but I would disagree. 2016 might not have been my favorite year by a long shot, but 2017 was definitely one of the best years of my life. I have too many blessings to count and I will hold on to the experiences I had this year for the rest of my life. Here are the 17 things that made my own personal 2017 worth living.
1. Vinyl records
I started collecting records this year. I’ve always thought it would be so cool to have a huge music and movie library whenever I get my own house, so my vinyl collection has been growing all year. I look forward to picking up even more records next year!
2. La La Land
My favorite movie of 2016 actually defined how I looked at movies coming into this year. I have probably watched it at least twice a month since it was released. It’s a charismatic, gorgeous piece of work that helped me understand film better and led me to look at a possible career in writing movies.
Despite coming back from this trip with the actual flu, I had a great time with two of my best friends in the Great Smoky Mountains. I loved that we got to share some really fun adventures together like going to the Ripley’s Aquarium and the Dixie Stampede. Grabbing over a pound of taffy on the way out of town didn’t hurt either.
4. Jack Antonoff
This songwriter / producer turned Bleachers’ frontman is definitely my own person 2017 Person of the Year. From producing chart-topping singles for Lorde and Taylor Swift to dominating my own Spotify playlist with Bleachers music, I cannot wait to see what Jack does next year.
5. Harry Potter World
The LONG trip down to Orlando might have given me more grey hair than I ever intended to have at 24, but Harry Potter World was more than worth the 11 HOUR DRIVE. The magic never ends on a series that I have loved since I was a little kid and still find myself loving today.
6. Adult coloring books
I’m a fairly nervous person. I’ll admit that. I’ll also admit that those intricately detailed adult coloring books that have become all the rage these days help calm my nerves. It’s a relaxing experience that I get to do every day.
7. Third row seats at Paramore
Yes, one of the happiest moments of my life. Paramore is such a defining force in my life musically, and 2017 proved that they have what it takes to tackle any genre that they want to. I loved the experience of being so close to a band that I have loved for ten years. It was pure fun to follow their new, unofficial mantra: cry hard, dance harder.
8. The Kill Count
I fell in love with old horror movies this year. That’s kind of an odd thing to get really into, but the YouTube series, The Kill Count (on the Dead Meat channel), is the one that ushered in that newfound affection for all things scary. It’s host, James, is funny and really dedicated to his passion of counting the kills of all of your favorite horror movies.
9. Death of a Bachelor Tour
I got the opportunity to see Panic! At the Disco live for the second time in April and it could not have been more fun. This was the concert I can look back to and say that I genuinely just let go and didn’t care what anyone else thought of how I acted.
10. All Night Movie Marathon at the Drive-In
I have never been colder than I was at the all night movie marathon at the Sand Mountain Drive-In, but it was such a fun time. I even got to see one of my favorite movies of all time, Halloween, on a giant screen!
11. Vinyl Theatre
My own personal breakout artist of 2017 has to be Vinyl Theatre. After discovering them on Spotify in May, their music has become a staple of my everyday playlist and I’m glad for that. I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to see them live this year, but I really hope I can in 2018.
12. Dog social media accounts
I follow over a dozen animals on Instagram. I have no shame left. Opening my social media to see lots of dogs, cats, and yes even a raccoon named Pumpkin makes me smile. In addition to them, the single best account on Twitter is Thoughts of Dog. No contest.
13. NEW YORK CITY
So much of 2017 was defined by my very first trip to the Big Apple. It was a dream come true to see the city in all its glory and a lot of my most defining moments on this list actually happened on this trip. I cannot wait to go back here and stay a lot longer.
14. The Tonight Show
Let’s keep going with all my NYC points. I snagged tickets to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on my first try (something that the NBC people told us not to advertise) and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life. We got to sit in as a real studio audience and Jimmy even came into the crowd during breaks just to talk to us.
15. Meeting Brendon Urie
If anyone has been around me long enough, you’ll know that Panic! At the Disco is one of my favorite bands and Brendon Urie is genuinely my favorite vocalist of all time. Getting a chance to see this guy on Broadway is something I will never forget and meeting him at the stage door / getting his autograph is just the cherry on top of the best trip ever.
16. Keeping 30 lbs off (despite eating like crap)
Along with everyone else, I vowed at the end of last year that 2017 was going to be my year to get in shape. Well… that didn’t happen. I did lose 30 pounds and I managed to keep that off, but my progress halted after that. I really hope to redeem myself in 2018.
17. Tour de Columbus
THIS SHOW WAS EVERYTHING. We drove 8 hours to see one of our favorite bands of all time: Twenty One Pilots. I had the opportunity to see them twice this year, but this concert in their hometown took the cake. It was a great experience that I got to share with my sister and I know both of us can’t wait until TOP does something amazing like this again.
2017 was defined by everything from concerts to dogs to movies. It has been such a fun year. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me and those around me in 2018!