farvel, 2016

Oh, 2016.



What are we going to do with you?

We might just have to forget you and move on.

I think everyone, regardless of creed, background, or political inclination, can agree that 2016 has been quite a year. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you to determine.

Every year, as long as I’ve been blogging, I like to end with a look back on the previous twelve months, review big moments and firsts, reflect on my resolutions, and think about the next year.

I was rereading the last two end of year posts (“bye-bye 2015“, and “good year, and good night [2014]“), and I saw that in 2014, I wrote about how each year feels shorter than the last. Someone once told me that the years grow shorter as you get older because each year becomes a smaller fraction of your life. For a 10-year old, one year is 10%, but for a 50-year old, it’s only 2%. I commented on how “as I go through my 20s, it feels like someone’s shoving me from behind at a more and more aggressive rate every day,” specifically looking towards the year I would turn 25…

That was this year. I turned 25 this past April, so not only am I halfway through those roaring (meekly squeaking) 20s mentioned above, but I’m also a quarter of a century old.

This year definitely has felt like the shortest and fastest year of my life, and by far the most stressful. Part of me hopes that next year doesn’t go by so fast, but the other part of me knows it will, and can only hope that it’s less hair-loss-and-gray-hair inducing and at least as fulfilling as the last.

And with that, tonight, on the 31st of December, I bid farvel, godnatt, and arrivederci, to 2016, and godmorgen, hallo, and villkommen to 2017. But before we finish our champagne and our adieu’s, let’s look back at what happened this past year.

What Did I Do This Year?

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  • made soup stock for the first time, the second time, the third time, the fourth time, and the fifth time (I could go on for a while)
  • made baguette for the first time in my life
  • applied to grad school
  • got into grad school

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  • voted in a primary for the first time in my life
  • turned 1/4 of a century old
  • got sick from rollercoasters for the first time
  • visited Montana (Glacier National Park, y’all!)

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  • first USC football game as an alumnus
  • got my first credit card
  • spent a semester struggling to understand financial aid
  • bought my first ever saute pan, and also my first ever Nespresso


  • tried online dating for the first time ever
  • went on my first date, and my second date, and my third what-may-have-been-a-date-but-also-may-not-have-been
  • tried Laotian food for the first time (and ever since I have had dreams of moving to or near D.C. to eat at the same place again)
  • made molten lava cakes for the first time ever

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  • had my first ever allergy test (why are they so expensive??)
  • experienced a lot (a lot) of changes in my family (people passing away, people having children, people getting engaged)
  • took my first ever spin class, and learned how to use kettle bells for the first time
  • turned down job/interview offers for the first time, multiple times

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  • roasted my first chicken
  • made pasta from scratch for the first time
  • successfully made croissants for the first time
  • first ever solo road trip, first road trip as the driver

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  • longest hike ever: 11 miles round trip in Glacier National Park
  • acquired a new role at work: knife sharpener for the cooking school
  • started using an analytics plugin for the blog, so I can get to work on my SEO practices
  • bought my first copy of Photoshop: a Creative Suite photographer’s bundle, which includes annual online subscriptions to both Photoshop and Lightroom (Lightroom is my honeybunch.)

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  • bought my first two knives and my first honing steel
  • bought my first set of ceramic dishes
  • got my car serviced for the first time
  • started tutoring in Japanese

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My 2016 Resolution:

Get fit. 

Did I do that? Doubtful. It is an established fact by now that I can gracefully carry a large ladder, but I cannot carry a 4-quart food processor.

I kept a note on my phone of all the exercise I did this year and all the exercise I wanted to do, organized by type, frequency, intensity, and month, with graduated increases from month to month. I did less than half. In fact, most of it is rolling over into 2017.

And by “rolling over,” I mean “being forgiven like I hope my student loans will be.”

I did get fit, a little bit. I did establish some habits (I walk a few miles a week), and I discovered some exercises that work for me and some that don’t (bootcamp nearly murdered me 51 weeks ago today, and spin class basically saved my life.)

In a sense, I did make progress, and it’s progress that I want to keep working on through the next year and the rest of my life. I want to keep lifting weights, practicing yoga, walking around my city, and exploring different fitness classes. Of course, I want my body to look better but knowing my eating habits, that’s unlikely to happen no matter what I do at the gym.

More importantly, though, I just want to keep exercising and learning.

I had also resolved to produce more savory recipes for the blog, and again, I made minimal progress. I did end up with a nice focaccia recipe and a recipe for onion soup, so not all is shame and failure. I also cooked a lot more this past year than I have any year before, and I learned heaps of great cooking techniques (I can braise! I can sear! I can make a roux! I can roast a chicken!)

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My Resolution(s) for 2017:

I can be pretty obsessive about forming resolutions. Not only do I have a whole philosophy regarding the formation of New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve even gone through various iterations of said philosophy. I couldn’t think of anything pertinent for the new year, and chances are I’ll just keep changing habits throughout the rest of my life anyway, so rather than a general resolution or a massive 12-month goal, I think I’ll work on these 3 smaller goals:

  1. Get a new paid writing job (to replace the one I gave up, supplement what I have now, and expand on my nascent writing career)
  2. Continue working out, improve on my routine, and try to become more consistent with my exercise
  3. Publish more savory recipes this coming year than I already have on this blog (so…at least 4.)

Manageable, measurable, and attainable, and to top it all off, low-stress.


Now, let’s all take a collective deep breath, and say “good riddance, and good night” to 2016.

Nick P.

Categories: about me