9 Things I Fell In Love With In 2016

I know this is rather delayed, guys, and I’m sorry. Can we all just get used to the fact that I am not one of those cool bloggers who manages to do end-of-year wrapups before the year actually ends? I think I’ll be attempting to wrap up everything I did in 2016 all year, honestly.

Want excuses? I got excuses, mon. I just got back from a lovely roadtrip to see extended family – I also managed to get sick while I was there… let’s just say taking a plunge or two into freezing water while canoeing wasn’t my best idea. And then when I got back, I had surgery to have my wisdom teeth removed.

Good enough for you?

Good. Let’s move on.

I’ve never kept track of things like this before, but this year, well, it was a year of falling in love, okay?

1. Hamilton

Sarah and Grace will have to split the credit for this one. Sarah piqued my interest. Grace patiently answered my questions. Ladies, I am indebted.

Not to lessen their part in any way, but Spotify also played an essential role. Spotify means I can explore new music and find out whether I like it or not for absolutely free. See, I don’t like the risk of spending money on something I’m not sure about. Spotify is perfect.

So. Hamilton. If you have not yet experienced this musical, you need to. I’m not a big history person, guys. As embarrassing as this is, I didn’t know who Alexander Hamilton was. I didn’t know who Aaron Burr was. I didn’t know their story.

Now I do.

And I can honestly say that this musical has changed the way I feel about history. Here’s the deal. I love stories. So if someone can present history to me in the form of a story, I’m all in. But the truth is, we don’t know all the details. We don’t know how that figure in history felt at that moment. Sure, we have letters and journals sometimes. But we still don’t know. Not for sure. And that bothers me. Because no matter how well they bring it to life, I know that they probably got something wrong.

Hamilton brings history to life. And I feel like they got it right.

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I look forward to more stories like this one. More stories from history brought to life. More musicals featuring modern music and rap. I’m even into history now. Because I can see it in my head, now. It’s more real to me. These things actually happened. To real people. People like us, with complex emotions and personalities.

2. My tablet

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Fondly named “Alexander Hamilton,” my tablet has become my constant companion. I write lists and blog posts, read books, keep up with reading your blogs, respond to comments and emails, and jam to music on Spotify.

Seriously. If my precious Alexander runs off and gets shot in a duel, I will be crushed.

3. WordPress

You guys are probably getting sick of hearing it, but I used to blog at Blogger. And nothing much happened.

I switched over to WordPress because Blogger was eating gifs and text, and I couldn’t be happier with how it worked out. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not entirely sure whether it was my renewed effort to get to know other bloggers or my new site – all I know is that I have readers now, and I’m loving every minute of it.

4. Twenty-One Pilots

Wow. I have been hearing so much from my fellow bloggers about this duo, and, I’ll confess, I thought it was a little overrated. I had heard a couple songs on the radio and wasn’t terribly impressed.

I owe my change of heart to Abbiee. Basically, Abbiee said, “My soul is encapsulated in the song Forest,” and so I thought, “I’d like to see a picture of Abbiee’s soul.” Besides, I had been telling myself I’d check out their music for ages.

Wow. Again. These two young men are doing something so admirable. They’re fearlessly singing about some incredibly difficult things – suicide, depression, rebellion, doubt, religion, God – and they are doing with hope and a unique style I love.

Want a few reasons to check them out? They sing passionate songs. They do rap. They’re witty. Every song is filled with hope. They scream. A lot.

I love it.

Thanks, Abbiee, for convincing me.

A few of my favorite songs are Trees, True, Addict With A Pen, and Holding On To You. Another fun thing is that their music is always clean, which means my little brother and I can listen together. He loves the song The Pantaloon. In case you were wondering.

5. Spotify

You probably saw this coming, but how could I overlook my dear friend?

As I mentioned earlier, Spotify gives me a way to find new music risk-free. I’m not spending any money. And if I hate a band or a song, I can delete it – delete the whole playlist, if I must.

Before I had Spotify, I didn’t get to explore much in the music world. Now I eagerly try out any and all recommendations I receive.

Oh! And another thing. Abbiee also inspired me to go absolutely crazy with the playlists. She did this completely fantastic tag where she explained how she creates playlists for every novel she writes. So, taking a leaf out of her book, I decided to not only create a playlist for each of my writing projects, but also to create playlists for each character, for writing in general, and for certain types of scenes.

6. Musicals

Okay, I’ve kind of been obsessed with musicals for a while. But I realized it this year. Yes, Hamilton had something to do with it.

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But then I started watching The Phantom of the Opera on YouTube. And Kit recommended Broadway’s Little Women. And I auditioned for Beauty and the Beast.

So, yes. I think it’s safe to say that I am obsessed.

7. Writing

For many years, I kept quiet about my writing. Blogging forced me to open up, and, but by bit, I spilled my guts and realized that there were other people on this planet like me with whom I could screech about the agonies of writerliness.

And so I made friends and came out of my shell. I’ve embraced it, guys. I’m a writer. A proud one. People can think whatever they like – I will not be shamed.

8. Blogging

Man, I could write an entire post about how much I love blogging, okay? Actually, it’s in my draft list right now.

But, briefly, let me say blogging is one of the great joys of my life. I’ve made friends. I’m being proactive about my writing career. I have something that is my own and I’m in charge – the power!

9. NaNoWriMo

Hear me out, friends.

NaNo is one of those things that works for some people… And decidedly does not for others.

I just happen to be one of the lucky few it works for. The peer pressure motivated me to do something I never would have done otherwise.

Ironically, I don’t plan to do it next year. Or for several years after that. Why not, you ask? Next year is my senior year in high school. And I desperately need to graduate. After that comes four grueling years of college.

So. While I rabidly recommend NaNo to you, your cat, and other stray animals and random women in grocery stores, I myself will not be participating.

There you have it, friends!

Let us commence to shriek together in the comments!

What did you fall in love with this year? Any music recommendations for me to try out on Spotify? Have you listened to Hamilton? If not, you are missing out, my friend! Any other musicals you are obsessed with? Have you ever auditioned for a play? Does your device have a name? Do you have a favorite band or singer I should check out? Are you on Spotify? Can I stalk you?