Year in Review: 2016

I often say that the best thing about keeping a blog is that I can go back and see exactly what headspace I was in at pretty much any time. It’s great for those times of reflection… like… say… the end of the year? With everyone hating on 2016 so hard, I set out to see if it was really the dumpster fire that social media has labeled it. Here are the best and worst moments, month by month, of the year 2016 for me.

Let’s see what wins.


The Best of January

2016 was probably “not as terrible as everyone claimed it to be” for me because I started it off with a purge. (Yowza!) I dumped the guy that was literally every-kind-of-wrong for me and didn’t look back.

January was also the month that it really hit me that Tonnisha was going to have a baby and become a parent. We were working together at the time so I watched her, everyday, sacrifice for this unborn human that I was kind of not convinced was actually ever gonna come out. I had never looked at a pregnancy that close before. I never understood the day-to-day struggle of growing a life inside of you. It truly put the whole “becoming a mom” thing in perspective for me. And loaded another truck full of respect onto the “Things I ADORE About Tonnisha” pile that its already sky-high.


The Worst of January?

Although a lot of good things were happening, I was dealing with a lot of insecurities, especially as they regard dating interracially.



The Best of February

Ahhh February. The one month I took to be a single little bird. I also crafted my first Currently post, which have turned out to be big ones for the ol’ blog.  So big, in fact, Kim Kardashian does them on her app. * side eye *

I’m pretty sure I started talking to Derek this month. He will say this meant me standing him up and ignoring him. I will say that it took my heart some time to realize what I had in front of me. No worries though, I figure it out in about a month.

The Worst of February?


I was “dating” which meant I was writing some ridiculously over-dramatic blog posts.



The Best of March

I finally wake up and realize that being in love doesn’t make me any less independent or strong or ambitious. It just enhances my life. That I don’t have to date fixer uppers, I can be with the nicest, sweetest man on Earth and still have fun and feel fulfilled.  Oh and this happens:

The Worst of March?

Dating Derek meant dating his friends, obviously. This includes my first stint of “day-drinking” at Harrison’s. I don’t remember much of the day, except for staying at the same bar from 11:30am until about 9 or 10pm. I’m certain my first impression was just me making a fool of myself, and I lost my Homage Beanie. * Facepalm *



The Best of April

This technically happened on March 31st, but whatever. My first Creative Babes event! I wrote a whole post about it, so I’ll let you read that, but it was an incredible experience. I was also blogging for The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio’s Keyholder 2016, which would turn out to be another biggie of 2016. Oh, and who can forget, my littlest GunnerGirl with the coolest personality ever: Maia.

The Worst of April?

My first Tronfest ends in disaster. Quick back story: Tronfest is the fabled day-long celebration of Anthony “Tron” Redfern’s birthday. I have been hearing about Tronfest since Derek’s roommate, Colin, and I worked together years ago. I was so excited to attend my first one that I drank too much, ate too little, and… barfed… EVERYWHERE. Happy to say my relationship with Derek somehow survived the absolutely humiliating ordeal.


The Best of May

I go to New Lexington for the first time and meet the incredible humans that created my lovely boyfriend. It inspires a poem, as well as a PSA. I also spent some time in Akron visiting my Mom and gushing about Derek, I’m sure. Oh and I also throw a SURPRISE baby shower for Tonnisha at my old job.

Also, the Keyholder event happens and this is a big high point of my year. I volunteer at the event, I’m featured in a video and a ton of people from my job (including the managing partner) come to support me in my feminist endeavors. There were few days in 2016 that felt as good as that one.


The Worst of May?

I decide to switch up my box braids by getting a bob. This results in the worst hair experience I’ve ever had in my life. I sit at the shop for something like 7 hours and am too pissed off to function afterwards.




The Best of June

Holy Hell, June was a HUGE month! The biggest? Obviously, attending Women in Digital’s first event that would completely shape the rest of my year, unbeknownst to me of course. This is where I fell in love with the group, the mission, and the leader. I raised my hand, half buzzed on mimosas, and demanded Alaina let me help with this group. That lead to a relationship that still blows my mind to this day. I had no idea, not even an inkling, that this day would completely change the rest of my year, and have the potential to change my life.

Also life changing– watching the Cleveland Caveliers bring home the championship IN CLEVELAND. I truly have no words for what an epic experience that was. I am so lucky I got to be there and drink it all in. That will live in my mind until the day I die.

Other big things: Nish’s For Real Baby Shower. Park Street Fest, Derek and I take the plunge and buy kayaks, and I move into my very first place all by my lonesome– a little one bedroom in Grandview on the river.

The Worst of June?

Kayaking meant sunburns. Ouch. And your girl isn’t too familiar with the art of sunscreen as my melanin usually protects me from such horrors.



The Best of July

Tegan Yanira is born. My Goddaughter. The cutest thing to happen to the world.
I watch the fireworks with my love in the most patriotic outfits in life, I QUIT my old job and get hired on at CEMENT, and Derek’s friends (I guess they’re my friends too!) build a sweet-ass barge for us to use at the lake on the weekends.

The Worst of July?

My Grandfather, who we affectionately called “B.Daddy” passes away this month. He has an amazingly gorgeous homegoing ceremony, however. My family rallies.

And although I “got” my apartment in June, I couldn’t move in until the first week of July. This meant being homeless for like two weeks. I literally kept boxes, clothes, furniture and everything else at like 3 different people’s places. Shoutout to Dana and Tonnisha for being pals, and to Derek and his roommates for dealing with me in their house for those 2 weeks. Moving. SUCKS.

The Best of August

Derek turns 28 and I get all sentimental, but we celebrate SUPER HARD! Beer Fest, Beer Olympics, Pool Days and more. August was savoring all that summer had left for us, and I loved every second. Oh, and did I mention the Drake concert?! Way too much fun!

The Worst of August?

After meeting my coworker, Emily, who is a Bunny Mom, I fall in love HARD with the idea of getting a bunny. Like, super hard. However, we discover that Derek is allergic and it’s literally him or a bunny. Obviously, I choose him.



The Best of September

On August 31st, I participate in The Big Table with Erin Scott and a bunch of other Columbus babes. I’m also featured on the home page of Creative Babes new website! Yahoo!


But as for September: My LinkedIn Game gets challenged as it is revealed that I will be giving a talk on LinkedIn Style at the October Women in Digital Fall Conference. Yes– the Women In Digital thing I stumbled upon back in June is now “Conference-Level” and I’m a featured speaker. I know, I was freaking out, too.


I also win a slogan contest, Derek and I attend Bacon Fest, oh and I GO TO SEATTLE FOR MOZCON! WAHOOOO!

I can’t stress enough how much my mind is blowing that most of the amazing stuff that happened this year was a direct result of just speaking up at that one Women in Digital meeting in June. So, so, so crazy. I’m so thankful.

The Worst of September?

I start really freaking out about turning 25.



The Best of October

This post probably sums up October best. It was a fulfillment of a lot of my ambitions.

I did my first public speaking stint at the Columbus Women in Digital Fall Conference, which was equal parts terrifying and amazing.


I was chosen as one of the 12 “Single and Successful” in Columbus and got to hold a kangaroo!


I did some more Grant Reading for The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio (and Brittnee joined me!)


Derek and I attend our first wedding together for my gal pal Ashleigh.

AAAAND I became Scary Spice. NBD.14915187_10211340907705159_4404061547558213394_n



The Best of November

November 2016. Tron and Steph get engaged, Derek spends Thanksgiving with my family (get’s Grandma’s stamp of approval), I uncover that I am dating a Black Friday shopper, and I turn a quarter of a century old. The big 2-5. It turns out to not be as earth-ending as I anticipated, and actually really special. Oh and DONALD TRUMP GET ELECTED LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD!


The Worst of November?

The election really killed the entire vibe of 2016 for me. I truly think that’s why everyone thinks this year sucked so hard. Politics makes me the most uncomfortable girl in the history of life. My mom taught me never to discuss politics or religion, and, unfortunately elections in general are tied to a lot of very painful memories for me. I dealt with a bunch of racism, for the first time in my life, when Obama ran for president. So, needless to say, 2016 was spent pretty much in a constant stomach churn. November was kind of just the climax of that. Oh, AND, a dude with a machete decided to go ham on Ohio State’s campus ON MY BIRTHDAY. So. There was that, too.



The Best of December

I add the title “Podcast Co-Host” to my resume, thanks again to my amazing boss and fearless Women in Digital leader. I get real honest with who I am. I spend my first Christmas with the Cozads and have an amazing New Year’s Eve with old friends and new.


The Worst of December?

Lots of hangovers.




Honorable Mentions:

Leading discussion at Culture Talk Change Agents. Joining The Columbus Book Project team. Signing up to participate for A Date 2 Remember. Knowing that people trust me enough to watch their babies and their dogs. Starting, binging, and obsessing over Game of Thrones. Every Saturday spent on the lake.



I’ll leave you with a sentimental Facebook post,


Here’s to another twelve months of good days outweighing the bad,

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3 replies to “Year in Review: 2016

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