This is paraphrasing a quote my dad said one new year’s a couple of years ago, but I think it’s fitting for 2018. It was a hard year. I moved back home. My brother, who is also one of my best friends, moved halfway across the country. I had some knockdown, drag-outs with my depression. I experienced two deaths of two different people that I once had strong relationships with and no longer did anymore.
But even in those hard times, I found things to be grateful for. I had a home to go back to when things were hard for me. I have a brother I’m close to and I got to go on a cool road trip with him, which led to me finally spending some quality time with my friend, Kate, down in Texas. After those bouts of severe depression, I’m still here and can recognize that I cope with them better than I did when I was younger. The deaths are harder to find things to be grateful about, but I can say that I’m grateful my grandfather came to a peaceful end of a long life and that I got to hear from Josh the day before he left this life.
I worked on myself a lot this year. I finally started sending my writing out to agencies again. Even though that’s led to a lot of rejection letters, it’s still a sign that I’m trying. I started going to the gym and can actually say now that I consistently go six days a week. I made the decision to go on Weight Watchers and lost 22 pounds so far. More than that, I recognize that neither of these moves for my health are quick fixes I can quit someday when I reach a certain size or scale number. Some people have problems with alcohol or smoking. I have problems with food, both eating too much and not eating enough and I need to treat it like an addiction that I’ll have to pay attention to for the rest of my life. I accrued a large amount of debt when I moved out last year and now that I’m home, I’m on a plan to get that taken care of.
I also started just going out and doing things on my own. That’s a hard thing to write. It sounds empowering, but to me, it sounds lonely. And it is. I do a lot of my life alone. All my friends live very far away and now so does my only sibling. I don’t have a romantic partner and never have. So for a long time, things like going shopping or to lunch or to a movie were just activities I thought I couldn’t do because they’re considered things to do with friends and family. I made excuses not to do them. I stopped doing that in 2018. If there was a movie I wanted to see, I went and saw it. It’s only playing on the Cape? That’s okay. I’ll see what cafes are around there and go see it. 2018 showed me that you never know when you’re going. You can’t always wait for another person. We’re social beings and I truly believe people are better with other people. But sometimes, it’s out of your control and you just need to take the 10 bucks and go see that dumb indie movie that’s playing an hour away because, yup, you just want to see that one scene with the hot actor from that vampire show.
All right, enough heavy. Let’s go onto my picks for favorite movies/books/shows/music of 2018 (in no particular order).
- “Love Is Madness” 30 Seconds to Mars featuring Halsey – This whole album was excellent, but this song was my favorite
- “Hey Hey” Joshua & The Holy Rollers – I promise I’m not even biased because this is Hanson’s little brother. It’s just a damn good song.
- “So Will I” Hillsong Worship
- “Who You Say I Am” Hillsong Worship – Again, this whole album is good, but this one and the song listed above are my favs
- “Nunca” David Hidalgo & Los Refugio Tiernos – I was very disappointed with the Mayans MC show and stopped watching, but the theme song is excellent.
- “We’ve Got Tonight” Chord Overstreet – Now I am biased.
- “Dancing On My Own” Calum Scott – This is definitely my favorite song this year. It made me cry. I still listen to it every time I get in the car. Just so good.
- “Born Again” Austin French – Just a good jam.
- “Everything Is Fine” All Time Low – I love everything this band puts out and they put out two songs this year. Honestly, I love them both and had a hard time which one to pick.
- String Theory Hanson – A selection of Hanson songs with a full orchestra. It’s hard to get me to like Hanson more, but the boys managed to do it.
- Tell Me A Story – A twist on the dark fairy tales set in modern times. Two complaints about this show though: It’s a bitch to watch because who the f*ck actually pays for CBS Access? And I was promised Austin Butler in this show and he was not in it -_-
- The end of The Originals – I was sad to see it go and a lot of the characters go with it, but I’m also satisfied with it.
- Legacies – I’m definitely enjoying The Vampire Diaries and Originals spinoff, especially when I get to see some old favorite characters pop up. My mom actually started watching this one too.
- “Joseph Vittori” episode from Medal of Honor – I watched this one episode from the Netflix series because I love Steven R. McQueen and he starred in it. It’s a documentary series on all different people that have received the Medal of Honor, with their stories told by historians, eyewitnesses and then reenacted by good actors. I never knew the story of Joseph Vittori, who’s from my home state of Massachusetts, but it was so amazing and made me emotional.
- Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash – I enjoyed every second of this tribute to my favorite Halloween movie.
- Castle Rock – I’ve only read two Stephen King books, so I’m sure I missed all the references this show made, but the plot was interesting and I really enjoyed it, even if the ending confused the hell out of me.
- So You Think You Can Dance – I started watching this once Vanessa Hudgens became a judge, but I got very into it this season. I know shit about dance, but I think the right person won. Still, I have no shame in saying I was HERE for the Slavik and Genessy chemistry and am thrilled beyond what is healthy that they’re now dating irl.
- Deep State – Okay, this one is pure Joe Dempsie love. The plot goes right over my head.
- The end of Once Upon A Time – I’m glad they finally put this show to rest. I love that I got some Nathan Parsons in the last season, but it should have ended the previous season. Still, it was a fitting ending finally.
- Roseanne – This one is hard. I loved that they brought this show back. It was hilarious and had SO much potential. I loved that they showed both sides of a lot of issues because so much of the media is one-sided. But obviously it was pulled and I understand. They spun the show off, but it’s just not the same.
No real explanations for these. Just some movies I enjoyed this year 🙂
- Been So Long
- Bad Times at the El Royale
- A Simple Favor
- Dark River
- Deadpool 2
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Black Panther
- 12 Strong
Normally, I have a music video section, but there weren’t enough I wanted to note, so this very short list is both shorts and music videos I enjoyed this year.
- “Lay With Me” Phantoms & Vanessa Hudgens
- “Better With You” Jesse McCartney
- Tourism Australia
- Circe Madeline Miller
- The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process Francesca Lia Block
- Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles
- The Byline Bible: Get Published in Five Weeks Susan Shapiro
- D-Day: The World War II Invasion That Changed History Deborah Hopkinson
- Engineering for Cats: Improve the Life of Your Pet Through 10 Ingenious Projects Mac Delaney
- Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race Margot Lee Shutterly, Winifred Conkling, illustrated by Laura Freeman
- Red Sparrow Jason Matthews
- The Secret Life of Cows Rosamund Young
- The Duchess: Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair That Rocked The Crown Penny Juror