It’s a New Year! Per my annual tradition, this post shares a recap and looks forward.
While 2023 is slowly completing for me, I’m also hopeful that 2024 will be magical. But first, let’s look back!
2023 Highlight Reel
It’s hard and maybe a bit unfair to summarize a year like this, but here are the highlights that fit in a bulleted list.
- Ate memorable meals like Rooster & Owl, Yugen, Olamaie
- Dined at 165 different Austin restaurants, bakeries, breweries, and bars
- Traveled to Florida, Seattle, Alaska, Washington D.C., and Japan
- Went halibut fishing and whale watching in Alaska
- Saw so many sights and ate lots of good food in D.C.
- Had an unforgettable time in Japan
- Read 50 books
- Saw Taylor Swift in concert
- Made plant pots at my first pottery class
- Took 90 OrangeTheory Fitness classes where I ran 207+ miles on the treadmill
- Hosted a fun paella party
- Took a chicken butchery class
- Went to my first MLS game – Austin FC
- Ate my first Texas-farmed oysters
- Published 74 posts on Fearless Captivations
- Spent more time (lots of time!) with my family – 3 trips and plenty of quick visits
Things I Ate
So many delicious things! I visited 165 food places in Austin in 2023, from restaurants and bars to bakeries and pop-ups. It was really hard to narrow down the best things I ate (and I might even have some regrets about things I should have put on the list), but here’s that post if you’re interested.
I went on trips to Seattle, Alaska, DC, and Japan where I enjoyed noteworthy dishes. Things like:
- Dumplings from Din Tai Fung in Seattle
- King Crab in Alaska
- Dinner at Rooster & Owl and Bar Spero in DC
- So many incredible things in Japan
My Favorite and Most Popular Blog Posts
Wow, 74 posts in 2023!?! That’s about 6 a month. It doesn’t feel like I wrote a lot but that number speaks for itself and that’s really cool to see. Thank you for being here and reading. I hope you gained a recommendation, insight, or inspiration from something you read here!
Here are 9 of my favorite/most popular posts from last year.
Six life lessons that I keep coming back to and am still learning today:
- Come soothing, not solving.
- Start small and show up every day.
- Be an energetic match for what you want.
- Perfection isn’t attained, it’s uncovered.
- Navigate change by finding the constant within yourself.
- Stay curious. This leads the way to growth, understanding, and love.
I thought 2022 was hard. Someone in your family almost dying will make it seem that way. With it came a few more stresses, like more health questions and navigating the family dynamics strained by the stress of it all. While I’ve continued writing about death, loss, and grief, I didn’t expect the hardest part of the year – losing my friend. Many of the year’s highlights are overshadowed by that and it continues to be this uncomfortable thing I’m figuring out.
In the animated Spider-Man movie that came out in 2023 (Across the Spider-Verse), we’re introduced to many different versions of Spider-Man all at once. That’s an illustration of how we live our lives. We become different versions of ourselves when we have a life-changing event or some kind of epiphany. We’re continuously evolving. I know this current version of me – incredibly sensitive, overwhelmingly full of grief, discouraged, and hopeful – is here for a season and is teaching me. I believe in the good that comes from hard things, even when it’s heartbreaking to say it.
Looking at my goals and intentions from last year, I did learn about myself spiritually, and having the space and tools to journal help. Not only did I focus on learning new things – I made sure to keep track of it. You saw a lot of it in the highlights – taking a pottery class and going fishing. I had some memorable experiences last year and I am thankful for so much time with family.
2024 Intentions and Goals
A big goal of mine this year is service. Other than volunteering and blogging, I’m not sure what this looks like yet, but some questions I’m using to guide me are:
- What can I give to the world?
- How do I contribute to the highest good?
- What’s the larger conversation I want to be part of?
- How can I support others?
Here are some of my other goals:
- Build on my sewing skills – would love to regularly mend and alter clothing
- Take time for regular meditation
- Complete the DIY home projects on my list – lots of updates by room
- Build community – like mahjong meet-ups
- Go to therapy
- Read 50 books
- Go on a long walk/hike every month – hoping for more, regular time in nature
- Workout 12x a month
- Eat more locally
- Spend less – less thrifting, less impulse buys, zero Amazon (spent $524 last year)
As for the blog, I have a huge backlog of post drafts. I know I won’t get through it all, but I’d like to declutter this a bit. As always, I’ll be sharing more content about local farms, companies, and restaurants. We have so many resources with many more stories to tell, and I can’t wait to work through my list.
Thank you for being here! I hope you have a magical year and you are continually blessed with what you need. Cheers to 2024!