*Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?
In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*
+1 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn? I recommitted to reading more this year and have started Clown Girl by Monica Drake. I’m not intentionally trying to stay on brand with my reading. This book was a gift years ago and in an attempt to clear out my bookshelves, I’m starting with the books that have been sitting there unread. Follow my journey on Goodreads.
+2 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful? With a little bravery and cash, I ordered oVertone’s Purple for Brown Hair coloring conditioner and turned my hair this lovely, yet subtle shade of purple. Dying my hair is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I’ve been too worried about ruining my curls with chemicals or bleach. I’m really pleased with the results I’ve gotten with oVertone! It was easier than I expected and the color is beautiful!
+3 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges. So I did a crazy thing and signed up for YesFit’s How Far Will You Go Challenge which encourages me to run 2,020 miles this year. That averages out to about 5.5 miles EVERY DAY. Way more than I was doing before. I have a couple of planned Hot Chocolate 15ks this year – as a race ambassador, you can use my code ALICHC at registration for a free hat and join me in Houston or Philly. I’m also looking for some more races and potentially taking a crack at another 1/2 marathon. I’m going to need to log some MAJOR miles!
+3 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy? I started packing. I’m still looking for the right apartment, but I know it’s coming. As soon as February I could be out of this hellish home situation filled with anxiety, anger and alcoholism and into a fresh space where I can breathe.
+2 Luck – Something good that happened this week. Lots of luck in Pokemon Sword! During the Shiny Magikarp event, I was able to snag several shinies, some of them are 5IVs I can trade with friends!
+2 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals? Resetting for the new year, I’ve increased my annual savings goal from $5,000 to 7,000. I’ve also increased the payments on my final student loan to be free of that debt sooner. Additionally, I’ve disconnected my credit card from ALL sites where it was saved to help me avoid impulse purchases and added a savings goal of $100/month SOLELY to cover impulse buys… like my out of control collection of tarot cards!
I’ve always been comfortable in my pain with a habit of holding onto situations or relationships that are wrong for me because it’s familiar. Safer than venturing into the unknown. But this year, no more waiting for change that won’t come. No more hoping for things to fix themselves. It’s time to liberate myself from my darkness.
I’m liberating myself from a body I’m uncomfortable in by challenging myself to run every day.
I’m no longer holding myself hostage in other people’s expectations.
No more shackling myself to unhappy, unhealthy relationships.
I’m done mentally and emotionally imprisoning myself in my past.
2019 was really freaking hard, you guys. This year slowly drained my energy to the point where by November, I was having a tough time getting out of bed every day. Marriage is not easy and I’m actually not even really sure I’m cut out for it. I didn’t have the creative freedom I wanted so my blog and writing in general suffered. A lot of great things DID happen, but I know I could have seen much greater success if I had the support, mental capacity and energy to bring my full self into my projects.
Themes of the year Judgement – This card appeared most frequently in my tarot readings. For me, that represented a deep healing that I went through. A heartache I thought I was past time and time again over the last decade, finally came to a close. And I know it this time because finally feel true peace when I think about him. I no longer feel the need to live a life that would impress him or prove him wrong. With healing comes learning, and I know I’m meant for more than I’ve fallen into.
Most-played albums // Bush*Black and White Rainbows + all the other albums, of course / The Shelters*Jupiter Sidecar / The Dandy Warhols*Why You So Crazy / Battle Tapes*Polygon / The Alarm*Sigma
Most-loved shows & films // The Mandalorian / The Marvelous Mrs. Masiel / Stranger Things S3 / Modern Love / Captain Marvel / The Umbrella Academy /
Places I traveled // Austin, TX / Iceland / San Fransisco / San Diego / Philly for my 5th consecutive Hot Chocolate 15k! /
Live shows I attended // Beck / Cage the Elephant / The Dandy Warhols / Bush / Live /
Breweries Visited // Other Half (NYC) / Transmitter (NYC) / Brooklyn Brewing (NYC) / Coney Island Brewery’s gorgeous new taproom (NYC) / Interboro (NYC) / Captain Lawrence Brewing (Elmsford NY) / Grimm Artisanal Ales (NYC) / Gusto Brewing Co (Cape May NJ) / Cape May Brewing Co (Cape May NJ) / Ballast Point Brewing Co (San Diego CA) / Sixpoint Brewing (NYC) / Alewife (NYC) / Lazarus Brewing Co (Austin TX) / Rockaway Brewing Co (NYC) / Five Boroughs Brewing (NYC) / Big aLICe (NYC) / Microbar (Iceland) / Skuli Craft House (Iceland) / Mikkellar and Friends (Iceland) / Stone Brewing (Sand Diego) / COHO Brewing (CMCH NJ) / 21st Amendment (San Fran CA) / Circa (NYC)
Dumbfashion. In case you wanted to wear the biggest millennial diet trope on your feet, Saucony has introduced these ripe runners.
Imagine stepping into a pile of smashed avocado, the coolness squishing between your toes, your tired feet coming to rest on a soggy piece of toast.
“Holy Saucamole! Celebrate your health kick with the delicacy of the exclusive “Avocado Toast” Shadow 6000. Featuring toast-ed leather, smashed avocado textured suede, red pepper flake collar lining, and the “Saucamole” shout out on the heel. It’s everything you avo-wanted, even if the guac is extra.”
The shoe attributes are listed like nutritional information for a rubbery factory.
Smashed avocado textured suede
Red pepper flake speckle collar lining
“Saucamole” shout out on the heel
No. Red. Pepper. Flakes. Spared. Wow.
Yeah, as I run away from an abominable trend in foodie footwear.
Last year, I chose MAKE as my intention. That word grounded everything I did, resulting in a lot of major successes – especially in the making money arena!
But 2018 was still full of a lot of truly draining challenges, which is why I chose TRANSCEND for 2019.
Transcending is all about staying centered throughout the chaos around you and not letting the things you can’t control knock you off course. You can’t control the people around you, but you can rise above their negativity, their drama and their expectations.
It also means going beyond your own expectations for yourself – beyond what you think you’re capable of. I’m going to push myself to grow professionally at an exponential rate. Transcend my mental and physical blockers to push my body to new achievements. I’m going to knock on the doors of NO and turn them into YESes.
This year was kind of all over the place, but ended up balanced. It was full of both unprecedented happiness and frustration. Many of my goals saw success and the frustrations illuminated new areas for me to work on. And I’m setting up my 2019 to tackle those things head on.
But let’s look back at the highlights of 2018 first!
Most-played albums // Bush*Black and White Rainbows + all the other albums, of course / Gorillaz*Humanz / Band of Skulls*By Default / The Dead Deads*Rainbeau + For Your Obliteration / Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds*Who Built the Moon / The Orwells*Disgraceland + Terrible Human Beings / ZZ Ward*The Storm / A Perfect Circle*Eat The Elephant / Beck*Colors
Most-loved shows & films // Black Mirror. The Commuter. The Good Place. The Handmaid’s Tale. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (it grew on me). Glow S2. Jane The Virgin. Nailed It. Orange is the New Black. Disenchantment. American Vandal S2 (hilarious). The Haunting of Hill House 😱 Dexter. Breaking Bad.
Breweries Visited // Big aLICe (LIC) / Transmitter (LIC) / LIC Beer Project (LIC) / Coney Island Brewery (Brooklyn) / Departed Soles (Jersey City) / Flagship (Staten Island) / Killsboro (Staten Island) / Mudhen (Wildwood NJ) / Interboro (Brooklyn) / Grimm’s Artisan Ales (Brooklyn) / Hapas Brewing Co (San Jose, CA) / KCBC (Brooklyn) / Other Half (Brooklyn) / Evil Twin (Philly) / Circa (Brooklyn) / Strong Rope (Brooklyn) / Banger Brewery (Las Vegas) / Brieux Carre (New Orleans) / Braven Brewing (Brooklyn)
Top purchases // My Passion Planner. MealPal. The Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot (signed edition) – the Eight Coins was my eighth deck and I’m an 8 in numerology – what a powerful sign! An Amazon Fire 8 tablet – sure cuts down the clutter of all the books I’ve been reading! This Pokemon tarot deck for Glux’s birthday. A new vacuum (so adult). Backing BOI: Four Souls card game. New renegade cooling system – I upgraded my AC and bought a vornado for the bedroom to circulate the air. My money manifesting wallet. This super cute little radio – It’s been YEARS since I listened to FM radio (it has bluetooth too. Mixing modern and vintage 📻). Moleskine x Nintendo rolltop backpack. Wedding bands!
Goals achieved // Saved $5000 (and THEN some)! Sister tattoos. Hit a 6 figure salary WOOOOOOO!
Style obsessions // Ponchos (so cozy!). New York Black – I created a work uniform that consists of 5 black dresses in different styles that I can change up with funky jewelry, leggings and various accessories – paired with gold – lots of gold! Carnival flavored lip glosses (a la my middle school Lip Smackers days) like cotton candy. Mirrored cat eye sunnies. Handbags that look like cartoon snacks (thanks Betsey Johnson and TokiDoki). Barbie Pink pedis. Makeup made from crystals.
Best things I did for myself // Took vitamins (almost) every day. Cut back on sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Canceled cable (sorry not sorry, Ryan). #NoSpendFeb! Took a pole dancing class in Vegas. Started learning guitar. Crystal bed therapy. Meditation.
Top games // Splatoon 2 (Switch). Bayonetta + Bayonetta 2 (Switch). South Park: The Fractured But Whole (Switch). Octopath Traveler – I mained Primrose the badass stripper (Switch). Pokemon Go (mobile). Jurassic World: Alive (mobile). Salt and Sanctuary (Switch). Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4). Jurassic World: Evolution (PS4). Hollow Knight (Switch). Fallout 76 (PS4). Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4). Animal Crossing Pocket Camp (mobile). Super Smash Bros (Switch).
The Red Room in The Haunting of Hill House invites the occupants to create whatever space they want or need it to be. Take a look:
It’s a comfortable space where imagination and creativity have the freedom to flow free. For me, the red room would lure me in with a big papasan chair filled with pillows. Candles spread all around the room. There’s a bookshelf filled with notebooks to write and doodle in. One wall is covered in my favorite books and there’s a coffee table with a fresh pot of tea always ready along with an endless pile of petit fours.