8 Things I Failed at in 2016

Some times with social media, people present a clean-cut version of themselves. It’s not necessarily a lie so much as a high-light reel ignoring the blunders. Y’all have seen the thousands of think-pieces about this. But there are some good things, like #TotallyHonestTuesday and hilarious photos people will post of themselves with a really nice selfie next to their worst/most unflattering/silliest face. Like any blogger, I’ve done my share of overindulgent pats on the back. Conversely though, I think that I’m pretty safe on here when it comes to the shit things in life, and the same goes for Twitter. Because this administration year has been such a rage fest for me on social media, I actually deleted a bunch of apps, including Facebook, from my phone. I rarely posted/post personal things on Facebook anyway, instead opting to overshare many a WaPo or Vox article that my conservative family will ignore. Instagram can be a little dangerous in terms of my only showing the good (and delicious), but I sort of justify it since I’ve got this blog to show all dem unflattering angles. Also the 1 Second Everyday I made of 2016 was a good mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’ve built up a world where it’s not okay to fail, and that’s just not how life works. Failure is all around us, and it’s crucial to growth. I think part of that is the weight we place on the word. A failure can be a simple trial and error that you immediately find the right answer to after the first mistake, a non-issue, or, sure, it can be a giant thing with actual repercussions. Regardless, it’s an often necessary step in any process.

That being said, I think it’s important to talk about failure. I think it’s important especially being an American, and having been steeped in a culture of results, of “America first” rhetoric, where we did indeed get participation trophies (that none of us asked for or expected, but whatever, parents/Boomers). God sports are the worst. I just wanted to take karate, man.

Anywho, I thought it might be embarrassing enlightening to take a look at some things I set out to do in 2016 and just totally dropped the ball on, for one reason or another, and maybe help that inform what is left of this year.

DIVE INTO MY MEDIOCRITY!  DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!

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Never Having the Right Ingredients

This sounds like I’m about to construct a super-weak metaphor, but I mean that headline in a literal sense.

Ever since I left university, I’ve struggled with food. Not in the unhealthy eating way–I do have some bad habits for sure–but in terms of what is readily available to me.

It doesn't take much to make me happy #shakeshack

A post shared by @jenhurler on

At uni, I was on a meal plan and the options at the different dining establishments around campus offered loads of healthy options with occasional indulgences. I was at my healthiest in college due to my constant access to healthier food and a pool 100 yards from my dorm.

My mother keeps a full pantry. She always has just what she needs, and on the rare occasion she was caught off guard or needed something a uncommon for a special event we were fortunate to live a five-minute drive from a supermarket. For me, the observer, she seems to somehow track it all in her head. She has shopping lists for sure–one for each store in fact–but she always seems to know what to do, what she needs, what to get at the store. I guess it is just years of experience.

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When You Like Owning Stuff

Earlier this month, I was planning to move house for the third time in two years. It would have been a good move too–shorter commute, less driving in general, closer to downtown, living with friends, spacious apartment. I was dreading it, of course, as does anyone who owns stuff. I’m very wary of even thinking about moving, but I was actually starting to embrace this one. Until shit hit the fan and we lost the place.

In those couple of days that we thought we had the place, the gears had already begun to turn. I was already making lists of things I could stash at work VS things I wanted to bring VS things I could send back to my parent’s house. I started making lists, piling up things to bring to Good Will, and I even packed two small boxes of smaller items. Now I’ve got to unpack that stuff. When I thought I was moving, my way of thinking about my belongings changed, and changed once again when I knew I wasn’t moving.

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