2016 in review

I started 2016 in a really good place — for starters, I was in Mexico, but beyond that, I was madly in love with my boyfriend, Michael, and I was well on my way to securing a new job after enduring (what felt like) a very long unemployment stint (four months). I kite-surfed for the first time by.my.self (NBD) and then popped a bottle of champagne on the beach of La Ventana to celebrate my 26th birthday.

magnum + my cousin Dave!

Looking back on 2016, it wasn’t exactly the action-packed traveling + Hollywood love story that 2015 was, but I learned a lot about my relationships and my personal emotions that I still want to reflect on.

Some highlights in the first 6 months:

  • Quickly secured a job at Uberflip to start late January — cue me quickly getting a flight back to La Ventana to kitesurf through my last week of freedom. More quality time with my cousin Dave :) I took more lessons, we camped on the Pacific coast for a night and did our fair share of partying
beach corn pops
  • Celebrated Mori’s birthday at Yasu on Harbord — sometimes this restaurant is compared to that in Jiro Dreams of Sushi
  • Caught my first fish in a trout pond
  • Played in a celebrity softball tournament in the pouring rain to raise money for mental health initiatives at TEGH
  • Prince Edward County to celebrate Julia Mori’s 60th!
  • Intense stress and anxiety over foreign and Canadian taxes (insert flying money emoji here and let those dollar signs fly for the remainder of the year — December this year, I was done with it all — raised hands emoji)
  • Lake Rosseau with my cousins to escape for a weekend
  • Italy for Minnie and Julian’s wedding + reuniting with Berlin friends — I still miss living in Europe and the people there.

At the end of July, the Mississauga paddling community celebrated 50 years since my dad won his silver medal in Montreal. I feel so lucky to have this special community who loved John, but this evening struck a chord in me. Celebrating John’s many successes makes it so hard to come to terms with the way he died. I struggled personally with where I felt my own life was in comparison. I confessed my feelings to a close friend, Erin — she said everything I needed to hear, and I felt good about telling someone.

I made a couple more attempts kite-surfing in Lake Ontario before going to Georgian bay for 11 days with the Moris in search of wind and relaxation. 9 days later, I had had a lot of relaxation (completed 4 large novels), but no wind. Day 10 and 11, we got our kiting in. Once at trim-tree (the island we were staying on) and once at Oak Island (where my cousin Dave was). I also got to visit with my cousin Jennie, Jamie and their daughter, Samantha (aka it was the best day ever).

Maves and Victoria got married on the hottest day of the year and I cried tears of joy and sweat for their beautiful union :). We celebrated the marriage of Matt and Raf, and went to Montreal for Mike’s friend “Hatch”’s wedding. We reunited with Nora in Montreal and I carried her suitcase full of crystals up two flights of stairs, because she can’t carry things more than 10 pounds, and she needs her crystals for sleeping —Mori told her she was going to one day be “the crazy aunt”.

Fall highlights:

  • My mom moved into her house that she has seemingly owned forever and will be under construction for many years to come
  • Foraged a Hen of the Woods
  • Went camping in Algonquin to check out the leaves, and paddle around for a weekend
  • Joined an intramural soccer team (Harambe FC) despite having no foot-eye coordination
  • Dressed up as a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man for Halloween
  • Accepted a Junior Product Manager position at Universe — starting in January (incredibly excited for this new challenge)
  • Quit my job at Uberflip —this was difficult because I love my team at Uberflip, and really enjoyed working with everyone, but ultimately, it was not the right position, and the product didn’t inspire me every day (but seriously, if you are reading this and are one of my Uberflip colleagues, I miss you)
  • Mori and I moved to our new apartment in Roncesvalles. We had about 10 days of overlap between the two places so we were incredibly unorganized (I’m talking 15+ car loads to move the entire apartment from one place to the other)
  • Perhaps TMI, BUT I successfully used a menstrual cup and I kid you not, it is changing my fricken’ life! I’m tempted to write an entire post dedicated to the diva cup because it is so life-changing. Mori is super pumped that we have two bathrooms in our new apartment.

Overall, 2016 was a year full of ups, downs, and learning about my relationships and feelings. I felt a lot this year, and I did a lot of it alone, but I’m learning to open up. Towards the end of the year, I also went out with my high school friends, and for the first time since John died, I felt like myself again — that felt good. I felt isolated a lot of this year (a lot of my own doing) and confused about balancing my relationships with family, friends and Mori alongside health, work and myself.

I’m happy to say I am ending the year the same way I started it — kitesurfing in La Ventana, except this time, my whole family is here.

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