Here’s another year of summarizing the one exceptional first and momentous experiences of my life. I’ve done these for a few years now (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and I try to reflect on what was learned or what I should be appreciative of from what occurred. This year was particularly interesting because I’ve changed so much this year.
Here’s what stood out for 2017:
January started in Phoenix, Stalina convinced me to run a 52km. I hadn’t run an ultramarathon in over a year. I initially took 2016 off to reflect on what my running goals were. It just so happened that I missed it so much. I had such an amazing experience in Arizona that I decided to go ahead and sign up for my 2nd 50-miler.
In February I found out I’m allergic to cats after taking an allergy test. For the entire month, I wrote daily posts about African Americans and fun facts about them on my wall to celebrate black history. I also left my running team when I realized that it wasn’t aligning with my running goals. It lacked the support that I required in my life outside of running and took too large of a priority. I was part of the Dashing Whippets Running Team for a few years and had designed their website and somehow was tasked with doing their social media. I was pretty proud of growing their Instagram following from 100 followers to over 2K in less than a year. However, it took too much of my time that didn’t quite bring a return on my investment since I ended up focusing less on running. After leaving, I focused more on my relationship. Mike and I celebrated our birthday by heading to Atlantic City. I love that we travel so well together.
In March I was invited to a hackathon by Emily and Matt. It was fun. While there, I was able to play the role of strategist and project manager. We won the hackathon. I also did the West point half and played handbag bingo for the first time. I joined my bf’s mom, her sister, and sister-in-law.
During April, I took the love of my life to my country of birth. However, not before realizing that my passport had expired. We also went to see Bronx Tale to celebrate our anniversary. At work, I started a bike-to-work challenge. I also got to meet a lovely and talented photographer who shared my last name: Terenia. This year was also the first time that I participated in the Red Hook Crit 5K. It was super fun.
I had another art show in May. I was pretty proud to introduce #commuteart to Brooklyn at
GrandChamps. May was also the last time I spoke to my father for 2017.
In June my sister visited the city with my niece and I got to take them around the city. I moved in with my boyfriend. I got to bike 40 miles to support my friend while she ran 100 miles. I got to see Misty Copeland and went to a U2 concert.
For July I did NYC triathlon again. This time, I had an incredible experience where my chain fell off and I got a flat tire. Nonetheless, I did quite well. I also did my 3rd Tough Mudder. My job also sent me to the Women of Color in Communications Conference which brought me face-to-face with the harsh reality of the lack of diversity in my industry. Something that started making me rethink my purpose in my field.
In August I was happy to witness the Great Eclipse thanks to Gardenia. I ran in a cross country 5k and surprisingly placed. (I got to take home carrot cake as my reward). I also took some much needed time away in Lake Placid with Mike.
In September I did the run 10 feed 10k for the 2nd time. I didn’t do a personal record but my boss also ran it. It was a very fun experience. I also decided to take the step to talk to a therapist. This was the best decision I ever did in my life. My curiosity about chatting with a therapist started when I began working on a pitch for a depression drug. As I mentioned, in
May, was the last time I spoke to my father for 2017. I didn’t realize that it was affecting me dearly. Talking to a therapist helped me unpack so many things that I hadn’t confronted since my childhood—not just what had been happening with my dad. I also hadn’t dealt with issues like my brother’s death. I realized that I wasn’t depressed but the way I handled stress had significantly changed. What I used to handle by simply going for a run had to be replaced by chatting with someone. When I was younger, it was much easier talking to friends. However, since we are all over 30 now, most of our priorities may not be each others. There’s so much that I can say about this. Realizing that had passed out on a train one day in 2016 without knowing why made me the indirect effects of stress. It might have been linked to being stressed out in different areas of my life. I used Talkspace if you want to try for $50 off take a look here. My therapist was amazing and by the time I stopped talking to her in December, I was back to how I used to handle my goals with a bullet journal. The difference between now and prior was that I blogged ever since I was 10. Over 20 years later, I don’t do it daily. I still won’t blog daily however, I’ll journal. I’ll have to write about the experience with therapy one day. Since trying, this is something I’ve always wanted to share with everyone because growing up, therapy always seemed so taboo. I wish I had tried it even sooner, especially after my brother had passed away.
During October I had thankfully started making plans to decide where to best place my time. The impact of the Women of Color in Communications really resonated with me so when Emily suggested that I check out <Hello/Girl>. I was a perfect fit. I also attended 2 Dope Queens live taping with my coworkers. Went to my first baby shower and won 2nd place female in a trail marathon.
In November I completed my 2nd attempt at a 50-mile race. Saw Meb Keflezighi for the 3rd time in real life. Saw a classmate of mine doing her thing on a book tour and got inspired to write my own.
Finally, in December, I went home to St. Croix and it was pretty heartbreaking seeing how Hurricane Irma and Maria affected the island, however, I was happy that my family was ok. Also, 2017 left me with news that I’m lactose intolerant. Not a terrible way to end the year but I’ll miss cheese. This all makes sense because everything about my weight seemed to fluctuate this year and there was no explanation about it.
One of my favorite projects this year was something I called #commuteartwear where I draw what I wear while on my way to work on my iPad. I post them on my @commuteartist instagram account. I didn’t know it would have gotten the reaction it did.
I’m not great at resolutions so I just hope for the best for everyone in 2018. May we all be less stressed by the dividing parties of the nation. Hope we all achieve what our heart desires.