Another year is ending. As time passes, I cling more to each minute. Recounting my favorites is an exercise that always presents a chance to highlight and pay homage to the light in my life. Here is a short capsule of gems I relished in 2016:
Favorite Concert: I always make it a point to attend concerts and my musical taste isn’t necessarily wedded to one particular genre. This year I had the privilege of listening to Rihanna, Coldplay, JLo and Adele. No surprise here – my favorite was Adele. She is engaging, humorous and comes across as an authentic performer. And her voice radiates throughout the entire arena.
Favorite Posts: This year I spent much of the year focused on writing for other outlets. Three of my favorite pieces in 2016 involved motherhood, sports, parenting and culture. In June, I published Here, a personal piece in the literary journal, Mothers Always Write. In November of this year, my piece, “The Importance of Academics in an Athletic Life” debuted in ESPN W, a publication I’ve admired. In the same month, I published, “From embarrassment to celebration: Acceptance of a bicultural identity during Diwali,” in The Washington Post.
Favorite Reads: I love those moments where my attention is dedicated to turning the pages of a book. As a story unfolds, my mind gravitates toward learning a particular character’s fate or the detailed description of a new place that becomes familiar with a writer’s choice of words or lyrical prose that creates a personal and emotional response. This is the power of a good piece of writing. Here is my list of 2016 favorite reads – one notable book I read is missing from my earlier compilation – The Course of Love, by Alain de Botton.
Favorite New Music: On auto repeat this year: the epilogue from the movie, La La Land and Grace VanderWaal’s new album, Perfectly Imperfect.
Favorite Poem: Rupi Kaur’s poetry collection, “Milk and Honey” is quiet, bold and intense. This poem resonated with me:
“most importantly love
like it’s the only thing you know how
at the end of the day all this
where you’re sitting
nothing even matters
except love and human connection
who you loved
and how deeply you loved them
how you touched the people around you
and how much you gave them”
Favorite Trip: It wasn’t a travel-heavy year, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any favorite trips. We traveled to Texas, Georgia, California, Chicago and explored local spots like Cathedral Rock in Sedona. My favorite? The hike we took to Cathedral Rock. Streams, mountains and more, there is a serenity in Sedona that isn’t present elsewhere.
Favorite Movie: Three movies made my list: Hell or High Water, Arrival and La La Land. I love films that linger with me days later. All these movies appear different on the surface, but there are striking similarities: the passage of time, how to love and the complexities of relationships.
Favorite Photograph: I complied my list of favorite photographs here. The picture I adore the most is featured in this post. I think the image of my daughter looking ahead is an apt metaphor to end 2016.
Many thanks to all of you for reading, commenting, sharing my work and supporting me in small and big ways. I look forward to spending more time with you in 2017.
What were some of your 2016 favorites?
Sedona. Sigh. I want to go back one day. I once went in December and it was so awesome then. Dry and warm. I’d be afraid to go in the summer, but I’d go anytime.
Adele! I’m currently obsessed with “Water Under the Bridge.”
I hope you revisit Sedona. It’s a magical place.
Speaking of Adele, did you know her carpool karaoke with James Corden was the most watch video of 2016? She’s so talented.
I love so much of what you share, and appreciate the ‘bests’ that are curated here. Thank you! Looking forward to reading in 2017 and beyond. xox
I love the image in this post. I look forward to reading more in 2017. I wish you and yours health and happiness in the New Year. Xoxo
Happy New Year, Ayala! Looking forward to connecting with you in 2017. xo
Love the poem. Having lost my mother just a couple weeks ago, 2016 will always resonate with that loss and I’m reminded again that love is all that really matters. So succinctly written in those lines. My daughter and I just enjoyed seeing Lala Land yesterday. Loved it more than I anticipated. Best to you in the new year and I hope to get back to my blog very soon. It takes some time to feel normal enough to do that I suppose.
I am sorry for your loss. I am grateful that the poem offered some comfort. Take your time to return to the page and take care of yourself. Thinking of you and yours. xo