Every year, we always go through this routine of sappiness and sentimentalism, and every year, it’s just as weird. I’m feeling slightly speechless as I type out the number 2018.
I might actually slip a tear.
2017 has been a whirlwind, let me tell you, and I honestly don’t remember most of it. But as I rummaged through my data-bank of memories to pull forth something worthy of commemorating the year with, I kept finding more and more things that would induce a gasp of surprise and an, “I forgot about this!” I mean, it’s been a pretty memorable year.
Buckle down for the achievements, failures, and family highlights of 2017.
I started a blog.
Yup, you have 2017 to thank for this thing. May it live long and prosper.
I didn’t finish the Silmarillion this year. I started it in January, 2017, and…
Here we are. January 1st, 2018. I still haven’t finished it.
In my defense, there are about 17 different characters who all have names that are a variation of “Fin”.
Fingon, Finrod, Finarfin, Finduilas, Finwe, Fingolfin, Falathar, Fuinar…
We drove down to South Carolina TWICE to see a play of Prince Caspian (it was that good), and I about died both times. It was that good.
Plus, I got this lovely picture, so it was a triple-win.
I turned sixteen this year. And yes, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not really that old, but there’s something about being of marriageable age (according to Jane Austen’s standards) that makes one sit up and take life a little more seriously. I passed the hump of the teenage years. Now I’m on the downward slide, fast careening toward adulthood and the responsibilities thereof. It’s exhilarating, terrifying, nerve-wracking, and solemn. I’m growing up. I never noticed it until this year.
I FINALLY GOT A SWORD!!!
Disregard all previous mention of growing up. I don’t think I ever will.
Well this is awkward. I basically didn’t do anything worthwhile this year. Besides quit my book and start a new one.
Oh, wait. There is something, after all. I DID CAMP NANOWRIMO, AND ACTUALLY COMPLETED MY GOAL!
*as all the real NaNoWriMo people groan and boo me off the stage*
Despite that cool Arwen portrait I just did, my favorite artwork of 2017 will forever be this gal.
Simple, yes. Not a lot of shading or fancy stuff. But still. Just look at her hair.
The common denominator here is that in almost every one, Anna’s doing something freaky.
I got a plastic skeleton in art class.
I had to write an essay.
I would like to point out that it was for ART, not creative writing or grammar or history or whatever other classes you should write essays for, which is just lame. But apparently, that wasn’t a consideration when the higher-ups decreed it. Disregard the fact that I’ve never WRITTEN an essay before—and didn’t even know how—and that I was only aware of this a week before I had to turn it in.
I may or may not have gotten sick that week and was unable to attend class.
Being the idiotically independent creature that I am, I spurned Anna’s offers of help and insisted on doing it myself. A massive Wikipedia page on essay writing and a couple of sleepless nights and subdued meltdowns later, I finished the thing and turned it in on the same day (because that’s how I roll), fully expecting to get an F.
I got an A+.
I’m trying to convince my mother that it’s not adding to my bighead, but look; I can’t help that I’m INVINCIBLE!!!!!
*and everyone groans*
Dad took Anna and I to Hobby Lobby a couple months ago, and I almost passed out in the art section.
Guys. They have a WHOLE STINKIN’ SHELF of just paintbrushes.
What is life.
*dignified shrieking and flailing of limbs*
If anyone had told me a couple of years ago that I would be geeking out over paintbrushes, I would have packed them off to the loony bin.
Back in November, my family and I made the five hour journey to visit two of my best friends, Emma and Kate, and their terrific family. There was much glittery exploding, evil cackling, inside joking, and, yes, even hugging.
*the stunned masses blink*
Look, even INTJs submit to it from time to time.
Around my house, something ridiculous flies off a tongue every four seconds, which makes it very hard to record all the funny things that get said. But I did my best this year. Here are the most iconic Baran quotes of 2017.
Anna: “It’s strange to think that in many places of the world, people have never seen a pizza.”
Now, in this next one, mom was having a righteously indignant rant about reckless teenage drivers, and how it’s unwise to give a sixteen-year-old their own car for those reasons. (No offense to 16-year-olds. I’m one, so I’m allowed to call us stupid.)
Mom: “It wasn’t so bad back in the day, when kids only had horse and buggies, and it didn’t matter if they were stupid, but now… We’re giving them SIX-HORSE-POWERED ENGINES!!!”
Mom, don’t show your ignorance.
Dad: “Excuse me if I eat with my mouth full.”
Me: *in an elevator on the ground floor, desperately searching the control panel* “Why isn’t there a down button???”
Anna: “I had a Star Wars dream last night. It was really interesting! …except that Han Solo shot me…”
Anna: “Mom, how would you feel if I one day randomly walked into the house with dreadlocks?”
I’m imagining she wouldn’t feel good.
Now, this next one is a conversation between Anna and I. I’d just written a blog post about some random memory, and I made mention of the fact that I wasn’t even sure why I remembered it.
Mom: *who wasn’t even listening* “What did you say about Burger King?”
Anna: “It’s not comforting to know that Kylo Ren, one of the most emotionally unstable villains ever, is an INFP, my personality type.”
Me: “Well apparently, I’m Palpatine, the psychopathic supervillain who massacred planets, slaughtered the Jedi, and held the galaxy in bondage for twenty years.”
Anna: “Yeah, but that’s different. INTJs are just pure evil to the core.”
I think she was trying to make me feel better, but…
And now, folks, for the grand winner of the year. The quote of all quotes. The champion.
Anna: *randomly walks into the kitchen* “Bad News Tilda!” *randomly walks out*
Who is Bad News Tilda, you may ask? A figment of my dear sister’s head, that’s who. Anna, for whatever reason, decided that she was going to blurt out every weird thought that came into her head. This was the result.
We’ve taken to calling her Tilda…
(Yeah, yeah. “Smooth way to bring it back to this, Sarah.” Shut up and let me be a thankful Christian.)
Though in many respects, 2017 has been a tough year for me, it has also brought me closer in my relationship with Jesus. Through struggles, we grow. Through pain, we get stronger. Through hardships, we draw nearer to God. And I have found that to be true. A year ago, I wondered how people could talk to the Lord like he was actually in the room, right there, listening. I wondered how they could get around the roadblock of not being able to see him, not being able to hear his answer.
I don’t wonder that anymore.
2017 has been a humbling experience in the fact that it’s taught me both my shortcomings and my incredible fallibility. But through that fallibility, I feel stronger. There’s nothing quite as thought-provoking as realizing you’re stupid.
There’s nothing quite as awing as realizing God loves you anyway.
So yeah, it’s been a long year. It was fun. It was wacky. It was sometimes painful. But we’re another year older, another year wiser, another year closer to not breaking our necks doing something a stupid teenager would do. And we’re another year closer to God.
So I’d say it’s been a good year.
All hail 2018, and the wonders it has in store. *straps on helmet* I’m ready.
EDIT: Oh, and guess what? This post, first post of 2018, happens to be my 50th blog post. The poetic rightness of that is just flooring. All hail the 50th post of The Sarcastic Elf.)