We don’t always time these posts with the end of the year, but it feels good, doesn’t it? Even as I search for photos it’s nice to be able to put something together that wraps up the end of the year and my feelings towards a new year. The start of this post doesn’t look anything like the end of this post, which I think is pretty different for a change. You can definitely tell that I’m feeling some sort of way by the end of this. What is it exactly? That I’m holding on to millennial pink? That I’ve got a love inanimate objects? Those things, but maybe a couple of other things that aren’t so obvious.
I’ve been holding onto this video for months – five months to be exact. It’s one of the longest periods of time that I’ve ever held onto something that I have wanted to write about, but then didn’t actually write about right away. This past spring, I took some time to try and be more reflective with Yow Yow! The quick day-to-day posts keep us going, but the real gems are the ones where I might spend a couple of days or a week thinking about. I’ll outline and do some research. I’ll take the time to conduct an interview to support my message. I considered my own situation – how many aspects of my own life were changing and how this blog has evolved over eight years.
As a woman in 2017, there are a lot of things that get me riled up these days. They are a lot of things that may not have evoked much emotion in me in previous years, but now everything has come to the surface. I thought about the women in my life and how each of them had a story to tell and how each story was vastly different. I’m still hanging onto this idea. I want to empower those in my network to share their stories of strength, love, gratitude and more. This video was going to be the kickoff for that series. However, in the last couple of months, I’ve had a change of heart. There’s another voice that I want to shed light on on Yow Yow! and I want to focus on creating that next series.
That being said, Jesselyn’s video is awesome. I’ve held onto it for this long so it clearly means something to me and as a post to share with others. Enjoy!
48 posts and counting! I’m convinced that writer’s block is a thing that happens to everyone. I can still remember being in college and becoming upset at myself when I knew I had waited until the last minute to complete a paper. Typical. Writing always came easily when it wasn’t out of desperation and when it wasn’t at a time that I needed it the most. These “A Collection” posts are my favorite because they don’t ever require writing, but I like to write a little piece to go along with it anyways. It’s nice to just sift through a bunch of images and decide on the spot if I want to include them or not. I will usually know within a second and if I’m thinking about one for too long, that might also mean something too. I like to think that all of the images represent the mood that I’m in or a period in my life. I never actually write out the exact feeling at that moment and we’re completely okay with that. If you read into these a bit though, you can always sense a type of pattern.
Now I haven’t done too much international traveling, but I’ll never forget my trip to Japan and how amazed I was by not only everything there, but the amount of vending machines everywhere! Those vending machines get so much use by the locals that it feels like such a norm as opposed to here in America. It’s also entirely normal to just buy decent food at a gas station according to my friends.
I loved this story about vending machine owner, Tadashi Yoshimoto, who refills his curry and rice concoction twice a day using rice that he grows from his own farm.
Honestly, what have I have been doing with my year?! This guy Mike learned all these skills in 2016 and the best thing I learned is something so unmemorable that I don’t even know what to write to finish this sentence.
Typically when I write “end-of-year” posts, I’m always pulling up what I wrote the year before in another tab as a reference. I already know that I didn’t do too much writing this year so it will be ambitious to find 12 posts that I really liked as opposed to last year when that feeling was so easy for me! That being said, I think there are going to be a few treasures in here that we can highlight. They may not be the posts that rank to the top in terms of views, but they are the posts that I enjoyed writing the most and the ones that you know I probably re-read a dozen times before feeling comfortable posting. Thank you all for another fantastic year… now let’s head into our 8th year of Yow Yow! This blog is now older than my previous Polly Pocket collection (7 years!)
This Happened Tonight – I honestly don’t know if this is enough to consider it one of my favorite posts, but this is me totally just fangirling out over here. It might be on my list of funny moments in 2016, but whatever the case – this needed to belong on SOME list and I chose this. I think I like this post just because it reminds me a little bit of how I used to write in the old days – you know back in 2009/2010 – no filter – just blagh! whatever I felt like spewing out at the time. If you read the post though (and you know me!) then you know I’m suppressing my feelings here for the sake of appearing normal on Yow Yow! If only this weren’t so short lived…
Happy 7th Birthday Yow Yow! – We’ve never celebrated a Yow Yow! anniversary like this before. The number 7 has no significance to me or Yow Yow! but after all this time, you kind of just feel like you need to do something different. We were already doing regular outfit photos, so I thought – why not throw in a balloon?! One of the best parts about this post is that Aritiza decided to feature this photo above for their Instagram account. I was ecstatic, but very quickly commenters started to notice that the balloon didn’t actually look like a “7” and actually looked like… male genitalia. So almost immediately, my excitement did a 180.
Looking Back: Space Girl – It’s a weird thing to be in front of a camera. I’m not a natural by any means. Every shoot, Elynn probably takes on average 15-25 photos and while we sometimes get 2-3 really good ones, the rest are of me opening my mouth, fixing my clothes, talking, being awkward, you name it. We’ve come such a long way… this post was incredibly special to me though. Space Girl was everything to me when we were in college. I never could get comfortable in front of the camera and having this helmet on made me feel invincible. When we stopped using it and went back to outfit shoots, you can plainly see how hard it is for me in these photos, but I will never forget the gateway that Space Girl provided for me to get me to where we are today.
Wedding Mondays – I know what you’re thinking. How can you choose a favorite? We’ve highlighted so many incredible wedding videos in 2016, but one that I keep going back to (in addition to Mandi’s of course!) is this one featuring Jean (from Extra Petite) and her husband Nick. To this day, we still can’t wrap our head around the three dresses, but we think it’s amazing. Secondly, Long Haul films is no longer doing wedding videos so that makes this one extra special. (see what I did there?) Also, when I was in Boston this past fall for work, I got to stop by the Boston Library and see this venue myself and we fangirled the same amount we did for BJ Novak. It was just as amazing in person as it is in the video…
Revisiting Casual – I like to look at “Casual” as something we continue to pass on. Every year, I’ve gotta share it with someone new and last year that was Manan. Together, him and I watched the entire series from start to finish and he loved it as much as I did! No surprises there – everyone I’ve ever shown this too has fallen in love with the series so it’s not too late if you decide to hop on the bandwagon. We’re still accepting fan club members. In all honesty, relationships are hard, okay? I’m never 100% content with mine and in 2016 it’s tough to date. If I knew in the long run that I was going to be okay then I would love to have that off my shoulders, but if Casual has taught me anything and if life has taught me anything – it’s that it’s all about timing. We have to let things play out the way they are supposed to. Thank you Casual for continuing to be a positive force in my life year after year.
And When We Give Back – It was such a surreal experience to be speaking with students that had been accepted to Seattle University as the class of 2020. Let that sink in a little bit. When I was a kid, I used to think that college was almost the end all be all. It was hard for me to imagine being a woman with a career – not because I didn’t want to have a career, but because it just seemed so far away. I’m fortunate that my friend who works at admissions asked me to do this panel because it put a lot into perspective. It was a very humbling experience to be giving advice to students as to why Seattle U was a great school for me even though I kind of do this in my real life job too. Additionally, it made me appreciate my parents in a way that I haven’t before. Seeing the parents of these accepted students was a little bit entertaining; they were SO nervous. I wondered how my parents were able to handle me going off to college with such ease and tranquility when that is very clearly not the case for most.
To Be a “Leftover” Woman in China – Never have I ever ugly-cried so hard over a YouTube video, but this struck a chord with me. It’s 2016 and the pressures of settling down or being in a committed relationship are still very much a priority for most. It’s overwhelming at times! I loved hearing the stories of these young women – young women that I can identify with and find to be so brave for doing something like this. I’m glad the video had a happy ending too, a newfound perspective for their parents.
A Girl and Her Bed – I never write pieces like this and I remembered being very on the fence about it because it seems abnormal for me to dispel some serious feelings about a part of my daily routine. In reading it over though, I think the post is kind of beautiful. I’m using words that I don’t normally use and I’m being vulnerable in a way that I haven’t with Yow Yow! before.
“The Panic in Central Park” – Is this my favorite TV moment in 2016? Yes. I must have watched this episode at least 25 times and at one point, once a day for a week. We had given up on Girls the season before this one, but after hearing about how much commotion this episode stirred, we hopped back into it. Luckily, for this episode, you didn’t need to know what was happening before it. It was like it’s own standalone episode and it was a beautiful piece. Marnie may be one of the most annoying characters in the series, but in “The Panic in Central Park” she was all of us. We’ve all had that scenario – some version of it, sometimes shorter or longer or more fun or less fun than what Marnie had, but we all got to the same theme at the very end of it.
Our Twenties: How We’re Doing – “Be good to yourself” – a friend once advised me. Too many times in a year, I find myself complaining about how I don’t have this or don’t have that. How annoying for those around me that have to listen to this! The truth is, your 20’s aren’t easy. They were never supposed to be so it’s important for us to cut ourselves some slack. Earlier in 2016, I wrote about my New Year’s resolutions. This post though was sort of like our midpoint review. Initially this started out as a mini-project with Casper, but I ended up actually enjoying this more than I thought I would and had a lot of fun with it.
Aging and Alone in Manhattan’s Chinatown – I have a thing for pieces that remind me of my sweet Grandma Ruby. This profile by Mantai Chow truly captured a look into the life of an elderly living in Chinatown. I remember watching this video and thinking back to how I never worried about those that lived there because they had what I believed to be a strong community. In reality though, it seems much more lonelier than I thought. These individuals are more brave than I could ever be especially this woman profiled. Hearing her story was one of the highlights in Yow Yow’s 2016.
Let’s Talk About New York! – We made it to 12 posts! With all the trips we took this year, how could we not include our favorite one? It took me 26 years to get to New York, but I couldn’t have asked for a better traveling partner and tour guide. Mandi and I took the next step in our friendship and explored New York City together. She was a pro – obviously having done grad school there and me? Well, I could barely have a successful run on the subway without having a mini freak out. There was never a moment for us to stop because we were constantly on the move. And even though we had made a very packed itinerary for our trip, we only ended up doing half the things we were supposed to. I guess that just means we have to go back.