Merry Christmas/ Hanukkah/ Kwanza/ Festivus/ Winter Solstice/ Boxing Day Happy New Year Dear Friends, Family, People from the Internet, Social Media Fans and the Girl I Met at a Party Once
2016 sucked. I mean that in the nicest way possible, but seriously 2016 was one of those annoying years that nobody likes. The type of year where on the first day of school you think “Oh 2016 and I are going to be best friends! [insert a whimsical collection of friendship emojis]” However after only a few days of knowing her, 2016 and you are 100% absolutely never ever, ever going to be friends. Because in only a few short days she’s already managed to punch you in the face, steal your man, beat you in the science fair and spread a rumor that you have crabs. 2016 is the worst. We all started January with rosy cheeks and the sincerest hopes for a magical year of personal development, love, and change. Hahaha! We. Were. So. Naïve. However, as I face this new January I am protecting myself. I am eagerly researching dream insurance, mail order husbands, and modern designed climate controlled bunkers near Austin, Texas to ensure if 2017 tries to act a fool, I am fully prepared.
Because I refuse to end 2017, as I have ended this year tornado of a year: watching all three Bridget Jones movies by myself, crying over my evolution into a spinster who loves bingo and slot machines and drinking wine I was too lazy to pick up so I had it delivered to my house and pretended like it was for a party later that day. A party of one. Me. And my crumbles of a life left after it was ravished by that bitch, 2016.
But despite 2016 being a royal grossgusting poopy butt face, some amazing things still managed to happen. Let’s talk about those things, shall we?
This year, I found myself living in my sister’s apartment in January and desperately trying to avoid her complex’s office staff. See, looking for an apartment during the holiday season is not my jam. This left me to hide out until my new lease started in February, even though her complex was eager for me to put my name on the lease, give up my first born son, and tattoo a reminder to pay rent each month on my bicep. Hiding from the leasing staff is the closest I have ever felt to being a member of the mafia. Except I don’t own a gun or have a brother name Fredo. But I do love pasta, and would love to talk authoritatively with a white cloth napkin effortlessly tucked into the collar of my pressed velour leisure suit, while rocking vintage style aviators and the biggest gold watch you’ve ever seen. If crime was just about being comfortable and bossy, I pretty sure I would have Bonny minus the Clyde-ed my life away by now.
This month is the month of love, and I saw nothing short of love. Well, the unusual kind. A fan of my blog, Glitter and Lazers created an account solely dedicated to showcasing the drawings they had made of me. I was so loved- virtually. Back in the real world, I was still very single and attempted very unsuccessfully to create an affiliate network for dating- offering a cash bonus for dates that “converted” into something tangible. Aside from a sweet graph my friend Katie made to describe the process to potential “investors”, this didn’t take off. I was once again had only alcohol and punny attire to keep me warm on Valentine’s day.
March started off with a bang by meeting a Mya Rudolph look-a-like in a NYC night club, and joking with her while awkwardly dancing on her and screaming “I am dirty dancing with Mya, people. Mya Rudolph and I are going to star in the first lesbian dirty dancing sequel… let me show you our routine.” Come to find out, it was in fact Mya Rudolph and I am expecting a phone call any day about my brilliant film idea and our collaborative creative future. I didn’t do anything else of much consequence in March aside from wandering into Voodoo Donuts and offering them $20 to make the best designed donut they could for the sake of “science!” I never would have imagined I would receive and inappropriately shaped glazed donut delicately decorated with a unicorn doing yoga under a rainbow. And this stands as another testament that when you put your faith in people they will surprise you in the most amazing and delicious ways. Or maybe that’s just when you put your faith in donuts…
This month was a big ball of travel crazy. Early in the month I found myself again in India for work, this time visiting both Delhi and Bangalore. My hotel in India learned about my Instagram and I became “Miss Anna”. I was given the Royal treatment including a specially prepared meal of regional delicacies, regular check ins on how I was enjoying my stay and wine in my room each night. That stuff was lovely, but even better was the fact that the staff would gawk at my boss as if he should be carrying my bag, worshiping at my feet, and thanking me for allowing him to be in my presence. Luckily I have the best boss ever and he played along like a good sport, while I soaked up all the special attention.
April Part 2
A few short weeks later I took my first yoga/fitness vacation to Costa Rica with a girl who I knew for only about 2 weeks prior and I now consider a best friend. I learned I am absolutely fantastic at falling off a surf board, enjoy being woken up by howler monkeys and that I can be happy anywhere in the world as long as there is a juice bar nearby. I have always loved visiting Costa Rica and this trip was no exception, our accommodations, Bodhi Tree, situated literally in between the middle of nowhere and heart of the rainforest, offered the most tranquil recharge time I’ve ever experienced. Plus, it should not go unmentioned that the resort allowed me to change my name on the reservation to “sexy beast.” Forcing staff member to awkwardly yell out “sexy beast” anytime they needed to get in touch with me.
I cut my hair short. I liked it, but let’s be real here. No matter how cute a short hair cut is, it will never be as good as being able to put your hair into ponytail. Ponytail power is a very real thing and in May my hair was powerless and at the will of the tortuous elements due to its punchy new length. Most of this month was spent with white blonde hair caked to my forehead and a birds constructing a new home in the wisps surrounding the crown of my head.
In June I got the extreme opportunity to model for Torrid’s fall denim campaign with several other amazing curvy ladies and Adrienne Moore from Orange is the New Black. This photo shoot was ver ver fanc and led me to seriously consider hiring a man with a mini leaf blower to follow me everywhere I go. That way I could have that perfect “wind in my hair” look no matter who was snapping the picture. Sure it might be weird to have a man stooped below me at all times, but I’m a very adaptable person. I could make it work for the sake of glamor. I was super grateful to meet the amazing team at Torrid and got to see my photo up in over 400 stores nationwide in late July.
I found myself attending my first plus size fashion focused conference in August. It helped me realize what an impact I had in many girls’ lives, and what an opportunity I had to continue to shape a drive perception of what women are capable of. During my trip to Atlanta I also shot a feature for FabuPlus Magazine showing plus women how to rock it out on every day gym equipment. The goal of the article was to help curb the fear a curvy girl might have working out in a traditional gym setting for the first time. As fitness is such an important part of my life, I loved being able to help other ladies find the courage and confidence to start their fitness journey.
I found myself once again behind the camera in, this time shooting for Eloquii’s new pear-shaped fit, called Viola. I had tons of fun modeling several looks for the brand and helping drive awareness of the need in the market place for cuts that fit big booty [edited] perfectly. It was booty booty rocking everywhere with a touch of glam.
This month I achieved two of my all-time life goals- to be an integral part of a charity event and the be featured in Forbes. As the MC of the Health Empowered Beauty Fashion Show, I was able to raise awareness and critical funding for Susan’s Place shelter. In an unusual twist of fashion week norms, this show featured only models who were also residents of Susan’s Place shelter in the Bronx. The make overs they received gave these women new confidence and added self-worth before moving onto to their first home. I was grateful for this opportunity that allowed me to apply my love for fashion and style to a worthy cause. The Forbes story, is less impressive. Ironically a rant video I made on YouTube, was referenced as an analyst took a skeptical look at the Lula Roe business model. But hey, I’ll take what I can get. Achievements unlocked.
I call this the month of internet friends turned real ones. I finally got to meet Mellie, an internet best friend, in real life in November in NYC. We basically painted the town red wearing ridiculous fur coats, drinking all of the drinks, and sashaying our way onto the dance floor like we owned it. It’s crazy as weird as the internet has made us, you can still meet kindred spirits online. I also found myself becoming closer with several girls I’d met online through the Austin blogging scene. They’ve become my makeshift friend family here in Austin and couldn’t be happier.
The last month of the year has been tough for me. I tried a lot of new things- including using my shaky hands to try and decorate cookies. I have learned I am much better and purchasing than making festive things. People like me exist so that others can turn a profit from their craft. The month seemed like it was going to be a jewel. However, during my vacation to Jamaica, things turned dangerous and ended up with me being in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnessing something pretty traumatic. As a result, I’ve put most of my social media on hold as I work through reframing my life and healing. I swore I was going to miss the worst of 2016’s wrath, but dangit the year got me in the end.
Well, that’s how 2016 went down in the land of sparkles, unicorns, empty wine bottles and adorable pups who convince you they do need that piece of sausage you’re eating to survive.
Happy new year and I can’t wait to see you all in 2017 where we’ll all pretend for a few months…. weeks…. days that we’ve cut out the booze, are only eating organic, and plan to always take the stairs. Call me when you need a friend to drink wine on an elevator while eating Cheetos. I’m your girl.
Ps. I will be coming back online eventually, but I’m still processing. Little by little I’ll be opening back up my world to you; please be patient with me!