• Mary

2017 in review

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

This year held huge personal growth and great happiness for me. I've also felt for the first time a new degree of uncertainty about so much outside of my immediate reach. Having found contentment in my adulthood, I also feared for the future in brand new, big ways.

In short, things got real.

Reflecting on 2017 makes me realize that I've become more plugged into the world around me than ever before. From seeing new places first hand through our travels to working in international companies with teams from all regions and cultures to owning my values and by extension, my politics, to my increased consumption of news... I witness, I question, I care, and with those actions come all sorts of complicated feelings. Frustration and futility for example, but also responsibility, empowerment, and gratitude. 

As I l've looked to the year ahead throughout this holiday season, one word comes to mind: onward. Tonight, we'll be heading to a small potluck with friends to ring in 2018. Ahead of that, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate my biggest personal milestones of the year. 

I got married. I held a good deal of cynicism about the pomp and circumstance, the expectations, the industry of weddings. I resented that everyone says "it's your day" when it truly isn't about you. Not completely, anyway. We had a long engagement and my husband gave me every moment I needed to feel ready to tackle this huge event. When the time came, we embarked on this gigantic project hand in hand. We made choices that reflected our vision and our tastes. We prioritized, budgeted, resolved, and decided as a team. Moreover, our village showed up and supported us the entire way. The whole process left me proud and with a full heart. We felt so loved. 

I made a move to turn around a bad career-year. I was stuck in a career rut with an ill-fitted role for about a year starting last July. Part of me wanted to stick it out to pass my 3-year mark with the company, but deep down I knew that it was an arbitrary milestone. I made the decision to leave my job and the company in August, and I haven't looked back. What I learned from this experience was that there will be jobs and situations that just aren't the best fit, and maybe it isn't anyone's fault. I learned not to kill myself trying to make the best of a bad situation if I have in my power the ability to get out. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and be your own advocate. 

We got a second dog, and my heart grew yet again. Dogs teach us what it means to love unconditionally. Fitzgerald joined the family in June and I can't imagine our home without him. We feel so lucky for the circumstances that brought him into our lives, even taking the food poisoning that my husband got in Mexico City that brought us home early that allowed us to meet this sweet, neglected boy as meant to be. We're so happy to be able to care for him and show him all of the love that he'd missed out on during his first three years. Huxley is so happy to have a buddy. 

Mammoth & Minnow was born. After years of my small Etsy operation and occasional vendor fairs, I finally made the decision to nurture and formalize my little side hustle. I started a social media presence and filed with the state of NY, and I devoted nights and weekends to the actual work of designing and making items. I was rewarded with the busiest holiday season to date, and I'm looking forward to what next year will bring for M&m. 

I turned 30, and it was no big deal. I felt absolutely ready to bid my 20s farewell. I had a great thing going on paper, but it wasn't about those tick marks of "adulthood": a job, an apartment that we own, a fiance, and a dog. I was ready because I knew that I'd truly, fully, lived my twenties. I accumulated amazing stories and inside jokes, I made life long friends, I switched jobs a couple of handfuls of times, I lived in several apartments, I traveled, I became financially savvy, I had moments over and over again where I was fully present in my experience, and so on and so on. I had no regrets and an abundance of gratitude. 

In February, I'll turn 31. Some years back I'd made a 31 Before 31 list, and I'm looking forward to taking stock of all that I've been able to accomplish, and making a new list (or several) for the years ahead. 

My year in pictures:

January - I came across this spontaneous snowball fight at the South Street Seaport following my bridal shower. This neighborhood is beloved to me following my years at the original J.Crew store and after-hours drinking with my husband (then boyfriend) and our friends after his shifts waiting tables at Suteishi a few doors down. 

February - I embraced cacti as a motif in my pottery. I experimented with hand building and it became a big part of my work, allowing me to make things both at the studio and at home. 

March - Wedding planning kicked into full gear with florist meetings, tastings, and the start of my project to make ceramic table number vases. Twelve of them. 

April - my bachelorette trip to Scottsdale and Sedona with some of the most amazing women. 

May - our wedding at the Stone Mill at New York Botanical Garden 

Also in May, our trip to Mexico City. While we didn't make it on to Merida due to my husband falling ill, we got wonderful and affordable care in Mexico and came home to have him make a full recovery and to meet our new pup. 

June - Fitzgerald joins the family and goes to his very first barbecue.

July - Our cousin's destination wedding in Cyprus became a huge family trip. We'd planned to go to London on the way with my sister in law, her boyfriend, and a cousin, then to Chania, Crete for a few days on the way back, but my husband scored a new job in June, and had to cancel his tickets. I went on to these destinations without him, and loved that I felt right at home with everyone just the same. His parents even came to Chania with me, and we spent several awesome days just the three of us, exploring the beautiful coastal city. 

August - My husband turned 30, and we went upstate with friends and family to a 60 acre estate with a swimming pond. Miraculously, there were no mosquitoes on the property (someone said it was because of the dragonflies on the pond). It was pure summer.

September - We got back on the trails and went hiking with both dogs. We discovered that Fitz is an intrepid mountain man. 

October - We had the perfect fall day, and I mean perfect, at Storm King Art Center. 

November - I spent November neck deep in clay and yarn for my holiday projects. 

December - We broke the baby booties out for our last market of the year, we put up our tree and hung this year's ornament, and (from today) we started researching our next planned trip to Spain. Drinking the regional wine counts as research, right? 

Happy New Year's Eve everyone. Onward.

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