the LIFE list: 2016

If you would have told me a year ago that I would be sitting in New York right now, I would have thought you were CRAZY. Actually insane. But here I am. Living in NYC. Loving what I do everyday. AND working on this crazy website called The Lists of Charlie. Instead of writing some super long list of hocus-pocus-things-i’ve-learned, I figured I would list out the year by months and tell you how it all went down. Curated of course. We also don’t need to address how many TV shows I’ve watched…

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JANUARY – I kicked off the year in Colorado in -2 degree weather before driving the rest of the way to my new home in Los Angeles. Intern training in San Francisco, understanding Drake lyrics (“LA traffic, how the city slow”), falling in love with Alfred Coffee, and catching that SoulCycle bug started 2016 off on the right foot.

FEBRUARY – New friends // FRIENDSHIP. Trips to Disneyland. Working. Hiking Griffith Park. Working. Weekends at the Beach. More Working. More Coffee. Feeling like Rihanna with all this work work work work work. Palm Trees feat. Flat Tires. Quite the dream collaboration.

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MARCH – Somewhat mastering canyon driving in Malibu to Sia. Saying “SEE YA LATER” Los Angeles 😦 but HELLO San Francisco adventures with the one and only Keezus. Followed by freaking out about graduating in two months // What is life?! PLUS A final 24-hour musical with Legally Blonde bringing SMU together.

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APRIL – Coachella DREAMS become REaLITY. 5 weeks left of undergrad classes (already retweeted my sadness). Chips. Queso. Margaritas. Homebars. Taking in all of college for the last few moments. Lots of sushi.

MAY – Graduations. Oodles of goodbyes. Rihanna changing my life. I’M COLLEGE EDUCATED. Job HUNTING continues: a memoir. The ROAD TRIP from Dallas to Baltimore. Yes Laura and Hanan, can we please drive 30 minutes out of the way so I can try this coffee shop?! Cheesecake Factories. Sitting on those Lincoln Memorial Steps. Planning for what’s ahead.

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JUNE – So NOW WHAT?! New dog. Hanging with Zella Day. Job INTERVIEWSz. Exploring Kansas City. LOTS of Theatre in the Park. Figuring out exactly what I want to do. Having to say no. Accepting change. Moving forward. Never giving up.

JULY – why HELLO the Lists of Charlie!!! Trips to Los Angeles and Dallas (BLESS UP for good friends). Malibu Wines. Malibu Wines. PLUS Buzz Beach Ball. Road TRIPPING from KC to Atlanta.

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AUGUST – Family Time. Final trips to Lake Lanier in Georgia. Always getting asked “what’s next for you?” and changing the subject like a BALLER. Getting to bring Connecting the Dots back to SMU 🙂 One Quarter Life Crisis leading to BIG interviews and then ACCEPTING The COOLEST JOB IN THE WORLD. also, thank you Frank Ocean.

SEPTEMBER – Made in AMERICA in Philly // The most STRESSFUL ACTIVITY IN THE WORLD that is apartment hunting in New York. Plaza Art Fairs. Saying more goodbyes. Boarding that one-way flight to NYC with a few bags and a smile.

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OCTOBER – Homeless to I FOUND A HOME. Hello New JOB! HELLO Trips to IKEA. Seeing Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson play on the streets of New York. NEW FRIENDS // MORE FRIENDSHIP. Lots of coffee. Being a skeleton for Halloween like everyone else in 2016. Taking the wrong subway “just” a few times.

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NOVEMBER – Sweater Weather begins. Hello Black Clothing. More Exploring. More Coffee. Dallas for THANKSGIVING and catching up with college friends. ALSO Can we talk about WESTWORLD?! Cool, thanks.

DECEMBER – Christmas in New York. Museums on Museums. Loving what I do. Realizing the complete 180 that 2016 has been. Setting Goals for 2017. Spending time with family and friends. Giving the Lists of Charlie its own domain. Being thankful for the lows and highs of 2016 and appreciating all that I have learned.

All in all 2016, thanks for helping me grow.

Let’s GO 2017 // I’m ready to take on the world. One list at a time.

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the ALBUM list: 2016

I think we can all agree that the MUSIC in 2016 has been INCREDIBLE. Minus the annoying radio hits giving pop music a bad name, music has been stellar. From TLOP to Joanne, I’ve got my top 10 albums of the year in that list formation. Always listen with headphones.

Blonde by Frank Ocean // ICYMI: Ocean’s done it again. Blonde is a triumph. Easily the album of the year. Harmonious vocals glue his masterpiece together. Best Track: Ivy

Joanne by Lady Gaga // Smart collaborations, brilliant lyrics, insane vocals. Gaga’s best LP yet. Basically living proof that the Super Bowl is going to be INSANE. Best Track: Million Reasons

ANTI by Rihanna // She shut down the internet with the wildest album drop strategy of the year and throws lip-singing rumors out the door with “Love on the Brain.” ANTI is bold, experimental, and ultimately stellar. Best Track: Needed Me

Cleopatra by the Lumineers // 11 tracks are all the Lumineers need to make you fall in love with their simple production. Heart-felt lyrics with stadium production. The album that completed many summer nights. Best Track: Ophelia

Lemonade by Beyoncé // Who needs interviews when you can drop another surprise album by premiering it on HBO? From country to rock, Queen B tackles every genre telling a tale of heartbreak, understanding, and strength. Best Track: All Night

Don’t You by Wet // A hauntingly beautiful debut from Wet. After seeing them open for Tobias Jesso Jr. last fall, I knew they were something else. Elegant sadness and raw emotion bundled up into this one. Best Track: Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl

The Altar by Banks // Tied with Blonde as my favorite album of 2016. Banks returned with a SPECTACULAR sophomore album. I dare you to TRY and not dance/groove along to her spell-binding tunes. It’s SO good. Best Track: Lovesick

22, A Million by Bon Iver // Transcendent in every way. Jazz instruments included, Bon Iver brings out the synthesizer to evoke various emotions. Have the chance to see him perform this one live? DO IT MAN. Best Track: 8 (circle)

The Life of Pablo by Kanye West // ICONIC. KANYE. AT. HIS. BEST. As crazy and controversial as Mr. West is, you can’t deny his genius. Yeezys not included. Best Track: Highlights

This is Acting by Sia // Just those vocals. VOCALS. vocals. VOCALS. Plus Sean Paul. Because Sean Paul. Sia crafts pop’s most impressive album of the year. Best Track: Bird Set Free.

Hear the best tracks of the ALBUM list: 2016 on Apple Music.