Best of 2018 - Ode to the best year yet

I always get this weird feeling annually during the odd days in-between Christmastime and the new year. The hype of the holiday season, exams, shopping, dinner parties and catching up with old friends have started to die down, so you’re naturally left in the company of your own thoughts. Did I follow through on the resolutions I made in the beginning of the year? Did I use my time effectively? Did I accomplish everything I said I would? These questions have been repeating themselves over and over in the past few days as they always do during this time of the year, but for the first time ever, I found that I could actually say yes this time (with ~96% confidence).

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but despite all of the so-called objective accomplishments, the general theme that stuck out, and the greatest lesson I learned (which sounds cheesy as HELL but bear with me) - was to genuinely be yourself. Looking back at the highlights of my year, most (if not all) have come from the fact that I stayed true to what I wanted and enjoyed rather than what was the conventional thing to do (that’s not to dismiss the fact that I didn’t work my ass off). But with every single one of these, I made some kind of social (read: friends telling my I’m crazy) or personal sacrifice to get there.

When asking for book recommendations, I was once told by a friend, “you’re just going to think the same way everyone else is thinking if you’re reading the same thing everyone else is reading.” At the time, I found it weird that she recommended books that I literally did not know even existed, but the greater lesson I learned from that was that you’re just going to live the same way everyone else is living if you’re just doing what everyone else is doing.

February 2018: Tyler the Creator @ Ricoh Colesium

February 2018: Tyler the Creator @ Ricoh Colesium

March 2018: G-Eazy @ Rebel, Toronto

March 2018: G-Eazy @ Rebel, Toronto

March 2018: Elohim @ Velvet Underground, Toronto

March 2018: Elohim @ Velvet Underground, Toronto

May 2018: Jorja Smith @ The Opera House, Toronto

May 2018: Jorja Smith @ The Opera House, Toronto

June 2018: Jessie Reyez @ Bonnaroo in Nashville, Tennesee

June 2018: Jessie Reyez @ Bonnaroo in Nashville, Tennesee

June 2018: Paramore @ Bonnaroo in Nashville, Tennessee

June 2018: Paramore @ Bonnaroo in Nashville, Tennessee

June 2018: Digital Dreams @ Echo Beach

June 2018: Digital Dreams @ Echo Beach

July 2018: Wiz Khalifa @ Budweiser Stage, Toronto

July 2018: Wiz Khalifa @ Budweiser Stage, Toronto

August 2018: Taylor Swift @ Rogers Stadium

August 2018: Taylor Swift @ Rogers Stadium

August 2018: VELD Music Festival @ Downsview Park, Toronto

August 2018: VELD Music Festival @ Downsview Park, Toronto

October 2018: J Cole at Scotiabank Arena

October 2018: J Cole at Scotiabank Arena

October 2018: Justin Timberlake @ Scotiabank Arena

October 2018: Justin Timberlake @ Scotiabank Arena

November 2018: Louis The Child @ Danforth Music Hall

November 2018: Louis The Child @ Danforth Music Hall

Wendy Wei