I was all set to do a recap of all the things I learned this year in a very sentimental, serious, thoughtful manner.
And then, as I went to pull up photos on Insta to design this email around, I decided to do something much more fun. Because let's get real, entertaining myself is a top priority around here.
So, allow me to present... Alexa's "10 Things That Happened in 2016 According To What I Posted On Instagram."
Let's get started.
(1) January. I started off 2016 really strong... by shooting two fully-fledged, multi-camera, even-hired-a-makeup-artist music videos, one of which later went a little bit viral in Mexico and Colombia.
What I learned: You can find amazing & cheap video shoot locations on Airbnb. Also, people are very impressed by music videos.
(2) February. I went on a 17-day-long recon mission to England to see if I wanted to move back. I stopped by Leeds, Manchester, York, and London... visiting lots of coworking spaces along the way.
What I learned: Coworking spaces really are the easiest way to learn about what's going on in the hidden, coolest corners of any city's economy.
They're also the best place to meet people. I myself went on the world's greatest date with a very nice boy I met in this particular space (he's not pictured, that would be weird).
(3) Also February. On that same trip, my BFFAEAE Chelsea flew in from Sweden so that we could, for the second time in 5 years, attend the Jorvik Viking Festival. The Jorvik Viking Festival is, obviously, Europe's largest registered Viking festival and authentic battle reenactment.
What I learned: Going out of your way to do ridiculous, goofy things with your time -- such as attending the ceremonial Viking wedding feast dinner, pictured here -- is just as worthwhile as anything else you have planned. More worthwhile, probably. Also, the stories and Snaps are way better.
(4) March. I released the final fruits of my 2015 Kickstarter-funded, fan-produced album, The Human Jukebox Project.
What I learned: Music and I are never, ever breaking up. It was high time to make songbird lyfe a truly intentional part of my world, brand, and calendar... and that definitely happened in 2016.
(5) April. I went home to San Diego to sleep in my bed one last time. My parents moved out of our childhood home about a week after this photo was taken.
What I learned: When I turned 27 (about a week before this photo was taken), it dawned on me that time is only moving forward and not backwards. I realize that this seems obvious. But I find that, in your early 20s, you delusionally think that time is standing still or perhaps that you'll finally get to go back to college next September.
You don't really think it, but you also do, kind of, deep down. This is the year I stopped thinking that, and it's all at once sad and helpful.
(6) May. I wrote three really great songs this year, that I am recording in 2017. I started telling people bits and pieces about them along the way.
What I learned: Saying things out loud makes them real. I recently prioritized all the projects I want to accomplish this year. Recording these three tunes is one of the top 3 projects I want to accomplish in 2017.
There, now I've told thousands of people. And we can all hold me to it.
(7) July. I gave a lot of talks in 2016. They took a variety of forms: big seminars like this one, a few podcast episodes and interviews, and, of course, Q&A chats with you.
What I learned: I am proud of what I'm teaching you. I believe #entrylevelboss education to be, in part, a certain kind of antidote to the end-of-days rhetoric of 2016.
I write this here email every single week, including after Brexit and including after Trump, to remind you (and to remind me) that building an awesome career is not a seasonal sport, nor is it a time-sensitive opportunity, nor is it a hopeless drag.
To become an #entrylevelboss is to remember that you're in charge. It is to stay strategic, no matter what happens, because the future belongs to those who are interested in what the future looks like.
To become an #entrylevelboss is to keep going.
That's what I'm doing, anyway.
(8) August. I lost a close friend over the summer, and got my act together quickly to record a (very niche) Notre-Dame-themed pop song in time for football season. Because she loved that song, and she really loved football season, and because it was the best way for me to honor her memory.
What I learned: We all contribute in different ways. My main goal of recording this particular track was to make about seven people smile. Always do what you can, even when that's the only goal. Especially when that's the goal.
(9) October I drank beers with friends in Berlin, and Iceland, and London, and Indiana, and California... and a lot of places in between.
What I learned: I may be leaving Berlin, but the party rages on. Make it your intention to stay close to the people you love, yo. No matter where you are in the world.
(10) December. I closed up shop in Berlin, and I'm currently hugging San Diego tight while I prepare for Alexa's Great Return To Britain. Already got asked to give a talk to female TV executives in London, and I'm planning a student workshop at St Andrews in February.
What I learned: What did I just say about the party raging on? Looks like I'm in it for the long haul, and it looks like you are, too.
Thank you for being a relentless fountain of awesome energy in my life. Thank you for letting me into your inbox, thank you for every single note and Snap and text, and thank you for deciding to become an #entrylevelboss right along with me.
This is going to be a good year for both of us. Let's refuse to waste it.
PS: Digging the #entrylevelboss life? The best way to care is to share, baby. Forward this email to a friend.