So much has happened this year, it’s difficult to keep track of everything. But I’ve managed to break down this year’s highs and lows into some concrete numbers to help measure everything I’ve experienced this year.
Amount saved in rent every month after moving from an almost-one-bedroom apartment by myself into a house shared with roommates. Seattle is now one of the top 5 most expensive cities to rent and live in, even more than New York City and Los Angeles. The standard for measuring housing affordability is 30% of your income, and data published by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies in 2015 found that nearly half of Seattle renters spend more than 30% of their income, and almost a quarter of renters are spending more than 50%.
Amount given to philanthropy, including organizations that make music and the arts more accessible, provide resources for students who want to learn a new skill, and sponsoring friends who are fundraising for a cause or actively working towards their dreams. Seattle is home to plenty of nonprofits, and with two of the the top five spots on Forbes’ 2016 Richest Americans list currently living in the city, it’s no surprise that philanthropy has deep roots in our community.
Number of yoga classes in 2017. Yoga and meditation have been scientifically shown to help with stress management, increase flexibility and balance, more core strength and lower blood pressure.
Increase in miles in my daily commute to work. Even though my almost-one-bedroom apartment was expensive, my commute was about 10 minutes. so even though I’m saving on rent every month, that cost is accounted for in other ways. As Seattle becomes more and more expensive to live in, people are finding it easier to live further outside the city and to commute in for work. Central neighborhoods like downtown (avg. $2,552 per month), Capitol Hill (avg. $2,304) and South Lake Union (avg. $2,297) have some of the highest average rent prices in the city, while neighborhoods like Northgate, Victory Heights and Olympic Hills have some of the lowest averages.
Number of local theater productions attended in 2017, including shows produced by Seattle Arts and Lectures, the Seattle Repertory Theater, the 5th Avenue Theatre, the ACT Theatre, and the Seattle Symphony. My favorites were Here Lies Love, a rock musical by the Talking Heads’ songwriter David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, at the Seattle Rep in May, as well as Beware the Terror of Gaylord Manor, a haunted house drag queen burlesque show at the ACT in October.
Articles published in Aloft, The Museum of Fight’s bi-monthly member magazine in 2017. I covered everything from the projects and renovations made possible by the $77 million Inspiration Begins Here! Campaign that wrapped up in 2016, the power that a matching gift can have, the opening of the new Apollo exhibit, and the history of the Museum’s veteran B-29 and its restoration for a new project in 2018.
Number of new roommates since moving out of my solo apartment: three humans, a bulldog who needs to be lavished with attention at all times, and a lazy cat.
New countries visited this year while on a Caribbean cruise for a wedding in May 2017: Aruba, Curacao, the Dominican Republic and Grand Turk. When it’s cold and icy this time of year, it’s nice to dream about beach vacations, and think about planning another one in the future!
Number of political rallies attended this year. In 2017, I have definitely become more active in my community, including public rallies in support of a cause. In January, I was one of the 120,000+ people involved in the Women’s March on Seattle that was prompted by the inauguration of Donald Trump as President. To celebrate Earth Day in April, I and 25,000 others attended the March For Science to speak out against the censorship of facts and science. And over the summer, I joined an anti-fascism rally downtown, and was featured on the event footage captured by KOMO News.