And welcome to year 5 of my yearly round up! I’m not really sure who reads this anymore, but for me, it’s a good way to get my head around my year, take a little stock of where my life’s at, and try and remember what happens in my life the older I get. Being that this blog is an archive of my old past lives, it makes sense to take a minute to look back at the end of each year – for me, at least. So even if a few people catch this on Facebook, you might go “Hey, she’s got a blog that she enters stuff in, like, 3 times a year!”
Anyway, 2012. I’ve been saying for the past few years that my 30’s have really been a rollercoaster, and my 34th year on this planet has been, well, pretty much a rollercoaster. But with the end of the year that I’ve had, I can see it just being a set up for a great 2013.
Basically, 2012 started off terribly, was interesting in the middle, almost veered off course, and is ending awesomely.
Of course, a lot of that had to do with work: I was writing solely for Established Online at the beginning of the year, started writing for Dirty Hard Drive in March, was laid off in September, and started copywriting for a marketing company at the end of October. And here’s the thing: I’ve always tried to work in interesting places, and I have to say that writing for porn was a lot of fun, but at the same time reminded me there are a lot of fucked up things about people – and that it’s not up to me to fix or judge them. People are just trying to do what they think makes them happy, and so am I. And in all actuality, that applies to everything at this point.
So yeah, this was another year of learning about myself. I feel like I’m starting to figure things out more, but there are parts of myself that I wish I had figured out better – like how to overcome nagging body issues without it feeling like I’m being bitter or mean about myself. Maybe 2013 will be more about the ego? We’ll see.
Speaking of egos, and inspired in part by this Cracked post about hard truths, I think 2013 will be more about tooting my own horn in trying to show the world what I have to offer that makes me awesome. Some of the cool stuff I did this year included:
- Getting interviewed in CityLife
- Getting on the slam team despite blanking out at finals, and going to Charlotte for National Poetry Slam for the first time in 6 years
- The team winning a bout at Nationals for the first time ever
- Getting paid to perform poetry
- Finally finishing a revision of the novel and sending it out
- Collaborating with Roz for an art piece and the piece getting sold
Again, this was another year where I didn’t read much (I at least got in a novel a month average), but here are my micro reviews over on Delicious.
This was also the first year I went without cable, and learned to love Netflix. I have to admit, the first month was a little hard, but knowing I was saving $100 a month that I really didn’t have made it easier to deal with. With the new job, I may go back to having cable (I mean, HBO? I miss you), but I’m not in any special hurry just yet.
Speaking of this new job, I love it. Finally having a career path with my writing has taken me to some really awkward places, but mostly it’s taken me to some really cool places. And the job I have now is not only challenging, but it’s fun. And I don’t feel like I’m completely out of place. And, really, it’s nice to start eating more of what I like to eat, as well as having food for Fonzie instead of having him eat before I do. And it means I’m starting to pay off debt, and get back to having a life again. I feel like I have options now – like what do I write next?
And what is that, exactly? I’m starting on the next novel! I’m not sure if I’ll finish it this year, but I’m starting on characters and outlining for a book based around a short story I wrote for the “12 Stories/12 Months” project from 2010. The past 2 years have seen failed projects, and it’s been frustrating. So I don’t really have a goal to finish the book per se, but I at least want to have a good portion of it done by the end of the year, and post some of the updates here.
On a really (too much information) personal note, this was the first year I used the cup for my monthly visitor, and HOLY CRAP. So much better. Change it in the shower in the morning, change it at night before bed, done and done.
Here are some of the Bigger Things I learned this year:
Loyalty is Key (for Saving Up Your Karma Bank)
This year saw friends leaving: some of them were just friendships that had faded into some new kind of distance, some were just letting go of negative people in my life. And the Evil Chick Brigade had a reunion this year, which renewed my love for the 4 greatest girls in my life. We are a growing brood, and (mostly) happy, and the end of the year has seen us all smiling. And I couldn’t ask for more than that. Except in 2013, I’m asking for more, for me. I’ve seen friendships strengthen and grow this year, meaning I’ve had to ask friends for help when I didn’t want to, and I’ve helped friends when there was no one else there. I know what I have to offer to the world, and 2013 will be a year to keep testing that. And I know that I will pass with flying colors. (And hopefully have a flourishing relationship with a man as a result. Let’s do this.)
Speaking of men, I did have a couple of dates this year. But the biggest thing I’m learning is what I like and what I don’t like. And knowing what I have to offer may help in moving things along in the relational department next year.
Mean What You Say (aka Keep the Passive Aggressiveness to Yourself)
Going through my Facebook wall from this year, it was really weird to see that I took charge on reducing the amount of passive-aggressive behavior in my life. From inadvertently having a public beef with a person in the poetry scene to just hiding and unfriending people who think that posting quotes is going to make people change their behavior, I’m starting to turn into Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon: “I’m too old for this shit.” Seriously. Just say what you need to say and don’t make assumptions about how you think I feel about things. Tell me what you want to say, and don’t fuck with me. I have too many friends to love to focus my attention on you and your bullshit. I hate to put in those kinds of raw terms, but holy crap, people really do need to grow up.
Like I said, I went on a couple of dates through OKCupid this year, and they weren’t the most comfortable things in the world (when are they, really?), I feel better about the process. I’m open to possibilities the older I get. But another aspect of the work hunting this year had me really impatient, knowing I had a lot of skills to offer, and that I was really good at what I did. I kept busy during the off times by working on the first novel, and sending it off around the same time that I got the job offer in October, so kicking off a new year with new work is invigorating. But I had to stay patient in order for those things to happen. I feel like I’m going to be hitting 35 feeling better about the direction I’m going in, and that patience isn’t a bad thing. Not at all.
And I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this year was to just let things be what they are. You put yourself where you need to be.
And here is where I am. On this little rock, floating out in a big old universe. I have a picture of a Martian sunset on my laptop. We are an amazing, fucked up race of beings, free jumping from space and find more and more cool neighbors out there. I had this video on repeat since the summer:
Music wise, it was a decent year. Two friends of mine put out albums: one that was a Kickstarter spoken word CD, the other a self-produced hip-hop album (that I ended up writing a one-sheet for). I went to a couple of shows, but because I was so up and down with work, I couldn’t really afford to go to a whole lot of events (even going to Flogging Molly this year was comped). But here are some of the tracks I blasted this year.
Needless to say, I’m very excited about 2013. I feel like it’s going to be a year that will see a lot of good surprises. Stuff that I never thought would happen. Things are gathering. And I’m going to be able to spread it around. Oh yeah.
And as always, if you are reading this, I hope that 2013 is surprising for you, too. (In a good way, of course.) Even if you’re reading this and think I don’t care just know that “Forgiveness is the release of all hope for a better past.” And I raise a glass from a moment that was still on mind most of this year, from 2011: