The new year always seems to offer us a fresh start, a new chance to transition and live better lives. To be better people. To clean out the cobwebs in the corners of our rooms and the corners of our hearts and start new. And this refresh should begin with reflection, on what changed us and challenged us and filled our hearts with joy this year. Taking the time to appreciate what we’ve done and who we’ve met and how we’ve been moved will help us move forward. So this is my reflection, appreciation, and more than a few resolutions into the new year.
The Moments that Moved Me
One day in May when I walked into a wine bar in Greenpoint and got hired on the spot, and I thought that I’d made a decision to deliberately and responsibly quit my job, thinking then that this job would more than pay the bills. I walked out into the rain floating, liberated, smiling so hard I thought my face might break and at the time, that seemed ok. I wrote about it here; The Day You Changed Your Life.
Crying in Transmitter Park. I found myself one day completely broken, sitting in the grass at Transmitter Park, eating a peach and wondering why the fuck life was so hard. I couldn’t pay my rent yet I couldn’t leave the city. I couldn’t pay any of my bills and hadn’t in weeks. I felt alone and ashamed and it was too late to turn back. And that was my last peach. I remember crying and looking out into the East River and searching for some sort of hope. Read about it right here.
Spending time in Barcelona just before the most recent vote for Catalan secession, and seeing a country and a people that I knew I knew so well somehow change my perspective. And in that spirit, realizing that really anything that I think I know, or know I know, can be changed by a feeling in a way you never expected. Read about it here in Why We Travel Reason #17 | ¡Visca Catalonia!
Buying a one-way ticket to Spain. Seeing author Stephanie Danler speak and recite the importance of the poem The Bust of Apollo. The poem describes the poet approaching the bust of Apollo, and being confused yet captivated by it’s powerful presence, despite the fact that the God of War was without his piercing gaze and impenetrably strong countenance and was, definitively, headless. As he approached it looking for a reason for this unavoidable power, walking until he would be looking right into the eyes of the God, the response he felt said to him, firmly;
for here there is no place
that does not see you.
you must change your life
I nearly collapsed with the impact of it. The next day I went to work and bought a one-way ticket to Spain.
Deciding not to take that trip to Spain. Then I had the heartbreaking realization that I had to stop running off to Spain without a plan, especially when I hadn’t even committed to the plan I made here. On Nov. 5th, I wrote on Instagram here: Today hurts. Today hurts because I have a one-way ticket to Madrid, on a plane that I won’t be boarding, on my way to a life that I won’t be living. It hurts because my seat will be empty. They’ll call my name, maybe. They’ll wonder if I’m coming. And where I might be, and why I’m not there. Why. And that question I will seek to answer constantly and actively. The life change I had planned took a different turn, and needs to be at a different time, and now I’ll be committed to being a writer in New York instead of starting a business in Spain. And so as my name echoes in that airport, I hope my words instead will resonate here.
This year was defined, in a word, by transition and intention. I recognized what wasn’t working in my life and decided to walk directly and deliberately away from it. And this created an uncharted at times unnavigable course for my life. The complete unknown, where I had to only believe in my own abilities, beliefs, and creative resilience in order to move forward. And for that I have the utmost appreciation.
These are the benchmarks I’ve chosen to deliberately and intentionally walk in the desired direction for my life this year.
This I’ve found helps me feel grounded and mentally connected than anything else. It answers me when I ask myself what the fuck I’m doing. It reminds me that I believe in myself and if I can’t at the moment, to have faith that I’ll figure it out. I’ve been using these guided meditations and recently, exploring this one more in depth. Starting my days in this way makes everything fall into place in the most invigorated and … way possible.
Start A Business.
More than anything, living a lifestyle where I kind of don’t know what each day will bring lends itself to curiosity and creativity and an overall entrepreneurial spirit that I can’t ignore. I have some damn good ideas and own, like, 11 different domains at this point. So these ideas I have will take fruition, this year.
Live a realistically healthy lifestyle.
So I know I make fun of this whole Dry January thing, and that is not because I find it lame for people to dlieberately make a move toward healthier lifestyles, but it’s because i believe we should all enjoy life. And if that means wine, that means wine. If that means kombucha and quinoa, then it means kombucha and quinoa. Don’t abstain, listen to yourself and respect your body and enjoy life. Cut back when you need to and let loose when you want to. If you need examples of how best to go about this, move to Europe.
Monetize This Blog.
It’s easy to be proud and say, I quit my job to pursue writing, and to then respond with,” for now my medium is my blog.” and then, inevitably, “How does that make money?” “Oh, well… it’s not right now.” And well, it needs to. And that is why each word you’re reading right now will automatically take 10cent from your bank account. Ok, ok just kidding, but I do have a plan. And you know, that’s a damn good start.
Breathe Through My Morning Panic.
I really hate to admit this, but I can’t tell you how many times I wake up and my first word is “FUCK!” or “Son of a Bitch!!” because I almost always feel overwhelmed, insufficient, creatively panicked in the morning instead of taking a moment and saying, this is an opportunity. And the panic makes the entire day impossible. My hope is to realize that sleep is sacred and necessary. That nothing is overwhelming if we don’t allow it to be. breathe through it, to not utter another curse word as my first proclamation of the day,
I recently house sat at a modern artist-space (and apartment) for about 3 weeks. This couple, who I am very close with, had the most uncluttered, calming, and intentionally-used space I’ve spent time in. It was far from sterile, every corner spoke of who they are and where they’ve been and who they admire and what they believe in. And I found that for those 3 weeks, a calmer and more focused version of myself. Instead of tossing my boots carelessly on the floor when I came in the door, I put them away. I hung my coat. Moving into a new space this year will allow me to completely purge so many things in my life that no longer have meaning and realize that every object in your living space has an energy that it gives and some that it takes. And that precious energy doesn’t deserve to be sucked into physical objects and dusty spaces anymore.
Bring it on, 2018. I’m ready.