This time of year is always hard on me because those New Year’s resolutions I so happily jotted down on January 1st, always come back to bite me in the ass. I could just ignore them, pretend I never made them in the first place (that’s what most people do, right?) but I get this nagging feeling which compels me to look, and I’m invariably disappointed. Not because I didn’t complete any of my goals, but because I didn’t complete ALL of them.
I know that sounds insane. Like, how many of us complete ALL of our yearly goals? You tellin’ me that some of you out there REALLY wrote five novels and lost 20 pounds this year? NOPE. Uh-uh, I’m calling bullshit on that one. It’s totally normal to be aspirational and write down a gazillion goals because you need to think big in order to do big, but the truth of the matter is that sometimes you get to do the things you want to do, and sometimes you don’t. Other times, you realize that you’re not ready, or you pivot your thinking because you realize you want something different. In short, life happens, and you can’t be disappointed that you didn’t get to every little corner and crevice of your life. Unless you’re dead or dying, you have a whole ‘nother year to try again and come up with new, more awesome things to try for!
Except, try telling that to my trash brain, who insists on calling out my shortcomings and berating me. That’s great and everything, but where is this voice when I’m ACTUALLY doing something shitty and NEED someone to talk me out of it? Where are you, brain, at 3am on a Wednesday, when I’m rolling through the Jack in the Box drive-thru trying to order off the value menu [EXCLUSIVELY, off the value menu]. Where is this voice when I’m about to make ill-advised purchases on ASOS? Where is this reminder when I’m avoiding taking my car to get an oil change, even when the inside of my engine probably looks like the resin-lined insides of my metal pipe?
It took an entire lifetime, and a 30-day trial on a therapy app (highly recommend), to realize that my brain likes to lie to me, that it tells me things that it picked up from horrible toxic people, the culture, society, etc.. I’m working on cultivating the strong and confident side of my brain that can argue with my trash brain. Some days are good, some days are bad, and some days are indifferent. Today I choose to tell my trash brain to fuck off because I did a bunch of shit this year that made me feel good, and IDGAF what it has to say about it! There’s nothing like a cold hard look at the facts to remind you that you’ve accomplished so much, even if the most desired items on your checklist remain unchecked. To banish the demons, I present some of the highlights of my 2018:
Completed my first 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training
When you meet me, you’ll know I’m a yogi because, like all good yogis, I’m CONSTANTLY talking about yoga. Got back problems? Yoga. Depression? Yoga. Chronic pain? Yoga. Polycystic Fibrosis? Yoga. No really, yoga cures everything, you just don’t know how to use it.
Well, you can imagine how much more insufferable I am now that I can say that I’m a 200-hour certified yoga teacher. Which basically means I’m privileged enough to have the amount of time and money required to complete such a thing, and basically didn’t paralyze anyone whilst adjusting them. Being yoga-certified is basically just learning how to not injure people.
In all earnestness, yoga has been a surprisingly big part of my life for the past couple of years. It promotes a mind-body connection that’s been a grounding and balancing force in my life. I used to get mad at work and break glass bottles in the parking lot, but now I just breathe deeply and repeat my mantras in my head. This training pushed me way out of my comfort zone, and I survived! A lesson that has motivated me to try new and scary things because even if I fall on my face and embarrass myself, I can pick myself back up and am the better for it.
Invested (time, money, effort) in my writing
Speaking of getting out of my comfort zone, I also took my first TV-writing class and LOVED it! At first, it felt sort of absurd when I really thought about it. Like, we’re just a bunch of assholes in a room wondering about these characters that don’t exist. People are being caged up, beaten, and freezing at the border, but I’m sitting here wondering if the emotional logic behind my protagonist quitting her job is sound. OK!
But existential dread aside, it’s been nice indulging my creative side without any attachment to the outcome. [HA,HA, HA! JUST KIDDING, I WANT TO BE RICH AND SUCCESSFUL LIKE EVERYONE IN L.A. BECAUSE THAT’S THE ONLY WAY TO ENSURE THAT YOU’LL BE ABLE TO SURVIVE THE ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS THAT BEFALL US WHEN WE ALL MOVE UNDERGROUND TO LIVE LIKE ALBINO ZOMBIES!!!]
I mean, it’s really all about working through your problems on the page. Na mean?
Got my very first executive producer credit!
This is one those things that wasn’t on my list at the beginning of the year but that I stumbled upon. I wish I could say I had a great story on how I landed this, but really it was just a matter of people at work being lazy and not wanting to do shit. I was around and was like, I’ll do shit but can I get a credit for it, and boss-man was like suuuuuure! Then he took a shot of whiskey and flew out the window. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the project, and am looking at new film/tv projects I can produce next year. I still have no idea what I’m doing, but that doesn’t stop white men, so why should it stop meeeeeeee?
Volunteered a shit-ton
What do you do when you feel bad about the state of the world and your problematic behavior and consumption habits are obviously part of the problem? VOLUNTEER! You’re supposed to do it selflessly, but let’s all acknowledge that it assuages that tiny bit of guilt that lingers in your heart and reminds you that you’re human.
Read 24 books this year!
This one may not seem like a big deal to you, but there’s people out here that don’t read even as much as a tampon manual’s worth of anything, so reading 24 books in a year is BADASS! Not gonna lie though, this one came down to the wire and I had to read a couple of poetry books to make it, but I did it! 😅 And because I’m a fucking nerd, imma post my Goodreads Year in Books, and you’re going to like it!!!
I accomplished what I wanted which was to feel some semblance of pride for the hours invested in various activities before the darkness takes over and swallows me whole. Today, I walk away from my keyboard feeling contentment, until I open up Twitter to read about someone’s awesome Netflix deal, book deal, or even just regular job that doesn’t suck the soul out of them every single day. Until then, love and light. Namaste!