I’ve been part of this 45% in the past but I didn’t write any down this year (which is what I usually do to make resolutions into real goals and not just nebulous improvement projects I suddenly remember as I’m falling asleep). A friend and I sat on a wraparound porch in Florida while I was still home for the holidays instead, reflecting on the kind of women we wanted to become and what the ladies we had in mind would accomplish by 2016. I preferred this method, especially since it included snacks and wine which I now realize is a sign of a good time all the time.
Although most of what we discussed remained in the abstract and not-yet-seen, a few things were clear – In 2015, one of us would have completed facilitating a three-month English teaching course in South Africa, the other would have begun writing again and successfully transitioned into a new career. Although we couldn’t make out the details surrounding most of our ambitions for the year, the picture we painted throughout our conversation was still pretty grand.
In 2015, I’m excited about curating a life that not only looks good on Instagram but feels good at 4:00 PM on a Wednesday afternoon. Project numero uno towards this end is aligning my career with an innovation-minded media company whose culture and set of values I can embrace as my own. Prioritizing the interests and relationships that encourage me to create, celebrate, and breath life in a little more deeply when I least feel like it is top, too.
I can articulate all of this right now while it’s present of mind, but there’s something about monotonous daily routines (and HGTV marathons, ahem) that makes goals, written or unwritten, rather forgettable. I’m still figuring out how to avoid allowing that to happen but I think the first step is speaking the things we want to accomplish out loud, where we are then made accountable to the work it will take to achieve them.
That being said, we’re two weeks into 2015. We have 8,431 hours left this year.
The beginning of this year has felt a lot like an afternoon sky pregnant with the promise of a rainstorm.
Stay with me.
You know... those overcast afternoons when clouds are rolling in quicker than usual, when you can feel the threat of rain clouds suspended above you, anxious over how long the downpour will last once it has begun and whether you’re loved ones will make it home safe.
I experienced an unusually tumultuous few days into the beginning of the new year while I was still home visiting over the holidays, and upon returning to New York, I’ve learned that a few close friends are dealing with heavy times, too.
Through this collective experience of undoing, the month of January has forced me to be more vulnerable, to prioritize what I want life to look like through the good and the bad, and challenged me to just seize these things already. If there’s anything to be said about periods of unrest in one’s life, it’s that they allow no permission for apathy or the illusion of detachment from responsibility.
I’m being very vague, mostly to protect both my own privacy and that of my friends. I think I just needed to write this to acknowledge that this year is here, and to be a voice amongst the many “THIS IS YOUR YEAR!” platitudes to say it’s okay if it’s not panning out to be all that you expected.
Anyway, a new calendar year simply brings another day. Sometimes this means an opportunity. Other days, it’s just rain needing to pass.
A little over a year ago, I was in the exact same position I find myself in this Tuesday afternoon.
I was launching a blog that I shared widely with my friends and extended network, which lead me to produce content multiple times a week and enjoy a daily routine intertwined with my long-standing love for writing.
I began a new job in March that demanded a different set of skills, a considerable amount of energy and writing fell to the wayside. Along with it, my vision for my old blog and it’s readers.
So the story goes.
I’m here once again for the same reason that I imagine others return again and again to the sea.
Writing, in it’s unique ability to wash away the debris of the non-creative life, allows me to reestablish what matters most. It helps me redeem things I don’t understand in this unsteady world and gives way to stillness when the clamor of living proves deafening. I can depend on the ocean returning to kiss the shore no matter how many times a day it is sent away, just as I return to words again and again in my exploration of beauty and the human spirit.
Whether anyone visits does not matter. After all this time, it’s still the sea and me.