Bonne année and happy 2014 to all! Are we really already a month into the new year? And has it really been almost 2 months since my last post??
I was partially MIA due to the fact that my long visit home was insanely busy (as home usually is), filled with a flurry of friends, family, much missed food, painting commissions and workshops, and a surprise trip to the arctic tundra that is the northeast (Boston was 4 fahking degrees!)
…but part of my lack of writing was due to the fact that I didn’t quite have the words. I know, I know. It might seem incroyable- Me, not have words?? But I was silently bottling up something I’ve been trying to hide for far too long. And this is my confession for the new year: in spite of all my denial- in spite of this very blogs title- I am… a little lost.
*Warning. This shits about to get personal and maybe a bit ranty so proceed with caution…
Don’t say I didn’t warn you….
As most of you know by now, I am a bit of a type A planner (in pre-life crisis mode). Whether I’ve wanted to or not, I’ve always had a sort of blue print for my life, an outline of what I want to work towards. But for the first time ever, that blueprint has been cast aside with the drafts. For the first time ever I could go to a job interview, and be completely unable to answer that classic question, that normally I didn’t think twice about, “Where do u see yourself in ten years?”
The truth is, I don’t know. I don’t know what my direction is, because when I look at my unpaved future, I see it spreading out in to so many different paths- navigating old French cobblestones, down a dusty Thai track, though thirsty Texan grass, or who knows where else? And for the first time in my life I find that lack of stability, that lack of a plan, simultaneously invigorating, and- let’s be real- terrifying.
You see I’m a thinker. And no, not necessarily the kind you have in mind. More like the neurotic I-see-and-feel-too-much-and-get-overwhelmed-by-life’s-minute-beautiful-intricacies-and-painful injustices-so-much-so-that-I-get-angry-and-sad-and-want-to-create-change-but-simultaneously-see-the-subtle beauties-of-this-crazy-thing-we-call-life-and-I-just-want-to-enjoy-it-all. And then my brain swirls and I’m left feeling completely overwhelmed. Yeah. I’m more of an overthinker. And because my desire to do all the things -I want to teach in Thailand, I want to have a life in France with my partner and friends, I want to become bilingual or better yet trilingual, I want to see the world, I want to have a community, I want to fight racism, and sexism, and homophobia, I want to paint and have people want my paintings, I want to teach in and fight against the insanity that is the American public school system (to name a few)- because my desire for all of this has converged into a debilitating feeling of wandering in the dark, I decided to do what I do best- create a plan… or at least a blueprint…or in this immediate case…some resolutions.
So in an effort to calm the sea of crazy that is my mind, and because having my cake and eating it too just isn’t an option, I turn to the new year. Maybe defining my resolutions and creating a bucket- or as I like to call it Life List-will help provide a little clarity (I always found bucket lists intimidating, but now I’m viewing it as an ever-changing set of goals to set my sights on, to help me evaluate what I want for the now, for the future, and to remind myself that change is not as scary as it seems).
So here are some of my Resolutions:
- Live in the moment- ease back on the over thinking, make the most of today
- Stop seeing yourself through other people’s eyes (aka what you’re “supposed” to be doing)
- Don’t be afraid to recreate your story
- Continue to learn, try new tasks, read more (lately I’ve really been loving the female memoirs- just a few recommendations- Tiny Fey’s Bossy Pants (I know I’m late), Jenny Lawson’s Lets Pretend This Never Happened, Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, the collection of female writers’ Sand in my Bra and Other Missadventures).
- Take charge of your health- eat more greens, drink more water, breathe more (aka do yoga), be active to be strong (after a sprained ankle, the never-ending cold, the worst hangover of my life and then worst flu, stomach to be exact, of my life I’m ready to regain my health).
- Actively learn French- speak it, read it, learn a new word a day and post words of the week- don’t let fear or embarrassment be a road block
- Create a Life List– outline the big goals and don’t be afraid to change them
When I looked back at my resolutions from last year, I was surprised at how relevant these quotes still are. A year later so much has changed, and yet so much has remained the same. But this is a big year of growth, I can feel it.
- “Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.” -Yeats
- To grow we must make choices and “our lives are in the space between Isaiah Berlin’s ‘We are doomed to choose and every choice may entail an irreparable loss’ and Borges’s Garden of Forking Paths, where every choice produces a quantum explosion of alternate futures.”
- “One of the many paradoxes of happiness: we seek to control our lives, but the unfamiliar and the unexpected are important sources of happiness.” -Gretchen Ruben
What are your resolutions? What do you want 2014 to bring?