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Because I’ve been celebrating Christmas since mid-October, I’d say it’s time to put the holiday season to rest. I usually try to stretch it out as long as possible, but considering this year’s turn of events, I’m ready to close up shop for the next eleven months and focus on making big changes in 2012.

Every New Years Eve, I write myself a letter, which I stick in my Christmas ornament box and read the following December. The notes always contain goals for the upcoming year — some more attainable than others (along the lines of “work out more” verses “publish a book”). Last Christmas, I wrote, “Have fun in DC, but try to make it up to New York as soon as you can. It’s where you truly belong.” I’m happy to have fulfilled that wish. I also asked myself, “Did TheDC have any cool new interns this summer?” Only the best out there. Nikki quickly became one of my most trusted friends, and next month, I’m going to visit Chris and Ameena at Princeton. I feel very lucky to have met so many awesome interns this past summer (Liz, Amanda, Katie, Elliott, Michael!), so I knocked that off my list as well.

Ameena!

Hanging out with Chris, with whom Nikki jokingly flirts

Career-wise, friend-wise, and location-wise, I progressed. Most of all, I’m proud I took a leap of faith and moved up to New York City, even though the swift relocation caused me severe anxiety and put somewhat of a dent in my finances (as they say, the concrete jungle is anything but cheap!). Getting an incredible job in New York truly saved my life though, and I could not be luckier to work with the girls on staff. Elizabeth and Amanda never fail to slay me with their jokes, and Caroline is just about the calmest, most collected person you’ll ever encounter. Things are fantastic up in NYC.

What I did not do this year, however, was mingle with gentlemen as I set out to do. I even ran away from a nice one in Arizona this spring. You know who you are, and I’m sorry I confused you.  I need to be more selective about who I spend my time with and stop diving into the same trap over and over again. Luckily, Elizabeth is doing a nice job weeding out the bad applicants for me, but I think I need a better internal screening process.

Because I’m kind of overloaded on Christmas at this point, my next focus is going to be on improving my personal decisions in the New Year — and that goes for all facets of my personal life. I want to take more vacations (Vegas!), join a gym, pull myself out of my den in snowy weather to go out with friends, and perhaps find a Manhattan apartment. My mom doesn’t want to visit me until I’m out of Brooklyn, but this low cost rent will be difficult to part with. One step at a time. I’ve got a good thing going in my job, but I definitely need to make some adjustments outside the office.

Though I’m burned out on the holidays, which make me feel pretty lousy without fail, I will say this: “Home Alone” is an incredible movie that I plan on watching year-round (hooray for having it on DVD!).

The second film is almost as good as the first, albeit more sadistic towards the end. I have been a fan of the franchise my whole life, but it took me until college to realize how much of an exceptional child actor Macaulay Culkin was. His character, Kevin is brilliant to set up a million booby traps, outsmart countless adults, and survive solo for a few days in New York City, but Mr. Culkin himself had to be pretty smart to take on such a precocious role. No wonder he made millions from it.
“Home Alone” never gets old because it’s told from the perspective of the misunderstood, underestimated youngest sibling. He knows how to take care of himself in spite of what the others think — that he’s the useless runt of the pack —and even though he lacks the self-confidence to pack his own suitcase, he knows how to fool all the grown-ups around him and defeat the no-good Wet Bandits. Kevin experiences every little kid’s dream: To venture out sans adult supervision into the world. Sure it’s ultimately lonely and scary, but he handles himself well and has a blast. “Home Alone” is a reminder that youngest siblings can be helpless and annoying, but extremely resourceful and creative. Most movies depict the youngest as incapable and dull, but Kevin McCallister defies the stereotype that youngest siblings can’t look after themselves.

I thought I was going to spend the holidays sick, but thankfully, I was all better by morning. For the past few days, I’ve had excruciatingly painful stomach cramps, which my nephews picked up on at last night’s Christmas Eve dinner.

“Maybe you have a baby!” laughed nephew Lukey.

“Trust me, that’s impossible,” I said, giggling.

“Yeah,” Sawyer chimed in. “You can’t have a baby until you’re 25!”

If only that were true! Like much of my family, I carry stress in my stomach, so now that the holidays are over, I can chill out a bit. That’s a paradox I’ll save for another blog entry.

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