What I’ve learned from 2013 (so far)

It’s already a lot better than 2012, and no, I’m not speaking too soon.

As some of you know, my 2012 got off to an incredible start. I had one of the greatest nights of my life with two of my close childhood friends on New Years Eve, leading me to believe the year as a whole would be one big Pee-wee Herman-style adventure after another. I was new to NYC, the most amazing adult playground ever, so I had reason to set my hopes high. Unfortunately, the months sort of blended together until July, when my buddy tied the knot in Tucson and I blissfully worshiped the sun for a week. I cried on the flight from Arizona to NYC, not wanting to part ways with dry heat, burritos, my college friends, or constant sunshine yet.

Then there was fall, my favorite season. All was right in the world until the round of lay-offs and Hurricane Sandy came along, causing me to throw out my back from bronchitis and hide in my room like a hermit for weeks. The holidays were tough because a family member was in the ICU and my mom moved three days before Christmas, giving us no time to get a tree as we promised my dad we’d do every year. We settled for this asshole, which I would have savagely ripped apart in 1992.

That was my thing as a toddler: destroying ficus trees, which I found fugly, unnatural, and abominable. You think I’m dramatic now? You should have met me in Kindergarten. I received many time-outs over my ficus-trashing tendencies. My parents just couldn’t be without their hideous fake plants. At any rate, I tried to accept that I wouldn’t have any of my old Christmas traditions, as we were in a new place with no tree or memories of our own. Naturally, I took the awkward transition week as an opportunity to dwell on and think about something I shouldn’t have, and two minutes after I oh-so-cryptically tweeted about my woes, my close childhood pal Crystal text messaged me in a panic. If anyone can read between my lines, it’s Crystal. Because Crystal has known me for more than 15 years, she can always tell when I’m up to no good, so she staged a friendship “intervention” the following day at Peet’s Coffee, and by friendship “intervention,” I mean girl talk session, which we desperately needed.

“I’m at a crossroads,” I told her in between sips of my white hot chocolate, an unusual selection for me. “Until 2013, I have nothing going on.”

“Doesn’t mean you should regress. I’m not letting that happen.”

And she totally didn’t. Thanks Crystal for being my Jiminy Cricket during winter vacation!

As the kid in "Bad Teacher" says, "Xoxo my love for you is xoxo!"
As the kid in “Bad Teacher” says, “Xoxo my love for you is xoxo!”

We were supposed to spend New Years Eve together, but I had to get back to New York, which ended up being the perfect spot for me to celebrate the holiday. I’ll tell you this: my NYE was memorable and everything I’d hoped for, and while let-downs almost always follow cheap thrills and moments of passion for me, I’m starting to learn that I have to take the bad with the good. Here’s what else I’ve figured out in 2013, which I really do believe is “my year.” After all, I’m turning 25 in six months. Forget Taylor Swift’s song “22.” 25 is where it’s at.

Maintaining a positive attitude is always necessary. The last three months of 2012 were a disaster. So awful, in fact, that I chose to spend the holidays in a zombie-like state. I felt so thrashed around, deceived, and wounded by 2012 that I just wanted to disappear until it was completely out of our lives. But my worries didn’t go away once 2013 commenced, I just decided to have a better outlook on my situation. I count my blessings every single day and plan on keeping this up throughout the year.

Nothing is stopping me from doing great things but me. I’m going to publish my book this year, this month, to be exact, because I’ve been meaning to get it on the market for years. I don’t even want to tell you how long I’ve waited to send this story out into the world. Love it or hate it, it’s mine, and I’m not going to become upset about the fact that some people simply don’t want me to do well or take this risk. I am going to make 2013 my year, whether with this novel or merely with my new approach to life.

This is me after going to bed at 4 a.m. due to book anxiety!
This is me after going to bed at 4 a.m. due to book anxiety!

Grit is invaluable. I was a bit discouraged toward the end of 2012, but I will not be defeated this year. I may not receive all the opportunities I’d like or gain recognition with my work, but if I keep going and logging in hours on my laptop, I’ll get what I want at some point.

If I want something, I will get it. End.of.story.


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