12 More Months Of Me
2011 was a big improvement over 2010. Given my thoughts on that year, almost anything would be, though. In 2011, I landed my current job. I started writing for Forbes. I was published by Salon, Jezebel and The Atlantic, among others. I drove across America with a stranger. I became an aunt again. I spent New Year’s Eve in New York City with someone who’s certainly not a stranger now. I came very, very close to going back to school. I saved a lot of money. I had my first panic attack.
I end 2011 and begin 2012 believing more strongly than ever in this post and the idea that we open ourselves up to the situations we are capable of handling and the people we need to meet only when we’re finally ready for these experiences and encounters. It’s not magic, it’s simply being able to see and perceive and pursue in a way we weren’t equipped to before. I’m not a patient girl, so this understanding hasn’t always come easy to me, but 2011 has proven its truth in spades.
Over at Forbes, I talk a little bit about career resolutions for the year to come. But really, it’s stuff you and I already know – understand yourself, understand your goals, be curious, be specific, be forgiving. I think the personal stuff is much more interesting anyway. Here’s what I’m committing to in 2012:
I am not good at this. Not good at all. Help, compliments, support, whatever. A very dear friend refers to to this as my “fierce independence” and while such a quality would be admirable in frontier times and while I’ll always be one of the first people tagged into the ring during a crisis (it’s because I have bobby pins and post-its in my purse, isn’t it?), I’m no longer interested in being so dogmatic about always doing it all. I can take care of myself. I’ve proven that for decades. To keep feeling as if I have to assert that to the world at the expense of hurting really great people who want to be there for me and would like nothing more than for me to let them in? That’s selfish. Much more selfish than I’ve stupidly convinced myself that accepting an outstretched hand could ever be. I would like this to be the year I stop confusing imperiousness for autonomy and acknowledge my humanity a little more fully.
I’ve had a not small amount of freelance success this year and I’m grateful for every new connection or email that comes my way as a result of others reading my words. And it has made me greedy for more. More stories. More ideas. More venues. But mostly, a more central role for writing in my life and a way to move it from a side gig to the main one. I’ve somehow gotten it into my head that because I am capable of earning a living in other ways, I should probably do so. I’m good at other things and those other things are more profitable than word vomit, so I should be pragmatic and just do one of those other things (project management, business strategy, policy development), right? And so I do. But nothing makes me happier than what I deem to be the perfect turn of phrase, when I arrange all the words just so and then mouth them aloud to myself to get the rhythm right. No amount of pragmatism replaces that feeling.
Somewhere. Anywhere. A little bit kd lang and a little bit Neko Case. Here is not where I need to be. I know that. Anyone who knows me knows that. I’m not exactly sure where is, but I want to test the options in 2012. And I want to do more traveling. After years of solo adventures, adjusting to someone else’s travel proclivities has been strange. We’ve worked out most of the hitches and I have no doubt that 2012 will also include more #RoadWorriers dispatches. Although, probably no more videos of me in my pajamas.