Every year, I write an essay of repentance for my failures, thankfulness for the good moments, and defiance toward the bad. I draw resolutions from a hat and swear to adhere this time around. I'll take more photos, practice guitar, read all the books I impulse-bought but didn't read. Inevitably, I forget within the week.
For the first time in my adult life, I ended the year without a good or bad classification. I've always conformed to the binary but 2014 has hovered steadily above ground zero. For each negative, there's been a positive and for each step forward, there have been two back. It's been a year of stability - or stagnation, depending on the day you ask me.
Despite everything, I can't deny it's been a learning process and I'd like to keep a record for Next Year Me. Maybe I'll retain lessons longer than aspirations. I always did learn better the hard way.
- Patience is a virtue I wasn't born with but, my god, she can be taught! Some things are worth waiting for. Some waiting may last for years. Some waiting is for Godot.
- Hard work eventually pays off if you let it. But sometimes you have to pay it forward to yourself, buy that plane ticket, and trust that you can handle a few months of four jobs and no sleep.
- Living away from home doesn't mean giving up your past life. It just requires adapting to a particular sort of schizophrenia.
- Running away won't solve your problems, but it will give you some perspective. Maybe that's all you need to solve them yourself when you return.
- It's okay to admit defeat when you've been banging your head against a wall for a year. You're concussed, you're over it, and any further detriment is likely to be permanent. Stand down, soldier. There are better things than these.
- The best way to cure a fear of solitude is to spend time on your own. A year of alone time under my belt and, hey, it's not so bad. I'm verging on enjoying my own company. Almost.
- You can't predict everything. Sometimes, a silly childhood dream slaps you in the face and you realize six months later that, god, I should have been doing this the whole time. Now it's just about playing catch-up with the years of missed practice.
- I've learned to write in cursive, count in Chinese and Turkish, sing in front of people without panicking, and manage a feature film production. However, I messed up grilled cheese last week. I may never learn to cook.
Instead of declaring resolutions I'll immediately ignore, I'll just hope 2015 contains a little more adventure and a little less overthinking.