My persistent introspection tends to highlight my shortcomings over my achievements. Sometimes the days blur and time, or its passing, starts to feel monotone and flimsy. I write to remind myself. 2014 was a good year. It was a year of exciting changes. It was a year of promises and previews.
I became a homeowner. I turned 30. I convinced my husband to go on a diet with me where we pretended eating fish for 3 days straight and giving up sugar and bread wasn’t the total worst (okay, it wasn’t the total worst). I read some lovely books. I watched some lovely movies. I got a much needed Lauryn Hill do-over. I went to my first Comic Con. I visited Red Butte Garden for the first time. I made my first trifle. I baked muffins and corn bread and French bread and cookies.
I was assigned an actual grown up food assignment for family Christmas dinner that was not a veggie tray or chips. I celebrated six years with my husband. We expanded our portfolio and met most of our financial goals for the year. I tried to ignore all of the times I didn’t quite measure up to my expectations or the personal goals I set for myself. I tried to remember to breathe. I tried at least as often as I stood still. 2014 was a good year.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my 2015 goals, but haven’t committed anything to paper yet. The husband and I will be doing that this coming week, I think. Every year brings a promise of new and exciting things, a chance for improvement. This year will be no different of course. Lots of changes, lots of progressing, lots of regressing, lots of mistakes and messes.
I’ve been slowly going through Joan Didion’s We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live. It’s weirdly perfect for the mood I’ve been in lately. Between that and Anna Kendrick’s first few lines of “Still Hurting” in the trailer of The Last Five Years, I wonder how I can pour more of those feelings into the new year. The quiet moments of truth. The bareness. The feelings that feel so universal it expands from those hidden spaces into something sprawling. Something sweeping and powerful. And sure.
The lil sis and I watched Skeleton Twins tonight. I was looking forward to it as I wasn’t able to get tickets when it premiered at Sundance. It exceeded my already high expectations. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are Maggie and Milo Dean, siblings that haven’t seen each other in 10 years.
I love these quiet stories. They remind me how often life possesses a certain knack for not being what it’s supposed to be, what a disappointment it can feel like. And with all of that, how precious the connections we have with those people that make life a little less hard, less lonely. An unfailing partner for your lip sync cover band. Skeleton Twins balances the dark and the light themes so well.
The movie was wonderful, but it made me sad and contemplative. I went home and the lil sis nudged me out of my stupor with crispy bacon and a bowl full of carbs.
Is it weird that I immediately attributed it to losing Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy? Yesterday’s show was the first Cristina-less episode and there was a palpable lack in tone. I’m basically as adrift as Mer is at the end of the episode when she goes for the tequila. As for the other Shondaland shows, I weeped when Abby and Olivia held hands and will wait to comment on How to Get Away With Murder once I figure out what the crap is going on.
I have always been a habitual worrier. List making and obsessive preparedness helps. Exercise too, when I find the motivation. Hobbies, sometimes. Good chats with friends and check ins with the husband. An engrossing book/tv show/movie offers escape. All attractive outlets, but this past week I’ve found that for times when I need a few minutes to keep my brain from panicking, I’ve been deferring exclusively to the solo dance party. The following tunes have been much needed mood lifters:
Janelle Monae ft Erykah Badu “QUEEN”
Sam Smith “Money on My Mind”
T. Swift “Shake it Off”
Lucy Pearl “Dance Tonight”
From Left to Right: Robyn “Fembot” || Janelle Monae ft Erykah Badu “Q.U.E.E.N.” || Sam Smith “Money On My Mind” || Taylor Swift “Shake It Off” || Lucy Pearl “Dance Tonight” || Sia “Chandelier”
My 30th birthday came and went without much fanfare. I was secretly hoping for a kind of magic Wishing Dust scenario a la 13 Going on 30. I would open my eyes and see what a dreamy life I had as a successful career woman complete with Pat Benatar sleepovers. Instead I was met with my boring, quiet, and mostly wonderful life. 30 means my window for ingenue is closed now. It means I’m not “in my 20s” anymore, whatever that meant. It means I am Danny Tanner’s age from the pilot of Full House. It means I am often wondering what age Anne Welles was in Valley of the Dolls after she realizes she’s wearing makeup for reasons beyond her vocational obligations to Gillian Cosmetics.
It means other things too, exciting things. 30 meant homeowner when I was younger which I checked off this year. It means having a good start on my finances, clearing away my debt, and focusing on true financial independence. It means not being too set in my ways to try new things, but allowing me to linger on the things I treasure. It means I’m not afraid anymore to be a mother. If it happens.
I will always be the occasional neurotic, introspective, dreaming pragmatist, but I hope the coming years will see me happy and improving little by little.