2018 vs Me
I'm just gonna be honest. I don't really care about the fact that it's a new year. Usually I'd feel refreshed and hopeful. I'd have a new custom planner ordered and ready. I'd have gone to a lavish party to start off the year right. I'd be pulling extra shifts at my job and writing every spare chance I got. And while it's true I'm not in a full blown depressive episode, I find it hard to start off 2018 with the sunny, open disposition of years past. I'm just not in the mood.
In December of 2017, family tragedy struck.
My grandmother passed away. There are days where the reality of this loss sinks in heavier than on others. As a result, my ability to care much about the holidays plummeted, especially while working retail too. I cried a lot but then my room to grieve got pushed aside by the new urgency to fill out paperwork, book a flight and arrange housing. The funeral is being held in the Caribbean, on the island of St. Vincent where my grandmother grew up. It'll be my first time there since going once, as an infant. For each of my five siblings, it'll be an entirely new experience.
I was very close to my grandmother, having grown up with her all my life. It's strange to think that she died in December but my last moment with her was in March, before she left the country to go "back home," as she would say. Until this point, I'd never lost a loved one so it's been hard. Suddenly all the things I've been looking forward to seem bleak. I know myself well enough not to doubt how much I'm still capable of accomplishing this year, but my enthusiasm just isn't there in the same way. Sometimes it's hard to see what the point even is.
In light of this loss, I've begun reflecting heavily on what my 2018 word goal should be. A WORD GOAL is a central theme or idea that I try to embody and manifest in my personal life. It's something I've been taking up since about 2014 along with traditional resolutions.
Last year, my word goal was Communication. I focused a lot on honesty, advocating for myself, self expression, and conflict resolution. I tried to make it a staple of my dating life to voice my concerns and not apologize for my emotions. I got comfortable speaking in front of crowds. I don't think I'm as soft spoken now as I used to be.
For 2018, my Word Goal is Support.
I've realized more than ever the value of having a community. I'm super grateful for my friends and how much I can rely on them for laughs, advice and comfort. It's so good to feel understood by people and to be cheered on by them. I had a few spells of loneliness this year and I think that I'd like to combat this by attending community events, continuing to organize, and by strengthening my bonds with the people already in my life. I want to try and channel my love there and return to feeling recharged by platonic care and intimacy.
When I think of how much I love my friends, it's easier to remember the sunnier episodes of the last year. I opened 2017 with The Book Swap Party and met so many wonderful folks who are still in my life now. I held so many cool events. I went to Atlanta. I turned 23. I published my book in paperback. I made art, I went to shows, I partied. I had pink hair! I think I was kind to myself but slowly. I’ve only recently, for example, begun to allow myself time for self care like aromatherapy or buying new clothes. When I look at myself now, I feel pretty unrecognizable compared to who I was two years ago, or before that. But I'm very proud of myself. My grandmother is too, I'm sure.
I am so excited about making new friends, new journeys with my current friends, and finding a sense of belonging in my life that may have previously felt inaccessible. I think that support is a good follow-up to my previous goal, and I want to basically continue the trend of having healthy interpersonal relationships and a network of people I can share various facets of myself with. I’m hoping that seeking support will mean a better investment in self care and in not compartmentalizing myself so much. I’m choosing to additionally understand “support” as valuing mental health and seeking out resources to keep myself from burning out.
Beyond that, most of my resolutions focus on general ways of self-improvement. There’s the usual inclusion of a writing goal. This year, I want to get a first draft of a manuscript out of the way and also make an effort towards submitting my work more often. I want to take myself more seriously while also figuring out what platforms I can utilize to further my goals.
I’d like to share my resolutions here, both as a way to keep a record and also a way to hold myself accountable to them.
- Monthly Studio Space
- Complete first draft of novel by December (10k words a month)
- Get a screenplay produced AND/OR collab with someone to write one.
- LAUNCH: Patreon / Online Shop / YouTube
- Begin learning French
- Commit to Dance Lessons
- Start reading again, minimum one book a month.
- See a therapist, perhaps.
- Commit to a face regimen.
I’m trying to feel optimistic about my goals even if things are a little bleak currently. I’m excited by the prospect of having space to create in full, and hopefully being able to add new merchandise and content to my shop! I’m especially looking forward to new ventures with family, new career prospects, and hopefulness in love. I hope to write a post like this in 2019 under happier circumstances, but for now, things as they are will do.