OK, it’s time. No more hemming and hawing – it’s already nearly two weeks into the new year, the moment for hesitation has passed, and intentions must be laid bare. When I put together my Bold Goals in 2019, I didn’t really know where I was going, but I knew I wanted out of the confines of where I was, spiritually, mentally, and physically. It turns out that even though I wasn’t able to do everything on my list, just endeavoring to stay true to the path did help me immensely.
My life today is at sharp contrast to where I stood in January of 2019. I’m in better physical shape. I know how to make pottery, dance, speak rudimentary Spanish, use an Instant Pot, give myself 1930’s pincurls, and put on makeup. I finally managed to read 52 books in a year. Through giving myself permission to pursue learning and art without self-judgment, I started learning to love myself, and exploring how to play, find joy, and be present in the here and now.
My father’s death, last March, also had a profound effect, and will continue to mold me in ways I’m only barely able to conceptualize right now. Overall, I have found peace with his passing, and in some ways, I feel more strongly connected to him now than I had for years before he left. When he died, I felt like his love for me was suddenly concentrated and laid bare on the surface of my life. I’d felt alone and unheard for years, but suddenly every day I feel him with me – no judgement, no depression, no anger, just fondness and support. Love. Belief. Like he’s there on the sidelines, so proud to cheer me on. I’ve been protected and adored without condition for the last 9 months, and whether that’s just my mind playing make-believe, or if it’s truly a dose of loving energy coming from a place we don’t yet know, I don’t really care. I feel it, and it’s good, and it has been instrumental in my healing.
Light and dark, these are the circumstances that led me to where I am now – in love with a kind, strong, and truly good man (even if he’d cringe to hear me say it), working at a new job where I negotiated a 15% raise, and looking forward at 2020 and beyond with hope and excitement. I am more myself today than I have been since high school. The world isn’t suddenly sunshine and roses, but I’ve always preferred dandelions and cloudy days, anyway.
My goals for this year, in no particular order, are:
- Work on becoming a better communicator. There’s so much I could say about this (hahaha get it?), but I know that being able to express my needs, as well as to listen and hold space for those attempting to express their own, will help me in all areas of my life. I’ve gotten better at this, but I’d like to make it more of a priority in both my personal and professional lives.
- Volunteer. I would really like to be of greater service, outside of my everyday job. Right now, I’m trying to get a volunteer position at a local hospice, but I’d also like to give more time to my local homeless shelter, and I definitely want to put time and resources towards helping foster kids.
- Nurture my relationship. I’m really happy with where I am right now with my partner, and want to work on making it even better. With time and effort, we can build momentum towards a functioning, successful partnership where we work on being our best selves together. I’m really looking forward to this journey.
- Dance! Not only do I want to go to Chorus Girl practices, I want to work my butt off, really learn those routines, and feel like I’m more than just someone on the periphery of the group. Of course, this also involves working to get to know the other members, and being brave enough to believe that I can make friends and fit in. I’d also ideally like to take some other dance classes, mostly either hip hop or flamenco.
- Make two new friends. Not a billion, just two, over the course of the whole year. Surely this is possible, right? I need more real, solid, “oh my god I’m so excited to get to see you” friends in New Orleans.
- Go on at least five camping trips. I’m so ahead of the game on this one! My partner and I have already scheduled several camping (and regular) trips away together all the way through until August.
- Sew three projects. I don’t care what they are, but I need to pick three things and use my sewing machine (you know, the one I bought on Black Friday in 2018, then never took out of the box?) to make them before the end of the year.
- Learn to do bead embroidery. This is self-explanatory, but I already started working on a project last night. Full disclosure: it’s a little harder than I thought it would be to figure out how to sew neat rows, but I think I’ll be good at this. I had to rip out my stitches and start over on a project, and it was sewed so tightly that I didn’t think I’d be able to destroy it and get my beads back. I get a lot of satisfaction out of knowing that my work was really sturdy, even if I didn’t quite have the hang of how to sew the rows. Today I tried a different stitching technique that seems to be working, so I’ll keep you posted!
- Read 52 books. I haven’t even read my first one yet, so I’m going to have to do some fancy footwork to make this happen. This year I want to read more memoirs, non-fiction, and career-related works, as well. Last year was fun, but I’d like to be able to use my reading list as a conversation starter, and that’s hard to do with romance novels and ghost stories.
- Pay off my debts. I’ve recently been presented with an opportunity that might give me just the right amount of space to really put a dent in things. I don’t want to count my eggs before they’re hatched, but I feel like I might be in a much better position at the end of 2020. Fingers crossed.
- Buy a vehicle. I don’t know how, exactly, but I’m adding this to the list to keep it fresh on my mind. I’m not looking for a fancy, new vehicle. I don’t need anything crazy. Just a reliable little car or truck that can get me from Point A to Point B safely, in air conditioning, with a functioning radio, affordable insurance, and low gas mileage.
- Make a home. I’d really like to move into a new place by the end of 2020, and am holding a plan in my heart for what that looks like. (Sorry world, I’m not feeling emotionally ready to let you all know all of my dirt just yet.) Even if that little plan doesn’t happen just yet, that’s still totally cool. I can still work at making my existing apartment a comfortable spot to land. I made some solid moves in decorating this year, but could definitely stand to make more. Maybe I’ll make one of those new sewing projects a new duvet cover…
- Learn something new every month. I’d like to take at least six actual classes as part of this deal. In 2019, I had a hard time finding classes that I could afford, but I’m going to hold tight with the hope that this year will be different, and I’ll be able to budget in education spending at least every other month. Thoughts on classes include baking, cheese-making, fermenting, herbalism, magickal topics, millinery, jewelry making, marquetry, the last two classes to get my certificate in copyediting, flamenco, hip hop, horseback riding, archery…ooooh, which just reminded me that I think I’d count being taught how to throw an axe as a “class.” And there’s an axe-throwing bar out in Metairie now, I think #yaaaaassssss.
- Publish the Camino memoir. It’s time. It’s been five years. Get it done.
- Get two tattoos. I have plans for the majority of my body, but only one tattoo thus far. Not saying that I want to look like a Russian mobster when I’m done, but I certainly would like a great deal more ink in my skin over the next few years. I’ll write about this at a later date, but for now I’m going to start by getting a small tattoo while my friend Jess is here in February, and then hopefully finally getting my Camino tattoo in the next few months, as well. Additionally, I’m going to get permanent eyeliner in March. Grandma, don’t bother sending me articles about people who’ve gone blind in freak eyeliner accidents. I don’t care. I just don’t want to have to tightline every morning.
Thoughts? Opinions? Wanna share your New Year’s Resolutions? Use the comment box! I’d love to hear from at least one or two of you at some point in our lives. It’s a little lonely, writing out here in this void. Hit me up!