2018: The Year I Do Stuff

     Good morning, everyone. Well, it's still technically morning as I start this, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Anyway, it's the very first day of a brand new year! All of my close friends are old and lame, so I didn't have any parties to go to, but I did get out with one of my best friends. We headed out to Botanica in Wichita to see the big Christmas light show they do every year--it was my first time and I had the most amazing time experiencing that with her.

     Of course we went on the last possible night, also the coldest night (a whole eight degrees, my friends), but we spent a lot of quiet time strolling through the lights, reflecting on the last several years and thinking about what the next few years may hold. Over a dinner of chicken katsu and plum wine, she jokingly asked me what my resolution was (she's not a NYE kind of person) and I started thinking.

     I don't have one...a resolution, that is.

     To me, the word 'resolution' implies something that must be accomplished. It sounds like a lot of pressure and worry, how am I possibly going to get there, it's something I said I'd do...blah. No thanks. This year, I have an intention, just one: I intend to do what makes me happy. That's it. It's something I'm going to do because I want to do it, because I believe it will put me in a better place one way or another.

     The end of 2016 and all of 2017 were filled with kick in the pants kind of events. I'd moved back home with my parents to help with my grandparents and get my feet on the ground for a movie I was expecting...instead of moving, both of my grandparents died about three months apart, then my fifteen-year-old cat died a couple of months later, jobs I'd applied for were rejecting me left, right, and center while I'd been stuck in a low-paying position longer than I ever intended, and I spent most of my nights crying myself to sleep.

     I felt like a failure. I'd made some not great decisions in my early twenties, but I went back to finish my degree while working full-time and by the end of spring 2016 I'd graduated with my degree...but it still wasn't enough. I hadn't had the financial flexibility to be able to step away from my job and take an unpaid internship or two because those would have required a temporary move I couldn't possibly manage on my own; because of that, I lost out on a lot of jobs I would have been perfect for, because they wouldn't give somebody without a specific kind of "experience" a chance.

     I felt like I was losing the game of life, like the world had kicked me to the curb.

     And all of that put me in a really dark place by the end of July, so I ended up seeking treatment. I got some pretty intense therapy, I was put on medication that has helped me immensely, and I started coming back to myself. In the midst of all that, I started the first incarnation of this blog, but I could never get my spirits up enough to keep it running regularly.

     I started experimenting with my life.

     I picked up a paintbrush for the first time in over a decade to make a gift for my sister and brother-in-law's anniversary--they loved it, so I've kept up with it. Trying things I don't understand how to do, some of them work, some of them don't. I went to concerts for artists I knew nothing about, I traveled quite a bit, I bought a bird (who I love very much, even if he is a problem child), I did things I enjoyed because I enjoyed them, not because I felt like I'd "earned them."

     So I decided this year would be different from the dark, depressing year 2017 ended up being. I decided that I would continue experimenting, continue doing things that maybe aren't "stable" but that I enjoy anyway. Something amazing may come of it, something may not, but you guys are going to be here for all of it--I don't care if there are eight or eight hundred of you, I'm gonna take you with me.

     I think we should all try to focus on making 2018 a fantastic year. Let's leave all of our demons and negativity in 2017. Let's do more, create more, live more. Let's be happier.

     I think we can do it.

     If you'd like, tell me what your resolutions/intentions for this brand new year are. I'd be so happy to hear them!

     See you,
     Tamarah