Monday, December 30, 2013

Going Out with a Bang

BAM. Right now, I have officially blogged more in 2013 than I have when the blog was born in 2009. 54 posts of pure and unfiltered honesty. Sadness, Hopes, Dreams, Self-Doubt, Resilience, Vulnerability, Self-Confidence, and Introspection. THAT is an accomplishment.

What a crazy year.

Taking my friend's advice I found the perfect way to enter the new year "the best version of myself." On NYE I'll be painting a bursting champagne bottle in a BYOB art class. I hope it is paint by numbers for adults. I'm pretty excited because I'm an artist with words not actual paint. But everyone's photos of paintings from this studio look alike, so they make you think "anyone can do it." Way to set the tone for a creative year ahead. :-) I actually had trouble sleeping a few nights ago and checked my phone. Saw an ad for the class on Facebook. I kept telling everyone that if they offered a NYE class I'd do it in a heartbeat. Bought my seat at 2:30am.

Now just trying to make the last day and a half of 2013 count. I mean, it has been one of my best years yet. Been published. Got an art column. Had my heart broken a few times, but Elizabeth Gilbert says, "This is a good sign...having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something." Kind of went through an downward turned temporarily upward spiral at my job. Made some new friends. Kicked ass in Jschool. 3.93 GPA and holding. Another 4.0 semester down. One more semester to go! Humor writing and Intro to Web Design. It is going to be hard (the web design at least) but it is going to be great.

This year I began to learn the lesson "haters gonna hate" and you're not going to please everyone no matter how hard you try. Also, you have to let things go. When you lose people such as friends or hell, even asshole fake family, you let them go and you move on with your bad self. Life is lighter with the baggage behind. Besides, it is somewhat gratifying when you know you've let go but the haters keep hanging on...waiting with bated breath to learn the latest update of your life. :-)

This year I spoke up more. I was more honest than I've ever been. I fought for things I wanted. Sometimes I won and other times I lost. I traveled, had adventures, reconnected with old friends. Each day was certainly worth it.

Change is gonna come in 2014. I can feel it. Healthy choices. More publishing. More journalism. Checking off the goal list, month by month.

I've got a year to top.

Until next time...

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Year In "To Do"

I like to end 2013 with a "Year in Review" post, but I'm going to do something different this year. Instead of looking back with a nostalgic mind, musing of how far I've come, what I've learned, what I have accomplished....I would much rather look ahead. So for the first time, I'm completing a "Year in To Do" and listing the things I WILL accomplish or do in 2014. This isn't a list of resolutions, this is an actual list of things that will go down next year.

2014: A Year In "To-Do" 
1. Detox Week
I'm not going to be bold and say I'm going to lose x amount of pounds this year or fit in x garment by summer. Instead, from January 2nd-January 9th I will be undergoing a raw food cleanse. That is a fancy way of saying that for one week I will have 3 servings of fresh fruit each day and unlimited servings of vegetables. I will drink water and decaffeinated tea. Midway through the week I'll indulge in a serving of protein. The goal is to cleanse your palate and body of processed foods, sugars, sweeteners, and fats. It is a great way to start a weight loss program. 

2. 30 Days of Gym (Reasonably 20)
I got a Groupon for a 30 day gym membership for a gym near work. My plan is to utilize it as much as possible before school starts. I know I'll be in there with the large crowd of "resolutioners" but my goal is to make the most out of the Groupon. They even have kickboxing on Saturdays! 

3. See Black Violin in Concert
Tickets purchased, pretty excited about this. 

4. Get published at least 10 times in the calendar year
I'm a columnist for a new magazine in Philly. We're coming out with our print edition in April, so I'm hoping I will have a lot of pieces in there. I'll be published online every month. I'm also hoping to write more personal essays for Axis Philly and get published there. 

5. Get at least one piece published in a major US magazine
Whether it is Garden & Gun or Cosmopolitan, I will have at least one essay published in a major market US magazine this year. Hopefully more, but definitely one. 

6. Perform in at least one comedy open mic night
Totally doable. I've been working on some material. It is time to stop dreaming and start living. I will perform in at least ONE open mic night.

7. Destroy my 5K time at Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
No beating by a few minutes. I want to blow my 5K time out of the water. Some training will commence before this, but I will be triumphant. 

8. Graduate Temple with my Masters of Journalism
May baby. 

9. Visit Nashville, TN 
I want to take a solo trip down to Music City. I want to do that whole, stay in a hostel thing and make friends with the random people you meet on your journey thing. I think it would make for a fantastic adventure. 

10. Mountain bike the 8 mi trail at Wharton State Forest
As soon as the warm spring air breaks, I'm going to attempt the 8 mile trail. Not ready for the 24 miler yet. 

11. Move to a S. Philly Row Home
I'm in no shape to be a homeowner, but by the end of May, the hunt will begin for a rental at the very least. My trifecta of a perfect life consists of a South Philly row home, a green Kia Soul and a Boxer dog named Bronx: in that order. I will be living in a S. Philly row home come Summer 2014. The car and Bronx? Well...might have to be on 2015's list.

12. Attend William and Mary's Homecoming
It is my 5 year reunion from college. I need to go to that thing. In conjunction with this adventure, I will also plan on speaking to the Sociology Department about "what you can do with a Sociology degree" and spend my Homecoming not at Zable Stadium BUT with the W&M Recreational Sports crew, tailgate outside the Rec. THAT is where I wanna be. 

13. Love Hard, Love Fully, Love Cautiously
This is the only "resolution" and it is to love, but love with a side of caution. To only accept what I deserve and to not settle at all in the entire year for anything less than what I deserve. To not fall for the fallen with the hopes I can pick them up. To not enter anything without 100% certainty that I want to invest my time and energy in whatever it is. To not half-ass anything. To be honest even when it hurts. To utilize the lessons taught in 2013 for personal growth, development and acceptance. To reign in my heart. :-)

Until next time.... 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December Rumi

I have a million thoughts but not enough time to write them down. So I will post this for now.

My worst habit is I get so tired of winter
I become a torture to those I am with.

If you are not here, nothing grows.
I lack clarity. My words tangle and knot up.

How to cure bad water? Send it back to the river.
How to cure bad habits? Send me back to you.

When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools,
dig a way out through the bottom to the ocean.
There is a secret medicine given only to those
who hurt so hard they cannot hope.

The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.

Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you,
or coming back towards you.

- Rumi

Until next time...

What if I'm not a Writer?

I've mentioned this before. My first book I ever wrote was a few chapters long. Each page was a new chapter. I was in second or third ...