I had sort of halfheartedly planned to write a kind of “New Year’s reflection” here, but on the last day of 2013 I was in Las Vegas putting more effort into shopping for a festive, Las-Vegas-appropriate, yet modest party shirt* than on turning inward to self-examine; and on the first day of 2014 I was still in Las Vegas and still didn’t do any reflecting because I was too busy sleeping, sitting, and finally, sleeping again. And now it’s 19 days later and the only thing I’ve really thought long and hard about in recent weeks is how to tactfully word a long letter to Obama in protest of my new monthly premium.
I have (just now), however, compiled a short, unimpressive list of things I’d like to do this year because I’m 27 and I feel my life slipping away since I have to take fiber pills now and can no longer fit into $9 jeans. This list is also inspired by a rather dismal 2013 spent lamenting my lack of financial freedom and clear career path–as well as the fact that I have to use a screwdriver to get my car out of park–instead of appreciating what I do have: good health, a job, and a screwdriver, for starters.
What I Plan to Do in 2014 to Make Up for What I Did Not Do in 2013 and Probably the All the Other Years Before That, Too:
1. Read the Harry Potter series. Because I think knowing what a “Dementor” is will free me from the social isolation and alienation I so often feel.
2. Save money (yes, I am putting this after Harry Potter). Recently it was pointed out to me that saving $20 a week works out to over $1,000 a year. “Oh, whoa,” I said, since, as a rule, I don’t really bother with math. But now that I know the math, I also know this means I’ll have to cut back on my H&M scarf purchases. Consider it done.
3. Go to a museum or something like that. A part of me used to really like museums, or at least one museum in particular that I can think of. In high school, my friends and I had this weird sort of affinity with the Chinese Scholar’s Garden at the Met, and a handful of times we took the train into The City to walk around the place and make fun of really valuable and historically significant artifacts and works of art. (We also went to the Met because of our creepy fascination with one of the cashiers in the cafeteria, but I can’t get into that here, now or ever.) I was reminded of how much fun this was when, while looking through my own Facebook pictures on a (clearly) slow Saturday afternoon, I saw that one of the first-ever tagged photos of me is this:
And to think that these days I waste my weekend afternoons on things like reorganizing my underwear drawer, researching the job market in Denmark, and doing unnecessarily long and ineffective ab workouts (I’m talking to you, Tony Horton) when I should really be experiencing the histories and mysteries of ancient worlds and filling my head with knowledge that will help me shout out the answer before the contestants on Jeopardy!
Let’s go to a freaking museum. Only maybe this time try not to be so irreverent about it. Maybe.
4. Make more money. People say that money isn’t everything, and of course they’re right. Still, money is something, and any person who denies that probably has so much money that they’ve forgotten how it works. I don’t want to be rich, because I think being rich leads to things like rehab or, worse, wearing fur vests and leather pants to the dentist like it’s normal. So I don’t need or want a lot of money, just a reasonable amount so that I can move out of my childhood bedroom before I’m 30 and occasionally get brunch in Brooklyn at one of those Brooklyny brunchy places and not feel completely destitute afterwards. That’s all.
5. Acquire a skill that will enable #4. As I write this, I have exactly zero lucrative skills (that I know of). And despite what so many editorials in The Atlantic will tell you, I have yet to come across a single employer who gives a poop about “critical thinkers” and “self-motivated, lifelong learners,” which is more or less the extent of what I offer. But 2014 is the year I change that. I don’t know how, exactly; I haven’t thought much about it until just now because it’s boring to think about. HTML? Is that a thing still?
6. Stop dwelling on those two months in 2009 when I could fit into a size 4. It’s not going to happen again. It just isn’t. I was still a student in 2009 and could work out for two hours a day and eat fruit for lunch because there was no need to catch a “second wind” at 3 p.m. It wasn’t a real size 4 anyway; it was a New York & Company size 4. And it isn’t going to happen again. It just isn’t.
7. Drink more tea. Because I want to be one of those people who drink tea.
more a movie s. I don’t see many movies–not because I don’t like movies, but because movies are just getting really long, right? But there have been times in my life, like last night for instance**, when I’ve seen a movie that just tears your heart apart and then puts it back together and hugs it, and you feel like your life just became a little different. And even if you stop thinking about it the next day, or the next week, or the next month, and even if you never think about it again, breaking out into heaving sobs (or, alternatively, pittling a little bit from laughing) in the darkness of a movie theater is actually quite a lovely thing because it means you felt connected to something that someone else, a bunch of strangers, created. You got it, and it got you. And in a world besot by Two and a Half Men and Vanderpump Rules, sometimes we need that.
9. Rekindle my fizzling relationship with New York City. Like many, many people from all over the world and every single female who watched Felicity as an adolescent, I always felt pulled towards New York City. I wanted to go to school there, work there, live there. But then I started commuting there for work last year, and it quickly became the worst place on earth. I spent the latter half of 2013 resenting all the wealthy SoHoians with nothing better to do with their time than crowd the streets with their oversized shopping bags; the aggressive, grumpy commuters pouring into and out of Penn Station and shoving past me on the escalator in a way that suggests an escalator is not, as is my understanding, meant for standing still as you escalate; and whichever executive at Dean & Deluca decided $7 is a reasonable price to pay for a granola bar. But at some point in the past few weeks, and prompted by what I don’t know, I realized how very sad this is. Sure, New York City is an overrated and frequently overwhelmingly awful place, but some day when I’m not here anymore and working as a cocktail waitress at a Las Vegas casino, I’m going to miss it. More than that, I’m going to regret spending so much time hating it instead of relishing the fact that I’m living like at least 35 percent of my 12-year-old self’s dream just by being here. So 2014 is going to be the year that I learn to re-like New York City and make the most of its virtues (so much unreasonable footwear!) and vices (have to walk so many places in unreasonable footwear!).
I was just about to end the list there and sign off, but I realized I left out probably the most important one of all: 10. I want to write more–maybe in this blog and maybe not in this blog. Because even if I’m not very good or interesting or funny, writing has always made me feel most like myself. It can also be a lot of fun, especially if you have some time to kill between when you wake up and when your boyfriend wakes up (such as right now). And if 2013 felt weird to me, which I’m pretty sure it did, it was because I wasn’t doing this enough, just chatting with myself. It feels nice.
So I’m going to end this now so I can get out there, and you know, L-I-V-E (read: go to Target because I need some Skintimate), but I’ll be back. Maybe not tomorrow or the next day, but I’ll be back.
*Such a shirt does not exist.
**This is my official endorsement of Her. So good that I was still crying during my post-movie pee.