When I say I’m kissing the year goodbye, understand it’s not a loving kiss, but more a get the hell out of here kiss. Kiss my ass really. I rarely ever look back on a year and can easily categorize it as amazing or terrible – it just came and went and like most had its ups and downs.
If you read my 2013 Year in Review, you’ll remember I dealt with a lot of pain and loss. I guess by default it stands to reason that much of 2014 was spent dealing with that loss and trying to make sense of it all. A lot of that was anger if I’m being honest. If you know me, you know that I can get angered pretty quickly – horrendous road rage, my significant other flirting in front of me, people doing me wrong in a business sense, friends wanting more than they give – those things REALLY make me angry. But losing your best friend and having to deal with the financial burden of running your own business (as a writer especially!) and copious health issues can really let the anger set in. The longer it sets in and the more you hold on to it, the harder it is to let go.
If I had to describe the year as a whole in just one simple word, it would be: rut.
I spent the year stuck in a rut, which is probably the worst place you want to spend an entire 365 days. I didn’t really move forward and I definitely didn’t push myself as hard as I should have. Even though I write a column called The Blonde Side and sometimes make fortuitous grammatical errors, I’m actually a pretty smart cookie.
My job. People look at my life (via social media mostly) and assume I live this amazing and adventurous life,
and it’s true for the most part. I don’t juxtapose my photos or lie about where I am, what I’m doing or who I’m with. I don’t think people realize how incredibly hard it is to do what I do for a living. Being a writer/blogger/whatever-you-want-to-call-me is my full-time job. This pretty little website you’re reading right now is what pays my bills – ALL OF THEM. It’s not easy and this year really got me down on what I do for a living.
Have you ever looked at someone and wonder how on earth they’re able to function on a daily basis because they are so far in left field or lacking just an ounce of common sense yet realize they make 3x (if not more) money than you do? It’s pretty disheartening.
My solution: I’m going to work harder this year than I have in the past three combined. I’m going to aim higher than most can imagine and I’m going to make sure all my work sells for what it’s worth. If I hit that disheartening feeling again, then I’m lucky because I have one hell of an education to back me up and hopefully welcome me back into Corporate America with open arms. And I will always remember: never wish for it harder than you work for it.
My friends. I spent a majority of the year being angry at certain people. You know the kind – those who invite you to their bacherloette party, bridal shower, wedding, then baby shower all in one year and you’re expected to travel and buy a ton of gifts? You don’t mind because they are your friends, but you realize they soon stop calling you and inviting you out. Fact of the matter is, you live with a man and have a ring on your finger, but our lives didn’t all of a sudden get so different. What happened is you either A) thought you got too good for certain people (i.e. me) or B) were never a good friend in the first place.
My solution: The end of 2014 was a little different for me when it came to friends. It truly is all about quality over quantity – that adage we’ve been told for years. I’m being very selective with the people in my life from now on. I can probably count 10 people this year alone I thought were good friends – not one of those called me (or texted me) on my birthday, most didn’t attend my annual Jingle BALLS event benefitting Ronald McDonald House Houston (or even call to say they’d miss it or wish me luck or donate) or really just gave a damn about me all year. It’s funny how you travel to Vegas for someone’s birthday and yet they can’t even send a text or buy you a drink for yours. Instead of staying angry at that, it’s no sweat off my back. I reconnected with some pretty great friends and met some new ones this year. That’s where I’ll focus instead.
My Happiness. I won’t go too much into this, but in November I attended Wanderlust Austin. During that weekend, I ventured into a session where our instructor, Liz Davis, asked us to tell a complete stranger about the last time we were truly happy. She asked us to describe it and tell them why it made us so happy.
It probably won’t surprise many, but my answer to my last happiness was simple: Hawaii. There are no words to how much I miss living on the island and just learning about myself. What sucks about that being my “happy place,” is it’s so damn far and expensive to get to. You know what this complete random stranger responded with? Find more Hawaii in your everyday life.
It really is that flipping simple and that’s what I’m aiming to do everyday.
My solution: I won’t lie – pretending Houston is anything like Hawaii is a downright difficult task, but that doesn’t mean I can’t see the beauty in things that I saw there. Like all things in life, it’s a work in progress.
In no particular order, here are a few goals (not to be confused with resolutions) for 2015:
– GET MY BOOK PUBLISHED. I slacked on this, and I’m ready to write the second one already.
– Learn to smile more. I admit it – I’ve got an aggressive resting bitch face and it’s time to turn that frown upside down. Isn’t that what Oprah says to do?
– Get back to sending handwritten letters. I’m pretty good at this, but I want to do it more and make it a habit.
– Get dressed every morning. No I don’t walk around naked all day (not usually), but I work for myself (i.e. no coworkers unless you count my 23lb teacup Chihuahua) and finding the energy or need to brush my hair and put on clean clothes sometimes gets overlooked. I keep reading “dressing the part” is key to success, so why not? Go ahead, judge me all you want…
– Stop buying shit. I have moved SO MANY times in the last two years and I’ve already gotten rid of so much stuff – I don’t need any of it. I want to simplify and stop buying.
– Streamlining my work. I freelance for so many publications (print and online) that it’s hard to keep up with all the formats, pitching, editors, invoicing, etc. I want to create a hit list of publications I have a constant voice in and actually make some money and write quality work. If you’ve got ideas for a magazine or website I should write for, please let me know. Editor’s contact info is a bonus.
– My phone is not my friend, my friends are my friends. I want to be more present and not text or worry about my phone when I’m with good company – it’s just plain rude. But that also means striving to find good company – I’m not sure everyone will make the cut.
– Travel better. I know this sounds crazy for someone who spent 262 days on the road this year, but my goal for 2014 was to travel bigger – abroad and such. I love my weekend trips for NFL and to visit friends, but it’s time to expand my horizons. Unless of course it’s a trip home.
x’s & o’s to all of you that have followed my journeys as a sportswriter as well as just an all around crazy person. I appreciate all your support and comments – I’d love to hear what your goals are for 2015…