I think you’re supposed to do resolutions this time of year. That’s the thing, right? NEW YEAR! RESOLUTIONS!
Thing is, those get broken. You’re all fired up for like a week, then you get tired, and it’s so damn cold (well, unless you live somewhere warm; somewhere warm certainly isn’t here) and you might have resolved to, I don’t know, go to the gym more, or eat better, but again, SO DAMN COLD, and it’s so much easier to shotgun episodes of Elementary and eat a lot of comforting bread pudding. I mean. Not that I know anyone who’s done that. Who would do such a thing? Foolishness.
So instead of resolutions, I like to have some objectives. I may or may not reach these objectives, but they’re something to shoot for…and sometimes they’re long-term objectives, and sometimes lifetime objectives, and sometimes short-term objectives. And I try very hard not to beat myself up if I don’t meet my objectives. Being nicer to myself has been a long-term objective for years. I’m working really hard to keep that one.
My main objective for 2014 (hi, 2014! I am so excited you’re here!) is to be brave.
What? Amy? Amy isn’t brave? Amy’s awful shouty for a coward.
I’m not a coward. I just often take the easy way out, and that’s often the quiet route. I let a lot of life pass me by because it’s easier to not reach for what I want, not speak up, not be direct about things.
Being brave is SCARY. You have to step outside of your comfort zone a LOT to be brave. You have to be willing to get shot down, and you have to be willing to be laughed at, sometimes. But you also get the satisfaction of having BEEN brave. You get to take that home with you. That’s yours to keep.
I’ve already set some of the scaffolding in place for this for the year; nothing I’m going to discuss at the moment, but it’s actually progressing as we speak. (Another objective: not waiting until some random day like the first of the year to start things. I started working on this one big bravery-objective probably mid-2013.)
So, if we had to pick a watchword for 2014: brave. Not in the Sara Bareilles way or the badass-archer-redhead and her bear-mom way, either. Just in an Amy-way, which is a much smaller-spanning way, and probably has very little impact on anyone but me…but I’d like to know that I have it in me to be brave.
2014 is also going to be a year for travel: that’s not as much of an objective, but a given. I have the tickets. I’m going to Europe. The clock flipped over to 12 and it became The Year Amy Goes to Europe. (Well, I suppose technically it’s the year I go to Europe AGAIN, as I’ve been ONCE, but this time it MATTERS.) This is the year I’m old enough to APPRECIATE Europe, and give some people that have my heart some HUGE HUGS. And spend actual face-time with them. Extended face-time. I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this. I’m marking days off my calendar like I’m facing parole in a little under 5 months. Europe! I am so going to rock you with ZOMGs and excited laughter and wild eyes of wonder and hair that is totally intractable! Look out!
I’m also planning at least one, if not two, trips to my favorite city in all the world (which is…who’s been paying attention? NEW YORK CITY! You win! What do you win? Hell, I don’t know. My applause, I guess!) and will go with/see some more of my favorite people while there. My favorite city plus my favorite people? Total win.
Maybe some other smaller trips; maybe just little adventures around here. There are adventures to be had close to home, not just far away. There are places I’ve totally not explored here, even after living here for 11 years. It won’t hurt anything to have a few close-to-home adventures. Plus, upside: I know where all the bathrooms/escape routes are!
It’s also going to be a year of books (not a surprise to anyone that knows me, I’m sure) and theater (again, not at all a shocker) and catching up on television shows and spending time, both in real-time and internet-time, with the people I love, and none of that varies from this year. Those things have all worked. You keep the things that worked, you see. The things that didn’t, you boot to the curb. You don’t need to carry those things with you into your shiny new year. If you keep carrying around all that garbage, you’ll give yourself a sore back, you know?
And I’m going to risk things, and go on adventures, and I’m going to be brave, because you don’t get anywhere if no one knows you want to go. You can’t just sit at the station and watch the trains go by; you have to get up your courage and get ON one of those trains. Where it’s taking you? Well, you might have an idea, but it also might be a bit of an unknown to you. And that’s the scary bit. But you’re never going to go if you just sit and watch. You have to actually be part of what’s happening.
Here’s to stepping in the middle of it and not getting trampled. Welcome, 2014; your big brother 2013 hasn’t been overly kind to anyone I know, and we’re all so, so glad you’ve arrived. You be good to us, ok?