Twenty Thirteen

So my resolution this year is about writing. It’s about this blog becoming an actual platform for the stories of my experiences that have informed my philosophies on life – personal & political & anything between. As I’ve said many times: the only thing I truly feel like an expert in are my own experiences and my reactions to them. By articulating them here, I may be able to find a way to share what knowledge I’ve unearthed through pursuing love, through enduring pain, through aspiring to be as fearless as possible and my ever-growing need to embrace doubt and truth as recklessly as possible. Maybe these stories will be useful or inspiring, either to others or simply reflecting back at myself.

So I promise 24 stories this year. Two a month. There are days when I feel that I could write entire novels of my life, and other days when the lake of inspiration is dry as a bone, but over this year, I can do 24 pieces of this puzzle which forms my personal picture.

Anais Nin said it best: “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” — I’m taking that to heart this year.

So I’ll start with this past year. 2013 was an exciting year of my life. To be honest, pretty much every year since 2007 has been a progressive attempt to top the previous one in terms of challenging myself, embracing new experiences or diving further into what I’m capable of.

But 2013 started with tragedy. My baby bird, Ender, died at the very beginning of the year and to this day I doubt my ability to talk about his death without tears forming in my eyes. I cried for weeks, was haunted by nightmares of his hollow shell of a body in my hands, and I blamed myself continuously for his death. It was a harsh and crushing beginning to my year.

The following month, my romantic relationship deepened, as our emphasis on each other increased. Cheesy as it sounds, spending a spontaneous Valentine’s Day together was one of the sweetest experiences I’ll always cherish. It was a turning point in multiple ways, as I also knew at that point it was time to begin my process of moving back to Los Angeles from Las Vegas. I had always known I would (the original plan was to move back springtime of ’13) but the process began then. My life began orbiting Los Angeles again, visiting for four days twice a month and every time I came “home” to Vegas was just to work to get myself “home” to Los Angeles. I wrote about my need to leave Vegas.

In April, my best friend in Las Vegas moved home to Hawai’i. She needed to leave, Vegas hadn’t treated her well the past year, but losing her was hard. She is an incredible person and her closing the chapter on her life in Vegas involved an abrupt cutting ties with her connections to it, so I felt the loss of her friendship and presence profoundly.

I interviewed for the job in Los Angeles with a financial firm working with one of my closest friends. I was told they’d have an opening in the summer, so I prepared my move for then. Somehow the process of preparing to move back to LA inspired me to write the stories of my initial move there and the adventures that came after which caused me to drive across country for three months. It was nice to tell the stories, finally.

In late May, I packed all my belongings up and drove them back to Los Angeles. To a storage unit in West LA, where they remain to this day. I still haven’t found the apartment worth unpacking for.

In May I also bought myself my first big purchase in many years: a 2007 Mini Cooper. Having a car loan again makes me feel a bit like a prisoner, with responsibilities and such, but I’m very happy for it.

Mini!

As my new job hadn’t started yet in June, I returned weekly to Las Vegas to work while spending my free time in Los Angeles enjoying the company of my incredible lover – a relationship which continued to evolve and strengthen. We encountered differences of opinion which shook us, and I learned that though it hurts to admit and face the things we like less about one another, the realization that we’re willing to address the problems and fight for better understandings, for our expectations and hopes and desires is eye-opening; that “we” as a unit are worth working on, fighting for and committing to. It’s genuinely the first time in my life I’ve ever felt like that.

My new job began in July and my life shifted dramatically – instead of being a creature of the night, I was a bird of the mornings, working the 9 to 5 in a tall office building while learning more and more about personal finance, investment strategies and regulatory agencies.

In August, I celebrated an anniversary I hadn’t seriously considered: how amazing that this casual romantic intersection of two people who continuously comment about our mutual fears of commitment, could actually last an entire year, and still be going strong.

Also over the summer, I attended Freedom Fest & Burning Man, events that deserve blog entries of their own and of which I have hundreds of photos. Consider this a recorded resolution of mine to publish those.

My blog itself evolved a bit, as I began writing about current events: the Boston Marathon Bombing and then a Bad-Molly Scare, I began realizing I have an interest in blogging about things I care about, even if they aren’t stories of my personal life. Not everything needs to be an autobiography.

In October, I celebrated my birthday in Los Angeles, like I did the year before. A small group of awesome people came together at my boyfriend’s house and we had dinner – and I realized how many incredible people I know in this city. I really have begun building a foundation for the rest of my life .  It started when I moved in 2010, but I marvel at how I maintained and grew my own circle even while living away in Vegas for a year.

On my birthday I asked for a promotion. A month later, I got promoted. Four months at my job and I moved up to salary, benefits, and all those things that verify that this is in fact that career I’ve chosen and the work I’m committing to.

In November, my father came to visit – my first family member to visit me on the West coast. This is certainly a lengthy entry for a later date, but Thanksgiving was a turning point this year. I cooked for a dozen people, my very first Thanksgiving feast as hostess. My father was there – the last time we spent Thanksgiving dinner together I was too young to remember. Family of blood and family of choice coming together: I was so happy to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving that way and with that group of people. There is so much more to be said about that evening, but it will have its own spotlight in the near future.

Christmas was similarly situated, though without blood family in attendance. I was able to Skype briefly with my mother and my brothers. There was another dinner, an orphan’s Christmas, and it was such an incredible time (and I made a ton of food again). I am so glad that group of people came together. I learned that I truly love hostessing, cooking, and caring for a community of awesome people. Fostering those friendships is a big deal to me.

2013 was a year of tying up certain loose ends and starting new traditions. It was a year of new friendships that I will cherish. It was a year of committing to things: my city, my car loan, my lover, my career. It was a year of building bridges and connections – opposite of my previous year which was about being an island. 2013 was the year I turned 26, the year I met some phenomenal people who will influence the way I go about my life in the future. It was the year of retiring certain habits. It was a year of self-ownership and self-determination and suddenly walking into the world and realizing that some people were actually seeing me, as I was, as a self-determined adult. It may be the first year I ever truly felt like a grown-up, however brief those moments may have been.

I woke up on the first day of 2014 and I wrote about truth. I told my Facebook friends that there was a truth out there looking for them and they didn’t know it yet. A little while later, I wrote this:

Sometimes truth is ugly, sometimes it hurts, sometimes it’s beautiful and funny, sometimes it’s hopeful, sometimes it’s hopeless. Truth doesn’t care about your feelings, it doesn’t try to soften the blow. You can’t improve the situation you exist in until you let truth take away all of your assumptions, all of your hesitations, buffers, and rationalizations. You can only make strong new realities by letting truth inform your current reality. Let it take away your crutches, let it wash away the things you’re afraid to do without. Then it will leave you, naked and raw and fearless, and you will spend the rest of your life pursuing it, becoming a vessel for it, and being one with it.

2014 is going to be a crazy year. I’m studying for my Series 7 & 66 licensing exams, which I expect to complete in the first quarter of the year. I’m turning out to be really good at my job, and as people recognize that they challenge me to do more and be more – thankfully there is a path for this in my company and the people who foster and witness my greatest career triumphs will continue to assist me as I wade into waters deeper than I fully understand yet.

I’m committed to writing this year. I will not let procrastination or excuses or “being too busy” get in the way of telling the stories I feel I need to tell. There is so much to explain about my philosophies & beliefs, the things that drive me, the things I want people to better understand and utilize themselves.

I can’t call myself a writer if I don’t write, and if I am not a writer, my five-year-old self will time-travel to 2014 to kick me.

There are truths out there, and they need to be talked about. So this year, I will. I promise, I will.

6 thoughts on “Twenty Thirteen”

    1. I considered a paragraph for a particular partial “victory” but it’s not my story to tell and even with a vague reference, I don’t think I could do it justice.

      Thank you for sharing your year with me. <3

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