It’s that time: Time to look at where we’ve been and where we’re going.
I love this process, but I’m weird that way. January 1st feels like all is possibility, a chance to wipe my scratched, smeared slate clean and start fresh. Get back on track, or get on a whole new track altogether. Redemption, every 365 days.
This year was a big one for me (finishing grad school, moving cross country, buying a trailer), and maybe for you, too. But I don’t sit still for long, and I’m thinking about what I want in 2011. And, okay, panicking a little. Some days, a lot.
I’m a woefully underemployed writer. I’ve had a few paid gigs since summer, but not enough to stop the savings drain. I have a blog with a loyal, brilliant bunch of readers, and I have this crazy idea of building it up so it pays the bills, but no concrete idea how to do that.
I haven’t been in love in more than five years, and worry that my long-term relationship window has slammed shut.
I’ve been trying to get back into the great shape I was in before New York, and I not only haven’t been able to do that, but my eating and exercise habits swing so wildly it feels like I’m not even maintaining my health – I’m losing ground.
In other words, here’s what’s keeping me up nights: money, relationships, and health. The holy trinity for self-help gurus everywhere.
On top of all that, I’m starting to feel the itch for a bigger project. Having endless scampabouts is fine, and I plan to keep them up, but I want a bigger challenge. Something tough, but doable. So I remind myself I’ve done this before. Over and over again.
Every daunting thing I’ve accomplished started by asking myself one question: Wouldn’t it be fun to…?
- Wouldn’t it be fun to learn guitar, write songs, start a band, and put out a CD?
- Wouldn’t it be fun to ditch my boss and become a consultant?
- Wouldn’t it be fun to do that again, and create and run my own workshops?
- Wouldn’t it be fun to be a freelance writer?
- Wouldn’t it be fun to put on a women’s fair in Berkeley?
- Wouldn’t it be fun to move to Taos? And Manhattan?
- Wouldn’t it be fun to get an MFA?
- Wouldn’t it be fun to teach creative writing to undergrads?
- Wouldn’t it be fun to buy a trailer and drive around the U.S. by myself?
So I’m back to that question. Wouldn’t it be fun to… what? Framing it that way makes it seem like a lark, a no-pressure experiment, instead of some harrowing, this-is-serious-and-by-God-you-better-not-screw-it-up situation. Because if I look at it that way, I’ll just crawl back to bed with a bottle of Malbec and the X-Files on endless loop. And wonder why David Duchovny never calls me.
Despite all the panicking, my gut tells me I’m on the right track. Buying Sadie was a long-time dream fulfilled. I’m a decent writer and love to do it, and firmly believe talent and passion win out eventually. Lastly, the reason I write this blog is to share my adventures and experiments with you, and maybe inspire you to go after your own Wouldn’t-it-be-fun-to’s. In fact, it would make me very, very happy if you did.
What do we want in 2011? And what do we need to do to get it?