Every year, I write an essay of repentance for my failures, thankfulness for the good moments, and defiance toward the bad. I draw resolutions from a hat and swear to adhere this time around. I'll take more photos, practice guitar, read all the books I impulse-bought but didn't read. Inevitably, I forget within the week.
For the first time in my adult life, I ended the year without a good or bad classification. I've always conformed to the binary but 2014 has hovered steadily above ground zero. For each negative, there's been a positive and for each step forward, there have been two back. It's been a year of stability - or stagnation, depending on the day you ask me.
Despite everything, I can't deny it's been a learning process and I'd like to keep a record for Next Year Me. Maybe I'll retain lessons longer than aspirations. I always did learn better the hard way.
Patience is a virtue I wasn't born with but, my god, she can be taught! Some things are worth waiting for. Some waiting may last for years. Some waiting is for Godot.
Hard work eventually pays off if you let it. But sometimes you have to pay it forward to yourself, buy that plane ticket, and trust that you can handle a few months of four jobs and no sleep.
Living away from home doesn't mean giving up your past life. It just requires adapting to a particular sort of schizophrenia.
Running away won't solve your problems, but it will give you some perspective. Maybe that's all you need to solve them yourself when you return.
It's okay to admit defeat when you've been banging your head against a wall for a year. You're concussed, you're over it, and any further detriment is likely to be permanent. Stand down, soldier. There are better things than these.
The best way to cure a fear of solitude is to spend time on your own. A year of alone time under my belt and, hey, it's not so bad. I'm verging on enjoying my own company. Almost.
You can't predict everything. Sometimes, a silly childhood dream slaps you in the face and you realize six months later that, god, I should have been doing this the whole time. Now it's just about playing catch-up with the years of missed practice.
I've learned to write in cursive, count in Chinese and Turkish, sing in front of people without panicking, and manage a feature film production. However, I messed up grilled cheese last week. I may never learn to cook.
Instead of declaring resolutions I'll immediately ignore, I'll just hope 2015 contains a little more adventure and a little less overthinking.