Two Zero One Five

by kattiewampus

I started writing this beautifully self-indulgent retrospective about 2014 a few days ago. And then I was like, “I’m kind of over 2014.”

I’m not a big New Year’s resolutions person. For a while, I was into doing New Year’s “goals” because that made more sense to me. A goal is something you are always working toward. A resolution is something you break or fail at.

But since I’m constantly setting goals for myself throughout the year (not because I’m actually accomplishing them, but because I’m impatient and can’t stay focused on one thing), the practice of setting them at the beginning of the year became somewhat insignificant.

Maybe I’m being noncommittal, or maybe just realistic. But I think I’d rather just approach 2015 by reflecting on where I’m at, what I’d like to do, and what I’d like to not do this year.

Where I’m At:

Guys, I start grad school next week. NEXT WEEK. By this time next week, I will have attended my first grad school class. My text book came in the mail a couple of days ago and I am geeking out over the table of contents. I’m taking “Psychology of Interpersonal Communication.” I get butterflies just writing out that title.

That’s really the only hard and fast thing I can point to about where I’m at right now. Everything else is “in process,” and I’m quite okay with that.

What I’d Like to Do:

Um, finish “Crime and Punishment” for starters? Seriously. I’ve been stuck in the blasted epilogue since May 2013.

TRAVEL (?). I’ve got the itch to go places. Anywhere and everywhere, really. The parenthetical question mark is because I’m really not sure how feasible traveling will actually be this year, because grad school. On the other hand, I do get breaks and I have a bunch of vacation hours stored up, so… this could work out really well.

Move. I was recently reminded that I like to be active. “An object at rest will stay at rest unless acted on by another force.” In this case, that other force took me hiking, and then dancing, and it was wonderful, and I realized I haven’t felt that alive for a long time. It made me want to keep moving.

What I’d Like to Not Do:

Get sick. Since 2009, every odd year, in February, I get horribly sick. Like, bedridden with the flu for days. Historically-speaking, I’m due for my February plague this year. I’d be pretty okay with bucking this trend. No, I’m not getting a flu vaccination.

Phone it in. I’ve seen this cycle over and over in my academic life. I psych myself out over what I’m trying to do, fixate on getting good grades, go into autopilot/rote memorization mode, and mechanically ace my classes only to forget everything I learned within a month. What scares me about this grad program is that what I’m learning, while incredibly fascinating to me, is not just for “personal enrichment” (read: kicks and giggles). These classes are preparing me for my career. What I get out of them will directly impact the people that I work with later on down the road. I need to keep that big picture perspective and not lose sight of the long-term purpose. I want to invest into this learning process and extract from it as much as I can – not for the sake of getting a good grade, but so that I can internalize what I’m learning and retain it down the road.

Have a nervous or emotional breakdown. So, I don’t handle stress well. Yet, I also tend to catapult myself into stressful situations. Such as this scenario for instance: starting grad school while working full-time and still covering my former co-worker’s position until we hire a replacement (A, if you’re reading this: come back. That is all) and apartment-hunting with the hope of actually finding a place, which will then necessitate the stress of moving.

Yay!

But I’ve just decided that this time around, I’m not gonna lose it. I am so chill, so zen right now. Through a magical combination of self-talk, loose-leaf tea, and my MassageEnvy membership, all under the umbrella of a LOT of prayer, I plan to take on (or over) the world.

~

I love January. I always forget about it until it comes around again, but I really do love January. I love the way it is so crisp and cold and clear, so fresh and full of new life. I love the pale, slanted light and the sense of beginning, the feeling of a whole, blank canvas year ahead of me. I think it is absolutely glorious.

New Year’s resolutions may have an element of trite silliness or inevitable failure to them, but I like marking the new year. I like pausing and appreciating the significance of the expanse that is ahead of me. I like feeling excited and empowered to face the next adventure, to seize the day, and to make the most of what has been given me.

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