The last month or so has seen a flurry of personal revivals in one way or another. The creativity and productivity Monique and I intentionally wove into the walls of our apartment during Spring and Autumn smudging began to blossom.

I took a leap and headed into a day-long writing workshop to try and find my words again (and have had some progress). There was a relationship, and now there isn’t. 

This is, yes, this is totally a post-breakup revival. I won’t call it a reinvention, because I don’t need to be reinvented. A minor blip on the radar it was, and happily, something that reinforced the good things I believe about myself. There is always room for improvement, however, and it’s been awhile since I’ve looked to press on. 

Last week, a friend was in town from California. We’re not particularly close, but we share a very close friend and so when she was here on business I jumped at the chance to hang. I mentioned our mutual friend’s advice that I “just get some goals” and we had a laugh about that, because that’s typical for her: If you don’t know what you want to do, or where you want to be, establish something to aim for.” She’s so practical. 

GOALS. The very thought of that is terrifying. Goals toward what, exactly? Like, what’s the goal I can have where I’m stable and solid but also have flexibility to do whatever I want? Those ideas tend to be counterproductive. 

Plus, goals. The idea of having something to work toward actually increases my anxiety. I’m not really an ambitious person — I know I’d like to be comfortable, wherever I am. I don’t want to be stuck. And I’d like to enjoy what I do. That’s about it. Okay, and I’m not good at dealing with authority. Fine. The idea of goals pits me in competition with myself — another thing I don’t do well with. Generally, if given the option between competing and the risk of losing, and taking the L with my pride intact, I’m taking the L. Or giving it a “college try” without putting too much pressure on myself. 

That probably sounds like a cop-out. Hell, it’s absolutely a cop-out. I just don’t care enough about most things to expend the energy required to compete for them. 

Anyway, goals. Understanding the biggest one, paying off lingering credit card debt, will take the longest to achieve. It will be an exercise in patience (newsflash, patience isn’t one of my defining characteristics), but there’s really no excuse, beyond that living in NYC is basically a money pit. But there’s also: 

Build savings. This one is going to require the most discipline across the board. It’s easy enough to divert a portion of my paycheck into a savings account I refuse to even look at so as not to get tempted. It’s much more difficult to adhere to a strict, lean budget with what’s left. It has to be done sometime, though. And there are really only so many times I can see [insert band or artist name here].

This will affect these next two goals:

Travel smarter, and better. I am not a “just quit your corporate job and see the world!” person. Some people can do it, and I am not one of them. I would, however, like to allocate my time and resources better when it comes to seeing more of this world before we collectively destroy it with our greed and anti-science lunacy. The top contenders so far: 

  • Iceland: for the Northern Lights, geothermal pools, general Icelandness
  • Norway: I’m not culturally Norwegian in the slightest, but have ancestral ties. It’d be cool to visit
  • Japan: before I go, I’ll comb my Murakami for the places he’s brought to life, and maybe pick a few

This goal also requires paring back of current travel urges. I’d gotten used to heeding itchy feet at my whim (see: credit card debt accumulation) and would head to California or Wisconsin when I needed to breathe. Running has helped assuage some of that. So has a desire to not rack up more debt. 

Leave NYC. It’s been 12 years. It will be 13 by the end of the year. 13 seems like a good number to end on, and according to Susan Miller, 2016 is my Emerald Year. So what better time to really put efforts into motion? Where will I land? Unclear for the moment. But that isn’t the point. When our lease is up in 2017, I will be ready for the next step. 

Keep running. My first half-marathon is the Avenue of the Giants half in Arcadia, Calif. on May 1. Training has helped keep me sane and level, but getting into running before I committed to the half has been the best antidepressant I’ve ever tried. (Note: it’s the only antidepressant I’ve ever tried.) I feel better, more level, better equipped to handle bumps in the road (lookin’ at you, breakup), and I’ve also lost 13 pounds, so that’s cool.

I’m laying these here, at the feet of the internet, so I have a place to be held accountable, and a place to record my efforts and reflections as the year progresses. More than anything, I need a record of this time. 

Other ideas, tips and encouragement are always appreciated. 🙂 

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