(Okay, that was a joke about high definition. You know, 1080p HD? *ba dum tiss*) I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, to be honest. Although this year was so intense and incredibly odd that I do feel compelled to make some this year; if only to resolve that 2015 won’t be anything like 2014 was. This year started with me making a swift exit from a long term relationship – one that I never planned to get into, if you want the truth. When I met this guy I was essentially the opposite of “looking” – I don’t even think my eyes were open. Deep down, I’ve always been the kind of woman who likes to sit home by myself, eat all the cheese in my fridge and watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. That’s like – not exactly something you can shamelessly do in front of someone that you’re attempting to woo. I can’t think of much that is less attractive than me ferally hunched over a block of cheddar.
Anyway, we split, I kept the apartment, acquired a dog and changed my entire life. I quit my corporate job because I realized this year that the young folk of my generation, the millennials, the twenty-somethings, can’t do what our parents did. There is no longer such a thing as joining a company before the ink has even dried on your diploma, working late nights for a decade so that you can have a great benefits package, buy your house and a time-share, have your 2.5 kids and golden retriever, live in a cul-de-sac – that’s all Baby Boomer stuff. Those of us trying to have careers right now – the young adults – are coming of age in an entirely different economic and social situation than our parents did and yet we feel the heavy burden of their expectations. We also have this, or at least I do, inkling that the answer to having anything is breaking the rules. Making new rules is the only way to survive and I think that’s why so many people my age are creating start ups, being “slashies” (because we’re all a something/something else these days, we have to juggle many different skill sets so that we can get whatever job is available). I have quite a few peers who, at 25, are out-earning their parents via their own businesses.
I decided this year that I didn’t really have anything to lose by trying. I worked “in a cube” for a few years, I knew I had the skills required to do it even if it wasn’t what I wanted – I know now that I can fall back on that “real job” if necessary. But I’ll be honest with you: as a full-time freelance writer I have worked harder, longer hours than I did at any previous job. That includes the requisite room-cleaning, table-waiting and paper-pushing I did in high school/college. The difference is, doing the work I’m doing now – while it’s hard – is worth being exhausted over because I love doing it. I can’t wait to wake up in the morning, have my coffee, put the radio on and get to work. Even when it’s ten o’clock at night and I’m scrambling to meet a deadline, rewriting something until my eyes cross, this is the pain I want. This is growing pains and I’m thankful for that. So – for 2015? I want to keep growing. Worry less. Eat more cheese. I’m not really all that worried about the rest of it. I think, actually, that I should be planning my New Year’s Revolution: 2015 is the year I’m going to reclaim all the dreams and schemes I had for myself before I let someone else’s needs take priority over my own. 2015 is about marching forward into uncharted territory, with a patchwork map and a pen (mightier than the sword, I’ll add), hollering my battle cry: “Where’s the cheeeeeese!”
Okay. Maybe the battle cry needs a little bit of work. I hope you all have a healthy and happy New Year. No drinking and driving tonight, okay? Really. Just don’t do it. And shout out to my Midcoasties: if you’re sitting home twiddling your thumbs, wondering what to do, refer to the Lemonade Lowdown for a list of events. She’s always got the deets. Cheers, A.