For all the successes of 2016, there were equal amounts of painful self-awareness. I was able to look at my life with a new clarity in 2016, and it has set me up for a possibly difficult but ultimately emotionally rewarding 2017. A few experiences cracked my life open, and I’m looking at the demons that came spilling out. My priority is to examine those demons, but I’ve got an impressive list of other things that are also calling to me in 2017.
1. Heal some old wounds.
Healing the wounds from my cracked open life is going to be my main focus in the coming year, but I don’t know what that will look like yet. Right now, it’s looking like journaling, reading, and talking through it with friends.
2. Deepen relationships with beloved friends.
On my bigger list/big picture dream, I have the line item “deepen relationships with beloved friends.” I’m going to be leaning on them for two things: 1.) emotional support while I heal those wounds, and 2.) help in keeping me accountable. I’m working on my integrity in the coming year, too.
3. Attend every international festival in my town.
I’m talking about events like the Asian Festival, Oktoberfest, the Greek Festival, Italian Fest, etc. They don’t really start until July, and most of them happen in August, so I plan on dedicating that month to traveling around the city, attending various festivals.
4. Race to $10,000 in my emergency fund.
I’ve already started this particular challenge. I’m currently at 54%. I should be at $6,000 by mid-January, but I want to get it done so I can save save save and focus funds on other ventures.
5. Get LASIK.
I have a line on a discount for the procedure. I need to do something because my prescription has changed drastically and I’m either going to go get new glasses and contacts in the next few months, or I’m going to go get LASIK. I’m looking at early Spring, if I can swing it. I don’t want to start saving the money until I reach 10k in the EF. But, I want to get it done before the summer.
6. Just go already.
I have been making lists and printing maps for over a year now. Yet, I have not renewed my passport in YEARS. I recently learned that an academic presentation was accepted at a conference in Wales, and it seems like the kick in the butt that I needed to cross the ocean. I have this idea of myself as a world traveler, but it’s been a while since I’ve been in a foreign country. This coming year is the year to go.
7. Write write write.
I’ve been ruminating on the question, “What would it be like to make an extra $3,000 a month by freelance writing?” I’ve been looking at the Contently portfolios of writers I admire, and I’m thinking about what’s possible. I seem to have this belief that I have no follow through and I don’t finish things. It’s true that I have let things slide in the service of self-sabotage. I do not want to do that anymore. I want to make a big leap. I want to collect bylines this year.
8. Finish a draft of the farmhouse memoir.
I found a new lens through which to look at the time I spent in a farmhouse on the river, and the chapter structure just came to me. I saw the whole thing all the way through. I’ve started to understand some of the lessons from that year, only in the last year itself. I’m letting myself let go of the idea that I need to finish some essays that I believed should be collected and published before I pursue the memoir, because the memoir wants my attention.
9. Tell some stories.
I’ve been looking at a way to marry my personal, academic and financial writing, and I think I found it in storytelling. I don’t know what this looks like exactly, and I know this is vague, but I’ve got some ideas and some things to submit and plan before I share too much.
10. Speak up.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how silence equals complicity. Not speaking up against a behavior is the same as condoning it. I was trained to “not make waves.” In 2017, I’m going to work on my wave making. I’m going to be sending out more work, standing up to tell stories, and increasing my activism…activity. I’ll have to fight my tendency to hide. But, it’s all a part of healing some old wounds.
Wow. That’s ten dreams for 2017. In 2015, I had two. In 2016, I had three. This year, I’ve really stacked the deck.
I don’t even have a goal for fitness, but I have an eye on my health so I can keep my energy up. I haven’t had any sugar still, but nothing has come to me in terms of questions or possible experiments to pursue with fitness in mind. I do plan on attending some hikes with a local activist club. And, I walk my dogs daily. It might take some time to be inspired in that arena, though. I have looked into some dance stuff, and I did invite The Dance Mile to come to town. Maybe I’ll learn the five movements and open a portal or something. I mean, Prairie looked pretty ripped.
I’m so eager for the new year to start. Although I accomplished the three things on my list of dreams for 2016, and I bought a house and remodeled it, in so many ways, this was a hard year. The death of Carrie Fisher was the final straw for me. Of all the people we lost, she was the one that mattered most to me. Her first novel, Postcards from the Edge, is one of my life texts. I’m sure I’ll be writing about what that book means to me, but it’s going to take more than one line in a list-of-goals post.
So goodbye, 2016. I don’t have much more to say to you.
Hello, 2017. I’ve been waiting for you.
What is calling to you in 2017?