new year, new changes

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hello anyone out there,

Here at the outset of 2012, I am at the brink of some big changes. 2011 was a terrific year that for a long time seemed so far off, and now it has passed along with all the of the hats it has worn. It was the year I graduated college, the year I said a lot of goodbyes, the year I got into graduate school, the (near) year I spent with my parents, the year I worked in retail, and the year I had ample time for personal reflection and growth. Meaning, for a strange period in my life, I had a lot of time to myself living here in the house I grew up in.

I'm thankful for it - it was like some bizarre sort of post-grad, extended summer vacation. I don't know if there will ever be another period in my life where I'm allowed such laziness, but for a few months there wasn't any direction. For writers, it's the hackneyed blessing and curse -a lot of time alone with your thoughts which we always want, but once we have it, we can't write well. The timing of my graduate school applications meant I didn't have a final answer for a few months after  I moved back home, and so I spent a lot of that time worrying and stressing rather than relaxing. I didn't get a part-time job, because I wanted to be sure I didn't need to apply for a real, full-time job. I'm not sure where I would be if I hadn't been admitted to DePaul.

That being said,, it seems I've never really understood the importance of contingency plans. The tried and true formula has been: I want something big. There are no alternatives. I'm going to put everything into getting that something, and if I don't get it, the results will be catastrophic. Now, I know some who find that approach to life admirable. That it's ideal to have serious ambition and relentlessly pursue it at whatever cost. To me, it is ideal, but as I get older I can't help but think a dash of moderation would be wise.

Having at least some sort of back-up plan in many aspects of life means less stress and more happiness. As someone very prone to worry and over-stress, I need it. So, consider one of my resolutions this year to be this: feed that ambition and don't think of failure as an option, but prepare yourself to be (at least moderately) okay in the long run if things don't work out. I don't think it's settling or holding yourself back by any means. It's watching out for your heart.

2012 is set to be another big year. This is the year I move to a big new city on my own, and the year I begin graduate studies. The year I actually set into motion one of my biggest life dreams of becoming a writer. I'm hoping it's a year of many things - health, happiness, growth. Some more concrete resolutions in no particular order: run a half marathon, get published, write/read even more, become conversational in Korean. Less concrete: continuously challenge myself, stop overthinking. Be not afraid to be content with existence. You know, the usual jazz. Let's see how the journey goes.

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