Auld lang syne: Ringing in the new year with bridget jones and reflections on 2018

One year ago today, I published my first post on this blog. A brief, bittersweet message, to myself more than anyone, imbued with longing and resolve, vowing, in the year to come, to change. A requiem for a dream I dreamed long ago, one that I accomplished, but that I was ready to let go of and move on from. A promise to begin anew in the new year, and a prayer for the strength and the patience to do that.  

Rereading that post now, I remember, so vividly, who I was and where I was when I wrote it, and what I was feeling: frustration, exhaustion, sadness, regret on one hand, but on the other, excitement, motivation, humility and hope. A kind of mindful, mature sense of gratitude and self-awareness. I felt, for the first time, maybe ever, really sure of what I wanted (and what I didn’t), and confident that it was the right thing. And I felt ready to start the journey to achieve it.

Now, 12 months later, I feel a genuine sense of pride and appreciation that I am able to return here and say that I accomplished precisely what I set out to in 2018.

I left a job that made me miserable beyond words and was leading nowhere I wanted to go but from which I saw no means of escape and found a new job, which is one thousand times less miserable, one thousand times more rewarding and has the potential to lead to any number of places I may decide I want to go. A job, I should note, for which I was not qualified, and yet for which I beat out dozens of qualified applicants because, as I must remember to remind myself, I am passionate, and intelligent and hardworking, and when I set my mind to something, I am capable, even against the worst odds, of achieving it.

I moved out of an apartment I hated, that felt stifling and repressive, and moved into a new apartment, which I absolutely love, and which feels, unlike any apartment I’ve lived in before, like an actual home I have created for myself, suitable both for the life I have made for myself thus far, and the life I hope to make for myself moving forward.  

I ended some toxic relationships and quit some toxic habits.

I traveled, to China and Peru and beyond, and stood in ancient places and holy places and beautiful places I’d always dreamed of seeing.

I saw 30+ Broadway shows and watched hundreds of television episodes and over 500 films.

I attended my first New York Film Festival and got to rub shoulders and interact with a lot of artists I admire and in whose footsteps I hope to follow. I learned a lot about the craft of making films that I hadn’t known before, and gained a lot of insight about just what, and how much, it takes to actually produce a motion picture.

I had some bad dating experiences, but also some good ones. Some nights I felt lonely, but a lot of nights I didn’t.

I grew apart from some friends, but closer to others. I felt distance from my family, both physical distance and other kinds, but also a lot of love.

I made some bad choices, but more good ones. I lost some things, but gained others. I lived and I laughed and I learned, not as much as I wish I could have, never that much, but enough. I loved and was loved. I felt passion and inspiration and empathy and contentment. I tried my best to be patient and kind and thankful. 2018 was good to me, and I tried to multiply that goodness and send it back into the world.  

And so, on this New Year’s Day, as one chapter closes and another opens, I just want to put down in words that I hope that 2019 brings for me, and for anyone who might be reading this, the only things I think any of us can really ask for: peace, joy and fulfillment, however we each define them. More love. More passion. More knowledge. More creativity. More life.

As always, like Bridget Jones, I have a lot of plans for 2019, and a lot of goals and resolutions. Read more books, a lot more. Waste less time on the internet. Practice my French. Finally learn Spanish. Exercise more. Be more thoughtful and vulnerable and less judgmental and prone to envy. Watch more foreign films. Keep up with my scrapbooks. Pay off my credit cards. Finish one screenplay and begin another. Find nice, sensible boyfriend to go out with and not continue to form romantic attachments to any of the following: alcoholics, workoholics, commitment-phobics, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits or perverts. Etc., etc.

Whether I accomplish any or all of these goals, and I hope that I will, or not, I hope more than anything that I am able to carry the same sense of purpose, determination and belief in myself that I began 2018 with into 2019, and that the coming year will be just as fruitful and rewarding as the last one was. More, even. I’m aiming high. Here’s hoping that in another 12 months I’ll be returning here to report back that I am feeling as grateful and as gratified with how 2019 turned out as I am feeling right now.

Cheers to 2019!