It’s the end of another year. We’re all preparing for the onslaught of “new year, new you” messages and postings, and I know the majority think such verbiage is cliched bullshit. I was such a believer until I sat down to draft this blog post.
The endings and beginnings of life often prompt us to be introspective, and as a writer, I’m hopelessly narcissistic, so at this time of year, I do nothing but think about myself, talk about myself, and write about myself. I think we’re all allowed some selfish moments if they are to truly be reflective and endeavor us to be greater.
There are lots of things I hate about myself. One of the more depressing aspects of society is that we all can do this, and that we all have done it, and that we all will most likely continue to do it, and that is list our failings. My favorite kind of humor is of the self-deprecating kind, and my favorite kind of gathering is a pity party. I’m not revealing these less than appealing parts of myself to elicit sympathy or to begin to construct a false kind of humility to make my self seem more creatively eccentric. Hand to God, I’m just trying to let you know that I get it, that I understand, and that I’ve been there too. There are days where I absolutely and unequivocally hate myself.
But there are also days where I’m not so bad. There are days where I am downright awesome and a sheer pleasure to be around. In 2016, I am going to acknowledge more of those days. And in that same state of mind, I’d like to share my favorite thing about myself. What makes Mandi Bean worth anything is my childlike optimism. I could list all the disappointments of the past year, but I could also list all the times I’ve been pleasantly surprised, when I’ve fallen in love – yet again – with this spinning globe, with humanity, and with the endless opportunities for romance and adventure this crazy, miraculous life offers. As such, I am totally buying into the “new year, new me” bullshit. I will be a newer, happier, and healthier version of myself in 2016. Those who roll their eyes in derision and/or disbelief are free to do so; that’s their right. But as for me, with a smile and a deep breath and a pleasantly unfamiliar sense of determination, here is how I am going to make 2016 my banner year:
I will, as mentioned previously, focus on the positives. Every day, I will find something to be grateful for and I will put it in writing, so I can’t lie to myself later.
I aim to lose 60 pounds by December 31, 2016. I’m the maid of honor for my friend’s wedding, so there’s extrinsic motivation, but more importantly, I want to be beautiful. I want my outside to match my inside, and I’m pretty proud of what I’ve got going on in there.
I am going to be a writer. I’ll update this blog faithfully, market my published work, work harder to get my second manuscript published, and seriously work on a third.
Three promises to myself. I can do this. I will do this. I will forgive myself when I stumble along the way, and I will encourage others endeavoring to become the best version of themselves.
I have never felt so lost. I am unsure as to who I really am, what I really want and what that all means. However, I’m not questioning everything or abandoning anyone. I’m confident being a writer is my dream and the fulfillment of that dream would make me deliriously happy, but is that it? Is that all there is? What about falling in love? What about having money? I don’t need millions upon millions of dollars, but I would like just enough to be comfortable, and to be able to pursue my passions. I’d love to be rid of all of these useless anxieties that continuously plague me. I would love to be able to breathe normally, as I’m tired of gasping for breath underneath the crushing weight of uncertainity that keeps my lungs from expanding properly. I would love to walk into a crowded room and scream – just scream and scream until I had the undivided attention of all the eyes in the room. Sometimes, I dream about admitting defeat, of throwing in the towel and not giving a damn anymore. I am a basketcase.
Write a 26-word story where every word begins with a different letter of the alphabet.
Amanda became confused; properly observed yet misunderstood, under Xanax, vilified zealot. Despite everything, fear had gotten in James’ way. Quiet regret stunted the jokes, nullifying kinship.
Today was a good day. Despite the rain and feeling particularly drained in the earlier part of the day, I am ending with a smile that stretches my mouth wide. I don’t know if it’s the late cups of coffee or a beautiful boy singing a song sweet enough to shatter a heart, but I am genuinely happy right now.
I believe I’m going to marry a musician; there’s no way around it.
If I were to marry a musician, he could idly strum his acoustic guitar in a relaxed, reclined position on the couch and as he lounged, I’d rest patiently at his feet. My back against the couch where I leaned for support, I’d have a marble notebook open with the cover flipped back, my knees serving as a writing desk. We’d be complete, we’d be creative and we’d be happy. We’d be beautiful.
My family is completely supportive of my writing career. They believe in me and my talent and I know they would do all that they could to help me realized my dreams. However, they are not as constantly passionate as I am and very few are creative to the point where they’d like to make it a career. There is nothing wrong with that, and I do not intend to villify anyone. It’s just that tonight’s writing prompt is about going on strike at home until demands are met, demands which dictate a supportive writing environment. I do have a supportive writing environment – if anything, I’m just not utilizing it.