For the longest time while I was growing up, I couldn’t wait to get old – even into my twenties. Getting older was exciting because every birthday, I’d look over my shoulder at the year prior (or a few years prior), and thank my lucky stars that I am less dumb than I was back then. Looking back a full year, I’m happy to say I am far less stupid (and bonus points this year for being far less pathetic!) than I was at the tail end of 2012. I’ll also look at how I measured up to my list of goals set the year prior just to keep myself in check, and create my new list for the new year. Goals. Not resolutions. I hate the idea of New Years resolutions, since it’s essentially a statement of intent. Can you achieve a resolution? No. Set some quantifiable goals or benchmarks. Better yet, set a goal you can check-in on every other month.
Strangely, one of my not-so-quantifiable goals for 2012 was to be more selfish, probably stemming from the fruits of a traumatizing relationship and blaming myself for being so persistent at trying to make something work that by-golly just was not going to work. People always say “there’s no point in beating a dead horse”, but boy, I pretty much made myself the poster child for the wanted posters at PETA with my performance (like I said earlier, pathetic). I flailed around at indulging my own wants albeit half-assedly, but at the end of the day, I LOVE THE PAIN. Wait, no. But I do find myself trying and sometimes without trying to do the righteous thing. There were still plenty of times I gladly bent over and took one in the ass for the greater good of someone else, be it a relationship, friend, family member, etc. And I wore a smile doing it each time. The difference is that I was a lot more aware of the situations I was putting myself in and to what degree I was enabling someone else to screw me over. There was maybe one surprise in 2012, but I’m happy to report all the other times I saw coming. Sad but true. Expectations of said people changed, but not expectations of myself. Ultimately, I’ve just become a lot more risk averse, and have been quite complacent this way. And I don’t care WHAT people say – cats are ALWAYS an option.
This past year was not without ample challenges that God or Santa Claus or whatever higher powers that be sent my way. It was a roller coaster ride with heart-palpitatingly high climbs and stomach-dropping lows, more so with the life-challenges. Looking back, one of my favorite moments was the day Iposted a tweet about how great the first month of 2012 was, only to come home that night to a house broken into and robbed by an ex-porn star. Yes. An ex-porn star (she got caught eventually). She took everything your stereotypical robber would take – money, jewelry, and my favorite vacuum… and then there were some odd things. I tried spinning everything into positives. The porn star took all of my Star Wars toys, which perhaps was Santa’s way of telling me I needed to stop living like a 10-year old boy. She took my Nintendo DS, its case, and all of my games – but I was probably spending way too much time with it anyway. She took my HP TouchPad – the first piece of technology I had proudly overclocked and rooted on my own, but it was a crash-and-burn love affair that I got over once I had my way with it. She even took my 2011 tax return receipts, my external hard drive of digital photos (labeled as such), and the business card holder my boss got me when I got my first promotion. I still haven’t figured out the logic behind those last three moves but they inconvenienced and pained me dearly. Really, bitch?
Anyway, I digress.
Last year in the lurv department, the past that I tried so desperately and politely to put behind me kept trying to creep back into the present, and the present I tried to put in front of me couldn’t let go of the past. Frustrating, really. But life goes on. You’ll always be the recipient of someone else’s baggage, especially in (but also outside of) relationships. If you’re lucky, you’ll find someone with theirs packed away neatly in a small carry-on. If you’re not so lucky, you’ll get hit with $50 in check baggage fees for oversized suitcases so full, they won’t even close properly.
Then, there were lots of just… duds. My dad asked me last fall why I hadn’t had a boyfriend in a while, and I told him the last guy I went on a date with texted me the next day with “Hey there, Lesbian Allison”. I couldn’t figure out why, nor did I understand what I think was a joke. These were the boys I was meeting. My dad with his bountiful words of wisdom sagely replied, “Boys are like parking spots. All the good ones are taken… and the rest are handicapped!” Thanks dad. You are always the greatest with the pep talks.
Only you can determine your own happiness and what you can put up with. Someone backed into my parked car in May and I was nearly grateful because they hit the area most damaged from the puddle of “rain” I ran over one night the month prior. Santa had given me my chance to get it fixed. Had that happened to Allison circa end of 2012, I would have wallowed in my misery for both accounts. Ok no, but I would’ve been way more upset about it.
Key things that made me less stupid in the last year:
- Creativity – Surround yourself with people who inspire you daily, especially if you need that extra push sometimes.
- Enabling – Don’t enable people to make your life more difficult than it already is. Cut it off at the pass.
- Control Freak – Worry about the things you CAN control. You. (Ok… that was more of a 2011 key learning, but it did carry on to 2012!)
- Energy – Don’t waste your energy on ANYthing not worth wasting. People. Work. Boston Cream Pie. ANYTHING. Simplify your life – it only gets more difficult from here and you’ll need all the energy you can spare for it.
- Stress – I should have finished reading DWoo’s book on stress management and internalization so I could fill in my key learnings and life applications here in this bullet. (Sorry, JM. I will get to it soon!)
- Boys vs Girls – Women are crazy and men are stupid. Male stupidity triggers female craziness, which makes men want to bask in their stupidity, which makes women crazier. What? Who? Bitches be crazy.
- Nerd – Ok, yeah I am. I thought it was just association by interests, but no. I am such to the core. Simon Pegg said it best.
- Dogs – Not all dogs are evil. Most, but not all.
- Cats – I would sincerely rather die alone than marry and birth a child with the wrong person.
Cheers to 2013 and a false sense of new beginnings and a clean slate… especially to those New Years Resolution idiots who congest my local gym the first three weeks of January every year. Just give up. Accept it and give me my gym back.
The New Year really isn’t a fresh start, because you’ll never escape from your past. However, as long as you’ve learned from it, you’ll almost find it a convenience to have it there to make you feel better about what an idiot you are not being anymore. To put it eloquently, I can’t wait for all the pointless fucked up shit coming my way this year, so I can get less stupid from it and still have my probably overinflated sense of self-righteousness in a year. Wewt.
Backlogged on baking posts from all the Christmas craziness. More to come soon!