new ear’s resolutions

Dear the Year 2012,

When you first started, I was in my best friend’s backyard, waving sparklers and trying to put a watermelon on my head. I don’t remember how I ended up dancing in a random laneway in Surry Hills, or why my own house had turned into a carnival of bongo playing, sushi yielding, drunken housemates upon my return. But I remember distinctly feeling like 2012 would be different. Not sure how ‘different’ worked out for me in the end.

I decided last year that in lieu of creating some kind of idealistic, clichéd new year’s resolutions to usher you in, I opted instead to ‘send’ a letter from Future Sheree to Present Sheree, outlining all the crazy things on her (my) to-do list (here) on my former blog.

Now it’s time to look back and see how I went.

You’ll be pleased to know that no watermelons were harmed in the making of this list.

Present Sheree letting Future Sheree know what was up in twenty twelve (comes off sounding a little bit like a scene from Looper. I hope Future me and Present me don’t have to kill each other or look like Bruce Willis)

  1. Bought more dresses than food consumed. Consumed more food than air. Inhaled all the burgers. What of it?
  2. Finish the novel, you say? Send it off to the publishing people, you say?! HA. YOU MOCK ME FUTURE SHEZ! Does it count that I participated in a 30,000-word challenge over 3 days? And that this challenge made me more confused about the novel than ever? And that I abandoned it temporarily to start working on an idea for a TV series? No? Well buck up Future Sheree, because I aint getting any more disciplined than that, not now that I have to watch every TV show ever made, as self inflicted and never ending ‘homework’. Deal with it.
  3. I’m sure I could have used more sunscreen but I did my best so, you know, mission: success.
  4. Wrote zero political articles. Next question.
  5. No, I didn’t join a political party. Decided I would be my own political party. The Awesome Party. Membership: free.
  6. Oh Future Shez, totally forgot number 6. Good to know we’re senile in the future.
  7. Sigh. I’ve been dreading this one. Okay I did have good food for a while there! But I won’t lie to you and say I didn’t eat bread to which the expiry date was not known, okay? But in my defence, this will never change.
  8. No. I didn’t travel. I was supposed to but then LIFE happened and I got a new job and other stuff happened and I got caught up and you know what, I don’t have to explain myself to you.
  9. I DID JOIN A HEALTH FUND! I DIDS I TELLS YA!
  10. I did cancel my gym membership, and then I convinced myself to somehow hold on to it with a one day a week pass. Never went to that either. Eventually I quit it altogether but I guess you still win this round, Future.
  11. I BOUGHT THE BICYCLE; ITS NAME IS CLOMO AND YAY!
  12. I haven’t done any writer fraternising. Too busy moonlighting as an advertising social media guru turned film industry superstar. What? Bitches be busy.
  13. Not too bad on the Twitters but felt the Twitter love go down a bit this year. I think people are moving on. I mean what’s with that whole weird arse Instagram war? Shut up Instagram, take your dirty filters elsewhere!
  14. Blog? Yes. This guy right here. You like?
  15. Haven’t gone anywhere near Tumblr but I wordpress’ed the shit out of this year.
  16. 16.  I like this one. It was a subtle hint at what I was planning to do with my life but couldn’t explicitly say, so as to not get fired or break someone’s heart prematurely. ‘Make change’. I did make change. I got out of that relationship and that job. Change was good to me. I’ll keep this one for next year too.
  17. I didn’t join a comedy improv group, no. BUT, I did get into the comedy scene a bit more by attending cool shows around the place. I had fun with it. Not sure that Sydney has the scene for the cool Tina Fey-esque type groups but just between you and me, I am still waiting for Tina Fey’s email asking me to join her in world domination.
  18. And numbers 18, 19 and 20: I think I did a pretty good job of being more like Dream Sheree but I’ve kind of abandoned what that really means these days. Or maybe I don’t know who that is anymore.

So what else? I fell madly in love this year and it was a crazy, wild, exhilarating ride but I guess every ride comes to an end at some point. I learnt a lot about what I could endure and even more powerful lesson about what happens when you start to get older. Friendships change. Ambition is scarce. You start to question everything and look at things differently. I don’t know if my depression had an impact on that. I think it did. And it hasn’t always been easy. In fact, this year I pushed on with the writer related anxiety more than ever, quite possibly because I wasn’t really writing, apart from the occasional blog here and there.

I guess it feels a little like I’m waiting for something, like maybe the end of the world or the end of MY world, which most certainly happened a couple of days ago. The problem with waiting for your world to end is that when it happens, you can’t exactly pretend to be surprised. And so I’ll take this blow to the heart and I’ll wear it proudly in the New Year, as a badge of honour, because I know by then I will have survived it. I just have to wait for the worst of the storm to pass.

This time I’ll stop with the self sabotage. I’m getting too old for it really (had a mild panic attack yesterday at my approaching birthday). And I’m not going to consult with Future Me about the year 2013. I think I’m going to hand this one over to Present Me. I’m sure if I really think about it, I could write up a million goals for next year. But I won’t think about it, or make myself live up to unrealistic expectations.

I only have one thing on my list, inspired by Sugar (Cheryl Strayed) a person I hope to be more like, and that thing is inspired by the following advice she gave to people in their twenties:

‘Be about ten times more magnanimous than you believe yourself capable of being. Your life will be a hundred times better for it. This is good advice for anyone at any age, but particularly for those in their twenties.’

Why?

‘Because in your twenties you’re becoming who you’re going to be and so you might as well not be an asshole. Also, because it’s harder to be magnanimous when you’re in your twenties, I think, and so that’s why I’d like to remind you of it. You’re generally less humble in that decade than you’ll ever be and this lack of humility is oddly mixed with insecurity and uncertainty and fear. You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.

Be a warrior for love in 2013.

See you on the other side.

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