• there’s glitter on the floor after the party •
Last night, I rang in the new year with local friends at a neighborhood pub. We got all dressed up, did up our make-up, suffered in very tall high heels, and drank way too much champagne. The pub had a free (delicious and varied!) buffet dinner for the holiday and karaoke all night into 2018. There was much singing and merriment had by all. I’m starting the new year sleepy and mostly content and more hopeful than I’ve felt in a while. Today, a day that I’m feeling strong and capable and a little bit unstoppable, here’s a list of things I’d like to do/do more of this coming 12 months.
- Finish a novel to shop for publication (or self-publish) — I’ve written at least a dozen novels over the years. I literally have stress dreams about my fiction (just last night I had an amazing dream that Ava DuVernay wanted to option my Grace & Ari novel and it was bliss), but I’ve never done anything with them. I’m deciding between three currently – Grace & Ari, Falling in Love & Other Side Effects of Dating, and ‘The Beach Bar’ (a WIP concerning chucking it all and moving to the beach in order to deal with a broken heart).
- More travel — This past year I traveled to NH, Ohio, Columbia SC, Charleston SC, North Carolina, and of course, Paris. I explored more of our home here in Myrtle Beach and got to know some new favorites in our own neighborhood. This coming year, I’d like to hit some new destinations in Europe (Barcelona is number one on the list, but I’d love to see London, Portugal, Denmark, and Budapest, too). I’d like to visit old friends in DC (road trip, anyone?) and get back out west to see friends in California and Arizona. I miss New York City. I want to use my time and my money to experience more, instead of having more.
- Get Bruce Fischer elected to US Congress — I’ve taken on the role of Campaign Manager for Dr. Bruce Fischer for Congress, with the Democratic primary happening on June 12th. Jumping so fully back into politics is jarring and a little scary but very exhilarating. We’re building our team and getting organized here in the 7th District and it’s full steam ahead now that we’re in the new year.
- Focus on my work and my hobbies — I’m learning more about fashion merchandising and corporate retail every single day that I’m at Rue21. Leaving SBB last year was difficult – I felt comfortable and safe there in an odd way and it was scary to leap without anything under my feet. Joining the team at Rue has been educational, hard, fun, and so very different than anything I’ve ever done. I’ve also picked up some new hobbies in the last year; I’m crocheting blankets again, baking more (and trying new recipes), dabbling in make up artistry (I’m so very bad it!), and taking more pictures. I want to do more of all of this in 2018.
- Save some damned money — I’ve been trying to do this for ages, especially since moving to SC. I have put myself on a very strict budget and am trying to find new ways to maximize my resources. I’ve joined a couple of money-back apps (Walmart has a great system for this! I’ve also signed up for Receipt Hog), and instead of just automatically donating books, bags, and clothes, I’m embracing the “try to sell them first” philosophy thanks to stores in the area like Plato’s Closet and the Facebook market. We’ve also gotten rid of cable (thanks to Kat), and I’ve started focusing on smarter grocery shopping (coupons! sales!) instead of relying on the mall food court and vending machines for inflated bottles of soda and snacks during work. Thus, I’m spending $9 a month on sodas for work instead of $60. The single biggest money-waster of my life leads me to the next point…
- Cut Back/Quit Smoking — I know, I know, everyone says they want to quit smoking at the new year. But I got ahead of the game and with money as my sole motivator, two weeks ago I joined an online support community and an app that will keep track of my smoking, my cravings, and how much money I’m saving. It put me on a plan to be smoke-free by February 1st, giving me a chance to cut back weekly until then. I spend roughly $1100.00 a year (at half a pack a day) on smoking cigarettes. There are a lot of things I could use that money for (paying off my car early? Travel? Over 100 new Funko Pops?!), not to mention the obvious physical health benefits of quitting. I’ve been a smoker for nearly 15 years (since freshman year of college, with the exception of a year that I quit in the mid-2000s), and I’m curious and looking forward to seeing what it feels like to have full lung capacity and to see how my skin feels and how my smile changes. It’s going to be interesting if nothing else. And hell, even if I don’t quit full but cut back from 10 to 5 a day, or 10 to 2 a day, I’ll still be saving myself hundreds of dollars by the end of the year and I’m confident it’s a step in the right direction.
2017 was a year of tragedy and triumph, a rough one without a doubt. Personally, I feel as if I made almost no progress, but I tread water well enough and strengthened some of the most important relationships in my life, so it wasn’t a total wash. This new year, I’d like to keep that up, but make more obvious strides forward. I’d like to make this the year of progress – professionally, personally, and physically (I’m not getting any younger, after all!).
I’ll turn 34 in July, and honestly, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at while still knowing there’s a lot of room for improvement. I’m getting to a point in my life, I think, where I’m accepting that my life is as it’s going to be – and I don’t mean this in a depression or stagnant way. I’m single (by choice), I’m probably going to stay that way. I’m not someone who will ever have children (by choice). I will continue to live in South Carolina (and the Grand Strand area) for the foreseeable future, and I will continue to grow in my new career in retail. I will mentor young up and comings instead of being considered one. I’m good with all of this. I hope this feeling lasts all year long, and I hope you all find the same for yourself ❥ ❥ ❥ ❥