This year showed me that the number 13’s bad rep doesn’t mean a thing. While I didn’t have a plan, I had hopes. And throughout the twelve months, every single one of them was surpassed by dream-like reality. There was a lot of pinching, to say the least.
“But who can live like that, only ever celebrating and enjoying and having a good time? Only naïve teens…” my wanna-be-adult self kept telling me right after my birthday. Undoubtedly, this rhetoric question drove home the fact that true, legit adulthood is hard and not easy at all.
So I got my act together (poured myself a glass of red, opened the box of chocolates, and lit a cigarette) and made a detailed one-year plan. Because after graduating from grad school in May, I will at least have to pretend to behave like other adults do. Like, have a steady job, fill a bank account, own lots of formal attire, have a dry-cleaner, attend dinner parties and museum tours and charity events, be able to recite my morals, nourish a committed relationship, watch the news at night, and go to bed early. Oh Lord, someone help me.
A friend of mine came to my rescue and gave me the ideas for the OYP template. This is what my final, empty version of my one-year plan looked like:
|Steps to take|
|People to include|
After only a few minutes, the entire page was filled. Arrows were pointing up and down and across, asterisks were connecting different ideas, question marks were indicating room for growth, and useless scribblings were crossed out mercilessly. Tired and empty, I stared at my list. Dang, this was going to be a long year.
And then, over another glass of wine, I also made a list of new-year resolutions. Maybe these would be a little easier to accomplish. The top-five NYRs were:
- Less drinking.
- Definitely less greasy after-midnight eating.
- No more smoking.
- Also, so much less cursing.
- All in all, I just gotta start calming down.
I presented this list to my Mama, who has never smoked in her life, rarely drinks, almost never curses, and always has things together. She stopped her activity briefly, turned around to smile at me, and then continued doing whatever she was doing, saying: “You and calming down? Call me when that happens. As for the rest – did you see the cigarillos I put on your shelf? Thought you’d like them after a good glass or wine and lots of writing. But I am intrigued—what curse words do you use in English?” Well then, there they went, my new-year resolutions.
What I take from these two plan-making extravaganzas is that surely, I can drink more tea and water, eat more veggies and fruits, go running and dancing more, and read and write more poetry. What I also take away from this listmakingness is that indeed, it is good to have a plan, but it’s better to have a life. To have the Ups and the Downs and the Throughs and the Arounds. To have it all. To want all of it. And in all of it, to know that it’s never that serious. Because in the end, it’ll just be the smallest little flicker in the sourceless light of eternity.