New Year’s Resolutions; Going Backward to Move Forward

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Happy 2019 everyone!

Or, more likely, happy whatever day, since nothing magically changed once the calendar reset to Jan. 1st.

I ended 2018 with a whirlwind of last-second doctor visits, tests, and long drawn-out phone calls with various insurance agencies. Not the most hopeful portents for 2019. In fact, by my last count 2018 saw me experiencing five new health symptoms that I’ve never had before. And that’s with my lupus more or less under control.

But on the plus side, I started painting again after ten years and even managed to sell some pieces via a local art show during the summer.

Mostly, I spent 2018 flailing around with questions: “Where do I fit in the world? Do I fit in the world at all? And if I don’t fit – do I have the strength to make my own place?”

In case you haven’t read my incredible origins (the abridged version) or my previous website, the quick summary is that I’ve had a veritable cornucopia of medial issues since the literal day I was born. I was officially diagnosed with lupus as a high school graduation gift, and severe kidney damage as a college graduation gift. Since getting kidney #3 back in 2014, things have looked a little brighter, but it seems that every time I’ve tried to wiggle a toe back into some kind of normal living, my body finds some twisted creative way to yank that rug out from under me. It’s been a life of quiet, totally uncertain chaos.

But a girl can’t live off government assistance forever (not in this hellaciously fucked-up political climate anyway), so most of 2018 had me stressing over how to cram myself back into conventional life if needed. I spent the year getting advice and trying different ways to get back to a ‘normal’ life (meaning getting a ‘normal’ job). In the end I was stressed, depressed (is there really anything more disheartening than looking for a job?), and doing no favors to my body’s delicate balance.

Then, while musing over all the things I attempted in 2018, I realized that I spent a lot of it asking other people what I should be doing, looking to outside sources for direction and scrambling to follow what I was told. The few things I did spontaneously, like entering a few works in an art show, were the more fun and successful things that happened. In almost everything else, I fell flat on my face.

So, in 2019 I’m going to try and focus on finding direction for myself, answering my own questions instead of asking everyone else. I’ll likely take a break from writing (or trying to write) as well to focus more on my visual artwork, photography, and painting. I have some other experiments in mind too just to keep things interesting.

I tried normality. Hell, I’ve been trying it all my life. I think it’s time to try something else.

What about you folks? Any 2018 revelations? What are your 2019 goals?