It’s interesting when the place that you work is “online,” as it feels like two different worlds in some aspects from “the real world,” but it’s also its own pulsing ecosystem. I’ve been finding as the end of the year has set in, and year in review pieces are necessary (it’s how we take breaks, you see), there’s been an air of “this year has been the worst,” a refrain that feels more and more familiar every year.
There’s a lot of pain in the world. I have hopes that we grow and expand every year, beyond what we see in the news (high dudgeon, high drama). I’ve found that when people are plugged into the news, never turning off, they seem to be the most doomy. My friends who are phone monsters can get that way, for sure. I understand why that is, but I couldn’t keep going if I put on that attitude. Building awareness of the world’s problems is one step. A tiny step, sure, but it is a step that I believe in.
So as the year turns towards 2015, I hope that we talk more, I hope that things change, I hope that there’s more kindness in the world. I started this year in the dumps, but in the midst of this one awful event that I was dealing with [redacted], I learned something: there is and there can be grace in the world. There are reasons to be optimistic. And it’s not just from someone giving up their seat on the train to somebody who’s in bad shape, but it’s a start.
For me, I want to have a better balance in 2015. After an epically difficult start to the year, things improved, week by week. I’m still figuring out how to write on the internet and balance it with the nights and weekends of pursuing other passions; how to turn off my brain so I’m not working that hard, but giving my energy to my work in a good way when I am working. Here are some books that moved me this year, by the way. Perhaps they can move you.
Next month, when Misshapes 2 (it’s actually going to be called Annihilation Day, which is a thrilling title and a reference to the fact that Boston has St. Patrick’s Day as a municipal holiday) is my priority, I’m going to have to put that idea into action right away.
I haven’t been paying much attention to this blog as a space. Essentially my blogging is over here, and I’ve always been scared to write from a place that’s personal, that’s real and vivid. I like what smashfizzle does with her “5 Things” essays and the lightness that the formidable and wonderful bimadewunmi brings to her tumblr. I’d like to do more of that in this space, I think. While also keeping it as a record of what I’ve written, something that I’m honestly terrible at on average, which I should get over because it’s kind of martyr-ish and what’s wrong with celebrating your work? (Inner New Englander, get over your desire for humble, perfect work.)
So, for 2015: I would like to live deliberately. When I am not reading for work, I would like to read very good books with attention. I want to write more longform, reported pieces, which is definitely happening. I want to be generous to people and I want to revere my own personal space. Stay hungry, stay ambitious — it’s what we get to have in America — do more this year than I did last year. I think it’s possible. Oh, and to do work I’m actually paid enough money to do, which will start 160,000 words from now, I guess. Also, I’m starting a Tiny Letter, for sure. But it’s going to be clips, probably, and maybe one charming fact. Happy New Year!