Today is my 27th birthday. My mom just called to tell me that 27 years ago, she didn’t know if I was a boy or a girl, and I was six days late. I shuddered and said “sorry” but she said it was okay.
Last year, I made these resolutions for my 26th year:
- Go to the desert.
- Make lots of money.
- Wash my sheets more often.
I am sinking into a deep, blue armchair in the back corner of Mabel, my coffee shop, drinking a dirty chai I made myself, taking stock of the last year in light of these three goals.
First, the desert.
I did not go to the desert.
At the beginning of 2017 when I was sitting in the rehearsal halls of the 5th Avenue, wanting to get up from the piano and walk out the door and out of the state and around the world, I had a scrap of sheet music and a sharp yellow pencil. I used them to dream a route more realistic than just walking away: I’d take an epic solitary road trip all over the Northwest.
I’d drive down 101 on the coast to the south of Oregon, then East to Crater Lake and Klamath Falls, maybe a dip into Northern California, back up then, to the Alvord Desert, where I’d park my car and walk the 10-mile-wide basin and find a spring to bathe in. I’d linger there for a few days and do some watercolors and commune with God and whoever else I found there, and then I’d snake up the quiet, foreign eastern part of the state. I would see the Painted Hills and, once back in Washington, Palouse Falls.
But I never went to the desert, because I didn’t have time. The day came that I really did walk out the door of the 5th, and I went to many new places. I didn’t take a road trip at all, because I actually did decide to walk across an entire country, and there wasn’t time left for deserts.
Second, the money.
I did not make lots of money.
As someone with a penchant for freelance work and a disinterest in accumulating wealth, I figured it would be smart to save as much as possible so I could have several thousands of dollars to cushion me for dry spells in employment or to fund spontaneous adventures. And at the start of 2017, I had money and I was saving it and was on track with this goal.
Then I traveled for a third of the year.
From March to October, I wasn’t home long enough to have a job. I was only home long enough to destroy both of my nice things: my MacBook Pro and my car.
I also spent $40 at Claire’s because it was buy three get three free.
So I’m ending the year with less money than I had when I started, but you know what? It was fine. Things worked out. I worked hard when I could and traveled when I could. I used my money this year to do the things that make me come alive, and I’d do it all over again… after I get a few more paychecks and stop ignoring glasses of water and stop signs.
Third, the sheets.
I did not wash my sheets more often.
I know it’s gross not to wash your bedding regularly. It’s not cute messy; it’s gross messy. I’m a grown woman and this shouldn’t even be a discussion.
Look, I set biweekly alarms reminding me to wash my sheets, and I ignored every one of them. I washed them when I felt like it and I won’t tell you how many times I felt like it.
Maybe four or five.
I don’t see how my failure to meet this goal can effect any positive change in anyone else’s, so let’s move. Clearly, I just didn’t want it enough.
So, to summarize, of the three simple, attainable resolutions I made for my 26th year, I accomplished none of them.
It is with freedom and joy I write that.
Whoever you are, I wish you the happiest New Year. May you set brave goals and fight and dance your way to reaching them all.
And if you fail, even better. May you fail thoroughly, epically, and deliciously. May you fail with gratitude and let it color your story. May you spend your time on even better things.
But do not blow all your money at Claire’s, spill water on your Mac, or total your car.