Dear January

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Dear January,

You started off like any other January—me alone. This time I actually had an excuse as I had traveled for almost 24 hours straight, was jet lagged, and smelled like all those wonderful travel smells. Flying from St. Louis to Chicago to Dublin to Paris to Argenton is no joke and I promptly fell asleep by 7:30 and then was suddenly wide awake just as the clock struck midnight. There were no fireworks, no banging of pots and pans, just me alone in an empty flat.

You passed rather quickly—much more quickly than I was expecting. It was like I blinked and you were already gone. Dust between my fingertips.

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I cried a couple times this month, mainly because of politics and feeling incredibly frustrated about what’s happening back home. But I also tried switching offline more this month by actually putting my nose in a book and reading. READING. It’s glorious and wonderful and why have I gone so long without sitting down on my couch, feet curled underneath me, and laughing out loud at words written down on a page? I’ve missed it. It was a limb I forgot about and how desperately I needed it to live.

January, you helped me rediscover passions. I started writing again, not a lot, but a little bit here and there. You made me realize the importance of solitude—not loneliness—but also how important it is to have family and friends to miss and rely on.

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This month I booked tickets back to my favorite place on Earth, London, for my big 25th birthday, and booked tickets to Amsterdam, Edinburgh, and Berlin. I’m going to expand my horizons and get more stamps in my passport and remember to live again and not just sit idly in front of Netflix jamming in as much The Good Wife as I can in a day (although that show is fantastic).

You made me realize how much I enjoy teaching English as a foreign language, and how much I’d love to do this again for another year. In the same place. Who would have thought that I’d want to stay in this small town life? Not me. But January, you’ve made me apply for things that I never thought I’d apply for—grad school in London, Winterine in Boston, TEFL in Berlin—I want to live in Europe, at least for a little while longer.

January, thank you. You made me start believing in myself again.

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Dear January

I promised myself this year would be made up of moments. I would take each day as it comes and not force fun, force moments, or force behavior. This month has been proof that you should never force life to happen because sometimes life is really fucking rad and you meet people you didn’t know a few months ago that completely understand you and you just take it day by day.

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At the start of every year, I always get this weird sense of nostalgia of things that at the time felt really great, but in retrospective were probably not the best. People I let walk all over me. Nights where I should have gone out instead of staying home. And some serious hard looks at myself and what a shitty friend I can be. I’m working on it. I really am.

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But, January, you were a good month. You were full of discovery and Bloody Marys. You were full of food and fast friends. You brought new music in my life, more dance parties, and remembering how much I like to hang out with people and have genuine conversations about everything and nothing all at the same time. You were full of ice cream, eye-rolling, lace-up shoes, and the reality that I’ll be leaving in a few months back to the city that I love more than anything. You were full of Star Wars jokes, movies at vintage theatres where Kels and I laughed and laughed and laughed. You were full of art, happy hours, valets, and falling in love with strangers passing by with beanies and a flute of champagne. You were full of kissing booths, Tinder, and all the Drake jokes one can imagine.

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January, I want to say a hearty thank you. You’ve been good and maybe next month I will write to you in a video.

2015 Goals // January

At the beginning of the year, like most people, I set myself goals to complete throughout the year. Most people call these things “resolutions,” but I opted out of that word, since I don’t like it too much, and hoped that using “goals” would actually make me try to achieve them. As January has already come and gone, it is only necessary to see how I am getting along. My goals were to read 50 new books and watch 50 new films this year, and so far, I have done well in one and not so well in the other.

Movies

1. Boyhood (liked it two weeks later)

2. Amazing Spider Man 2 (shite)

3. Kinky Boots (I want to see the musical desperately)

4. The Theory of Everything (sobbed my heart out)

5. Birdman (my head is still exploding from how amazing this film is)

6. Women Aren’t Funny (Bonnie McFarlanen is an absolute babe)

7. Gone Girl (controversial statement, but I loved it)

8. The Judge (half an hour too long)

9. Skeleton Twins (ehhh)

10. Sense and Sensibility (I had it on as background noise and got sucked in)

11. Chef (pretty cute)

12. Whiplash (I’ve never been so anxious in a film)

13. Not Another Happy Ending (soooo cheesy, in a good way)

Books

1. Northanger Abbey

2. Sense and Sensibility

3. Princesse de Cleves

Can you tell which one I’ve been more focused on? School is currently in session until May (and I finally graduate!), so until then, it’s basically going to be school related books. Not that I’m not enjoying Jane Austen, she’s magnificent. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to actually read one of her novels.

If you set goals and/or resolutions for yourself, how are you getting along?