The new year is bringing up new thoughts, like: social media is (getting) weird. I miss zines. And there’s been something missing around here lately…
People keep saying that blogs are dead, but I think it’s time we all start creating the internet we want to see, and I want to see more personal writing from interesting people. In an effort to Go First, here’s my recap of the year for 2018, Q&A-style…
What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
Took my first Winter Writer’s Retreat and hermitted in the woods. Visited Austin, Texas. Rode Amtrak from Minnesota to New Orleans and fell in love with train travel! Had my first “big deal” surgery and got my first cavity. Come up with a crazy idea and made it happen. Knitted my first sweater, then knit 4 more. Watched two very close friends fall in love (not with each other).
What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2018?
I published 7 books and two tarot decks. In one year. That just blows my mind.
Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t do resolutions, but my birthday is in late December, so I generally have a theme for each birth year. Last year’s theme was, “Build assets and reserves, then ship and share,” which now sounds boring but does represent where my focus went. I’m leaning toward “Being vulnerable is always worth the risk” or “Go First” for 2019, but the year will tell me what it wants to be.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! A lovely friend had her first child and he’s absolute perfection.
Did anyone close to you die?
No. But a handful of key people came close. It was a tough year.
Where did you travel?
Wisconsin, deep into the northwoods. New Orleans, three times. Houston, San Antonio, and Texas. Chicago, twice. Las Vegas. And I had to cancel two different trips to Montreal, so I’m hoping 2019 is finally the year I go back.
What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
Oh, I know exactly what this answer is, but it’s going to stay a secret. I made two birthday wishes, and this is the one I’m most excited about.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
Ugh, yeah. Chronic sinus infections, a hacking cough, and a huge-ass tumor. The tumor is gone, along with a few unnecessary organs, and I’m planning on sinus surgery in 2019 to fix the rest.
What was the best thing you bought?
This is a tough one. Train tickets? A half dozen 100% merino wool sweaters? Books, books, more books? They’re all great, but the best thing I bought for myself is a package of 100 ISBNs. (They’re the barcode numbers you find on books). By getting 100 instead of the ten I needed, I committed to writing and publishing books in a big way, and that commitment feels like a turning point for me.
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Simple Tarot Deck and this re-branded business that came out of it. It felt so amazing to have an idea, manifest it out into the world, and then have it so well received by others. The Kickstarter campaign was a ton of fun, and I LOVED shipping out presents to people. There are also some very unexpected (and very exciting) things coming out of the experience that I’m eager to explore in 2019.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder?
Happier, so so so so so much happier.
ii. Thinner or fatter?
I weigh about 10 lbs. less than last year, but I’m much softer. It’s weird.
iii. Richer or poorer?
Richer, which has come as a nice surprise. I give 100% of the credit to YNAB (YouNeedABudget.com) – I’m now a total convert to budgeting with intention. It’s ritual magic, honestly.
What do you wish you’d done more of?
Walking more at my favorite park and being more consistent with my personal morning routine of meditating, journaling, reading, and such. I spent much of the year working within other people’s schedules, and it was difficult to put my desires above their needs. I’m very much looking forward to having my time back, especially the mornings.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying about money. Always.
Did you fall in love in 2018?
Yes, with my two nieces, who are now old enough to be people.
What was your favorite TV program?
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, hands down. I watched a surprising amount of TV and movies this past year, but this was the one I watched over and over again.
What was the best book you read?
There were a few really good ones this year, but the book I’ve been recommending over and over is Chasing the Scream: The First and the Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari. It’s a fascinating look at addiction and recovery, from a big social-science perspective.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
What a strange question. I’m surprised to find out I actually do have a “personal fashion concept.” I designed and sewed 9 nearly identical dresses, knit the same cardigan in 3 different colors, and got VERY specific when shopping at the thrift store. I actually have a “uniform” now, and I’m LOVING it.
What kept you sane?
My friends, long walks, and Skype.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018:
I learned that I NEED people. Like, deeply unreservedly need them. I’ve always been independent and self-sufficient, but now I’m devoted to this connection. And because of it, I no longer feel so solitary, isolated, or scared. I’m going into 2019 with a sense of security and confidence that runs deeper than just me.
Now your turn! How was your 2018?
Leave a comment or write your own post and share. I’d love to hear YOUR story!
* credit goes to Gala Darling and her uncredited Livejournal friends for the questions