A lot of things happened in 2015. I left the worst job I’ve ever had to work part time as an adjunct instructor, got hired on full time, fell in love with yoga, published 3 short fiction pieces, found planner peace with traveler’s notebooks, and lost 10 pounds (that I totally gained back between Thanksgiving and Christmas).

It’s been a helluva year.

Overall, it was a year of recalibration–a year where I basically threw the finger at everything as it was, and started from scratch doing only what I wanted to do. If you find yourself in a situation where one or several aspects of your life (work, hobbies, side hustle, family, relationship) just aren’t meeting your standards, I suggest you do the same. If something isn’t working, it must be fixed. And maybe I’m super crazy for feeling this way, but I truly believe you can start fresh whenever you want. Leave terrible jobs, break up with terrible lovers, abandon terrible hobbies. If it doesn’t make you happy, then why would you bother with it?

Sure, I’ve stuck it out through some terrible things–like grad school. Twice. But the ultimate pay off outweighed the gratification of quitting. Plus, grad school came in two-year increments. Day jobs don’t usually do that. Significant others don’t usually do that. So if you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, GET OUT OF THE DAMN TUNNEL BECAUSE IT IS DARK IN THERE AND YOU’VE SEEN ENOUGH HORROR FILMS TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE SKETCHY THINGS AFOOT IN THAT DARKNESS.

Suffice it to say that I love fresh starts and hard resets. I love clean slates and blank pages. To quote Rilke, “We see the brightness of a new page where yet everything can happen.”

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So I’m looking forward to 2016 as I always look forward to new years. I have been eagerly setting up my planner over Christmas break with calendars for tracking social plans, as well as for tracking writing goals. I’ve got a bullet journal ready to go, and I’ve got a notebook filled with goals for the whole year. So if I seem a bit bubbly or philosophical or nebulous or a vague cousin to spiritual, it’s because 2016 is the year of the space cadet. This is the year that I will unapologetically be an artist. I will go off emotion and less off rational thought. I will let myself feel everything and love everything and hate everything. For the longest time I felt like my life laid in academia, and while yeah, it kind of does. I think there’s an artistic path that runs right through those hallowed halls that I just recently discovered was the one I was supposed to take.

This year is all about figuring out how to be a writer. (Yes, I’m already a writer. Please don’t come at me with those affirmations about how I already do it, therefore I must be one.) This is the year that I finally FEEL like a writer. But more than anything, I just want to be happy. In fact, that’s what my manifesto for the year is. No one-word road map for the year here. A manifesto:

I just believe we all deserve to be righteously happy, and that we should fight for it.

Admittedly, I came up with this in a text message conversation with Katie, because she’s a sounding board for all the kaleidoscope shapes crashing around in my head and an A+ friend and editor. But it’s the perfect sentiment for 2016.

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I’m not sure how I’ll do that for sure yet, but I’ve got a list of things that I think may take me there. So, here they are–the goals for 2016:

  1. Journal every single day.
  2. Read 50 books.
  3. Publish 5 short pieces.
  4. Finish a novel.
  5. Blog mindfully.
  6. Enjoy everything I eat and drink.
  7. Go to yoga 3 times a week.
  8. Save $10,000.
  9. Photograph everything.
  10. Be debt free.

So, this is the plan for 2016. I’ll go into some of these in more depth in future posts, but for now, this is how I plan to live in 2016.

Here’s to you and your goals for the new year! Anyone else planning on being a space cadet this year?

11 Responses

  1. You are wise beyond your years, dude. I’m just hoping to wear pants with actual waistbands this year, but that might be because of moving and winter break and staying home and unpacking and where are my leaving the house pants?

    Love this post and can’t wait to own 2016 with you. Or near you. Whatever.

    1. Thanks! And I don’t know about actual waistbands…they make some nice business casual gear with elastic these days.

  2. I love this list and I love your outlook for 2016. This list tells me that you want to enjoy life and enjoy the ride to achieving your goals instead of punishing yourself to get to your desired destination.
    Go forth and be awesome.

  3. I love this, have read it twice already. While I value persistence for the right reasons, yes to cutting losses for the right reasons too. I recently parted ways with my book club after 6 amazing years, and it was hard to say goodbye but definitely necessary for my well being. Congratulations for a year well spent on healthy recalibration. Biggest cheers and smiles to you as you set forth on 2016. Much love from the W.

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