Typically I write an annual year in review, specifically highlighting the adventures, feats, and gratitude of what came to me in that year. These reflections are always accompanied by an overly optimistic zeal shining towards the new year with the potency of a “Care Bear Stare.” This year I made the mistake of not writing such an entry sooner, and whatever rainbows and money trains I imagined flying out my ass in 2012 have taken a nose-dive into the shitter. Not a few hours into the New Year did my boyfriend contract a nasty cold and eye infection that still lingers and has happily hopped from one blue eye to the next, infecting me. Although, red eyes make for blue to become even more vibrant in the gorgeous contrast of an unhealthy eye. I left 2011 with volcanic passion and a dedication to return to writing. I actually started a script on the dreadful life of a “fake girl,” a catchphrase that has become my implied moniker as I loan my body parts to films and commercials that aim to capitalize on the victims, whores, and objectified women that are written for us gals lucky enough to land a break in “the biz.” And just as smoke shot out my ears in this manic episode of creation, I was swept away into the malaise of the holidays, dragging my spirit down with excessive sodium, fat, and human interactions. My one goal was to find a quiet place of self-reflection, where I could write, find my bearings, and make some really “serious” choices. Instead, I’ve been so busy dealing with everyone else that my deep thinking days have been exchanged for incessant mind jumps and thoughts of whatever ridiculous, outrageous life change I should take. Be a flight attendant and move to Belgium? Abandon New York and live in the countryside of Vietnam teaching English as a happy ex-pat? Move to Hawaii and live in a van, selling trinkets and busking for tourists? Donate my eggs for the sum of $10,000 for a family that has the means to adequately raise a child as opposed to me, who may never have the right “time’ and opportunity to bear my own? Go kick ass in corporate America, sell my soul, only to be sliced and diced with budget cuts as my boyfriend and all the other men from my past who have been laid off repeatedly in this ever-improving economy? Or maybe I can just dig a nice ditch and bury myself with cement and sand, because whenever my heart is heavy and burdened, there is nothing I wish for myself than to be covered with the weight of something else. But perhaps I’m not so bad off. My boyfriend has been dealt a lay-off, head cold, pink eye, and pure vitriol from his worrisome girlfriend in the first six days of the year. That feels like a fucking winning year to me.
But alas, per my annual agenda, I must clear the disasters of the new year and reflect on 2011. I didn’t think it was such a great year, but after 2012’s shit storm, I’m beginning to think it may not have been so bad. So here we go.
#1. I returned to songwriting. Not only did this little passion of mine resurface, it came in unexpected moments. The boyfriend and I wrote our first song together called “Cold and Incomplete.” I also wrote a song for the recent album “Crystal Revisions” that pays tribute to Stevie Nicks. It’s called “Crestfallen” and it is the first song written purely from the love and longing for a different era and the great things Stevie Nicks, and the greats before me, have managed to accomplish.
#2. I went to Jamaica. For the first time, the boyfriend and I had a real vacation and we relished in every morning swim and snorkeling session, every moment we carefully avoided the visiting teen-aged schizophrenic at the resort, and every halfway decent rum cream concoction we managed to come up with. And, oh, the sunsets. They were such a blessing.
#3. My dog became completely potty trained. Yeah, he even exceeded my goals of having him trained to a box. I gave him an easy out but this little punk chooses to hold it and await our five-flight trek down the stairs onto the often cold, wet, or smelly concrete sidewalk. And for that, well, I love him. On the other hand, he also revealed that this aggressive-territorial sense of entitlement is going to be a hell of a lot more challenging to wash out of his system. Particularly when he drew blood from the my unsuspecting, lethargic grandfather who reached to pet the distressed dog and ended up bleeding for ten minutes thanks to his tissue-paper thin skin and blood thinners upon Jack’s strike. But, what fun would owning a dog really be if we didn’t have these issues? I’d never get to test my patience on a daily basis without him. Oh, and my boyfriend.
#4. I said fuck you to my back molar. After three root canals and crowns in 2010, my budget and patience were spent. I opted that the dentist just rip out a back molar and spare me the expense. The recovery was a bitch and my love for Vicodin has dissolved after the once miracle drug left me with a reverse stomach acid waterfall (you catch my drift, I hope) and an allegiance to ibuprofen during the hottest heat spell of the summer. And it allowed me to dive into a new year with one less responsibility. I think of each tooth as coming with the responsibility and financial burden of a child. They don’t live as long and it costs you almost as much. I just may be a little more cautious in killing off any more of these offspring because getting used to having a big hole in the back of my jaw has been a real bitch.
#5. I finished another album. “Crystal Revisions.” I love it. It’s different. It’s allowed me to explore a whole different part of my vocal range, and in spurts allowed me to tap into the energy, the spirit, the soul of a time that enraptured my imagination and desire to perform in the first place.
#6. I stopped caring. No, really, after all these years of worrying that I have not done enough, that I am not good enough, that I am not moving fast enough, I just said enough is enough. And for the most part, I’m content. I want change, but I think seriously, this has about as much to do with me as it has to do with the world around me. It’s not reactionary, necessarily, because I project light and hope for all of us. But I think there’s more to answer that than me and self-persecution wasn’t the road to anything but misery.
#7. Bye-bye to numbers. Dates, months, years, have all faded into undocumented occurrences. No longer do I remember or attribute time passing or an emotional reaction to “Holy shit! It’s really 2012!” No, I don’t keep track of the years, months, etc. with the diligence I once did, searching for numeric meaning and significance. I just live my life.
#8. I lived with a man for an entire year and didn’t kill him. I came close, namely by strangulation from time to time, but I buried the urge, bit my tongue, and let the moment slide. Or I made a nice big drink, sat at the piano and banged out my frustration because notably, this year, I could finally write songs again.
#9. I kept my fervent hope alive. Alongside “Occupy Wall Street,” amid the disappointments, the challenges, and the doubts, I did what all us good Americans do. You can stick the Statue of Liberty up all our asses, but we will still stay optimistic and believe that indeed, “tomorrow is another day.”