Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2014 Reviewed

Hoo boy, it's almost the middle of January. Here I go:

Austin: 8 months
New York: 2.5 months
Florence, Oregon: 4 weeks
Humboldt County, Calif.: 2 weeks
Marfa: 1 weekend
San Antonio: 1 night
New Orleans: 3 days
Alaska: 3 weeks in summer, 4 days in winter
Tennessee: 1 night
Georgia: 1 night
Virginia: 1 night
Arkansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey: driving time
Mexico: shore time on 4-day cruise from Texas

I am possibly forgetting one state from our big moving drive.

Things that happened:
Freelanced for a full year
Went sailing in southeast Alaska
Camped on a pot farm
Published in print for the first time since 2012
Ate a lot of breakfast tacos
Took improv classes
Saw a lot of music and comedy
Went floating in San Marcos
Did a fair amount of yoga
Read Middlemarch
Moved to New York
Joined writing group(s)
Went back to Anchorage for the first time in 6 years
Finished a draft of a novel
Rolled the dice one more time on grad school 
Crashed a small group lecture by Salman Rushdie
Randomly sat next to someone on the New York subway, complimented her on her Feiyue sneakers, realized we knew each other from Shanghai

Sometimes freelancing was stressful and hard. I'm still not comfortable about the stability of my situation, but it's a world better than where I was a year ago. And freelancing allowed me to travel a ton this past year, something I hadn't expected, but was awesome. 

After my piece in California Sunday Magazine, a couple people reached out to me about working with me. Up until this point, it's been a whooole lotta cold pitching. Although I am now 28, my first year back in the US felt sort of like being fresh out of college again since I came back with no network, an unknown quantity. I am still always telling everyone I may need to get a day job, but I am also more optimistic about freelancing evolving into a long-term thing. 

2014 was my first full year back in the US. I had a lot of fun being a tourist in my own country, I feel more engaged with what's going on here now, and I'm excited to be living in New York. I saw friends from high school I haven't seen in many years. My best friend is getting married this year, and I'm happy I'll be around to celebrate. 

2014 Resolutions Revisited
1. Eat right and exercise (I did fine? I guess? Barring serious health problems, I'm less interested in seeing this as something to "work on" (damn you, pervasive culture of women's magazines!) I exercise sometimes and I like vegetables, some people would probably say I drink too much coffee, but whatever.)

2. Curate what I read better. (I read about a dozen books last year and a ton of short stories. I still probably waste too much time online, but I spend less time reading stuff on Facebook now because I find it so overwhelming. I realized this year that even friends I keep in close contact with miss my infrequent Facebook updates, so it doesn't even seem like a very good platform for keeping up with people.)

3. Finish the novel (I finished a draft? I think I was operating under the delusion I would be done with it. Maybe this year.) 

4. Write diligently (I could've been better. But I did a lot.)

2015 Resolutions
1. Make more money: I would love to believe I'm exiting the bumbling beginning phase of freelancing. I hope this year to get to a point where I'm doing money like an adult, i.e. saving some of it.

2. Writer better things: Fiction and Non-fiction.

3. Get better at cooking Chinese food, so I don't have to drop $50 every time I want a proper Sichuan dinner.

4. Pick up the scrapbooking habit I dropped in high school. I've traveled so much, but it's no fun revisiting pictures on the computer. 

5. Explore the Northeast. We're going to see my cousin in New Hampshire this weekend. We want to go to Maine and Niagara Falls, we hear the train ride up to Montreal is beautiful in autumn. There's a lot to see. 



3 comments:

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