Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy 29th Birthday, Future Me.

Birthday! Cake! Ice cream! Fresca! Yoga! Cuddling! Walking in the November rain! Mexican food! Yay! In the spirit of the new year - it's my birthday tomorrow, and I'm going to be turning 28, which makes me feel simultaneously unformed and totally old - here are my New Year's Resolutions for The Age Of Twenty-Eight:

  • to get smart about money. I have vague notions about where my money goes - rent, food, Coke Zero, second-hand CDs from Sonic Boom - but it tends to move through my bank account like it's acting of its own accord. Grown ups don't live like that. I mean, some grown ups do, but I want to be one of those responsible-style people who pays off student loans and shit. I have aspirations for myself that involve money, and it's likely that the banker (who, for some reason, is wearing a monocle and those old-timey armbands in my head) will take a careful look at my bank statements and say, "You spend roughly a third of your paltry income on Coke Zero. You can't buy a house. You can't even buy a tent. Get out!" and then I'll have to cry on the sidewalk looking very miserable indeed.

  • to be nice to my body. I finally kicked that ED habit last year, but I've also gained some weight, and I want to look and feel my best. As previously discussed, trips to the gym will definitely help with that.

  • to start thinking of myself as a real writer. I got a sweet gig as a producer's assistant, a ten-month contract that ends next September, and I'm inordinately pleased with myself for getting that job. But, at the same time, I want to take a page from my pal Kelli's book. During her last 9-to-5 contract, she started building her writing network, and landed a weekly page at the Globe and Mail and a full-time spot at Torontoist. That is what's known as "awesome" in my book. I don't do the same kind of writing as Kelli, but there's no reason I can follow the same kind of path. I imagine that it's lined with incredibly awkward white-wine-fueled small talk at magazine launch parties, but hey: that's why God invented Xanax.

  • to be kind to myself. This is really the big one, and feels very ashram/flowing yoga pants on paper, but I spend so much time being hard on myself. When my boyfriend and I fight, it's tough not to immediately jump to "He hates me and we're breaking up!" When I gain a couple pounds, I can see myself ballooning up past Dress Barn sizing and ending up in one of those outfits that is less outfit and more wearable tent. When I don't land a writing gig (curse you, Hairpin! Your articles make me laugh and I want to join your club!), I start self-talking myself down in a pit of talentlessness and self-loathing. And so on. I want 28 to be the year I knock that shit off. It's okay to have a bad day, to have a fight, to take a swing at a job and miss. That's called "being a human being." After spending years of my life hating myself every time I made a mistake, this is the year of getting over myself and taking my lumps without a lump in my throat.

So, check back in with me in a year. Will I have gotten paid for my words? Will I be svelte? Will I be sort of muscular with enormous hooters, which is pretty much the most likely scenario? Will I still be spending boatloads of money on Coca-Cola products? I'll see you in 2012 with the answers. Safe money is definitely on Coke Zero, though.

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