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That bite of orange tasted like donut and she glanced down. Nothing really makes sense this year. Her luggage is off on an all-expense paid, unplanned and unwanted vacation, somewhere out in the big old world. Your breakfast is getting cold. She doesn’t understand the ratio of coffee grounds to water in a french press but she keeps trying anyway. Maybe one day she will have whatever it is she is still looking for. I should buy potatoes. Someone ate all of my cheese while I was gone. What a year it is already. We are killing all of the butterflies and everything else that doesn’t give them money. He is still no good, a quiet broken yellow man. We keep making new things and ruining our ancient planet. I’m not as sad as I thought I would be to lose objects from the past. It isn’t the things that matter but the memories of them, and you and I continuing on afterwards. My computer remembers all of my passwords for me. The mail system in the country of Germany sent back 4 of my Christmas cards because I didn’t put enough stamps on. Sorry, you’re not getting a card this year. Last year. It’s over now. She adds butter to her shopping list. That’s all we do is wash the same dishes over and over and over. They liked my poem that took me 10 minutes to write. Even my teacher had nothing bad to say. I smiled at them and grinned at them and said, “thank you.” If I lose everything I think I will still be myself. I’m not that attached to anything but anyone and everyone. You need to make a list of what you want to do still with your life. To-do. The fish walked out of the sea. I walked out of the airport. The moon had a target on it and now nothing and everything does. Beautiful baby. Dead flower. Frozen, half-eaten, garden leek. A rabbit snack. The status of our childhood tree. Can I please have my luggage?

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A twinkle of a sound. A flash of color. A tiny smile.

A skeleton eating homemade pies in a small room. A kitchen used for heating soup, boiling potatoes, making liters and liters and liters of coffee.

An obituary: a rotting smell, an ancient, beautiful young man.

A Christmas card, a useless lung, an empty bed, much laughter, an understanding, five or six months.

How many words did you speak before this? How many after? How many words have you read before this? How many after?

It is not anger, it is sadness. Another death. It will be the last.

 

 

Moving on: We will build a wood cabin in the forest of the sadness of this year. We will cut the trees and form the boards. (We will plant replacement trees and beg the nature spirits to forgive us.)

We will see new places and meet new people. (These people will not have social problems and will love us.) We will make beautiful art and music. There will be more joy than any heartbreak of the last decade.

We will be kind and strong. We will move on like creek waters from things and people who will prefer to stay behind.

1. Ok, here it is, 2015. Usually I’m bummed on NYE, in some kind of sentimental sad way. I don’t know, it just happens! Every year, like SAD. BUT this year, I felt so excited! Happy, even. Wow. You guys. This is either going to be awesome, or really terrible and tragic. Let’s go find out.

2. I have finally entered the “post-college” phase of my life. I mean, it only took a year and a half of actual post-college. I have been so busy (aka gainfully employed and interesting) before now, I had no time to think about (aka sleep in too late) my life now! You know? (Don’t worry mom, I’m working on finding a “real” job!)

3. At some point you have to stop trying to be brave and brash and instead do what is beautiful. What makes you happy instead of terrified. What makes you feel fulfilled instead of simply adventurous. What is “good” instead of “interesting”. Throw pillows and rugs instead of throw-stuff-in-a-suitcase. It’s ok if it feels right, right? More on this later…

4. Sometimes the worst thing for you can be too much of yourself.

5. SHUT UP. STOP TWITTERING ABOUT HOW HEARTBROKEN YOU ARE. IN SOME STRANGE VAGUE WAY. (and yet, at the same time: LISTEN TO ALL OF MY WHINY PROBLEMS!)

6. Selfies are over. Stop. Stop. Or I will be force to break your selfie stick over my knee. Watch me!

7. (Contd from 3, sort of…) When I was younger, (maybe 4 years ago or so) I loved to talk to one of my best friends about how people are so lame, how people get married, and all they want is that house, those annoying kids, and stuff. We loved to think that we were so much better, that we wanted more for our lives than that. We wanted to travel, to meet nice/cool people, to do important things. We never, ever wanted to settle down, to own a house, to be tied to some square chunk of land. Fast forward to now… we’ve done a bunch of cool stuff, we’ve met lots of nice people, we’ve started and are still trying to do important things. And we have more perspective, thanks to all that we’ve done, on the stuff that other people choose to do. Yeah, ok, sure, kids are cute. Yeah, marriage seems, well, it seems to work for you, we guess. Oh no, we still don’t think buying that house is a good life choice… anyway, what I’m saying is, is that we’ve changed our minds. Even if it is just a little. And we hate to think what our past selves would say about it, so we barely admit it to our current selves.

8. What do you mean, you saw me on OKcupid? No way. I saw you! (BTW your profile pic is really terrible. I mean, it probably is. It might be. Not that I’ve seen it. What are we talking about?)

9. What country this year? Vietnam or South Africa? Do I have to choose?

10. It’s all going to be ok! Especially when you think about global warming and how terrible it is, and how no one even gives a shit that the polar bears are dying, not really. Look, all of your other problems have now practically vanished!

'Dynamo' Sports Club, 1935

Listen, 2015. You seem like a nice year. Everyone has high hopes for you, especially after these past 12 rotten months. There has been entirely too much hatred, violence, death, sadness, failure, loneliness, drought, natural disasters, heartbreak, boredom, poorness, and way too many lost airplanes over Malaysia. What’s up?! 2014 has, we must admit, been a shitty year. I for one hate to admit defeat. I’ve never proclaimed a year as “bad”. But, c’mon. Even I’m saying uncle! And it’s almost over. We all still have hope, us people of planet Earth. We can do better. You can do better, 2015!

We want all of the things 2014 did not give us. We demand it! It has to be better. It can’t possibly be worse! We should all be improving as the years and decades go on. We need nice people, communicative people, caring people. Smart people. A community of one mind, or hundreds of minds — even better — to talk and get along and make things happen, make improvements! Every year should move us forward. So, we’ve got a lot of work to do, 2015. We’ve got an extra year’s worth (at least) to make up for. Are you listening, 2015? Everyone? Pay attention! We’ve only got a few days left to think this over.

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1. Even cool, well-traveled, creative, smart people post too much on social media sometimes! It’s fine! … if you’re cool, well-traveled, creative, and smart. Otherwise…

2. It’s 2014! Can you believe it? Of course you can, it’s the year that logically comes after 2013! How exciting!

3. It’s 2014, and everyone knows that when you read a message on Facebook, the other person can see that you’ve read it, and now they’re just waiting for you to respond, and they know that you know that they know… what are you doing?!

4. The most amazing people are all hanging out in the cool places you want to visit.

5. There is a special kind of silence between two people when they don’t speak the same language.

6. This is the year you’re going to do that thing that you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t! Exciting, right?

7. Sometimes you have to be the strongest person in your life. Let’s all keep going.

8. My mom: “Do you want to go see Lone Survivor?”

Me: “Uh…?”

Mom: “It looks really good.”

Me: *Googles* “Emile Hirsch is in it?!”

Mom: “Who?”

Me: “Let’s go.”

9. How you should propose to me if you want me to agree to marry you: “Want to talk about space together for the rest of our lives?” (Bonus points: Actually like playing Monopoly.)

10. You can’t go back, but you can go forward.

It’s almost 2013. 2013! Can you feel it? I’m feeling it. I think 2013 is going to be great. Fantastic. Wonderful, even.

Some big things are coming up for me, in 2013. I’m graduating from college this Spring! Ah! I know. Yikes!

I’m moving out of my parents’ house! Ah! Independence! Frightening.

I’m moving out of Michigan! More yikes. More scary.

I’m getting a really cool job somewhere, that I really like, and that pays me an adequate sum of money for my time! Yay!

These are, of course, my plans. Things could change. Things will change. 2013 is coming, and bringing with it new, exciting life events!

Instead of looking back at 2012, like a lot of people are doing right-about-now, I’m looking forward. For once. Things are going to be different in 20-13! Oh. Twenty-thirteen doesn’t have quite the ring to it as twenty-twelve. Or, do I just have to get used to saying it? Maybe it three or four months I’ll like it better, it’ll roll off the tongue… anyway.

Basically, next year is the time to do all the things you thought about/wanted to do this year, but didn’t have the chance/time/bravery to do. What will you be doing in twenty-thirteen? (See, it almost works… a few more repetitions, and it’ll be super smooth-sounding.)

Instead of making resolutions, I’m making plans. And by plans, I mean that I’m making this list, of:

THINGS I WANT TO DO IN TWENTY-THIRTEEN

Start a Podcast!

Travel out of the USA

Graduate from College

Move out/Get an apartment

Leave Michigan

Get a J-O-B!

Write a movie script

PUT DOWN THE CELL PHONE

Make eye contact (not in a creepy way!)

Submit writing to magazines/journals

Be in a play/musical at school!

Practice/Learn Piano

Be more SOCIAL

Explore

Take more pictures! (Instagrams DO NOT COUNT)

Learn to Surf!

Learn to Ski!

Be ORGANIZED

Volunteer AT LEAST ONCE

Give blood

Sell stuff on Etsy again

Random Acts of Kindness!

World Book Night!

Be Brave, Honest, and Strong

Whew. Good thing 2013 is a full year, eh? Anyway, I think these goals rollover into the next year. 😉

Is the ball dropping yet? Twenty-Thirteen, here we come! (See, it works now! Twenty-Thirteen!)

Ok, I lied. I just can’t walk away from 2012 without a word goodbye! It’s been a great year. Here are a few of my favorite posts from the past year. Now I’ll see you in 2013! OK. Bye.

 A Dot on the Map

Why you should never look up to anyone

An Unburial

Californiacation, part 0

rust, dirt, men, and the world

a simple life question

i love you and i love you and i respect you