This photo was taken at a 24 hour diner in Brooklyn at close to 6am this morning.
It is now almost 3 in the afternoon, and I have rolled out of my swinging bed and here I am….with you.
Happy New Year, Love. Welcome to a chance to start something new.
I woke up this afternoon and one of my first thoughts was – “I am simply not qualified to tell anyone to How To anything this morning.”
I wish I could tell you that my apartment is spotless, that I have everything in my life completely in order, and my New Year’s Resolutions are carefully outlined to the letter.
It would be lies.
My apartment is a tornado right now of suitcases, costumes, pastie tape, piles of books, strewn high heels, rumples of clothes, and red glitter (see above photo).
The blue latex dress I wore last night is flung on the couch next to the random leftover microwaved box of Annie’s Mexican food that I had last night before racing to the Tribeca Grand Hotel for a gig and then Dances of Vice to ring in the New Year and gig.
Nothing is in order. Not a single resolution has escaped my lips or entered my mind.
So what to write? How can I share with you a How To Tuesday from an honest place?
This is what I can share:
“How to Wake Up On New Year’s Day and say Fuck it.”
In the past five years, I’ve been guilty of the making-too-many-goals thing, of wanting to do everything and then succeeding on some things and failing hard on others. I have got in this goal cycle of shaming myself if I think I haven’t done enough or reached as far as I’d like to, and then feeling on top of the world when something that I’ve done has worked or gets noticed.
I wrote this – and I erased it. Then I wrote it again and I’m keeping it: I feel as if my self-esteem rises and falls in direct correlation of what I am or what I am not achieving.
That’s why this post is called “How to Wake Up On New Year’s Day and say F it.”
When I was really little and you were really little – we didn’t know what goals were. I spent my time adventuring in the woods, jumping in the lagoon to swim with my dog, riding my bike, playing “pretend” – making up elaborate lives and stories with my other little friends. The world was this big, curious, interesting thing to explore.
And then school started, and I remember really wanting to do good. I wanted to be the best student and the best person I could be. I remember stressing over tests, worrying if I would do well or not. This worry would sometimes overshadow those days of bike riding or playing with my friends.
My self-esteem was in my grades. I remember one time in particular when the teacher placed the paper in front of me with a D+ on it in red and I felt like someone punched me in the gut. I felt like my world was crashing down. She wrote “See Me” on the top and when I did, she was concerned because I normally got A’s and she wanted to know what was going on. I had disappointed her. And this made me feel even worse.
I look at this now and think…. F it. Getting a D grade for that test was just a way the school was saying – “Hey. You didn’t really get this lesson. Maybe you should look back over this and figure it out so that you can work it out better in the future.” No big deal.
But instead it made me rip the test up in a million pieces in shame and it made me not want to go back on the lesson I didn’t understand. It made me hate math.
All these years of goals and expectations I’ve put on myself is enough to weigh down the world.
Do you know what I’m talking about?
So on this New Year of 2013 – I say F the resolutions, F needing to do a billion things, F having my self esteem rise and fall with what I am doing or not doing.
That’s why I asked you yesterday in my post – not what your resolutions were, but what your secret desires were.
My desire for this New Year is that I see this world like I did when I was really small… full of adventure – whether it’s just on my street or far away. I want to not shame myself if I don’t get what I wanted to get done in a day because I wanted to spend a moment enjoying a walk with Niney, cuddling with Burke, hanging out with my friends or reading a book to adventure in my mind.
On my death bed, I’m not going to be thinking about the goals I did or didn’t achieve. I am going to be thinking about the fullness of the life I had lived.
Last night, I got into bed at 6:57am and noticed the Empire State Building sparkling for the first time ever. Surrounded by the mess of my imperfect life, I sat up in bed and watched in wonder as the lights sparkled and danced on top.
At the strike of 7am, the lights went out. I was able to put the sparkles of the Empire State Building to bed on the first day of the new year.
In another year, in another ten years, in another 30 years….I won’t remember that my room was a disaster that night, nor will I care.
I will remember ringing in the New Year surrounded by people I love, getting to sass it up in the wee hours of this new day doing a brand new number I created in a profession that I love, and watching the Empire State Building sparkle until the very last moment.
I want the freedom to live my life colored by these moments.
And I wish the same for you.
Happy New Year.