Tonight marks an interesting type of new year for myself: the first day that I wrote in my Line a Day Journal.
For Christmas last year, among other wonderful gifts, my sister in law got me a Line a Day journal. The journal is set up with enough space to be able to write a line at the end of each day for five years. She said that since I did my Second a Day video project for the last few years, I was one of the few people she knew who would actually get in the habit of writing in the journal nightly. While I definitely have gaps in my book, I did a decent job of trying to keep up with the nightly routine.
Last night, as I was writing my line to sum up the day’s work, I realized that I started the journal on February 28th: “PT with Tish tonight – it was hard but I’m fortunate to have such a great PT team.” The second day, March 1st, read: “Mariano’s run after work with an ice cold $2.50 Green Line. Perfect night.”
I laughed to myself upon realizing that a year later, I was doing the same exact thing. Tonight I’m running to Mariano’s and tomorrow I’ll be back at PT.
When I was falling asleep last night, I couldn’t stop thinking about that. When I started the journal, I thought that I’d look back on each day a year later from a distance. But here I was, a year later, and I could just write “see above” for tomorrow’s entry.
For the first time in my entire life, I’m standing completely still. After my early twenties being a whirlwind of creativity, college graduation, shows, progress, career changes and risks taken, there wasn’t much to report on this year.
That’s not to say it was a boring year. So much happened to me that filled both my life and the lines on my notebook. February brought the first surgery I’ve ever had and my mom and sister visited me in its aftermath. My brother and sister in law got married which meant that I went home for showers, bachelorette parties and the wedding itself. I loved welcoming my SIL and the rest of her family into my own. I spent Memorial Day weekend with one of my best friends in Los Angeles and drank four bottles of wine in the hills of Topanga. Labor Day weekend was spent with my writing partner driving through dark and isolated streets of Michigan telling ghost and murder stories on our way to a campsite. My baby cousin graduated high school and started college at Temple University. We went to Cooperstown in late July for what we thought was the last time, only to find out we get at least one more year. I saw P!nk in concert, took my mom to Hamilton and watched The Shining in my backyard surrounded by the best neighbors a girl could ask for. I saw Obama’s Farewell Speech live, rang in 27 with my mom and best friends around my bonfire and was treated by my mom to the best dinner I’ve had in my life. I dated some guys, dropped them when they showed me they weren’t shit, but also realized that I was ready for a relationship for the first time in a long time if the right guy came around. I had a second knee surgery, spent six weeks on medical leave and went home for the longest stretch of time since I graduated college so my mom could take care of me. I spent every Sunday at Mad River cheering on the birds and got to go home to watch them win the Super Bowl with my family.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a great year. But I was still standing still. I didn’t make any moves. Everything significant happened to me by some outside force. I had surgery because I had to have surgery, I gained a family member because my brother got married. I’m a writer, but I didn’t create anything in an entire year. I’m a performer but I didn’t have any major shows. There wasn’t anything that I could turn in at the end of the year as proof that I hustled.
I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I’m eating according to Whole 30, which has upped my mood, or because of the coffee I just finished, but the fact that I stood still for a year doesn’t upset me in the way it would have a few months ago. I’m currently spending most of my time that isn’t already consumed by work or physical therapy on a writing project that I’m really excited about. I’m finally able to walk well enough to start dating again and am making a conscious effort to spend more time with people. I’m starting to make more concrete plans as to which time zone I’ll live in next year and planned my first international trip (outside of Canada) with my mom for this summer.
I’m the type of person who thrives under a busy schedule. If I’m not busy, I can’t create. When I was on medical leave, I thought I would write up a storm, but I was completely uninspired. I watched about seven seasons of The Amazing Race and every holiday baking show out there, but I couldn’t get myself to write. I started falling into a routine of going to work, cooking, watching an hour of TV and going to bed. Every. Single. Day. After a while, I got so bored and so depressed that I spent most of my time reflecting back on the year and realizing that I hadn’t done anything. I felt like complete shit.
But because I stood still for so long, I have a launching pad. I started getting itchy. I took some time to fix myself and now I can push ahead and hustle again. My physical limitations forced me to stop, and because I stopped, I avoided burning out. Now I’m able to gather my thoughts, figure out which projects I’m most passionate about, and make them happen.
I’m not looking at the year as lost time anymore. Rather, it was a chance to stop back and let life happen a little so I could get that itch again.