Okay, fine, I didn’t win the Powerball jackpot — if I did, I would’ve disappeared from social media and holed up with a lawyer somewhere. Instead, here I am…blogging about what I would’ve done if I had won. (Seriously, Universe, I would’ve settled for like a $100 million.)
♦Pay off all my student loans. And Nick’s student loans. And maybe my brother’s, if he was nice.
♦Pay off our cars.
♦Buy nice apartments in all of my favorite cities (Miami, New York, Philadelphia…)
♦New furniture (especially giant mattresses) and wood flooring everywhere.
♦Actually buy something from Everlane.
♦Travel…pretty much everywhere. First up would have to be London, Cuba or Thailand.
♦Donate to some of my favorite organizations.
♦Hire a personal trainer and nutritionist so I could indulge in my favorite meals the rest of the time.
♦Try to convince Nick that we need a third dog since we can afford an on-call dogsitter.
♦Save some (ugh, boring) and share some (yay!).
It’s been a long time since I’ve come up with concrete resolutions. Last spring, I chose to focus on two words for 2015: push and trust. Even though I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to last year (which is fine — not everything is in my control), I think I ended the year more confidently than I began it.
The biggest change? I’m a licensed driver now! Living in New York, I felt like I had so much freedom — I could hop on the bus or subway and basically go anywhere. I lost that when I moved to Philadelphia; the public transit here is not up to par, especially in the neighborhood where I live. Driving is an unfortunate necessity, and a skill I never learned. In high school, I was in two minor car accidents (one in which a driver ran a red light and hit our car in an intersection, the other in which I hit a mailbox when trying to pull into a driveway). Afterwards, I took drivers’ ed, but if anything that made more scared of driving. 2015 was the year I was finally ready to change that. I signed up for one-on-one driving lessons (not cheap, but worth it) and was ready to take the test. I was practicing on the actual morning of my drivers test when Itotaled Nick’s car, literally outside the testing center. Everyone was okay, thankfully, but the car was not.
Why am I writing about this lowlight on the Internet? Well, instead of curling up in a ball and being scared to go near a car, I knew I had to start practicing again immediately. Granted, I had more issues to work on (both mental and technical — the accident happened because I didn’t break fast enough), but I knew I had to get to work. After having a learner’s permit for 9 years (that’s 2006!), I finally passed my driving test, parallel parking and all. It wasn’t easy, and I’m still learning a lot even though I drive to the subway everyday, but I had to trust my ability and push myself to actually get it done.
If learning to drive was the only thing I accomplished in 2015, I’d be happy. But other awesome stuff happened too!
(Also, I’m really glad I blog, because I couldn’t remember all of those off the top of my head!)
That being said, I think it’s time I get back to more concrete goals. After some reflection, this is what I’ve come up with for this year:
I think these are all pretty self-explanatory, but I’m actually excited about them! I also think they’re generally pretty doable — sure, “spending less lunches at my desk” might be vague, but it’s something I want to work on. Care to share any of yours? Or do you go for mantras instead?
I had another post planned for today, but with the news out of Virginia this morning, it didn’t seem appropriate. It’s a tragedy, the way Charleston was a tragedy, and Sandy Hook and Aurora and Columbine before that. That’s not even close to a comprehensive list, which is so, so twisted. I try to keep this blog a happy place, and not as heavy on the feelings as it has this week, but man. This particular shooting hit me harder than some others (again, the fact that there are “others” — sick), and it’s not just the manner itself. I know a good amount of people working in journalism, broadcast journalism included. The thought that any of my acquaintances or friends could be hurt while doing their job, (not even covering a dangerous situation, but a story on local tourism) makes me feel like someone kicked me in my stomach.
Recently, I was thinking about next year’s elections, and I realized that the youngest voters will have been born in 1998. They don’t really know a pre-9/11 world, or a pre-Columbine world — they know the “war on terror” and mass shootings at schools and movie theaters and churches and shopping malls. One of my first memories of television was the Oklahoma City bombings. I was four years old. This is wrong.
It might seem flippant to associate this whole event with a trivial thing like Star Wars quote, but it was the first thing I thought of when I read that today’s gunman was “motivated” by the Charleston gunman, who had been angered by the way George Zimmerman was treated. What kind of cycle is that? I’ll leave the arguments about gun control and mental health to other (hopefully smarter) people, but can’t we just collectively as a society stop with the hate? There is no reason why we should fear each other for being different, or continue to perpetuate anger against our fellow man. It only leads to suffering.