Note: This was originally published on wacie.com on December 31, 2013.
My resolutions for this year were pretty easy. In 2013, I just needed to make it through the year unscathed. I resolved not to accidentally kill myself or my pets. I resolved not to accidentally burn my house down. I resolved to write in a journal every night, to keep a record of my crazy year living alone, to prove to myself and others that it really did happen. I resolved that I would be more careful with my money. I resolved to floss my teeth every day. Here’s an update.
Lived Alone. Nobody died.
Living alone was scary as hell at first. I used to freak out when I had to sleep alone in my apartment or house; I’d always stay up until five in the morning or later, when I was absolutely certain I wasn’t going to be murdered in my sleep. Sleeping alone was something I got used to and later learned to enjoy. I was never pushed out of the bed or had my covers stolen. Winter nights were uncomfortable; I skipped the heat most nights to keep costs down, and slept with a mountain of extra blankets instead. I could barely move, but I kept warm. In the summer, I slept with the windows open, and only had one bug scare.
I stopped cooking as often when I lived alone, which had many consequences. In the beginning, when I was the poorest, I would eat two packets of ramen a day. I was afraid to eat any more than that because then I wouldn’t have a meal for the next day. I had to walk three or four blocks to the store to spend my last two dollars on ramen. I lost forty pounds. Things got easier as my boyfriend came to visit and left food and credit card privileges. For a while there, though, I felt really hopeless about the whole thing. Those nights when I was cold, lonely, hungry: those were the nights I worried whether I’d make it through the year.
Kept a journal until November.
I wrote diligently through most of the year. I would write a page or two in a journal right before I went to bed, just about whatever I was thinking about or whatever might have happened to me that day. I filled four volumes of rambling and whining and thinking, and I actually started a fifth around the time my boyfriend moved back in. Since my routine changed, I couldn’t write before bed anymore, and so the habit of writing every night ceased.
I started out being careful with my money. I knew that I had a tight budget and I could only buy the things I needed. For the first few months, I could do it. I bought what was necessary and very little else. I’d treat myself to a cheap bottle of nail polish, as a reward for getting my ass to the store in the first place, but apart from that, I never splurged. This was something that changed as my boyfriend came home from Atlanta more and more frequently. Since he was buying food and things for me here, more of my own money got squandered on crap. This was exacerbated by the video game design contest I won and got $5,000 for. I blew through a good chunk of it in a couple of weeks, and with nothing much to show for it. I bought a lot of games on Steam, I bought a lot of nail polish, and I bought a pair of Fendi sunglasses. I actually had my boyfriend deposit the rest in his account so that I wouldn’t spend it all. This is how I would spend my money for the rest of the year.
Flossed. For a while.
I also kept this up for many months, until I ran out of floss, couldn’t buy any because I spent too much money on crap, and I fell out of the habit.
Let’s talk 2014 resolutions now.
Read and write more for fun.
I got so busy with schoolwork this year that the most important things to me ended up on the back burner. I had a goal to read 50 books this year; I only read 26, and nearly all of them were for class assignments. I also wrote a lot of papers for school, but worked very little on fiction. I revised my novel in March and wrote something for National Novel Writing Month, but overall, I did absolutely nothing to move my writing career forward. In 2014 I have to change that.
Seeing as I just got a KitchenAid stand mixer for Christmas and I’ve been making pizza dough from scratch five nights out of the week, I want to make an effort to cook and eat more healthful foods. I want to eat less meat, and I want to eat less in general. I want to bake more often, but I want to make a batch of brownies or a cake last an entire week, or longer. I should probably booze less, but I don’t want to unless I have to.
Use this blog as intended.
Believe it or not, I hadn’t meant for wacie.com to be a nail blog exclusively. I meant to write much more about myself, and even post some of my fiction for plagiarism and merciless critcism. Posting a manicure or two each week was mainly an incentive to keep using it, and somehow, that’s all the blog became. Maybe this is an amendment to the first resolution to write more about things I care about, to do more often the things I care about the most.
Usually, when I’m looking back on a year passed, I find that I have very little to show for it, only that I’m another year older and somewhat unfulfilled. Overall, 2013 was an amazing year for me. I learned so many new things, both book-wise and street-wise. I learned about budgeting and molecular biology, about independence and international law, about lawn maintenance and poetry. I met tons of interesting people and made quite a few dear friends. I visited cities I love, I accidentally became a video game developer, and I learned a bit about myself and what it means to be an adult. I now expect 2014 to be a whirlwind of excitement and adventure. I’m not even going to allow myself the possibility that it might not be.