I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I am going to write to usher in the New Year. 2013 was a year full of ups and downs that I would never have expected. Last year at this time, I was engulfed in family, wonderfully warm, and in Costa Rica. I was, on this particular night, also suffering the consequences of consuming far too much alcohol (a mistake I will not repeat). 2013 was the year I graduated college, turned 22, and embarked, however fitfully, on my journey to adulthood.
2013 was the year I realized that I could do anything and the year I understood that I have no idea, no idea at all, what I want to do. After graduation, since I wasn’t sure about my next step, I moved home back to Kansas City. KC is a beautiful city in the midst of a transformation. The arts and food scenes are growing at a rapid pace; GoogleFiber has brought tech companies and fueled a massive startup movement; KC is a happening place. But it is difficult to be back at home, I find myself swept up into the internal life of my family without much room to move. When I went to college I abandoned my friends from high school, now, coming back here it’s hard to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in four years. 2013 was the year I stopped trying. And that is the problem.
2013 was the year I started a full-time internship. It may not be a proper job, but this internship is my first real experience with the daily office grind. I am working at a great company in downtown KC, and I am exploring one of the jobs I am interested in: Marketing. I am learning tons of new information like how to work CRM and the wide world of website design, writing marketing pieces, and planning a corporate event. I am wondering if it’s the right fit for me. I am not sure that the daily office grind is something I will be able to handle over long periods. My creativity is fueled by the creativity of others, and in a traditional office environment the office itself stifles creativity. Can I do well, do my best, in an office environment? As my internship continues into the new year I hope I will answer this question, it could be that at work not everyday is amazing or it could be that the ‘office’ is not the right place for me.
2013 was the year I started teaching riding lessons. I have been riding horses for 13 years, but this is the first year I have ever taught. Teaching is so different from doing, it can be very hard, but most of the time I love it. Passing on knowledge is passing on a gift and when it’s something I love it is even more rewarding to see the same passion in kids. While I have started teaching lessons, I continue to take lessons. It is important to me to improve my skills as I rider, I know I still need work, and I will never be done taking lessons.
2013 was the year I took a business course and realized how crazy my parents truly are. The Kauffman FastTrac course was amazing. It was designed to teach entrepreneurs how to plan and launch their businesses. I started the course with the intention of writing a business plan for a small cheese and sandwich shop connected to GDF. Even though mom and I ended up scratching our business concept, the class expanded my knowledge base about business and provided me with new ways of looking at entrepreneurship. I have continued to read books on business, management, and work. Who knows maybe I’ll go for my MBA.
Now that it’s the end, I look back on 2013 and see a year of complex growth. There were a couple steps backward and a couple more forward. 2013 was a good year; a year of different ideas; starts and stops; ups and downs. I went from wanting to go into film, to starting a small business, to working in marketing. As this year closes I know that next year will have just as many starts and stops, just as many nixed ideas, but hopefully it will have more love, more bravery, more ideas.
Looking forward to 2014 I know what I need to do. So here is my list, the great plans for 2014:
In 2014, I will write. No matter what it is, every Saturday, I will write for at least an hour, and hopefully I will write more, maybe every day of the week. I will write short stories, poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and blog posts. I will write letters. Writing is my tool. I will keep it sharp. I will use it.
In 2014, I will put myself out there. I will do things that make me uncomfortable. I will ask someone for his love. I will accept rejection and I will be grateful for acceptance. I will be brave and kind. I will not hide behind excuses. I will go out, meet new people, relish in the fact that I will only be 22-23 once. I will know what I want, and I will reach for it.
In 2014, I will read and I will learn. I will read a new book every two weeks. I will intersperse fiction with classics and with nonfiction. I will embrace every opportunity to learn new things and experience new things. I will talk to more people and hear their stories. I will shadow a butcher, and learn how to be a bartender. I will cook more, and try new recipes. I will learn and learn and keep learning.
In 2014, I will not be afraid to make big decisions.
In 2014, I will love deeply.
2014 will be an important year, a new opportunity, a new time. I will embrace it and I will love it.
Happy New Year!!