Another year has come and gone. 2012 was relatively uneventful. No big moves, no big switches, no big, crazy end of an era moments (although it was the year of the Fringe). My life is pretty much the same. Nothing really changed.
But somehow, I still feel like 2012 altered me in a way no other year has. This isn’t a case of hyperbolic retrospection either. I have actually felt myself change, very palpably. My life from the outside looks much the same (besides the very obvious change in my eating habits, and a 500% increase in the number of baby pics I share – (not my babies of course!!!!)). I’m still in New York. Still in my first New York apartment (though with a different roomie). Still at BBH. Still with THE man. Still wanting to write (although WAY less dedicated. Slap on my wrist). It’s the way that I approach things that’s changed. Because 2012 was a chock-full of life lessons. The kind of lessons I’ll carry with my for the rest of my life.
1. Jobs are not stable.
This is obvious. We all know that, anecdotally, jobs are not stable. We see people struggle to find employment and keep employment constantly. I’ve never known the feeling of losing a job, but I now know the feeling of getting pretty damn close, and watching a ton of close friends lose theirs. Experiencing a large round of lay-offs totally changed me. I realized that a job is not a job. It’s a means of living. And when people lose that livelihood, it’s a scary scary time. I’ve always known how lucky I am to love my job. But now I’m the type of person to realize how lucky I am to have a job.
2. Women will always be in more danger than men.
When you’re entrenched in youth, it’s easy to feel invincible. Talking to strangers at clubs, letting them buy you a drink, running home alone, through the city streets, at 4am in your tiny sequin dress. It’s all so easy to do. And it feels natural, and liberating, and like you’re just living life. But it’s not really living life. Especially for women. It’s almost being irresponsible?
When the story of 23-year-old student, Damini’s (which is not actually her real name, but the name of a movie character who refused allow her rapist justice) gang-rape broke, it shook me to my core. I’ve never had a news story affect me so deeply. When the student died a few days back, I couldn’t believe it. This, to me, unleashed an out-pour of rape cases (or at least my awareness of them).
The other night my roommate and I were discussing the case in Steubenville, Ohio. And that’s when we stumbled upon the above lesson. Women will always be in more danger than men.
3. And actually, even though youth lends itself to feeling invincible, it has also become a very dangerous time. Which is heartbreaking, unbelievable, sick, and disappointing.
4. You will always be the only one responsible for yourself.
I feel like 2012 was my first year of utter independence. I’ve been financially independent since I graduated college in 2009, but I have to admit that it’s taken me a while to become mentally and emotionally independent. I know this is a product of age, but also circumstance (there are plenty of twenty-somethings that are dependent on others in many ways). I’ve found that I in 2012, I knew what I wanted without much discussion. I stood my ground. If someone asked my opinion, I stated it seamlessly, with conviction. And then I acted on it – knowing that if I wanted something done, I’d have to do it myself. This is very new. And refreshing, and sort of wonderful. I’m pretty proud of it.
At the beginning of 2012, my resolution was to write for 30 minutes a day (amongst the stereotypic “exercise more, eat better”). I acted on this for about a week, and then stopped. I’m not proud of it, but I sort of realize the futility of resolutions. Goals, of course. Milestones, yes. But resolving to stick to something for an entire year without a sense of what the year will bring? Sort of complacent. So this year, I have no such resolutions. I just have one thing I want. Adventure! I want to do new things, meet new people, go to places I’ve never been, and enjoy myself. And even if I do this a little bit more than last year, I’ll be happy. Because progress starts with babysteps.
Happy (belated) new years everyone. Wishing you and yours lots and lots of love, happiness, success and adventure in 2013!