This is the post you will bookmark. The posts of posts for 2017. The one that will answer everything, deliver you from evil into the arms of personal and professional redemption. The one Dear Reader post that holds the power to kick your ass when you most need it kicked (b’cuz we all do from time to time).
And the truth is this: I don’t know how to write that post.
The one that promises to solve our collective problems and transform our messy lives into a farm with glitter-coated fences where our fucks freely roam.
What I know how to do is talk about the messy life I live, learning to love it, and how it feels when I hit my head square against the wall. AGAIN.
In that spirit, here’s my last love letter for the year — a letter from me to US. About us. These are kickass things/tasks/missions (ohhhh, I like missions) I’ve committed to for the coming year ahead, fueled by shit I’ve learned in 2017.
It’s not a long list. It’s what I have. So let’s get to these MISSIONS:
- Keep learning how to UNlearn. In my 45 years, I’ve developed biases, prejudices, and beliefs that prevent me from appreciating the whole of humanity. I’m committing to living an uncomfortable life — one that challenges my privilege — so that I can become a part of the solution. Admitting I’ve been complicit sucks, but it’s necessary so I can UNlearn all the shit that doesn’t help us move forward together.
- Stop using the word “dreams.” I don’t have dreams. Dreams are ethereal and ever-shifting, seemingly out of reach for mere mortals like you and me. I have goals. Goals have deadlines. Goals have incremental tasks attached and I will take those steps, put in the work, and get shit done like no motherfucker has ever gotten shit done before. Goals: I’M COMING FOR YOU and dreams, I’m done with you.
- Suckle less at the social media teat. Facebook has robbed me of so much time I could have used to advance my goals this year, it’s shameful. Facebook will be deleted from my phone on January 1. I canceled my Twitter account. The best reasons to use social are to consistently reach YOU and share love. I get so sucked into the spiral of hate that my life isn’t brighter for being more connected. It dims my light and I refuse to let some website dull my shine.
- Ask “what if…” more often. For Shonda Rhimes (check out Shondaland, y’all), it was a year of YES. For me, it’s asking what could happen if I got out of my own damn way. I’m 45, fierce, and commit to making curiosity one of my top missions for 2018 and beyond.
- Give more. Since I left consulting, it sometimes hurts to look at the bank balance. Like, the echo, y’all. But I never have so little that I can’t find a way to give. Time. Money. A smile, nod, an atta there you fierce human. Whether we realize it or not, there are folks who give to us throughout the year and without their charity and generosity — financial, emotional, or spiritual — we’d be shit out of luck.
- Reclaim my creations from Facebook. Since I started my brand page on Facebook, there’s been one entity that’s profited: Facebook. As a creator, my responsibility is to those for whom I create — and that’s YOU, not Facebook. In January, I’ll be launching a Patreon page where you can opt-in on comfy levels ranging from micro to hey now to support by independence from Facebook. All Facebook wants is my money. And all I want is Y’ALL. If you are a creator, create a mission to reclaim your audience. We’ve been way too lax with Facebook for way too long.
- Make being informed a responsibility. I’ll understand where I get my news. Verify stories through multiple, credible sources before sharing. Learn more about my local elected officials and what’s going on in my own backyard. I’ll make sure my voter registration is up to date as FUCK and pay for subscriptions to newspapers so those journalists can keep getting paid to do the brave and (mostly) thankless work they do.
- Moderate comments in my social worlds. Whether it’s my personal Facebook profile or brand page, respect rules the day. I don’t come into your house and skid my ass on your living room rug and my audience knows such behavior doesn’t fly. Respect rules the day, whether we agree or not. Comment sections have become the urinal cake of the internet, even on the most reputable of news sites. We can all do better by not excusing behavior that doesn’t create civil discourse. And yes, the words fuck, shit, dick, and asshole can be used in civil discourse — but ay yay yay…use them well lest ye be the asshole.
- Finish more. I’m the queen of ideas that get off to great starts that get displaced by newer, shinier ideas. This doesn’t do me any favors. I will create an Idea Bank and when I get an amazing new idea, I will put it in the Idea Bank and get to it when I’m done with the idea/project/mission I’m smack dab in the middle of.
- I will continue to end sentences using prepositions. Because that’s me. I know when I can and when I can’t and right here is a place I can. Find the place where you can be comfortable ending a sentence with a preposition.
- Forgive myself. I fuck something up each day. There has never been a day in my life where I’ve gotten everything right. I’ll spend more time forgiving myself and less time hating myself — which already sounds super fucking awesome. Maybe this should have been #1. I forgive myself for not making this #1 on the list because #1 is super fucking important, too.
- Consistently ask myself WHY I am doing something. I waste a shit ton of time on bullshit hustles that don’t benefit my one true hustle: creating stories that don’t suck. If I ask WHY I’m doing a particular activity more often, I just might realize that I’m wasting time on shit that doesn’t matter sooner and redirect that time toward the hustle that matters.
That’s it. All I’ve got.
Thank you for a gorgeous year. It was heartbreaking (Hippo). Heart-swelling. And most of all, it was lived with heart.
The same heart that created the missions above.
Go make your Mission List. Fuck dreams. Well, if you’re going fuck dreams, make them one-night stands and start a relationship with GOALS.
And above all — don’t forget to LIVE. That’s all the stuff that happened when Facebook and email are OFF and YOU are…
Let’s put more heart into our art together.