1: Year in Review

A year ago, Ashley Park and Carlye Rae Tamaren and I sat down on our girls vacation and decided, instead of resolutions, we were going to create a list of three words that we would try to live by each day in the new year. It didn’t mean that we had to wake up the next day and start living life according to these three guideposts, but it meant that for the next 12 months, we would continually check in with our words, evaluate if we were upholding what they embodied in our day to day routine, and reassess how we could alter minuscule things in our lives to maybe get one inch closer to the three-point plans we had crafted for ourselves. I chose the three below:

Congruency: “to be diligent in my choice of words and actions. To ensure that the way I speak is true to the way I act and vice versa. To fall asleep at the end of the day knowing I led with integrity and clarity of choices”. Basically, to not be a bullshitter. How did I do? Well, only okay on this one. I have a hard time saying no, and there were countless friends and family members I cancelled on and didn’t follow through with this year in the midst of the chaos. It left me riddled with guilt: to SAY I would be somewhere, or do something, and then at the last minute to reverse course and blame the show, illness, my voice etc etc. Which, by the way, I know (and my mother constantly reminds me) are ALL valid reasons. But I could have saved myself so much trouble, and my friends so much unneeded back and forth by checking in with myself first. By asking, “What choice should I SAY I will make that will be CONGRUENT with my future actions? Even if it feels like letting someone down, isn’t it better to be honest upfront then to let them down at the eleventh hour? And, at the end of the day, aren’t the true companions in life the ones who will understand as long as you’re truthful from the get go?” I think zee answer is JA.

I also probably engaged in negative gossip. Probably. Psh. Okay, let’s be congruent here. I ABSOLUTELY DID. Guilt as charged, it’s gonna happen. We are all entitled to our thoughts, our opinions. In fact, I’m happy I’m finally past the phase of wanting everyone to like me so much that I conclude everyone is “nice, fun, so sweet” at the risk of THEM saying the opposite about ME. Because let’s face it, PEOPLE ARE CRAZY SOMETIMES. Myself included. It’s natural to talk about other people and their seemingly craziness with others . But it’s not congruent to say one thing behind another person’s back and another to their face. I felt like I did pretty well with that this year, the show I’m in basically demands I learn that lesson every night, but it’s a constant struggle. And one I think I need to continue to work on into the next year.

Numero DOS. Trust: “trusting in the process, in myself, in the workings of the universe that I am always exactly where I should be. Trusting that difficult is a good and necessary step in growth, no matter how many times I find myself grappling and struggling to regain footing.” Perhaps I was just too tired to do anything BUT trust this year: the idea of running around trying to make things happen, to try to be in control of this momentous, monumental thing that was happening around me, I would have run myself into the ground. I simply was trying to stay afloat and trusting that the smart people around me and the forces that be would spit me out at the proper finish line. And ya know what, whether by choice or by lack of choice, trust is the word I upheld the most this year. Sure, there were plenty of beautiful, shiny achievement moments, and also a handful of disappointments: instances where I thought, “Shit, I’m not enough. Or, ‘Do I need to do that/get that/ be that?’” etc etc. At a certain point though, it all became noise. Everyone’s on their own path, probably worrying about the exact same things I am. Might as well just take one cyclical thought bubble of doubt out of the cacophony, keep my head down (as my dad says), do the work, be nice, and trust the next step will make itself clear in due time.

And last but not least, number 3, Presence: “to actively check in with my heart, my mind and the hearts and minds of others. To be aware and fully committed to the tasks (both joyful and punitive) of each day.” I probably landed in the middle ground for this one. I found, at work, it was very easy to be present simply due to the nature of the show. For four hours every night, it was my job to check the day at the door, be somebody else, and throw myself into what has become a sort of meditative ritual 8 times a week: I don’t have to answer the phone, check in on Instagram, worry about what other people are doing etc. I have 4 blissful hours, difficult as they may be sometimes, where my only job is to be present. But those other 20 hours of each day? Still grappling with those. My phone is usually not more than a few feet away from me. A whole year of interviews, vlogging, and press events meant there were a lot of days where content containing my face and words was blasted over the internet. And I often couldn’t just let those things exist without examining each and every one to ensure there hadn’t been a faux pas, an error on my part. But even if there had been, WHO CARES? What could I really have done about it? Might as well have just moved forward into the PRESENT instead of constantly looking backwards over my shoulder. Because the more I looked backwards and overanalyzed past actions, the less time I had to reach out and check in with the present mindset and hearts of my loved ones. Truly….a lose-lose for everyone involved.

So, it’s a work in progress. Everything is really. I’ve got three new words for the new year, which I’ll share in a couple days. Hopefully, this little stream-of-consciousness exercise might inspire you to start drafting your OWN three-word plan for 2019. Which I guess is the reason I wrote all this down anyway? Perhaps putting pen to paper (or hands to laptop) can create a sense of accountability. Because now it’s out there for other people to see, not just scribbled in a journal that I can throw under my bed and pretend doesn’t exist on the days I really fail at upholding my guidewords.

Oh, and by the way. We absolutely held a seaside séance for this new year ritual. Pics or it didn’t happen below. J