Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Year's resolution

I was in BC with my family for the holidays during this week, and Christmas Day we happened on the last 30 minutes of The Runaway Bride (the Doctor Who special from 2006.) I found myself watching with a comforting sort of deja vu.

Toward the end of the special, the Tenth Doctor tells Donna to "be magnificent." It stopped me cold, because I remember watching it for the first time and taking that suggestion as my new year's resolution—that I would be magnificent in 2007.

2007 was when I went back to Japan for the first time since I'd lived there. It was when I decided to be serious about publishing and started querying agents. It was a hell of year. I was most definitely magnificent. (I was stupendous in 2008, if you're wondering.)

Now, New Year's resolution time is here again. So many promises I want to make myself, so many things I want to accomplish. Feels a bit like I spent a lot of this year banging my head against a wall—a wall that I couldn't quite convince myself to admit was there. (It's hard to let go of things, and it's hardest to let go of the things you love.)

I am unafraid of what is coming next. I have no idea what it is, but I'm ready for it. In 2013 I am going to finish writing a manuscript. Then I am going to start writing another one. In between and around and during that process, I'm going to be magnificent.

That's it. That's really all there needs to be.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Five things I want you to know should the world end tomorrow

1) I'm sorry for being awful about staying in touch. Email, phone call, text, whatever you sent that I didn't reply to. I'd love to tell you that I've been incredibly busy, but we both know that I've been spending way too much time on Twitter.

2) I'm sorry if I glared at you for no reason as you passed me on the street or on the TTC or in the office. The truth is: I didn't even see you and I was thinking about something completely unrelated to you. (Except when I wasn't, and it was absolutely your fault that I was unhappy. But in the spirit of the apocalypse, I'll forgive you.)

3) Despite every effort of the world to prove me wrong, I still believe that people want to be good and that kindness is not an illusion. As idealistic or flawed in logic as it sounds: I believe the root of the horrors we do onto each other can be explained as "lack of empathy." Empathy and kindness will always be important, regardless of whether or not the world as we know it ends.

4) I think the greatest harm we do to ourselves is to allow one thing to define us. We're each of us good at many things and able to learn to be good at many others. Connected to this: Don't be afraid to kill your dreams. It'll help you learn what's really important to you, and there is an amazing freedom in being able to let go and dream anything again. If the dream you killed returns, you can be sure it's better and stronger and wiser.

5) There is a world full of people doing what they love. Find a way to be part of it. Should the world end tomorrow, my one regret will be the time I spent doing things that fundamentally didn't matter to me instead of all the things that did.