I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see the end of a year than I am to see 2017’s backside. The years that I’ve learned the most have always been the hardest, but this year took it to excess. A few months ago a friend, we hadn’t spoken to since early 2017, wrote and asked how I was doing. After I’d written the list of everything that had happened, I sat back and wondered how I was still breathing. 2017 included writing, not writing, more rejections, the smarter artist summit, hitchhiking, going back to NOLA, meeting someone special for the first time in 4 years and promptly dumping and cutting them off a couple weeks later, and lastly finding out my first original teenage love was sitting in the brig. I’d spent time on the Navajo reservation and then driven through the Hopi Res while listening to a very personal loving and fun tour guide. I’d ridden in semi-trucks, slept on couches, in hostels, and gorgeous woods, spoken with both a rebel soldier and a child soldier. I’d sat down and with loving, kind, confusing confederate flag waving country boys, and homeless philosophers.
My head has been expanded and challenged by the full color of humanity and then pummeled by the depths of its darkness. I ended up in upstate NY living in a tiny house in the woods and working in a country store. My original nervousness at being too far away from the internet became relief, and then fear every time I got close to WIFI. The news, never good felt and still feels like a bad prologue to a post-apocalyptic novel. The politics keep getting worse, and comments aren’t any better. Facebooks social experiments affected my mood and I didn’t know until I barely had Facebook anymore. With three finished manuscripts in my hands I tossed one entirely because my minimalism was changing yet again and I no longer knew what to say. And so, I am writing this post after weeks… months of barely being present on FB, Twitter, Youtube and everyplace else. I am happier for it.
2018 is ramping up to be a big year for me. I have plans in motion and dreams that keep growing. But I’ve realized I need to pull back from social media to succeed in any of it and so my blog takes on new importance. No more #booktube, little Facebook, even less twitter. I’ve decided to make Youtube videos when something amazing is happening that I want to share and when I’m excited. I’ll never make a video out of feeling obligated again.
My blog is my new outlet because everything about it is mine. I am not a Youtuber first, I am a writer. What’s coming… I’m buying a van or a short school bus in the coming months and I’ll be doing a conversion. Then I’m gonna visit my babies and hit the road with my house on wheels. Stick around for the ride, it should be an interesting one. 2017 was a rough year that ended with me in my loft holding my head coughing for days so hard my ribs felt bruised. In short, the year left as it came, rough with no chaser. I grew but the growth was hard won. I’m still recovering. But now, I can go days without looking at the news. I can open Facebook without a panic attack and close it before one starts. I can hermit without depression and be productive. I can even see why my revisions have been so confusing. In today’s world, these are all huge important survival skills. Here’s to a nicer 2018. If not, fuck it. 2017 taught me that I can handle just about anything.