Time to be Astonishing :: 20 New Years Resolutions

Happy New Years everyone!

Insert paragraph here wherein I make rambling excuses for the lack of writing on this blog and blather on about all the post travel/seasonal depression I’ve been dealing with and blah blah blah okay bored now.

So. New Year. New changes. New resolutions. I figured this could be a good way to bring myself back to this blog: by forcing you guys to read all twenty of my resolutions for 2015.

I considered not overloading myself with resolutions for once, maybe keeping it to a three to five minimum, but in a recent chat with one of my boyfriend’s roommates I was told that it was a positive quality that I often bite off more than I can chew. I also figured, hey, I’m turning 25. This should be a big year so, what the hell, I’m gonna make a big list.

So. Here we go.


Prince Joffrey ain’t got nothing on me.


In the month of December I experienced my first ever car accident from behind the wheel. This sucks on the account that: A) I had only just gotten my driver’s license a month beforehand so I was pretty upset/embarrassed, and B) my car wont be back to me for another week. Of course, what’s most important is that the other driver and myself walked away unharmed. Needless to say, it’s been a very stressful experience all around – mentally, financially, and transportation-wise – and I’m not keen on going through that again… ever. So this resolution is more of a “Hey, let’s keep this going for, y’know, always, that’d be cool” thing, but yeah, I just want to be a better driver and not put anyone at risk again. Big goal of this year life.

2.       Use this blog again on weekly basis.

Hah. Remember when this blog was a thing I updated a couple times a week? Yeah. I miss those days. I guess I had more reason to use it on a frequent basis, seeing as travel gives you something to talk about pretty much all the time.


Quietly crying in a corner due to New Zealand feels.

As I already alluded, after I came back from New Zealand I had a bout of post travel depression, which was the followed up by a rousing dose of (ongoing) seasonal depression, and I basically haven’t been writing much outside the realm of poetry in the last several months. In any case, I’d like to get around to using this blog more often. I’m not entirely sure what for just yet. I guess we’ll find out together.

3.       Find a job that makes me happy.

So I’m still working in my dad’s office, and for that I am incredibly thankful. He gave me this job to help get me back on my feet after returning from New Zealand completely broke. That being said, an office job isn’t what I went to school for, and I would like to start heading down the career path that I want. What career is that? Who knows. Probably something to do with writing about television show theories while surrounded by dogs and doughnuts. That’s the dream. Anyway, I’m hoping to kick off January with a new job search and start figuring out this crazy thing called life.

4.       Go to the National Poetry Slam.

I’ve had the great pleasure of becoming a part of the Portland Poetry Slam community in the past six months, which has led to such marvelous things as improving my poetry, breaking out of my shell, making quality friends, and using my feminine whiles to get me one of those boyfriends I’ve been hearing so much about.



So every year in the poetry universe, there’s a National Poetry Slam held where teams from all over the country (and some from other parts of the world) come and compete. Having the chance to go to Nationals would be a delight, as I’ve been dreaming of going for years now. I’m already planning to go to the Women of the World Poetry Slam (WoWPS) this spring, but adding Nationals to the list would be astounding. I don’t necessarily need to go there on a team (I mean, I’m trying, but I’m also realistic and wouldn’t be too put out if I didn’t make the team this year). I would just love the opportunity to go with the Portland team and experience the whole ordeal in person.

5.      Learn guitar.

When I came back from New Zealand I told myself I’d learn three things: Driving, guitar, and Italian. Driving is checked off the list (insert joke about car crash here), so next comes guitar. I have a guitar – her name is Maggie after the Colin Hay song – but she’s basically been collecting nothing but dust and broken promises for the past three years. It’s probably about time I change that.


Visual proof that I have, at least once, held my guitar.

6.       Participate in NaNoWriMo.

I haven’t done National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in years and haven’t hit completion on a NaNo story since high school. I miss novel writing, so I’m aiming to complete all 50,000 words this upcoming November.

7.       Move in with Kathleen.

This one is already in motion. As anyone who’s been following this blog from the start knows, Kathleen and I got along quite well when we were traveling in New Zealand. More than well. We were literally finishing each other’s sentences by the time she left.


And taking awesome jumping pictures.

We’re now in the progress of looking for a house/apartment to move into. It’s a bit of a difficult process – places in Portland being expensive and all – but we’re looking!

8.        Tattoo.

Need I say more?

9.       Start running on a weekly basis.

Normally I have some stupid “lose 20 pounds” or “eat healthier” goals on my New Years resolution list. Not this year. I mean, yeah, I hope I eat better and treat my body nicely, but my primary goal is to get back to running on a regular basis (with an occasional workout as well). I’d be happy enough with that.


Gotta get my muscles back to this status.

10.   Read 35 Books.

My To Read pile is almost as tall as I am and in serious need of being tackled. I’m hoping to focus on Sci Fi / Fantasy books primarily this year. (Also, though not on this list, I’m hoping to read more comics/graphic novels too. Of course I am. Duh.)

11.   Write MORE.

I mean. This is what I majored in at college. This is what I want to do with my life. I can make excuses all I like, but I need to get back to writing as often as possible. Can’t really put this one off anymore.

12.   365 Day Photo Challenge.

This year was the first year out of four that I did not finish my 365 day photography challenge. I was close, but somewhere in November my photos teetered off and kind of just stopped. Not only that, but my photography had gotten lazy as of late; pictures usually getting taken in my bedroom right before midnight or with my iPhone of random objects. I’m planning to start carrying my camera again and actually put effort into my art. Maybe by some new camera lenses while I’m at it.

13.   Creating content.

This year has a lot of potential to be good for me. I’ve got the Podcast, Frog Kissin’, that my good friend, Lara, and I started last year, and I’m still writing for ToughPigs when I can. But I’m also putting in work as a writer and multimedia producer for the web series The Misselthwaite Archives, which will start posting episodes at the end of January.


Basically my goal is to stay ahead on all of these, especially Misselthwaite and Frog Kissin’, and make sure everything stays on scheduled track. (Plus: I’m going to be a featured poet on voicemail poems later this month!)

14.   Be more confident when making friends.

Making friends has always been both incredibly easy and insanely difficult for me. I’m not sure if that makes much sense… but, basically, I always seem to have a difficult time meeting new people because of how shy I am, but at the same time I’ve never been in want of friends and seem to acquire new friends on a regular basis. So. I don’t know. It’s kind of baffling.

Anyway, I’ve met a lot of really awesome people since coming home, but I’ve been kind of soft spoken and shy around them. This is frustrating because I remember how I was back in New Zealand. I mean, when you’re sharing a hostel dorm with five strangers for a week, you kind of have to be outgoing and force yourself out of your shell. I’m hoping this year I’ll find my tongue; fighting off the fear of speaking up and reaching out to new people. I’d like to change. I want to change. New Zealand made me so much better. I want to be better again.

15.   Good feelings jar / Spending jar.

I’ve done the Good Feelings jar before, wherein when good things happen to you then you write it onto a slip of paper and put it in a jar. Then, at the end of the year, you can dump out the jar and review all the wonderful things from the past year.

As for the Spending jar, well, I’m just hoping to put a bit of money away in a jar, then every couple of months I can treat myself to ice cream or a massage or a dog or a burger. Hey! Speaking of dogs…

16.   Adopt a dog.

I’m not an idiot. I’m acutely aware that this is probably the resolution most likely to not happen this year. It all depends on these things:

  1. Kathleen and I finding an apartment/house that allows pets.
  2. Finding a job where I can afford to take care of a dog.
  3. Finding a job where I have enough time to spend with a dog.

I really really really really want a dog, but also know I’m not currently in a position to own one. If I become a dog owner, I want to be the best dog owner I can be. So, it’ll happen. Maybe not this year. But someday.


Hopefully (s)he will look a lot like this. And be named Samwise.

17.   Start learning Italian.

Yes, the third thing on my “to learn post-New Zealand” list. Learning guitar is a higher priority, but I figure I can start learning the basics of the language this year.

18.   Travel.

So far my roster of travel is LA and Olympia (January), Spokane and Seattle and (probably) Ashland (February), Albuquerque (March), and Oakland (August). Already I’m set up to visit a lot of the West Coast. I had high hopes of making it over to the East Coast / New York at some point this year, but that might have to be put on hold till 2016. (Along with travel, I’d really like to camp this summer. That’s a thing I have not done enough in my life.)

19.   Produce a chapbook.

I took part in the 30/30 poetry challenge in November, wherein you write a poem a day for the entire month. With the exception of a day, where I wrote a poem about Taylor Swift, all my poems followed a common theme: Greek mythology.


Fun fact: Greek Gods are assholes.

I’m thinking about going back through these 29 poems, touch them up and do some major editing (and probably rewrite a few), and then try to get them into an actual chapbook.

20.   Appreciate the here and now. Be positive. Be happy.

You can’t have a New Years Resolution list without at least one overtly cheesy, cliche resolution snuck in at the end.

I’m striving to be more positive about things going on in my life; to appreciate what I have and to not get bogged down by trivial things. Yes, I will probably have moments where I am sad that I’m not still gallivanting about New Zealand, but I also happen to live in a wonderful city and am fortunate to know a lot of awesome people here. I’m turning 25 this year, which is insane and unbelievable, but I want to make this year count. I want to make something beautiful of this year. I want to do something big. I want, I want, I want so much. This year I am done wanting. This year I kick some ass and take no prisoners. This year I make life an adventure. This year is mine.

JGask out.

new year

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