Just about a year ago I laid in my bed and closed my eyes as I put on an audio recording of Carl Sagan reading his Pale Blue Dot to me. I reflected on the year I had just had and attempted to look ahead at 2015. The revelation I had was that I had no idea what 2015 would bring, and needed, wanted, looked forward to not knowing. As I keep up with my tradition of looking back at my year and looking ahead to the next, I am proud of myself for keeping to my promise of not knowing.
2015 was a lot of uncertainty. Would I ever find a job? Would I find a new room mate? Would I get a new couch?
The beginning of 2015 casted a fair amount of doubt. Through the first several months of the year I was rejected from job after job. I was even turned away from more than one position that (I thought) were created specifically for me. It’s a hard feeling to describe. There’s an old Aerosmith music video in which a high school kid sort of Frankenstein’s/clones girl just to fall in love with him, and each one he makes goes off with a different guy (until he finds his nerdy friend in the end). It kind of felt like that.
I found odd jobs. I found a new work home. I kept moving forward. I learned to be ok not knowing what job was coming next.
I produced a video that intro’ed a workshop at the Tribeca Film Festival. I worked for a conference of some of the smartest people in the world. I produced a video for a fashion show.
My project HeartGov picked up steam and grew. Another project I’ve been helping with picked up a grant. One of the projects I worked on hired me on and flew me to Europe. I was written about in Time Out New York as an Undateable.
I traveled to Iowa, Wisconsin, Czech, Montreal, Puerto Rico, Hungary, and Germany.
I took on more work than I thought possible and started cobbling my life together. I got a new couch. I led a storytelling workshop. I finished a TV pilot. HeartGov opened up doors for low income people in Austin. Councilmatic launched. I officiated another wedding.
I work more and more with people I love more and more at Civic Hall. I went back to Prague and expanded my work load with Democracy 2.1. I wrote and performed a bi-coastal storytelling show with my friend Jake. I did more and more and more.
Now, as I look to 2016, I can’t help but feel like I don’t need to do more. I need to do better. I need to work harder. Communicate better. Write, perform, and support my friends and colleagues better. Do better is going to be my motto for 2016. Keep expanding, keep growing, keep reflecting. Now that I have all my objectives, it’s time to execute them and not make any excuses.
I was recently talking to a friend of mine about storytelling, producing shows, and she asked me the great question: “why do we do this?” Above all else, in 2016 I want to ask myself “why am I doing this?” more and more. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in 2015 was that I matter, my time matters, my feelings matter, when I make decisions about, well, everything really. It seems like it might be obvious, but the next time you make a decision about work or a relationship or even what you’re doing this weekend, are you asking “what should I do” or “what do I want to do”? There’s a fine and complicated line between the two. I learned what that line’s importance was in 2015. At least, I began to, now I just need to be better about asking myself those questions. Question better. Act better. Respond better. Do better.
See you in 2016!