Archives for the month of: January, 2014

I know where I am, but where am I going? This is the first time in a long time that the year has started with so many uncertainties. I’m not sure of my work because I’ve taken such a long break from it to recover from cancer. And I find myself gravitating toward the most random things like wanting to be involved with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society or wanting to have a successful blog. But shouldn’t I focus instead on the much more concrete tasks at hand like writing the article I need to write, applying for the grant I have to submit, and finishing my dissertation? The concrete tasks feel further away than they ever have and I wonder how and when I will get back to them. For the first time I feel myself wondering if I will get back to them.

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Usually my calendar year starts more dramatically with deep cleans, cooking projects, and long lists of New Year’s resolutions that typically include things like “floss daily, drink more water, be kind, read a book a week, yoga twice weekly, keep doing what you’re doing…”

This year we are in the middle of a multi-part move (SFO-MIA-SFO-ITH-JFK) and we are lucky to find our underwear in the morning let alone be able to consider lofty goals and start complex projects. So this year begins more modestly with an empty agenda, two La Pens, and a pencil case. Even if I can’t set them now, let this book be open space for my goals and projects to come. And maybe it will help us keep it together for the next 28 days until we set foot in our forever-for-now home, too.

Big move tip #1: leave space for familiarity, even when it looks different.

Last year we celebrated New Year’s Eve with friends in my home town. At dinner, I decided that my New Year’s resolution was to apologize less in 2013.

Somewhere along the way, despite my apparently feminist upbringing and various levels of higher education to be an empowered woman, I missed the memo that women are made to apologize for their actions even when things aren’t their fault. I fell pray to this pesky habit – big time. I found myself apologizing multiple times in a conversation even for things that weren’t my fault.

The “I’m sorry” wasn’t even doing the work I needed it to. When I was in the hospital earlier this year, for example, I found myself apologizing for my illness and my need to rely on others. Instead, wouldn’t I more accurately express myself if I could just explain the meaning behind my overused place holder? Instead of I’m sorry, what about thank you? In a completely different context, I’ve come to fear making wrong choices that don’t make sense to others when writing in the academy. You could say I’ve learned to apologize before even putting pen to paper. Instead, I could feel empowered to share my ideas and open dialogue.

This brings me to the beginning of 2014. I’m not sure I apologize less, though I like to think that my apologies now accompany more thoughtful reflection and are sometimes replaced by mindful explanation. After a year with a wedding, cancer, moves, and many many thoughts on my place in this world, I hope for 2014 that I can strive to be true to myself and respectful of others. In doing so, I hope I can remain critical of my cultural tendencies while still respecting my comfort zones.

And I hope that this blog space is one without apology. I’ve wanted to keep a blog for some time, but haven’t known the right way, or topic. Scholarly, or personal? Feminist, or domestic? Mocktails, or design ideas? I’ve been paralyzed by the choices and afraid to make the wrong move; I’ve remained on the side of the apology. So, I hereby grant this blog a place for me to practice my goals without inhibition and without apology – even when it doesn’t quite coalesce or have a well rounded theme or make full sense to others. Whatever comes to fruition will be as honest as possible – within the bubble of my own performed self, of course, and also while striving to respect and account for those reading and writing with me.

Happy New Year. Here’s to a healthy 2014.