Saturday, January 5, 2013

and our hopes such as they are, invisible before us, untouched and still possible

Happy new year! It is four days into 2013 and I am updating my blog for the first time this year. ;) I'll be honest, I was not sad to see 2012 go. It was an up and down year, with a much stronger beginning than end. I've, frankly, been pretty depressed these past couple months, with work feeling fairly oppressive and all these grad school apps I was struggling to complete (and god, the GRE!). I am ready for a fresh start this year. Time to snap out of my funk, you know?

So here's what's new: I've submitted nearly all of my graduate applications (15 down, 2 to go) and I fly back to California on Sunday. Woo! I'm a little anxious about school starting back up again, but I'm determined to keep my head up. I am also incredibly freaked out about hearing back from graduate schools; I've seriously spent my time making spread sheets of acceptance rates and total available spots and am generally driving myself insane. Ahh!

New year, and there is the very real possibility of some serious change. I have no idea what my life will look like in a few months, and that's exciting. Here's how I kicked off the start to the new year—in Saugatuck with Henrik. :) I put my fancy dress on (but didn't wear any makeup or do my hair, haha) and watched movies and cuddled with my guy. Couldn't have asked for anything more. :)

I don't know about you guys, but I love New Year's resolutions. I'm the sort of person who needs to set a specific (and public) goal to achieve it. I actually accomplished my big goal for last year—I drew in a journal every day for the entire year. It's pretty neat to flip through! I also drank more tea but slacked on the rest of my healthy lifestyle, and did not publish anything (apart from a poem on Writer's Bloq) but wrote a heckuva lot! You win some, you lose some.

I don't know what this year will look like, but I do have control over my goals! Here are my resolutions for 2013.

Remember that health debacle a few weeks ago? When I ended up in the hospital? And I'm still having a lot of ultrasounds because there's a mass in me and no one knows what is? 2012 ended on a scary health note, and while I'm feeling considerably better now, I realize how much more attention I need to give to my health. It seems most people are concerned with weight and appearance, but I'm interested in keeping my body and mind healthy. I'm actually pretty satisfied with how I look (woo for overcoming years of self-doubt!). I simply don't move around—ever—and I've been relying on a lot of frozen food during this grad school purgatory period. This year, I'm aiming to eat healthier, see the doctor more regularly, and keep active. Henrik and I are planning on joining a gym this month! Wish us luck! I'm also trying to keep an eye on my mental health. I need to be better about asking for help when I need it, de-stressing, and removing negative influences from my life. Let's get better about all this worrying, eh? :)

This one might seem intense, but hey—I'm a writer, and writers read. It's, like, in the job description. But seriously, this is something I feel is important to my growth as a writer and a person (not to mention, it's good for relaxing!). I'm aiming to read a bit more fiction this year, as I spent this past year reading overwhelmingly more poetry. We'll see if I get to some classics, too. ;)

Easy peasy. Like I said earlier, I did this last year and I loved it. I think including a bit of art into every day was really helpful for me. It was just enough to keep the creative juices flowing. Maybe sometime I'll post some of my doodles! :)

So I very well may be moving this year, possibly across the country. Before I do, I want to take a road trip! I have no idea where or for how long, but there's so much to see that I haven't yet gotten around to. You guys know me—I get my wanderlust jitteriness if I don't travel. And seeing as it will likely be difficult for me to find time to get overseas this summer, I'll have to substitute in a really bomb road adventure.

Blech. This goal is one of necessity, not pleasure. As some of you may know, I am terrified of driving. I have my license, but have not driven in almost 2 years. I get really anxious about highways and Henrik's car out here is a stick shift, so I haven't driven in California. My goal is to overcome a bit of my fear. I'm not aiming to love it or anything (I mean, come on, let's be reasonable here!) but I think I should be able to drive once in a while without turning the color of spoiled milk. If all goes well, maybe I'll even drive for part of the way during the aforementioned road trip. ...Maybe. ;)

What are you all hoping to do this year? Hope your year has started off right!


  1. i completely and utterly enjoy your updates, Leila! i thought you should know. your resolutions are wonderful (and so very similar to mine!) -- esp. the one about driving :) i'm going to adopt one of your goals as well (the one about drawing every day). if i weren't applying to poetry programs this year, i know for a fact i would be applying to an art school :)

    take care of yourself and don't stress out about applications (easier said than done). -sh.

  2. awesome goals and that NYE outfit is gorgeous! :D happy new year!

  3. cuddling with a super fancy dress on and watching movies sounds so so adorable haha. and what a dress! i love that sheer back. and jesus good luck with grad school!! that was the sole reason i decided never to apply- it sounds way too stressful and crazy. and delete that spread sheet, you'll work yourself into an ulcer!! haha fingers crossed for you :)

  4. You look so beautiful in those photos! :) And wow, similar resolutions - I am terrified of driving too - one of my new years resolutions was to get my license and make myself drive on the highway! Good luck to us there ;) I hope 2013 is better for you! Good luck with everything. xx

  5. That dress is an absolute beaut! You look lovely :)
    Good luck with your goals for the year! Hope its a great one for you.
    Kaz x

  6. Oh my gosh you look so gorgeous! And going on a road trip is one of my goals this year too!

  7. These photos are incredible, they look so magical! Happy New Years to you and I hope you have great success with your new years resolutions!

  8. You look gorgeous in that dress! Happy New Year to you and best of luck on starting your goals! My goal is just to figure out my life a bit more- I probably should have aimed at something a little more specific!

  9. Glad you had a great New Years! Obviously.. since your pictures are pretty stinkin' awesome. And that dress?! Killed it. ;) And I love all of your beautiful goals for the year! Simple but wildly important. xo

  10. aw, that new years sounds so sweet and simple :D
    great resolutions, haven't even thought about mine. actually, many are similar to yours. be more healthy is a given, reading is a necissity as I am undergoing my final year of school this year and as 2 out f my five subjects are lit and english, I need to read a lot! and driving, likewise, is a fear of mine. In Australia you need 120 hours of supervised driving practice between the age of 16, before you can go for your test for your licence. I am nearing 17 and only have 30 hours down as driving just doesn't come naturally. I need to do better!
    Happy new year and sorry for the babble :D

  11. I am sorry the last year didn't end so well - I am right there with you, but here is to the new year and new adventures!! Your resolutions sound good and all easy (ok...maybe not the 50 books personally for me) to obtain! I am sorry to hear about your health scare, I hope all is well. Focusing on your health is so important and not enough of us do that. I used to be terrified of driving!!! It took me 2 years to get up the nerve to get my license and then 4 more years to brave a highway - the only way I conquered my fear was because my dad forced me to drive part of the way on one of our family road trips. I had no warning, he kind of just forced me after a rest stop, haha. It worked though (after screaming the whole time on to the on ramp...). I like driving now. Anywhooo, hope your year is off to a great start! I love your dress from NYE and it sounds like you had a fun night :]


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