Thursday, December 13, 2012

And I'm ready to suffer, and I'm ready to hope.

This last week has been a total roller coaster.  And while I'd love to go into specifics, since writing about things is sort of how I process and organize them and make sense of this big crazy world as best I can, pretty much everything going on is of a nature too private for blogging.  (I know this seems like a weird thing to say given that I've written several detailed posts about the state of my mental illness.  But there are some things even I won't broadcast to the open internet.  Plus those posts had the capacity to incite helpful discussion, where going on about my current state of affairs would really just be airing dirty laundry.)  Suffice to say I've hit some euphoric highs and some crushing lows, and it's all been sort of mentally exhausting, especially coupled with working retail at The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

And all of that sort of got me thinking.  2012 has been a rough year.  I have this ridiculous apocalypse phobia – always have.  Since I was a kid I worried senselessly about seeing the End of Days and being crippled with fear as the skies go black and the seas boil.  (I was a melodramatic kid.)  So you can imagine how awesome all this Mayan calendar business has been for me.  And since I am also blessed with an advanced case of apophenia, every time some lunatic shoots up a public place or a massive hurricane devastates some place or someone starts making nuclear threats the shiny red CRAZY button in the back of my head gets hit. 

There's a point to this rambling, I promise.

Is the world ending?  Probably not.  But in a lot of ways, my personal world as I knew it ended in 2012.  I lost my father.  The end of my marriage was finalized.  Other little things along the way.  2012 was a year of (often painful) endings for me. 

So with that in mind, Ive decided to approach this "phoenix in the ashes" style and make 2013 a year of beginnings.  I've taken a few hits and been surprised at the fact that I was able to pick myself up and dust myself off.  But before my standard of living somehow gets stuck on survive, I want to take charge a little.  There are things I want to do.  There are things I need to do.

I've never been big on New Year's Resolutions.  There's no real reason for this; I'm not morally opposed to them or anything.  I just don't do them.  So this isn't a list of New Year's Resolutions.  This is just... a wish list of sorts, I guess.  But it's the kind of wish list where no one can really give you the gifts on it but yourself.

Tara's 2013 Wish List (in no particular order)

• I need to write more.  Since my father's death and the post I wrote for him, a lot of people have asked me "why aren't you a writer?"  The answer is simple and silly:  I have no idea how one becomes a writer.  But I'm going to write more and see if I can figure out some way to maybe claim I'm a professional at it.

• I need to move!  I'm too far from my family, and that needs to change.  This one involves a lot of work, but it's time to get to it.

• I have a web series to get off the ground!  This one terrifies me, as I know not the first thing about scripting, filming, or editing such a thing.  But I've got tons of support of which I shall endeavor to prove worthy.  First step is learn how to use this cool-looking camera I now own...

• I need to be a better daughter/sister/aunt.  Family, I love you.  I don't see you enough, or help you enough, or call enough.  You've all been there for me when I needed it and I can never really tell you how grateful I am to have you.  But I love you immensely and aim to be better at showing you that.


There are more things, but it gets all weird and way too personal and detailed and it's mostly stuff the open internet wouldn't care too much about anyway.  The long and short of it is this:  2012 put a period on a lot of things for me.  I'm looking to make 2013 the start of the next chapter.

There's a particular Counting Crows song that I always tend to listen to a lot this time of year.  It suits the frozen melancholy of a New England winter really well, and in my most depressed of states it speaks to a certain wistful hope for a better future.  But it's also a bit passive.  So this year I'm going back to my girl Florence.  (You can never go wrong with Florence.  This is a great truth of my life.)  This song lifted me up during some of my darkest moments this year, so it seems a more fitting theme going forward:

It's also where the title of this post comes from. 

Whatever kind of 2012 you had, I wish you a successful, awesome, and scary in the best of ways 2013.  That's the kind of year I'm aiming to have. 


  1. I wish you all the best in 2013 Tara. You deserve it. I've admired your strength of character, your quick wit, and your (dark) sense of humor since I decided to start watching the live WTFIWWY, and, at least with regards to what you're willing to share I look forward to seeing what 2013 brings you. :)

  2. I know it's really not much, but I wanted to pass along some musings about the Mayan Long Count to-do simply because you brought it up in your introduction and I thought it might be appropriate given what else you wrote here:

    The thing about the Mayan calendar is that it's actually divided into cycles of destruction and rebirth. That's the point all the doomsday sensationalists fail to bring up: The Mayan calendar is built around eras of creation, called b'ak'tuns. At the end of each b'ak'tun, the universe is destroyed, yes, but then it is immediately reborn as something young, fresh and better at the start of the next cycle.

    This year marks the end of the 13th b'ak'tun, but even though the Long Count calendar ends that's no reason to suspect the Ancient Mayans intended this to mark the final end of everything or that the 14th cycle wouldn't begin. The Ancient Mayans would have seen this as a time to celebrate rebirth, new beginnings and ascendance to a higher spiritual plane, not bemoan the end of days, and indeed modern-day Mayans in Mexico and Latin America are planning to do exactly that. Its the End of the World in the R.E.M. sense, not the Book of Revelations sense.

    Also, as one writer to another, the best advice I could offer (if you'd like it) is to just keep writing. Someone once told me that a professional writer is just an amateur who didn't give up, and I think that's very true. That's how you become a writer-Just write and get your voice out. In terms of pragmatism if you wind up with a published book someday that's great, but blogging is a perfectly valid creative outlet and probably the best way to hone your voice and get an audience these days.

    The most important thing is to just keep writing: Frequently, and anything. Blog posts, tweets, whatever. And that's not meant as misty idealism either, the more you write the more you condition your mind to work that way and the easier it becomes. That's practically the first thing I was taught in my methods seminar.

    Well, I've rambled on enough. Thank you for your thoughtful entry, and I send you my best wishes and good luck for the rest of this year and the next.

  3. Good on you, and sorry you had such a shitty year. I wish I could offer something more useful; I guess if there's one thing I've learned this year, it's that it is possible to put the past behind you and start anew, if you want to do that badly enough.

    As for the writing, I guess I can offer some small advice, which is: just write. Just do it, regardless of whether it gets published or not, and see where it takes you. I became a published writer for the first time this year, aged 41, and while it doesn't exactly pay the bills, and likely never will, it's amazing to look at a story, or an article, and say 'I created this'.

    Good luck in 2013, Tara, and don't worry about all that Mayan bullshit. It's the prophecy of St Malachi that really signifies the end of the world, as any fule kno...

  4. When it comes to writing, making videos, or whatever creative ventures you wish to pursue, I offer my bit of advice based on my (very) limited experience, for what it's worth.

    When you're scared of doing something creatively, that's usually a sign you're headed in the right direction. It's terrifying not knowing if you're doing something "right", if anyone's going to like it, or even if people will pay any attention. Try to set that all aside and put out something you're happy with. Look back to any one of the first contributions of the TGWTG crew (or anyone else really) and you'll see they didn't have much to go with. Bad video quality, fans buzzing in the background, and scripts that were probably thrown together in a couple of days. Most of them just wanted to put something out there to make their friends laugh, so that's what they did. Just put something out there that you're passionate about, even if it's a four hour block of hippo puppet masterpiece theater. At least you'll have fun doing it, and if you can make one person's day better then it was probably worth it.

    If somewhere down the road you find out it's not for you, you can at least walk away knowing you tried. It's a lot more than most people do nowadays and you'll be better off for having done it.

    In any case, I'll end my random ramblyness by hoping that your next year treats you better than the last. I look forward to seeing what you put out for the world to see.

  5. It's been a nerve-wracking year for a lot of us, I think. There are comments I could make here that are more appropriate for my own blog. Suffice to say, however, I wish you a better 2013. You've certainly brought a lot of happiness and light to those of us who've watched WTFIWWY Live this year, and you deserve some for yourself.

    That "just do it" thing people have been saying about the writing is good advice. It's worked for me, anyway. The more you do it, the better you'll get. And I suspect the same goes for the web series, too.

    At any rate, best of luck in the coming year.

  6. I'm sorry it's been such a shitty year for you, Tara. I just want you to know that you, with your sense of humor and your awful puns, have helped me through some very bad times in 2012. And I want to thank you for that.

    And by the way? I can't wait for your webseries. I don't know what it's about, but I want to see it.

  7. I'm pulling for ya. We're all in this together.

  8. I know this is a bit off topic for the post, but I found this and immediately thought of you.