Friends, everything has gone wrong for me (so far) in 2013. And yet, I feel liberated, elated, optimistic, passionate and inspired.
Share in my joy! All you have to do this New Year (ASAP) is:
1. Get robbed. When some lame downer of a pickpocket in Times Square stole my iPhone at approximately 10pm on New Years Eve, the cops on the scene told me they were unable to file a report due to the massive crowds they were handling. Fair Enough. “File the report later. Enjoy your night,” they said. And so I did. I missed the Ball Drop because my group and I were trying to beat an early retreat out of the madhouse morass of the Madame Tussaud’s party, but truth be told, I’m not sure I’ve ever even seen it on TV before, so it turned out I didn’t really care. Gathered, as I was, with two kick-ass young lady friends and my own handsome man, all I could think about was how much they make me laugh and smile and how-in-the-hell we were going to make it to our car on 11th Ave in high heels.
When I woke up the next morning, I realized that along with the phone, I had forever lost my calendar as well as my massive and impeccably organized To Do List. And yet, I didn’t care. Work and scheduling would sort itself out. I focused on the fact that with no To Do list and no calendar – I actually had nothing to do! Furthermore, it felt empowering to realize I could re-build my day-to-day life and my work priorities up from scratch.
2. Get the flu. I’d been sick the weekend prior, but Times Square pushed me over the edge. I spent this week feverish, hemorrhaging snot and lying in bed. I was inclined to feel sorry for myself, but somehow I knew that if I’d been well, I’d be working like crazy, stressing out and generally not enjoying myself anyway. Misery, the Universe seemed to be telling me, will find you if you let it. No thanks, I decided. And the craziness and stress went away.
3. Binge on TV. So I’ve been re-watching The West Wing in its entirety. The caricatured secretaries, the circa-1995 visionary liberalism, and the fierce identity politics of many of the characters all make this classic show feel laughably archaic, even though it was produced within the past 15 years. And yet the ‘witty repartee’ and scrupulously honed comedic plot elements (including a surprising amount of perfectly timed and executed physical comedy) - and, yes, the irresistible elements of aspiration, voyeurism and wish-fulfilment – withstand time.
Point is: I last watched this show with an ex-boyfriend. I am watching it now with myself and as the self I have become in the four years since our breakup. When I started re-watching the show, I felt like I was starting down a long, redundant path. But now I realize that re-visiting old-time pop culture experiences reveals a lot about how far society has come and how different you have become. Next up, I’m re-reading Gone With The Wind and Harlot’s Ghost, two epic favorites from my teenage years.
4. Abandon your New Years Resolutions. The new workouts and meditations…have not been attempted. The “healthy diet” has been commenced with…endless chicken fingers and soup ordered from Dirty Bird. The decision NOT to order Seamless so much (and cook instead, therefore saving money) has been withdrawn. Even flossing, which was the one resolution I actually intended to keep goddammit!, has been abandoned. In fact, I’d been so distracted, I’d forgotten until last night that I’d resolved to start flossing. Ergo, I am off the hook for another year.
5. Abandon all hope. This terrible (terrible!) week has inspired me to focus on what actually exists in my life, as opposed to what I am striving for. I’ve been on a hamster wheel of elusive success, with every accomplishment diminished by the intense yearning I feel for whatever my next goal is. Enough. I don’t hope for more. I don’t want endlessly to strive. I want to figure out a way to be happy in my life, in my skin, in myself, in my apartment, stuffed up, feverish, miserable, yet surrounded personally and electronically (pickpocket didn’t get my iPad!) by my friends and people I love. Turns out it’s not that hard to do, when life knocks you flat. Here’s hoping I can keep it up when things are (hopefully…?) back to going well.
photo by me; follow me on instagram @rebecca_wiegand.
Rebecca Coale - aka Becky - is a writer, musician and producer. She and childhood best friend Jessica Donalds created Dating & Hookup and founded J&R Creative Media. Becky blogs about love poetry and modern life & womanhood. She lives with her husband, Howard Coale, and their family in Manhattan and Philadelphia.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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