i didn’t make new year’s resolutions last year. the night was spent in chicago, in a dress i couldn’t afford at the time, drinking bourbon among young professionals. at midnight we declared our goals, sitting next to a dozen “run a marathons” and “pay off student loans,” i sarcastically declared that i would drink more champagne and bag more peaks. i unsarcastically accomplished both of those things.
professionally, months later, i set out on goals like a wolverine in may— crawling the high alpine in the snow, setting-out, determined. taking care of my crew, working long hours, never tiring, i truly identified with wolverines. i read about them, watched documentaries. they will summit mountains, up and over, in pursuit of a kill they have smelled. never taking the easier way around. inspiration is an understatement.
this year i do better. i can feel in last year that my goals were all professional and none personal. i know that i wasn’t working towards any dangling carrots, me, who would have guessed, 24, driven, task-oriented, capable but desiring direction.
i gave myself a few weeks to see what this year was like, what i wanted, and i guess what i’ve come up with looks like this:
-wear more of the clothes in my closet. stop hiding in camo thermals and black sweaters. be the fabulous that used to give me so much energy. plan. wake up early enough to put something together.
-drink more water. namely, at the bar. 3 IPAs in and one big gulp of water, and i am singing thank you to the beautiful clear in my nalgene bottle. i forget that. i will never get anywhere if i am paying for my nights out the next day perpetually. water.
-let myself be gutted. straight from “dear sugar,” but it’s the realest. last year i dealt with my step dad being out of my life entirely all on my own, and it sucked. it still sucks. i’ve lived here two years almost, and only one human being knows about dannie. it’s a burden i didn’t release, never shared. i regret that— it could have been handled better, more healthily. i will never forge real relationships if i hide behind tough, behind okay. it is my fault i feel like no one knows me anymore, and i want to fix that.
professionally, i want to work more trail, for a non-profit, preferably out of montana. a new mountain range, a new experience. the other day i ran into a girl i used to work with, and we talked future. she looked at me aghast, said i’m a rare person that really loves this, and got genuinely excited for me. i really love this, trail. i want more trail.
i am realizing a lot about what it takes to get things done, to be accomplished, and i can feel myself be ready for that.
i would like to subscribe myself to patience.
when i was young, probably still in single digits, maybe just out, we did a spelling bee in class. my word was aim. it was so easy everyone giggled, and i stood up and said A-I-M and panicked at the laughing -E.
next week i am done with the montana conservation corp. it’s been a tremendous two years, and i have learned so goddamn much, surrounded by a staff that cares about me, asks how i feel, forces me to reflect and get the most out of this expansive thing. a few weeks ago i found my heart broken. my life is wildly uncertain. forgetting what i already know, adding -E. it’s easy for me to fall into nightlife traps, drink too much, sleep too late, get nowhere.
instead, this time, no. i lock the living room door and close the blinds, nestle into russian literature and give in entirely to slow, to deliberate.
i am too old for surrendering to obvious giggles, to -E. if i have learned nothing else, it’s that i am strong and worthy. it has been easy to apply to trail work— slowly up the mountain, all day with the same tool in the same 20 foot patch of land, good leadership never has a cruise control. i can do this with my life, too. i should. it is too valuable to leave at work.