Last year, I dutifully wrote New Year’s Resolutions. I ended up accomplishing many of them, but in the end I would have done so anyway, even if I hadn’t written them. What’s more, I thought about my resolutions approximately 0 times over the last 12 months. So what is the point of making a list if you’re not even going to think of them?! For 2014, I’m not making any silly resolutions. I can only hope for the best and give it my all, knowing that the stakes will be higher than ever. Next year, I graduate college, embark (hopefully) on either the Fulbright or Princeton in Asia, take the LSAT, submit my novel for publication, and apply to law school. Of course, it’s nothing compared to what some of my friends are going through. One is graduating from an MBA program and will have to leave the country — and be separated from his wife — if he doesn’t find a job. I wish him all the very best.
Alright, enough talk of the new year. Let’s reflect on 2013: the good, the bad, and the mundane.
21 Things I Did in 2013
- I found my agent. When I first got the email asking for a full manuscript, that was probably the third most exciting moment of my life. My search for representation was one of the fastest and most painless, and I feel incredibly grateful.
- I was rejected too many times to count. There were the ignored agent queries, two rounds of polite dismissals from editors, one paper rejection letter that I absolutely did not keep for sentimental purposes.
- I wrote two books. I feel like I gestated two humans. Fortunately, unlike with babies, you can forget about books (albeit briefly) after you “birth” them.
- I taught 5 GRE classes and tutored 4 students. In retrospect, I don’t know how I had the time for this.
- I bought toilet paper for the first time. I also encountered my first toilet paper standoff, in which all of my roommates and I refused to buy a new roll.
- I decided I wanted to go to law school. At first, it was a half-joke to impress my prestige-hungry father. Then, I realized I wanted to pursue international/human rights law.
- I was a scholar. Over the summer, I got paid handsomely to do research for my honors thesis. It was cool, but it made me realize that a career in academia is not for me.
- I finished my first oil painting. And have little desire to start another. But I’m taking a painting class next semester, oops!
- I rekindled my love for horse riding. I overcame the humiliation of being the oldest beginning rider and now I know what I’m doing…sometimes.
- I broke up with my long-term boyfriend. The breakup wasn’t as traumatic as the fact that I had to learn to define myself all over again. After all, when I met him, I was a clueless 18-year-old in a religious cult.
- I went on my first “date”. As in, meeting a stranger at x time at y location. This process is bizarre, but it’s taught me a lot about myself and humanity, and I’ve met lots of interesting people.
- I taught myself Arabic. Well, I can read and pronounce the alphabet.
- I moved back home. Surprisingly, my mom and I have learned to cohabitate.
- I made awesome friends. Shout-out to my conversation circle that often got me through the week. I also made my first Internet friend, which I didn’t believe was possible until it happened to me. Lastly, a big thanks to my writer friends for the many creative talks.
- I met my first famous person. Well, I’d seen Olympic figure skaters in competition before, but I didn’t talk to them. That one time Simon Baker drove up in a fancy car in front of me at the Prix de Diane, but I so busy staring at the car that I didn’t realize he was a celebrity. This fall, though, I met Phyllis Reynolds Naylor and it was awesome. I’m saving the signed copy of Shiloh for my favorite child.
- I drank legally in the US. On my 21st birthday, I had just got off the plane from China and was too jet-lagged to party. Later, I enjoyed many a mojito. Okay, let’s be honest — my friends finished most of them.
- I went to my first legitimate Black Friday. As in, we were at the mall Thursday night.
- I was wined and dined by the Chinese government. Literally.
- I reached 1,000 followers on WordPress. This blog has been more rewarding than I could ever have imagined. Thank you all for giving me this outlet for
- I “won” NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in 30 days, baby.
- I learned to love myself. Well, it’s definitely a work in progress, but I’ve come a long way since quitting my therapist because I accidentally cried in her office.
Well, now that I’ve written the list, I realize that they’re mostly positives. So I guess I had a fairly good 2013, after all. How about y’all? Share some highlights or lowlights with us.