This is where I say something conclusive about this year and the thirty things that will set it apart from the rest of the years of my life. So here are ten things I've learned over this past year:
- Perfection is impossible.
- Consistency is my Achilles heel.
- I'm awesome at flying planes, giving strangers money, getting engaged.
- I'm not awesome at yoga, making wine, deciding on a short film concept.
- Having an excuse to eat a cupcake everyday for 29 days is not as great as it sounds.
- Women who spend the night in shelters can be remarkable, inspiring women.
- Religion is about open-mindedness, not shutting out other beliefs or fearing them.
- You can have an emotional attachment to a plant.
- Seven-year-olds are terrifying (and will cut a bitch).
- One year is a terribly short amount of time. Learn to savor the moment and/or build a time machine.
My next challenges are to plan a wedding, learn French, and somehow (although it might be impossible) get Brad Pitt to stop stalking me.
But before that, just for farts and giggles, I'm going to indulge in one final and quite satisfying progress report:
Do yoga three days a week. Give a stranger $100. Film it and post it on YouTube. Eat 29 cupcakes in 29 days and write a review of each. Research and identify 10 procedural reforms that would help move congress and the executive office back to being a government of the people and for the people. Print these 10 reforms on handout cards and distribute to anyone and everyone you know. Post them on your Facebook page and website. Travel overseas, ride trains only, and put together a collection of photos titled "Window Seat." Sit in silence and stillness each morning for 15 minutes before you start your day. Write anddirect your own short film and submit it to a film festival. Spend one night in a women's shelter, make a connection and offer to take family portraits. Make and bottle your own wine. Save it for a future birthday. Lie down on your back in a NYC street and pretend to be a dead bug. Write a sad story about a girl who gets the things she always wanted -- on your typewriter. Make a conceptual photo series, preferably a book. Your 27th and 28th years were characterized by massive life changes that included a move and job change; my challenge is make one more life change. I'm not going to define it, but some suggestions would be: take another step with Austin, get a friend for Dagmar, get involved with something you care about in an incredibly inconvenient capacity. Take flying lessons. Do 200 crunches and three 1-minute planks every other day. And assist your scared, almost-grad cousin in finding a job in Atlanta New York. End every day by writing down one positive thing that happened in the previous 24 hours. Learn how to perform an authentic Japanese tea ceremony. Get a photo (or photos) into a gallery/showing AND/OR sell one of your photos. A year-long water challenge: Drink 1 liter of water per day, wade across a stream, swim across a pool, row across a lake or pond, and fly across an ocean. Make and bring your lunch 2 out of 5 days a week. Manifest yourself in an act of humanitarianism that permanently and positively enriches the life of a child. The act may not be accomplished with direct financial, but must involve sacrifice of your time and attention. Research your Jewish heritage going back at least four generations. Pay one compliment to a different person every day. Raise a basil plant and name it Kyle. Take an art class and create an original painting. Keep a Smash Book (scrapbook) for the year. Write words (the grouping of letters that hints of story and promise), even if it's only one line or thought or idea, in a momentary embrace of lapse of reason, everyday, and incorporate these words into a future novel. Learn to sew, design an outfit, make it, do a self-portrait in it. Attend 10 religious services. Record your impression of each. Write the first chapter of your first novel and the outline. Submit to a publisher.
Wow, that felt good.
I am so done.