It can be difficult to get back into the swing of things after a particularly unusual couple of weeks. But here I am. After 2 weeks of being sidelined with the dreaded omicron variant, followed by a sudden death in the family (for which I'm now traveling roughly 700 miles across the country to attend a funeral), I can honestly say this was not how I hoped my new year would start.
But then I remembered that I actually prefer to think of the Lunar New Year as the actual new year, so maybe I shouldn't fret about the less-than-wonderful start to this next chapter of my life.
And that's how I view this new year ... as a next chapter.
I know, I know. I've said all of this in the past, but there's something about the energy of the Year of the Water Tiger that has me anticipating some serious change in my professional and personal life. I'm sure it will not look anything how I imagine, but then again, I'm not sure what I'm imagining in the first place.
Blame it on Jupiter in Pisces or some other phenomenon, but I am somehow still looking forward to a year of remarkable transformation that sees me (and the world) step closer to our most authentic selves. So what do I plan to do to prepare for or initiate this transformation now that the "real" new year has begun?
Well, other than my genuinely ambitious list of goals -- there's 15 total, as opposed to my usual 10 -- I am making a concerted effort to move my business closer to a brand that reflects more of the real me.
What does that mean?
Well, you know how certain celebrities are known for their honesty? Or for being unabashedly themselves? For example, a lot of folks claim to adore people like Leslie Jones or Gordon Ramsey because they behave as if they don't care what others say or think of them.
I've always respected people who seemed to come across as unapologetic in their approach to life, because we all know that such an approach can easily backfire. People claim to want authenticity, but easily turn to mocking, contempt, or worse if you're too honest or have the wrong take on an issue.
No, I'm not talking about celebs who are anti-vaxxers or those who advocate for the overthrow of the state. I'm talking about something far more innocuous that won't necessarily lead to someone possibly dying.
For years, I've felt as if I've had to constantly code-switch in the presence of ... well, everyone ... because we live in a world teeming with Pollyanna's and folks who insist that any realistic perspective on the world is the enemy of joy. You've met them. These people are the ones who never shut up about staying positive or insist that everything happens for a reason.
I won't go so far as to say these people scare me, but they do annoy the hell out of me, especially when it comes to gaslighting others into believing that bad things only happen to people because of their outlook on life or because they didn't truly believe hard enough.
For years, I've tried to walk the line between pretending to be "one of them" and behaving more like my real self. I did this largely out of fear that those who insist on everyone having a sunny disposition at all times would use it against me to deny me opportunities, employment, or considerate and respectful treatment. And guess what? I was right. Any attempt to deviate from the glass-half-full edict was often met with some retaliation or backlash.
But now as I approach a mini-milestone birthday, in the wake of a family member who would not live to see past that age, I feel compelled to no longer walk the line.
I want to speak honestly, write honestly, and live honestly. I want to pursue ideas that others might think are depressing or *gasp* negative. I want to no longer hesitate when people ask if I'm a Beyonce fan or if I think Ryan Gosling is cute. (The answer is no to both.)
I want to blog about how there's no such thing as overthinking, how the world needs to call a moratorium on the use of the words "cringe," "manifest" and "transmute" for at least 5 years, and why our cultural obsession with celebrities is the source of our own so-called disappointment in them every time they make mistakes or reveal they're not perfect.
I want to spend less time arguing with people online, and stop casting my pearls before swine. I want to remember how good I have it, while acknowledging that I am still a target for bad business owners and clients who think I should tolerate their insulting and sometimes illegal behavior.
I'm not interested in hot takes, mind you. I have no desire to become a meme, or to even become famous. I simply want to test this theory of how if I am my true self, people will indeed embrace me for me. You know, as opposed to firing me, harassing me, or trying to run me out of town on a rail.
So after many false-ish starts, let's see if I can step into that line of fire and put this assertion to the test once and for all.
As always, I will be bringing my creative spirit, passionate energy, and funky, yet eloquent way with words along for the journey. The Year of the Tiger is said to be synonymous with adventure, risk taking, and enthusiasm. Well, I'm certainly no cheerleader or lion tamer, but I definitely know how to feed my sense of adventure, determine which risks are important enough to pursue, and when to give myself the pep talk I know I need.
So watch this space!