Yeah I know. A calendar is a construct and 31 is a number etc. etc. but since I like a bit of ritual and reflection, here’s a quick and dirty list of forty lessons I’ve taken away from this clusterfuck of a year.

  1. The human race is fragile and resilient in equal measure.
  2. We are a speck in our species’ evolution.
  3. It’s easy to lose sight of this when you are mired in and overwrought with sadness.
  4. Staying on the fence isn’t always impartiality. Sometimes it’s preservation.
  5. Talent emerges from hard work but also privilege.
  6. Literary magazines don’t give a shit about your high distinctions.
  7. The human body can reduce itself to a shadow and still refuse to die.
  8. Pre-grief is a slow leak.
  9. Loneliness is a vast emptiness that few understand.
  10. Stasis is another word for survival.
  11. If you can’t write, read. Then try again.
  12. Most of my fears are in my mind. That doesn’t make them less real.
  13. Family isn’t a fairytale. Sometimes, no one is coming to save you.
  14. You can scare a dragonfly to death.
  15. The makers of Fitbit are responsible for a sizeable percentage of the world’s landfill. And they know it.
  16. Compression is the bane of my existence.
  17. I pared that sentence back.
  18. I watched a lot of television this year and I’m not mad about it. Spinning Out, Homeland, Yellowstone, Star Trek: Discovery, His Dark Materials, The Expanse, You’re the Worst, Fleabag, The Queen’s Gambit and Raised by Wolves were standouts. I also re-watched Yuri on Ice and Smash at least twice.
  19. Reading makes you a better writer. This year my favourite books were: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Ocean Vuong), Abandon Me (Melissa Febos) Book of Mutter (Kate Zambreno), An Unquiet Mind (Kay Redfield Jamieson), Manic (Terri Cheney), The Balloonists (Eula Biss), Darkfall (Indigo Perry), and Lying (Lauren Slater).
  20. If you don’t make room for what’s possible, you can’t possibly expect it to arrive.
  21. Everything is a construct. The calendar year, time, our age, the names given to us. Status, wealth, social expectations, behavioural responses, psychiatric designations. Some of it is useful. Much of it is not.
  22. We’re all going to die at some point. Some of us, much sooner.
  23. A magnolia in full bloom has less life expectancy than a butterfly and it is, in fact possible to think about this too much.
  24. The internet can convince you that you’re a terrible person.
  25. If you read my search history, you will learn how to identify the colour persimmon, how to save a tomato plant (tip, you can’t), where Mina Loy was buried and what constitutes an overdose.
  26. Social media is a misnomer.
  27. Get in there and help, or shut the fuck up.
  28. Educate. But also
  29. Online vitriol does not add, it subtracts.
  30. The opposite of what you know is also true.
  31. I wrote over 100,000 words this year. Approximately 85.4% of them will never see the light of day.
  32. Most of the human race doesn’t breathe properly.
  33. Scotch is surprisingly, pretty great.
  34. Motherhood doesn’t end when your children become adults. It begins.
  35. Watching figure skating is valium for the soul.
  36. It takes approximately 90 days to break an addiction. Today is day 76.
  37. The only reason one should become an artist is when they can’t bear the thought of being anything else.
  38. Silence is the first creative act.
  39. Astrology is subjective. But so is everything.
  40. The body always knows.

It’s not always easy for me to exist in this space, so regardless if you’re a reader or a passer-by, thanks for being here.

See you on the flip side. x