Katy Hirschfeld, who has a really amazing Instagram. AND is from Austin.
I can’t remember exactly when this tradition started, but for the last five or six years, New Year’s has prompted me to do this funny thing.
It’s not that I’m bad at resolutions, per se. It’s just that historically, my resolutions have been less “Year of Magical Thinking” and more “A List of Things I Need To Get Done Anyway.” I resolve to finish my master’s thesis, for example. Or, I resolve to apply for a job. Kind of…uninspiring.
I fancy myself a dreamer, but really, I am almost unshakeably practical. These two sides bump up against each other on a near-daily basis, wrestling for central command, so that all thoughts of “Paris! Let’s just GO there!” are immediately followed by, “hey, you know what’s a BETTER idea is to to sit down and make sure you have all your 1099 forms.” Isn’t that sad? I contain multitudes.
Anyway, because of these battling sides, it’s never been ‘resolve’ that I need. I can get shit done. What I’ve needed, still need, is direction.
So in came “the New Year’s Word,” perhaps the most useful, as well as the most viral, (10 or 11 people!) thing I have ever created.
The New Year’s Word is a theme for the year, and acts as my anchor, psychic counterbalance, and cartoon arrow sign on a forked road. And while it’s personal, it’s also somewhat crowd-sourced, in that I choose something that feels like a collective theme for my people.
Because I began 2014 foggy with pregnancy hormones, I didn’t really choose or announce a New Year’s Word. BUT, over the course of the year, it became clear that the whole thing was about transition / clearing out / cleansing / burning down the fields to make way for new growth. Some of these shifts were lovely (Omar and I launched a podcast; other friends and I launched an aerial dance company), some of them were violent (a handful of break-ups, as well as a few deaths, among my friends), and some of them were violently lovely (like giving birth).
Because of all these shake-ups, I felt like everyone entered 2015 blinking away mortar dust. Not that it was all bad, it was just a lot to process. I was lucky: My year was about figuratively and literally giving birth to things I’m passionate about, but now, I feel like it’s time for something different. To not push so hard. To hang back a bit. To support other folks for a change, ya big egomaniac!
This is all a way of saying that I think it’s time for less doing on my part, and more listening, so that’s my word for 2015: “listen.” Listen to whom? Good question. Everybody!
Part of this has to do with being a rookie parent, part of it has to do with being a rookie podcaster, part of it has to do with wanting to be a better friend, part of it has to do with aerial training, and part of it has a spiritualish component that I don’t even quite know how to articulate.
A long time ago, I visited my friend David at his sweet little house in south Austin, where he pulled some tarot cards for me and told me what was what with my zodiac chart. At the time I was considering quitting my job, but was afraid to make the leap into freelancerdom. David pulled the Wheel of Fortune card, and explained to me that if I did in fact leap, there would be these little “filling stations” so to speak that would support me along the way. That I wouldn’t be all alone, hustling, but that there were already people and companies lined up to help me. Like everything in astrology and tarot, it sounded half believable, half “if you say so!”, but lo and behold, David was right. I found the people and the companies, I didn’t put Ross and I into debt, and everything turned out ok.
But the reason I went to David at all with those questions was because I sensed something was up. A big change was a-comin.’ And now, I feel like the same is happening with this “listen” thing. I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to be listening out for, exactly? Or who to listen to? Just that I need to…do it.
So that is my word, and in the spirit of listening, I’d love to hear what yours is.
Here’s to the new year, new words, and new ears to hear them.