2013 was progress. It was planting seeds and waiting for them to grow. It was meeting people who now enrich my life. It was knowing what true friendship means. It was darkness and lightness checkered like a chess board. It was another chapter. These are a few of the lessons I learned or re-instated throughout the year.
1. It’s never over when you think it’s over.
I thought my screenplay was finished in May. Then again in September. It’s not finished. It’s close. But it’s not finished. I’ve learned that you have to decide when to stop. Realize that it will most likely never be finished. There is always something that could be changed. I’m happy with the current iteration. Is it finished? Nope. But on to the next one. The same can be said about people – things are rarely really over. Everything comes around in a circle. There is no ending.
2. Smile in public.
Wide. By yourself. It’s catching.
3. Don’t underestimate synchronicity and happenstance.
I can’t even count the number of times in the past year when I was absolutely blown away by the coincidences playing out before my eyes. Small patterns. Large patterns. Everything comes together. And when you notice it, you’ll realize you’re on the right path. It gives me goosebumps.
4. Red wine and scotch is a dangerous combination.
Don’t do it.
5. Praise others for their achievements and thank them when they influence yours.
The truth of it all, this whole thing called life, is that it’s better when you’re making other people happy. When you can produce a smile on someone’s face with the expertise of a puppeteer. Gratitude is powerful. So is praise. Everyone could do with a bit of validation or thanks. And it’s the people in your life that make your world go round.
6. Be a lone wolf. Get away to be on your own.
I like to watch. At parties and events my most favourite thing is lurking. You see things you wouldn’t see while standing and talking with others. I’m a creep. It’s already been established. Also, the best people can be met when you’re alone.
7. Believe in weird things. Things that defy reason.
When I was in Guatemala in August, I secluded myself from our group to sit in silence behind one of the majestic ruins, back leaning against the cold, worn stone, staring out into the tangle of greenery. It was a point in my life (one of many, I imagine) where I questioned what I was doing. Was it really responsible and realistic to keep pushing for my dreams when my bank account growled with hunger? I was at a crossroads. So I sat there, in a pocket of energy heavy with history, spirituality and mysticism. I closed my eyes and asked, out loud, for a sign to keep pushing, to keep striving, to follow the road to my dreams. When I opened my lids there were white butterflies fluttering around me. I swear this to be true. Our guide told us that the butterflies represent the Mayan ancestors, there to look over their sacred home and to act as messengers to all realms of the consciousness. So, in a moment of the airy, fairy I succumbed to the spiritual. And deciphered the sign as I did… persevere. There is no other choice.
8. Foreplay is about words.
I have been seduced by words. And they can be more powerful than touch. Also, fuck the small talk. Get right down into the nitty gritty, real conversations. Expose yourself. No conversation is too intimate with a new acquaintance or an old friend.
9. You have to do things you don’t want to do to do what you really want to do.
It’s a mouthful, I know. Hold it in there awhile to let it absorb in. Survival is the key to progress. Real life has bills. Do what you have to do until you reach your dreams. And don’t think of it as a step backwards.
10. Travel is essential.
I went 8 months without traveling. Without leaving the country. The longest stretch I’ve ever gone. It made my spirit itch. It made me crazy. You’ve got to leave your surroundings to let new ideas and inspirations out. Change your environment.
11. Leave more time for a connecting flight through Dallas.
It’s madness. But there’s nothing like the rush of running through an airport.
12. If you want it, you’ll get it.
It’s a really simple equation.