The Yearbook Office
Writings on staying alive

I stopped making new year resolutions a long time ago. I have no resolve. I can't stick to anything and I sure as hell can't remember thoughts from the previous January so all my resolutions revolved around what happened in the last two months. And making resolutions implies to me the previous year was considered a failure. But, it isn't. Time passes filled with highs and lows and lessons and wasted energy, and I don't want to remember a lifetime of "failures". I want to remember them as a chapters in the Book of Me.

I do however, love summarizing my year. The good, the bad and the weird. I present to you Chapter 33: 2013 from the Book of Me. Let's start with the bad shall we? There are regrets. I am nowhere near the "zen" required to be without them completely. There are just enough to remind me to be better.

I regret starting smoking again. That one is easy. It's dumb. Don't do it.

I regret that second speeding ticket I picked up headed to Portland. Oh the slow and empty drive between Seattle and Portland. I love you. I hate you. And I will be paying much more attention in the future.

I regret not spending more time with you. We can blame our busy schedules, we can blame the distance between my home and yours, or better yet, all that time I work at sea. But no matter what's responsible, I really wish we could have seen more of each other.

I regret not once picking up the brush to work on that unfinished painting in the garage. It will be a gift for my roommate. I'm disillusioned and disappointed in it. But she likes it. And it is jerk-y of me not to finish.

Travel makes me incredibly happy. New city's, new food, new friends. This year, I went to a couple of amazing places. It was my first year participating in JoCo Cruise Crazy. That boat is a nut house. A floating nut house full of horse heads and hot tubs and rum. Fun and games and love. So much love. I met some life changing people on that cruise. It will be with me forever, even if I never make another.

There is a maze of waterways on Vancouver Island called Clayoquot Sound. I was lucky enough to work up there for about a week this year. It was stunning. Misty mornings, dead calm waters with not another boat in sight, green trees and hot springs. I need to go back. For funzies.

Chicago. I knew from the minute I heard it's name, I would be in love. This year I made my first trip ever and I absolutely love every second of it. I could stare at window washers forever. Next up for brand new-to-me cities is New York. It is another place I just know will speak to my soul.

If you have never been funky soul dancing in Los Angeles, California, you have never truly lived. A funky soul lives deep down in the depths of this body and she must be released. But only occasionally, let's not get crazy. I've got old lady knees.

You will be shocked to hear the following; I am not perfect. I know it's hard to believe, but we all need to learn to deal with tragedy. I have a few things that need to be worked on.

For instance, I want to better appreciate and love you for who you are, and not for what you contribute to my life. After years of splashing around the deep end of the dating pool I realized that I can only get involved with people I really care about and not because I miss what being in a relationship was. This does not only apply to romantic partners either. I want to be sure to listen to my friends, and love them for who they are, not because I have a place to sleep in South America.

Suitcases need to be unpacked in a timely fashion, preferably before packing for the next trip begins. I should not be stacking clean folded clothes on half empty suitcases sitting on the floor. That is how hoarders live Brandi. Complete your shit.

I need to work on my professionalism and not taking that asshole personally. I need to recognize appropriate outlets for my frustration. But seriously, that asshole can go right to hell.

The feel of a pen and paper is marvelous. Let's write some more letters. There is nothing like ripping open a hand written letter and appreciating the time, the typos, the addressing and the walking to the mail box. I miss taking that time for you and I miss receiving mail.

The year has taught me a few things. No matter how much practice I will get, I will always suck at packing. I departed my house once for 6 weeks on a research vessel at sea to find I had only the bra I was wearing and a swimsuit. It was a very long trip.

Almost as long as the other 6 week voyage I made without packing a single feminine hygiene product. I realized in an airport somewhere that over the course of the next several weeks I was likely to have not only one period, but potentially two. I spent $80 on airport purchased tampons that trip. You should have seen my carry-on.

When Josh A. Cagan recommends listening to something, do it. Creamer in your coffee first. Every time. Trust me, life changing. Cold tea sucks. Get a good, custom tea cozy. It's not just a frivolous waste of time by old ladies.

Sitting around in silence is socially acceptable. It is OK. At the end of a long work day, I am satisfied just to be around you. I may have absolutely nothing to say, but I still want you near.

Life is not worth living without unlimited data. Or my life isn't anyway. I will die without unlimited data. Does that sound like an addict? I might need an intervention. Perhaps we should make a trip to Clayoquot Sound and start weaning me from the teat of the information super highway.

There were a few wins this year. I moved in with people I love. Not a boyfriend, not a family member, but friends I truly love. There was a lot of warnings from concerned mutual friends that living together only destroys relationships, but our apartment is filled with laughter and food and games. My standard of living has skyrocketed and I have never been happier.

Writing again. Oh how I missed it. Learning how to pronounce Clayoquot was a big one.

I am the undisputed champion of "Airport". Picking folks up at an arrivals section that looks like a zoo? I got a solution for that. I can't tell you, it's a secret and when you let it out I will again be stuck in a mess of traffic.

There is no dispute that can't be solved with a round of Dr. Mario. Who's turn is it to do the dishes? Pull out that NES.

My brother in law received a hand knit sweater from me for Christmas. I have not seen him since I started knitting. It was a secret so we couldn't have any fittings. It fit like a damned glove. The sleeve length, the chest circumference, the waist band. I am a knitting GODDESS.

There are a few things that need said, but don't fall in a neat category. Fuck cancer in all it's beastly forms. Get the fuck out of my life and the bodies of my loved ones.

When I die, I expect pallets of Neutrogena Original scent hand cream in my burial chamber. As in more than one pallet. Yes, burial "chamber". Maybe you should get started.

I love you. No. Really. I do. I'm sorry I don't tell you more. I fucking love you. Maybe I should slow down on the swearing.

Happy New Year. May you roll high the whole year through, but those critical misses will make your life interesting.