A Series of Thank You's

I don't believe in New Years Resolutions, because I've never made one I haven't stopped the motivation station for this girl is much more difficult to pin down. Sure, I like making art, and I like to write, and I could stand to lose a more than a few pounds. But I don't really believe that New Years is the day to make all those inevitable broken promises to yourself. Usually I have a list done by the first weekend in August (Falcon Ridge, my true start to my year), but since this year has been exceptionally shitty I'm going to write down a few good things, a few bad things, a few goals, and definitely a few things that I learned. 

As always, I have the most incredible people in my life, from new co-workers who are so unbelievably kind with such beautiful generous souls (I'm looking at you Luisa). To my cohost and producer and partners in crime for the Falcon Pack Podcast (Alan, Craig) thanks for helping me make my dream into some sort of strange reality. To our little twisted photo lab family (Chris, Sandra)To new friends, who I should have spent more time with at college, but now that I graduated we've made a connection that will hopefully grow into an even stronger friendships  (Hi Nadine, Ashley, Edith, Anthony)  to old friends who will still answer a series of psycho person texts when I'm panicking about one thing or another (Hi Danielle, Gordon). To very old friends, who no matter how long we've been apart and no matter what's going on in our lives we still find three seconds a day to send a group chat, and when we do meet up it's like nothing has changed at all (except our respective jobs and relationships.) Alex. Jenna. Rachael. Abby. Katie. Jarmine. You are my extremely twisted, messed up, toilet humored filled rocks. What would I do without you?

I could go on forever and ever, but this little section is for the people I look up to, the mentors if you will.  I don't ever think I put into words what it was about our interactions that changed me a little bit for the better. You might even be surprised you're on this list because our interactions may have been one class or a total of 5 hours of conversation in the past five years, or an extreme admiration for your work from afar or a slight jealousy (the good kind, the kind that makes me want to work harder) for your beautiful craft, but I want you to know that your energy has fueled me in a way that is difficult to explain. We may not know each other well, but I admire you, and one of the goals for this year is to not keep that a secret Stacy, Klaus, Josh, Carolann, Katie, Honor, Danielle.

Now for some of the tough stuff. I graduated in May, it's horribly difficult, but I'm surviving. There is no crisis these days that I don't know how to quietly manipulate into at least something palatable. Some days I eat one meal, some days I say no to being social because those student loans don't pay off themselves, and even half off appetizers are a couple of bucks that can go to gas. Millennial poverty doesn't look like the social construct of poverty. It looks like a girl who can't contribute to the weekly Chinese food for work. The girl who goes all day with just a granola bar because she doesn't want to put too much strain on her parents financially. It looks like the girl who has to fix her front, driver side widow since August but just can't get the funds together to do it quite yet.

But artists know how to hustle, and the goal is to turn it around in a year, and I think that's feasible. 

Goals are always hard to set, so I'm going to start it all out with "I'd like to". I'd like to lose some weight, but if I'm tired after 10 hours of retail work I'm sure as hell not going to the gym. I'm just not that dedicated. I'd like to be able to move out of my house. That's a goal goal, one that I don't have an excuse for not doing. I'd like to make more art, so much more art, and in turn I'd like to kick ass on this podcast, because I believe we can. I believe my team can. I'd like to become a more spiritually centered, learn to listen to myself instead of interpreting everything as anger or feeling sad. I don't ever want to use those words again unless someone just punched me in the face or my dog died (I can make that joke my dog just died). 

He deserves his own line. Bruce, I don't think I will ever stop grieving you. You were the perfect dog who loved us unconditionally. I still miss you greeting me at that door and the way that your body wiggled when you walked. I love you. 

As for the things I learned. You can be happy when things around you are terrible, and you can be miserable when the things around you are beautiful. Humans are complicated. We all need some therapy or yoga or daily meditation. Or something. I learned that working hard sometimes doesn't pay off, but it's not worth not working hard because it usually pays off. I learned that I could maybe actually do this art thing. I learned that there's a lot of work to be done in this country, and I'm going to use my voice the best I can to help get that work done. I learned that in no way is my mental illness going to stop me from doing anything. The work ethic that was instilled in me by teachers and family members helps me believe that. 

Most of all I learned that the worst series of events can bring a family closer. When I cried tears of fear when the President Elect was announced the winner my parents held me like they did when I was a child, knowing that the protection that they gave me might not be enough under this new regime, but also knowing they could do what they could to make me feel more comfortable as I brace for the next four years.

Of course that brings me to family. It's always a tough subject, but as it's Christmas so positives all around. My cousin who I admire very much just had a baby, I'm so thrilled to have her family bring a little one into the world because a tiny person raised by the two of them going to be a really awesome tiny person and an even more awesome adult person (Betsy, JP).  I'm proud of my parents, we may not be as close as we used to be, but I'm proud of the work they put in every day to make their lives and mine a better one whether it's physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially. My aunt who will always answer a frantic text or phone call with calm, understanding reason. None of which I have myself. My grandmother, who I am watching lose a mental battle with dementia, who I love so much, who I have a hard time seeing that school teacher who used to let me get away with getting her sweatshirts a little wet after taking a bath at her house just so I could steal them and wear them home (who could blame me she had a LOT of Mickey Mouse Sweatshirts and I liked them and I was four). I love her, I will always love her, dementia sucks. 

I guess that's it. My list of things that went terribly wrong and terribly right this year. 

 

Thank you's have become less powerful (as most words do). But I mean these thank you's in the most intense way that you can possibly think. Life changing isn't enough to describe what this year has been. There have been terrible things, some truly awful scary things, but there has also been a lot of love in response. Lets keep up the love. 

 

Peace on Earth

Happy Holidays

I love you

Brianne