Lesson #12: Be Merry. Be Bright.
I said it once and I’ll say it again — 2013 was not my year.
My family has a tradition of gifting couples silver bells for the Christmas tree that signifies a special moment in that year for the couple. For 28 years, I received no silver bell as I was never married or in a serious relationship. In 2012, I declared that this rule for couples only was bullshit and I wanted to receive my earned Christmas gift of a silver bell — man or not. My mother happily agreed.
Mom emailed me in November 2013 asking what I would like engraved for 2013 and I legitimately didn’t have a significant moment to remember. My job had taken a turn for the worse, I didn’t kiss one guy I actually liked, I didn’t make any sort of advances personally or professionally, and I didn’t follow through on the one promise I had told myself to do — which was to go out of the country on a well-earned vacation. So I told my mother to engrave, “To the small victories.”
I had a lot of small victories this year. I learned to stand up for myself in a tough work situation. I taught myself Excel skills that makes me want to stab a fork in my eye but I am now better at my job consequently. I still have my health (perhaps not my liver but we’ll deal with that in the older years), and I am surrounded by an amazing network of friends and family who encourage my well-being and personal development. The men of Los Angeles kept kicking me down (metaphorically of course) and yet I keep standing up, and I try, try again.
So I will leave you with my final Christmas 2013 lesson – Be Merry. Be Bright.
I had more downs than ups in 2013. I realize that I have a tendency to dig myself into a dark hole that only I can dig myself out of. You can call it a Gemini thing or just an almost 30 breakdown thing. But I also realize how lucky I am to have found an amazing group of people in one of the most fickle cities in the world (Los Angeles, you mean motherf–ker, I’m talking about you). They are the people that walk to the bar with you on a Thursday night because your job killed you for 4 days straight and listen to you sob about Excel formulas and lack of a dating life over beer and quesadillas. They are the people who talk you into last-minute decisions that leave you smiling for days.
So thank you, friends, for helping me through a tough year. And thank you, family, for giving me something to look forward to.
Good things are coming in 2014. So — Be Merry. Be Bright.
Christmas Lesson #11: GITFF
Today’s lesson is courtesy of a FBI agent I met at a holiday party. Their team has a motto for dealing with difficult situations: GITFF. Otherwise known as “Gun in the F–king Face.” As in, you’ll get sh-t done if you deal with a situation with a heavy hand.
Best acronym I’ve heard in a while. And I work in an industry full of acronyms.
Christmas Lesson #10: Seek Advice.
I had a tough year career-wise and I learned an important lesson: don’t be afraid to ask for advice. I’ve talked to other people about other roles in my industry and I’ve reached out to old bosses. They all had sage advice and I’m very thankful that they took time out of their days to help me.
Christmas Lesson #9: Don’t Be Afraid to Laugh at Yourself
There were a few moments this year when my friends would bring up my embarrassing dating stories and I’d turn bright red and get angry. Sometimes hearing the sentence, “Remember when you dated the vegetarian who insisted on going to restaurants to share plates and didn’t let you eat meat dishes?” or “Why did you stay on that drinks date where Sober Joe invited you for a drink and then he drank iced tea while you had your 2nd Chardonnay?” just completely rubbed me the wrong way. Then, I realized they bring up those stories because they are just so memorable and entertaining that the stories stuck with them. And that I should really lighten up.
Recently, on a chilly Friday morning, I found myself on a corner in Brentwood next to Mr. High Maintenance. I only noticed him because I thought it was strange that guy was wearing sandals, shorts, and a tank top when it was 50 degrees outside. Then we each did a double-take and I realized it was the Pellegrino and Sauvignon Blanc-swigging prima donna himself (in fact, he was holding 2 bottles of Pellegrino). He looked at me and ran across the busy street, straight into incoming traffic.
He didn’t get hit by a car and I fought the urge to shout, “Hey —, good to see you! Maybe you should put on some pants. It’s cold out here.” Then I promptly burst into laughter. The men of LA that I have dated literally run into incoming cars to get away from me. And that’s hilarious.
Christmas Lesson #8: Patience
2013 was pretty rough around the edges for me and I kept waiting for something better to happen. I waited…I waited…and I waited. And nothing happened.
Part of this involved an attitude adjustment. It was important for me to dig myself out of the dark hole I had gotten myself into and I feel like I’m halfway there.
The other part was to recognize that indeed patience is a virtue. Good things are bound to happen, especially when you actually try to have a better attitude.