5 Ways I Almost Ruined 2013 and 5 Ways I Rocked It

Bean and Kingston look toward the bright light of 2014… a girl and her dog

It’s the end of my first calendar year blogging, and that means of end-of-the-year lists. Yay! Apparently, this is a grand tradition throughout the blogosphere, and I’m never one to flout trad–wait, who am I kidding? I’m always questioning tradition or finding some way to do it differently. So, my spin on the usual recap of great things in the past year is to add the bad things that balanced me out.

My mother used to categorize the flavor of a year by one or two mishaps, exclaiming, “This was a horrible year!” In the middle of trying to convince her not to flush the entire 12 month-span down the toilet on the basis of one turd, it still taught me to remember the failures to keep me honest, laughing, and growing.

Without further ado, here are the ways I both (almost) ruined 2013 and the ways I rocked 2013–because, indubitably, this year has been my best in a long while.

5 Ways I Almost Ruined 2013

1I lost my iPhone 5s. Now, I’m not the Apple head in my family, my husband is, but I had to include the series of the phone to let you know that it’s my brand new Christmas present. (And because my husband always calls iPhones by their government names). I went to a nail salon last week and left it there. The absolute terror I felt driving back, praying my gift from my husband didn’t grow legs, was unparalleled. Luckily, the management had both found it and kept it safe from sticky fingers.

2. I ran into the house with my car. I’ve done this before and it’s not as bad as it sounds, I promise. Last year, I misjudged the distance between my side mirror and the garage opening and obliterated my mirror. My husband was able to order me a new mirror and install it himself, saving us the $300 quoted by the dealership. So, to nick the new mirror this year after last year’s accident totally sucked. But it didn’t break. So ha!

Believe me, I would’ve been so hurt if losing $600 overshadowed the glory of eating all that good food.

3. I almost lost $600 and a parking card in New Orleans. On the last day of my fantastic trip to New Orleans last June, I thought I lost the swipe card to our parking garage. Replacing it would’ve cost me $75. I found it at the very last minute, on the verge of tears. But later that same day, I couldn’t find my wallet, which had $600 in cash given by my road trip roomies to pay for hotel and expenses. I did cry then, at the thought of inadvertently blessing some Louisiana local. Turns out it was in my backseat the entire trip. OMG.

4. I failed to communicate and hurt someone I love. I still need to rectify this, so I’ll keep the details mum. But suffice it to say that if you know two people who don’t get along, it would behoove you to notify them both when they’ll be in the same room. I didn’t, and I suck for that.

5. I became a social media junkie. Next year, one of my commitments is to spend more face time with my family. Real face time, not the Apple version. I spent far too many hours, as certain members of my family gently told me, with my face in the glare of a screen. My little Bean is growing up faster than I can tweet and I don’t want to miss a moment. I need to read more books and less blogs to better hone my skills as a writer. And I also need to spend more time praying and meditating, so that I lose less valuable things while chasing ephemeral ones.

5 Ways I Rocked 2013

Everyone should experience this brand of happy at least once a year.

1. I overcame fear of failure! I submitted (and ran) articles on Feminist Wire, The Closet Feminist, xoJane, Very Smart Brothas, Home Birth International, Improving Birth, The Body Chronicles, Up 4 Discussion, For Harriet, and, by proxy, Clutch and The Root. I really look forward to submitting more across the web in 2014. (P.S. All these articles are listed under my Written Work page.) In stage-related matters, I took 3rd place in a poetry slam that terrified me to enter, and I also served on staff at a larger poetry slam.

2. I took a writing class and worked on my memoir. I rarely like to say it, because it’s been such a long work in progress, but I’ve been writing a manuscript-length project forever. I’m currently at 40,000 words…and stalling. But before I took that class in August, I was at 20,000 words. I’ve been more productive this year than in the past 5 years, and that, to me, rocks. I hope to finish the project next year.

3. I joined a women’s group at my church. This may seem trivial, but it’s huge to me because I don’t join groups often, and I also feel very uncomfortable around women who are older than me. But this group of women has encouraged me, offering needed support when my grandmother died. They presented me with opportunities to stretch myself and grow as a Christian. I got my feet wet volunteering. I greeted people at the front door (an introvert no-no) and found that I rather liked smiling at strangers. Who knew?! I still could not bring myself to buy a church hat, though; pray for me.

It doesn’t get much happier than this.

4. My husband and I paid off all our non-mortgage debt. This year, for the first time in our marriage, we rode out almost the entire year with no consumer debt. I hate credit cards and loans with a vengeance, and we vowed that anything we bought would be cash-only. We’ve been able to save consistently. This is good, because we’re about to drop an unholy amount of money on fixing his old Honda. Whomp. But I’m so grateful that we can do it and not go into debt.

5. I started this blog and discovered Internet community. I don’t know what I expected when I wrote my first little post back in May. But God did way more with my small baby step than I could have imagined. This blog (and its soon-to-come successor) are the creative spots in my life, where I get to write out the thoughts that crowd in my head. And the best part is that you all seem to get me. Some of you I found via your own blogs, or my hangout spot at VSB, or your social media pages. It’s not a small thing to me that you read my piddly rants and comment as if I’m saying something worthwhile. I hope you’ll come over with me to TrulyTafakari.com as I keep writing about my oddball life, race, and culture there.

Have a wonderful and safe New Year’s, good people. See you on the other side of the calendar!

What are your best and worsts of 2013? Was this a good year for you?

9 thoughts on “5 Ways I Almost Ruined 2013 and 5 Ways I Rocked It

  1. Ma’am lol! I look forward to reading the greatness of Rae next year. And maybe you can divulge a TEENSY piece of the almost ruin…knowing your adventures, it should be a good read. 🙂

  2. You’re telling me! I lose small things a lot, but when I misplace the big ones, OH! I feel like crap. Huzzah on your blog as well, and I hope you have a great new year!

  3. I’m always late to the party, Wu. I don’t like adopting things when they’re hot because I want to be “different,” but by the time I eventually get on board, people are all like, “Oh, I miss the Old Twitter, this is stupid now. Let’s do Google Plus!” lol.

    Congratulations again on your new marriage. I’m sorry you’ve had a hard year, and I hope 2014 looks brighter for you. And get it cracking on that blog of yours! 🙂

  4. Girl listen!!! The five ways I almost ruined 2013 – let me tell you – I can’t even publish that list. Sheesh!! I do love this post!!! I love the five ways you rocked it… I want to copy it now! LOL!!! This is a great post! Way to go on all of the places you published this year – you have been busy and rocking it! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year!

  5. i love the fact that you lost those precious things and found them again (well I don’t love the fact that you lost them, but god, the relief of getting them back must have been amazing). I too spend far too long staring into a computer screen, while my children are growing up in another room. I started my blog in September, and as you say, it’s amazing the way you can connect with all these new people. All the best for your next year.

  6. Interesting that you became a social media junkie and my social media usage has ebbed a great deal.

    Congrats on the new blog too!

    My best:
    1. I married Miss Moneypenny after soooo long! It was beautiful and my siblings and I used the moment as a healing ritual after the rough three years we’ve had.
    2. I’ve become much more emotionally aware. I’m still not a fake emo, nice guy like Drake but I’ve learned to let it out.
    3. All of my boys are happy thusly, I’m happy.
    4. I managed to get out in front of my depression.

    My worst:
    1. I still haven’t finished my novel…
    2. My blog is gathering massive tumbleweeds and suffering from decay. Think Detroit with a comment section.
    3. I’m still managing this same life-draining law firm.

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