2018, you can suck it.
You were a trash fire of a year; a steaming pile of dog shit on a muggy summer day. You were Jabba the Hutt’s breath. You were the goo on that melty Tilda Swinton witch in the Suspiria remake. You were an enormous cluster of tonsil stones that just won’t come loose.
You started off with a bang with #MeToo, triggering trauma and constant low-grade anxiety for so many of us. Good job, 2018! One journalist tried to get me to go public with one of my own stories. Naturally all of this made it harder for me to connect with men for more months than I’d have liked — to say nothing of that Kavanaugh shitshow that would come later in this garbage year. Had lots of fun there!
You brought the destruction of a future with someone I was holding out hope for, someone who turned out to be capable of dishonesty on a level I hadn’t imagined. But, I mean, what else did I expect from 2018?
You gave me that night my dog ate a bag of dark chocolate. You gave me that DM from that girl I knew something was up with. You gave me serious financial instability, which led me to consider some rather unsavory moneymaking options (a story for another day). You gave me IRS complications, two root canals, roommate troubles, car problems, my stepdad’s close-call heart attacks, the loss of a project that was my baby, and, to close out the year strong, days and weeks of the deepest, darkest anxiety I’ve ever experienced. The kind that makes it hard to breathe. The kind where you’re constantly dreading something you can’t quite place. The kind where you can’t see a way out, and you think, well, if this is what my life is going to be, I don’t want to be here for it.
And that’s all just me — to say nothing of the dire future of our planet that became all the more apparent this year, or the devastation of mass shootings, or the inhumanity of this administration’s policies and personalities, giving brand new anxiety disorders to so many of us who used to feel, you know, normal.
Oh, and in an embarrassing job I was forced to do to make ends meet (and still not really make ends meet), I ended up serving food to a man who’d previously assaulted me. He tipped me $3.
So yeah I’m gonna go ahead and say 2018, you fucking sucked.
But in the interest of getting better at the whole glass-half-full thing (really not my forte): Look. Okay. I guess I needed those root canals in order to get the infection out. Right?
And, if I’m looking more closely, I guess I needed the illusion of that future I imagined with that person to be destroyed. For the same reason: to get the infection out. What if I had ended up with someone who was so incapable of truth, who could not — would not — live a healthy life? That happy future would have been bullshit. A road to inevitable devastation.
Same with #MeToo. That sure needed to happen. To get rid of the rot. We’re not done with that one, not by a long shot, but we’re talking about things nobody was talking about. The conversation has begun. And that’s fucking important.
I don’t have a great answer for a lot of the rest of it. On a personal level, I could have done without the financial problems — and before you say it’s important to struggle to appreciate your success, I’ll just stop you right there and tell you that struggling with money is not new or novel to me in any way. When you’d finally, at long last, tasted the relief of having enough money to pay your bills, and then things change… at a certain point having to struggle all over again becomes, well, soul-crushing.
And I don’t have a shiny justification for why we needed all the devastation and division happening in America and abroad. Not everything has a happy reason. I myself don’t believe there’s a man in the sky who decides that people need to hurt for his big mysterious plan.
But I do think we can find things.
I had a hard time this year. I cried a lot. I isolated myself a lot. But I also discovered that I was capable of creating in ways I previously didn’t believe I could. I made more concrete visual projects than I ever have. Small ones, sure — but I’m just beginning, and small is okay. I made my first film and, depending on my mood, I’m actually proud of it. It won’t change the world, and maybe not even my life, but last year I was talking about directing, and this year I did it. That matters.
I was able to connect, learn, and grow with a number of truly inspiring, badass women, all of us discovering and taking ownership of creative paths we never knew could belong to us. That’s pretty cool.
I find more things the closer I look. A bunch of people came together and we worked on flipping the House, and we did it. I deepened some friendships, improved some communication. I still have my apartment and I still love living in it every day. My family, dog included, are all okay. My health is okay. That one may not be true one day, but it’s true now.
And hey, I learned that CBD helps me feel slightly less annihilated by anxiety.
Honestly though, fuck 2018.
Here’s to next year.