To Be Written: The Quiet Hope of 2018

2017 made way for a passion project to crystallize into conviction. Alex shares her resolutions for a new year.

Words matter.

That’s the belief that led Lou and I to start Side Streets last year.

We had this feeling that if we built this space for our ideas, our long-held beliefs, our fleeting musings — our words — that people would come. And we were right. This little site has grown from a simple concept, to something with a logo, and contributors. As Lou said in our Year in Review, our corner of the internet “provided that small window into a more creative world.” It has been amazing to watch it grow in readership and inventiveness over the last year. But, more than that, it’s been so heartening to write and be heard, and to give our friends a space to share themselves. It started with he and I saying “why not us?,” and taking a shot on doing something that felt right — authentic — and now? Seeing the progress and the bravery of these posts fills me right up.

At the end of 2017, I was never so sure. Words matter.

The last year was exhilarating at it’s best, and downright trying at it’s worst. I told long-held truths, I lost someone I loved, I totaled my mom’s car, I traveled to new cities that challenged my ideas of culture and my definition of a “stranger,” I let go of things I loved because they needed something more, and I did a lot of work on “forgiveness.”

You know when you’re a kid, and you’ve been running around all day, and you lay down in bed at night, and your legs ache with growing pains, and twitch with this inexplicable need to take you places? 2017 felt a lot like that. I knew in the moment that it was painful because I was learning something, and I knew I was moving my feet in a direction that felt like progress.

The whole year made me take a long, hard look in the mirror. It challenged me, broke me, made me reevaluate, and rebuilt me. I ended 2017 with a firmer understanding of who I am and who I come from, and with an even stronger resolve to be and share my most authentic self — in pen, and in person.

So, now, 2018.

For myself, there are so many things that I want to be able to say at the end of these 12 months.

This year, I want to show up for what matters, and be present. I want my people to know that they are needed, and feel that they are loved. I want to have fun. My Granny told me “you can’t plan passion,” so I’m going to try and do less thinking, and do more doing. I want to create space for myself — physically and emotionally. I want to feel things, and say them out loud. I want to write more, and without caution. I want to make peace with my body. I want to feed it well, and take it on walks, and take care of my skin, and stop telling myself that it’s “less than” just because it doesn’t look or move like other bodies. I want to do a better job of saving my money. I want to be soft, but not take shit. I want to be strong, but not so guarded. I want to be more myself — more authentic — in everything I do. I want my words to match my actions.

For Side Streets, Lou and I have been plotting our next steps, and all our hopes and dreams for this little brain child of ours.

There will be more visuals, more consistency, more in-depth analysis, and more freedom to be ourselves in this space. We’re hoping this site will continue to grow, and become — just like us.

We’re putting these goals — personal and professional — in writing because it helps us make sense of them, and be accountable. It helps us to match our words with our actions, and stay true to what we say.

Words matter — at least, we think so. Thanks for reading.