It's that time of year again, a chance for me to look back on 2012 and figure out what went wrong. Last year, I identified all the ways I wasted time, and ultimately, it was useful as I was able to remove several energy-depleting triggers from my life over the course of this year. For instance, after determining law school was getting me nowhere, I dropped out. It doesn't sound like an accomplishment, but it totally is. I've completely forgotten the whole incident ever occurred other than the monthly reminders I get from the student loan office. Additionally, I've come to terms with the fact Ryan Gosling will never love me, and moved as far away from New York as possible.
This year, I've decided to review what I call "failed accomplishments." These are things I meant to get done, but didn't, and essentially the reasons I'm not where I should be in life. What I've realized in considering my flops is that many are outstanding from years past. I looked through all my new year's resolutions from 2006 to 2011, and nearly every year, I wrote down that I needed to stop talking about people behind their backs. Yet I've only gotten worse. It's a disgrace. Of course, last year, I was a little more mercurial in my aspirations. All I noted on my list was that I should "Do it." I don't know what that means, but I'm pretty sure I was unsuccessful.
Accordingly, here is my second annual Worst-Of List for 2012:
Failure #1: Misguided Ambitions. At the end of last year, I decided if I wanted to be a writer, I should be writer -- I would focus on my goal. Sure enough, in 2012, I finally made a living from freelance writing, primarily as an entertainment reporter. I attended all the movie premieres, awards shows and television sets asking celebrities super important questions like "how they got into character" and "what's the best part about being an actor?" I waited hours on the red carpet, screaming out Channing Tatum's name as if I knew the guy, and begged him to tell me about his favorite stripper moves. I followed insiders on Twitter and Reddit, so I could be the first to uncover stories about famous people who gained weight, or got caught cheating on their boyfriends and made public apologies even though they were only 22 and it's not a big deal. After a couple of months, I decided I didn't want to be a writer. Not that kind at least. I had never wanted to be Barbara Walters, but even more so did I not want to be Maria Menounos. Yet at least they made money. The rest of us schlepped around to press junkets at the Four Seasons Hotel, where we didn't even have enough cash to tip the valet despite the fact the ticket itself was comped.
Failure #2: Love. I meant to get a boyfriend in 2012, but that -- no surprise -- didn't happen. It starts getting scarier as a woman when you're older because more guys are losing their hair. You're supposed to fall in love with them before that happens so that you're willing to overlook it (like what happened with Kate Middleton and Prince William). It's a challenge to start fresh with a receding hairline.
Failure #3: Money. I thought I would pay off my credit card this year, but I only added to the balance. That's all I want to say about that.
Failure #4: Self-Criticism. By this point in my life, I was hoping I wouldn't care about what other people thought of me -- I would officially be self-confident. In 2012, social media destroyed any chance of that happening. This year, I have spent many an hour watching my Twitter fan count rise and fall; trying to figure out who un-followed me and what I tweeted wrong. It's a futile and time-consuming effort that typically ends with me realizing it's just one of those naked women that spammed me anyhow. Nevertheless, the constant checking for Likes, hearts, comments, stars, retweets, favorites, repins, thumbs ups, adds, shares, replies and hashtags is driving me mad. I may not care what others think about the real me, but the contrived me has become an extreme source of self-scrutiny.
Failure #5: Stability. While I intended to keep one solid job this year, I instead accrued more sources of employment than all other years combined. It's the "gig culture" they're calling it, but basically it amounts to me having an excessive number of bosses. It has also created an ongoing crisis for my mother who likes to keep her friends up-to-speed with the turbulent career of her eldest child. I noticed there was no mention of including me in the annual Garcia family Christmas letter this year. Considering I quit law school shortly after last year's went to print, I don't blame her.
Failure #6: Self-restraint. At least one day a week, I wanted to not drink alcohol. A "cleanse day" or whatever they call it. I tried, but then decided one day doesn't make much difference anyhow, so why bother. Sometimes, it's the only decent part of my day.
Failure #7: God. I'd hoped to become more religious in 2012. Go to church more often or increase my prayer count. In 2009, I managed to go to church every single week. Incidentally, Mark Wahlberg went to my service. I tried to convince myself Marky Mark wasn't the reason for my spiritual catharsis, but then I moved to New York and found my faith tested when there were no celebrities or attractive men at my parish. It seemed my piety had run its course, and it has been a struggle ever since.
Failure #8: Cars. 2012 was supposed to be the year I didn't scratch my car, especially since I paid for it myself. Nevertheless, there are three new scuffs on the bottom and no money to get rid of them. Some things never change.
Failure #9: Maturity. I still mix all the colors in my laundry to save time. I still don't wash my apples. I still don't go to the doctor. I still haven't fixed the window screen I bent when I locked myself out of my apartment and had to break in for the third time since I moved in this March. I still tailgate everyone who is not driving as fast I as would prefer.
Here's to 2013.