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Happy New Year, everyone! 2015 (and the 104th year of the Republic of China).

Holy shit.

We live in the future.

What would Zenon-Girl-of-the-21st-Century have to say about this? She could have kids already, for all I know. She could be dead. Or it’s possible she’s not born yet; I’m unclear on the exact date “21st Century” indicates in this case.

Anyway. It’s a new year. I am twenty-three years old, which feels way older than can be possible, seeing as I still get that automatic, “They’re all so adult and cool!” when I walk into a room full of people my own age. (Even worse is when one of the cool, adult people turns out to be twenty or something – not twenty-something – twenty OR something. Something like NINETEEN. It has happened. I very recently mistook myself for younger-than-that-nineteen-year-old.) I’d say I’m in my last year (well, ten months, really – until my next birthday) of my “early twenties.” Twenty-four must be “mid-twenties,” right? Unless 25 is all by its lonesome?

As time has passed, I’ve… ended up in fucking Taiwan, for one thing. If you’d told me a year ago I’d be living here now, teaching, studying Chinese (a bit), and enjoying it, I would’ve befriended you in an instant because I would’ve thought you were the funniest jokester in the world.

Considering that, I suppose I have changed a bit in the past year – and the past few years, really. My taste in music hasn’t changed at all, but that’s because no one’s recorded any songs as good as The Real Slim Shady or Don’t Speak – which are my go-to songs for karaoke, still a hallowed and sacred activity because some things never change.

In the spirit of growing and thinking increasingly about things like weird freckles I didn’t used to have and strange-looking leg veins, I’d like to take a few minutes to reflect, evaluate, and yeah, make a list of resolutions. I don’t always think New Year’s resolutions are the way to improve yourself (and maybe we should stress less about self-improvement!), but it feels like the thing to do right now.

In the past, I might’ve shared something like this publicly in the hopes that it would guilt me into actually working on my resolutions, since other people had seen them forGodsake. More recently, I would never have shared something like this publicly. “Who do I even think I AM?!” – I’d think – “No one gives a shit about how I feel about myself and my life and the fact that the date has changed, which happens all the time.”

But now, it’s mostly about practicality. My blog is the only part of my life that feels truly organized – if I wrote this on a piece of paper, I would never see it again. It would somehow cease to exist in the physical world. Similarly, if I typed it and saved it privately on my computer, I would forget it existed and never see it again.

On that note, I’ll begin:

1. Get more organized. (Hah.) But, okay – let’s be realistic. It’s not gonna happen universally, so focus on where it really counts – your job.

2. Pay off credit cards. (Manageable. From school-related expenses. You can do it. It’ll feel good.)

3. Go to China! (Don’t let that visa you got because you were going to teach in China before you changed your mind at the last minute go to waste!)

4. Read more. (You get lazy sometimes, but when you don’t, you remember that reading is your FAVORITE and learning about the world – its people, its cultures, its histories and stories – is the single most important thing to you.)

5. Learn about Buddhism. (Because you’re curious and you really should know a little bit about it. It’s a big thing here.)

6. Go to some events where you’ll definitely have the opportunity to meet new people. (You frequently hate that. It stresses you out. So maybe just a couple a month or something.)

7. Start up with the ukulele again. (Anyone can learn it. It’s like Spanish.)

8. Don’t lose the little Spanish you know. (Come on. It’s the ukulele of the language world.)

9. Converse with people in Chinese. Reach that level. (You’re paying enough for your tutoring lessons, crazy lady.)

10. Think about the future. (People warn against that, but it works for you. It makes you excited. Remember being seventeen and dreaming about getting out of Vermont? It’s like that.)

Keep singing, everyone!