Not that I've really got any idea, but I think one aid towards both happiness and fulfillment is to never plateau—to never live off your past in a way that excuses you from investing in the present.
2014 was full of firsts. I visited Southeast Asia for the first time, had an idyllic first modeling tour in Australia [and made it to all but two of the states and internal territories], spent six months getting splinters and busting my balls to make a seven-story-playhouse-sculpture and learning a lot of new skills [and a few rough life lessons] along the way, got work remodeling houses on the side, and other things.
The year before that, I published my first writing pieces, worked as a masseuse at an upscale spa, learned to fabricate gigantic fire cannons, and climbed into a sixty-five foot bamboo tower in nothing but a hard hat and climbing harness in order to adjust heavy fuel lines, did farm work for the first time, etc.
In times of inertia or fatigue or self-doubt, it's easy for me to feel discouraged, even envious, of my past self. Like I can't live up to my former energy or willingness to take risks. Like I'd rather just watch documentaries.
Which is it's in my best interest to suck it up and keep chugging onward and upward—so that, a month, a year, five years from now, I'll have to outdo myself again.
So! Goals for this 2015:
1. Successfully complete my East Coast Model/Bike Tour [at the very least, “successfully” means I’ll see the trip to its end, and that my body, mind, and modeling reputation will all still be intact when I do—though, of course, I’m hoping for much more]
2. Expand my modeling network:
- Not counting my East Coast trip, tour at least three US cities I’ve never been to before.
- Meet more badass traveling models.
- Be open to planning a future tour with another model—something I’ve always been simultaneously attracted and averse to. [Can’t force it, but I want to be receptive to it.]
3. Improve my French throughout the year through daily practice [I've been good about this one so far]; move to northern France for the summer for a manor renovation project.
4. Debut modeling tour in Europe!
As for the winter and beyond…I’m not planning that far yet, but I’ve got several pipe dreams lined up that could all settle into the end of my year nicely if no other unforeseen opportunities arise:
Could do a Southern Tier road trip and model in the warmer states. Could go to Australia and New Zealand. Could teach another ski season. Could work a season in Antarctica. Could do my yoga teacher training. Could hide in South America or Southeast Asia. Could do a writing residency. Could join a yacht crew. Could very easily be enticed by something different from all of the above. Far too soon to know.
To wax universal, if I may:
You are not your past accomplishments: prior successes do not validate your laziness, complacency, or self-coddling today. You are not your past failures: do not continually punish yourself for having tried and failed, nor even for having done wrong, provided that you did what you could to set things right and have put the lessons of your mistake into practice.
UPDATE: Continuing to go on longer rides on harder terrain and cross-train around the Bay. Soon going on my first multi-day ride; stay tuned. 8]