Shortly before I drifted off last night, I checked my phone and it said it was 23:23. For those of you who don’t read military time, that’s 11:23 p.m. (Years of working in healthcare converted my brain to operate on military time, and I tend to forget not everyone knows how to read it.) It’s not the first time I’ve fallen asleep before midnight on New Year’s Eve, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I’m sure that child Malia would be horrified that I don’t sit up, waiting excitedly for the clock to turn over to the new year. Staying up until midnight loses some of its magic once you are out of your teens.
And now, it’s 2023. This May will mark twenty years since I graduated high school. And before you ask, no, I don’t plan to attend my class reunion. I didn’t attend my 10 years, and now I avoid Facebook as much as humanly possible, so I won’t know if there are plans for a 20-year.
18-year-old Malia had very little direction in her life. Oh, I thought I knew what I should do with my life, but I was really quite clueless. I had a talent for music and the next logical step was to go to college to become a music teacher. Did I want to be a music teacher? I told myself I did. It made sense. People in my life were very encouraging that this was what I should do, and that once I finished my bachelor’s I should become a music therapist. The idea absolutely terrified me, but people in my life were gung-ho about the idea, and ever the people-pleaser, I tried to reconcile myself to the idea of this future. A future I swore I wanted to pursue.
Kids, if you’re reading this and find yourself in a similar position, learn this lesson from me. Never make decisions about your future based on what other people (even the most well-meaning, loving people) encourage you to do. You will regret it (and possibly end up in a mountain of debt).
I’m sure it will come as a shock to no one that I didn’t become a music teacher, let alone a music therapist. My epic failures at attaining any kind of college degree deserve their own blog posts (stay tuned for those).
I’ve spent the last two decades trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Trying to find a place I belonged. While I did eventually get my associate’s degree to be a vet tech, working in vet clinics is not the right place for me. I eventually landed in lab medicine. There are aspects of working in lab med that I adore. That said, there’s a level of stress in that environment that I just can’t cope with. The nightmare that was 2020 (a.k.a. Covid: Year One), cemented in me that lab medicine wasn’t where I belonged either.
2022 is the year when I finally figured out the puzzle of where I belong and what I should do.
The first piece started falling in place at the tail end of February. I began writing, and for months the words flowed out of me. Life got a little intense this past fall, and I wasn’t able to devote any time to writing, but now that things have quieted down again I’m ready to get back to it. My next post will tell the story of what actually happened on February 24, 2022.
The second piece fell into place in December. I auditioned to become a volunteer reader for Radio Talking Book Service (rtbs.org). I passed the audition, and when I went into record for the first time, I fell in love. I feel like I finally found a place where I actually belong. And the joy I feel doing this has made me decide to revisit something I started trying to do back in 2020.
Back when the pandemic got going, I briefly did something I called Bad Accent Storytime. I was making live videos reading public domain books. Why the bad accents? I wasn’t intentionally doing bad accents, but I knew I have no skill when it comes to doing accents and just decided to own it. The effort was short-lived, mainly due to the fact that my job took over my entire life.
I want to go back to reading books on stream. No attempts at accents this time.
Now, I know in my last post I made a big deal out of how I hate that question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”. I still hate that question, and while I have absolutely no idea where I see myself in 5 years, I do have plans for this year. What better day than today, January 1st, to share those plans?
#1. Finish and self-publish three novellas. I currently have 3 planned. One I’ve almost finished the second draft, one is still in its first draft, and one currently only exists as an outline.
#2. Revive my Twitch channel and stream live readings.
#3. Post new blog posts a minimum of once a week. While I’d like to be ambitious and say I’ll post new content every day, that’s just not realistic. However, once a week is.
Here’s to 2023. Let’s make some content and do some good!