I scribbled in the margins of my book and added a notation to my research document.
I had recently gotten my PhD in psychology, but had decided to keep going and work on my post doctorate research in childhood trauma.
I know, it sounds heavy, but I had a plan. A dream.
One day I would be running a clinic of my own, helping kids face the worst things they’d been through and changing their lives.
I came from one of the most stable, boring families around…but my childhood had been happy. An only child of a college professor and a doctor, I’d been raised in safe, happy comfort.
And I wanted to bring that feeling to as many children as possible.
Even if it meant me sitting alone in my rented furnished suite on New Year’s Eve, pouring over some obscure diagnostic manual looking for more information to build up my research.
And even if it meant spending four months on the other side of the country, alone in a city I’d never been to before, working for a professor who could barely remember my name.
My phone buzzed on the glass coffee table, but I ignored it and kept reading.
It buzzed again, and again and I realized it must be my Mi Alpha Alpha alumni group chat.
The one thing that could tear me away from my research, I missed my friends and my former sorority sisters. I wanted to find out what kind of crazy adventures they were getting up to tonight.
At least somebody was out having fun ringing in the new year.
The chat was along the same lines as what we’d been going over all day…basically getting out of our routines and trying something new.
I promised them I would do it, I would follow our 2019 challenge, and then I silenced the chat and got back to my reading.
There would be time for adventure and trying something new, but not now.
And probably not for at least another few months.
And besides, I was sure they’d all forget about what we’d talked about once they were hung over and waking up next to some hot guys in the morning.
* * *
I was bleary eyed when my phone dragged me out of a dream.
It wasn’t a sexy dream, mine never were.
But it was one that thrilled me to the core of my being.
I was being honored by my university for my achievements, the crowd was huge and cheered as the university chancellor handed me a check for a couple million dollars.
And then there were penguins dancing on stage with me, and I dove down a long water slide into a vat of chocolate pudding.
Hey, I said it was a dream and I said it wasn’t sexy.
I was irritated, I’d been up reading until the wee hours of the morning and had even jumped up and poured myself a sparkling water at midnight so I could celebrate by proxy with all the people screaming and carrying on in my apartment building.
But now I wanted sleep.
And the phone wouldn’t shut up.
I grabbed it and read a text from Stacy, my sorority president, and I groaned.
Apparently booze and sex hadn’t made any of them forget our chat from the previous night and we were still on for trying new things, new year and new you kind of stuff.
“Remember, ladies. Do it. Whatever it is you want to do. Wherever you have wanted to go. Whatever you want to try, to taste, to feel, to live....do it. This is our year.”
I could practically hear the excitement behind her words, but all I could muster was a ‘thumbs up’ emoji reaction before I muted the conversation again and went back to sleep.
When I woke later on, I showered and grabbed my laptop to start writing again, but Stacy’s text had wormed its way into the back of my consciousness.
I hadn’t been that serious about my resolution, I knew it was something people did but never followed through with.
So why did it nag at me somewhere?
I was twenty five and had to face the facts.
I was boring.
I was a homebody and unapologetically spent most of my free time with my nose in a book. If my mom hadn’t been a college alumni and a sorority sister herself, I never would have even gotten into Mi Alpha Alpha.
And don’t get me wrong, I was grateful for the time I spent with my sisters, they’d given me the wildest times of my life.
In fact I’d probably still be a virgin if it wasn’t for the encouragement of my sorority sisters, always throwing crazy parties and drawing me out of my shell.
But that text, damn that text.
I thought about what I wanted to do, what I’d told the group chat my resolution was going to be.
I’d always wanted to learn how to play the guitar but I’d never had the time. It had always seemed like a useless hobby to have, something I kept putting off for later, and later, but later had never seemed to come.
So why not now? Why not learn the play in 2019?
I took in a deep breath and exhaled, a dramatic sigh that was a little out of character for me.
I replied to Stacy’s text, “I’m on it, I’m learning to play the guitar this year even if it kills me!!”
And then I googled music lessons, decided not to overthink it or research reviews and ask for recommendations…and booked my first one.
It was almost exhilarating, to not delve deeply into the finer details of a project before making a decision.
And it was nerve wracking.
But it was done.
The day after tomorrow I was going to the Peg’s Music and starting the year off on the right note.