“What’s holding you back?”
When I was in college, my roommates used to tell me constantly to live in the moment. There were a number of days when I’d be too paranoid and too scared to do what I wanted out of fear of the consequences or even the thrill and enjoyment of whatever it was. Whether it was going to a football game, attend a club meeting, apply for an internship or just hangout with friends, I found myself paralyzed by something. It’s not that I was shy or introverted, but I was held back by an unseen force, whispering “No” constantly.
Looking back, I can see that a lot of my barriers have been broken, and whatever was holding me back over four years ago has mostly left my side. At the end of last year, I made a list of resolutions for 2014 and while I’ve only fulfilled four out of 10 resolutions, I still feel accomplished. Compared to the person I was in high school, undergrad or recently graduated, I’ve gotten past a lot of obstacles, placed by myself or others close around me.
Just to quickly recap, my 2014 looked a little something like this (in no particular order):
1. Staged productions:
- The Phantom of the Opera at the Cadillac Palace Theatre with my mom,
- Rocky: The Musical at the Winter Garden Theater in NYC with my friend Eric (it was a beautiful production, don’t judge!),
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas at The Chicago Theater with my dad.
- HIM (Finnish rock band that doesn’t swear) at Irving Plaza in NYC,
- The Used and Taking Back Sunday at Concord Music Hall in Chicago,
- CHER at All State Arena in Rosemont (my Christmas present to Mom),
- Backstreet Boys at Northerly Island in Chicago,
- Fall Out Boy and Paramore during their MONUMENTOUR at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park,
- Panic! at the Disco at Northerly Island in Chicago,
- RIOT FEST (where I saw Rise Against, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, The Offspring, The Cure, Motion City Soundtrack, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Wu-Tang Clan, Patti Smith, NOFX, Billy Bragg…among many others) in Humboldt Park in Chicago,
- Anberlin, The Final Tour, at House of Blues Chicago,
- Justin Timberlake at United Center in Chicago (my Mother’s Day gift to Mom).
- New York City (twice),
- Princeton, NJ where I met Joyce Carol Oates (!!!),
- Atlanta, GA,
- Los Angeles, CA.
4. Notable places visited:
- Princeton University
- Bryant Park/flagship branch of the New York Public Library,
- The Strand Bookstore (if I could live there forever, I would) in NYC,
- Edgar Allan Poe’s cottage in the Bronx,
- Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where MLK, Jr. preached,
- CNN Center in Atlanta,
- Printers Row Literary Festival in Chicago,
- The Field Museum in Chicago (my first time, shame on me, I know),
- The Art Institute of Chicago,
- Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont where I MET the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation and went to their reunion Q&A panel,
- Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago,
- Dinner at The Walnut Room at Macy’s (Marshall Field’s) in Chicago,
- The concert venues mentioned above, especially HOB, The Chicago Theater and United Center.
5. Items knocked off my 2014 bucket list:
- #4: Go on literary adventures – Edgar Allan Poe’s cottage in the Bronx
- #5: Meet Joyce Carol Oates – DONE!
- #6: Go to a concert (or two) – …or 10.
- #7: Master the art of skateboarding – I didn’t fall or scrape open my hands this summer, so that’s considered “mastering,” right?
For 2015, I must master the goals that I set in place:
- Blog regularly.
- Read more books that I own. …except…
- Finish reading the Pretty Little Liars series (a.k.a. find out who A really is).
- Join and regularly attend a book club.
- Catalog my books.
- Bonus: Enjoy graduation.
I’ve enjoyed a number of moments this past year, those I’ve mentioned above and those I haven’t. Honestly, if 2015 looks anything like 2014, I’m not worried at all.
Happy New Year!