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! is what this year has been like

Oh sweet Jesus - I've done this retrospective since I was fifteen and here I stand, almost a decade later, with far less time and resolve than ever before, and so, so much more in my life half of me doesn't really believe I'm going to finish this ever.

2012 In Review

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Wow shit, I don't know - somewhere in between marriage and baby (most of all delivery, though being pregnant wasn't too much fun either) I lost myself in firsts, and I'm told I'm a mother now, in addition to being a wife, and that's just, um, shit, I'm still in disbelief over everything that's happened in the last year. I do remember breastfeeding Cerilene two weeks after she was born listening to the Les Miserables soundtrack crying so hard I thought I was going to die (or feeling like I was going to die so much that I cried, I can't distinguish between the two) and I don't think I've ever been so aware of my mortality or that it now mattered, or how much I could love my baby, which is everything and too much.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I think I'll spend my life wanting to be more efficient and productive - there is too much I wanted to get done (note, while I have no idea what specifically I do know it's a great deal indeed) and never before have other things called out so loudly and despairingly for attention just when I've decided to get something done. Last year I wanted to be more like a grown-up and do grown-up things like have a positive net income, or even just an income would have done me some good, and I guess I got there, somewhat - I did some very grown-up things that led to other grown-up things and now I guess I've checked off quite a few of the adulthood ticky boxes (if you don't bother with self-sufficient, income-generation at all). The trouble is I am exceptionally abysmal at the practical aspects of Married With Baby, like oh, I don't know, keeping house. Which I suppose brings me to what I resolve to attempt in the new year - 1. HOLY GOD HOUSEWORK 2.OH SHIT HEALTH & EXERCISE 3. SOME KIND OF PART-TIME EMPLOY BY YEAR'S END. oh and 4., the usual, GET SHIT DONE.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Hahahaha have I got a story for you! No one benefits from talking about childbirth in lurid detail, I derived no enjoyment from the hardest, most painful, awful experience I have lived through (plus I lost so much blood I felt like I almost died) and I'm pretty sure neither would anyone with the misfortune of hearing about it. In short, contractions started at 5.30am on 31st August, Cerliene was born at 11.30pm, epidurals are sweet but never last, but hey, at least the pain feels like it will go on forever! But then again, my baby, I love her forever and I would do it again in a heartbeat, I think that's the real miracle here

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. I'm not ready to answer any differently, I can't even think about it.

5. What countries did you visit?
I can't tell these days where home's supposed to be, or where I'm visiting - New York I lived in until I didn't, Frederick is where my husband's from and that's his home and I've been there often and for long enough that "visit" sounds too formal. Singapore we're here until we aren't, say three to five years and then we'll be back in America, but Singapore and US, that's where we've been this year, though I can't honestly say when I'm home.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Absolutely nothing - 2012 has been a stupendous year, there is nothing more I could ask for.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Oh god, here are some pretty big ones. Saturday, 14th April 2012, a lovely spring morning in Central Park at Ladies Pavillion, on an outcropping of rocks on the lake, Chris and I got married in front of our closest family (mine having flown in for the occasion) and friends and yes, it was quite as magical as it sounds. We had our reception at the Society of Illustrators, slow-danced badly, had some excellent brunch. It sounds wonderful in hindsight and was probably really special as it was unfolding as well, but I can't say for sure as we were both sleep deprived and stressed out of our minds. And Friday, 31st August, though there are parts of that day I'm trying desperately to forget.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
DELIVERED BABY THANK YOU KINDLY. AN ADDED BONUS - No one died en route, though I did bleed enough that a century ago, I would have definitely been a dead person quite quickly

9. What was your biggest failure?
You should see me try to clean a house - this still stands, by the way, this is the failure that is my life

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Well I did fall pregnant, and that wasn't exactly a holiday. Labour was quite a bodily assault, to say the least.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A stroller! No seriously, ours is amazing. It comes with a bucket seat that can be taken off the collapsable wheels and can go almost anywhere.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Chris. Getting married is like high stakes gambling, it's all intuition and you could lose everything. You never know a person until you marry them, and I hit the jackpot. He gave up his dream job in the best city in the world for our family, is extremely patient and kind and loving (if occasionally snippy), and basically yes, not bad Jan, if I do say so myself.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
My behaviour was mainly appalled and depressed, but that's what you get when you're ripe with child. Honestly though I do feel like I could have managed it better and not been quite so indulgent and sullen, I really have to get a lot better and this child-carrying (and I will!).

14. Where did most of your money go?
Baby's delivery charges, and while Chris was looking for a job here we lived off my savings, so this year I've really felt the pinch.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Finally not being pregnant any more. And getting married - everyone came in for my wedding and I couldn't wait to show my parents and my friends what my New York life looked like, and more than that, for them to see NY in all its unfathomable glory.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Cake's Frank Sinatra - listening to Cake makes everything cool, breastfeeding, cleaning, dancing your baby into a less unhappy state. In my final weeks of pregnancy, before Chris had gotten a job, we'd sit on my parents' patio with Fashion Nugget on loop playing Chess or hanging out, the calm before the storm.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? I couldn't be happier, which is saying something, considering I described myself as "impossibly, effervescently happy" last year, so it's in the same vein only exponentially more so!
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. This is the first time I've really thought about it, but man, this is quite a brutal questionare. I've not gone back to my pre-pregnancy size and this is starting to bother me, though it does bring up some interesting questions as to why it does and whether it should.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer. I don't know about empirically, but I certainly feel it as I never have before - Singapore is stupidly expensive and I'm having to stock a household. It's quite depressing. Our family's doing alright now that Chris has got a pretty good job but it still smarts, as soon as I can I'll try to find something part-time.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I simply cannot answer this - every moment, however awful or unproductive or uncomfortable has felt completely necessary to the year, I can't imagine having done any more or less than what was done.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
We threw a party at ours, with beer Chris brewed and turkey and ham we ordered, and then had my kid brother over to watch all of Lord of the Rings in the trilogy's extended glory (Chris the Elder bailed after the first two, leaving me and the remaining Chris up till six thirty in the morning seeing it through). We woke up a few hours later to attend an extended family Christmas lunch - Chris' parents sent baby an elf costume that pretty much made Christmas for me.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Yes, and you would too if you met my baby. Quite a number of people already have.

22. Did you break any hearts?
Nope. Now that I think about it, this meme (as it used to be, anyway. I'm pretty sure it's no longer widespread enough to be legitimately called that) was written by and for young people - perhaps next year I'll give up the ghost and do a different, but still summarily useful, retrospective.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
30 Rock and Breaking Bad. I do believe the first term of my pregnancy was spent hiding indoors trying not to be around people at all watching entire seasons at a time - I swear my baby calms down when the 30 Rock theme comes on, those two got me through the hardest and most anti-social of times (incidentally, what is it about pregnancy that makes you feel terrible, and then terrible about yourself specifically, like you can't function in civil society, wishing to be left alone for the better part of forever?).

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Um, no?

26. What was the best book you read?
Honestly the last book I remember reading was The Great Gatsby, which was good but only worth mentioning because I've been positively awful this year on this front. Well, next year then, resolutions!

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Cake - I've never gotten into them until just, and now I can't get out.

28. What did you want and get?
Well I had known that what I wanted out of life entailed marriage and babies at some point, but what a ridiculous surprise! Most of all I wanted my baby to be healthy and safe and she is, there's literally nothing scarier in the world than the alternative.

29. What did you want and not get?
I guess I wanted to be on set, no, I wanted to live on set and find myself in Brooklyn waiting for a train at five in the morning for an hour every day, striking lights in strip clubs and pony shows and lugging about things twenty times my size. I wanted to be surrounded by film in any way, shape or form, to develop a really killer reel or at least have such stories like the few I had when I first got to New York, but somewhere along the line it stopped being about film and started being about actually having a life - walks on the weekend, spending time with my man. I don't regret it, not for a moment, but I do miss it.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
In cinemas, I'm going to go with Moonrise Kingdom - it felt like a very personal film only immensely pretty and hilarious, and it's really been a while since I've seen a good young love film, and if I start talking about the cinematography we could be here for a while. The Hunger Games was good all around and had a particular scene where the exposure was so perfect I wanted to eat it. I've also seen Die Hard twice this year, which I thought was amazing for splicing between characters' one-shots for suspense, relationships and emotional framing, apart from being you know, just terrifically exciting. Speaking of Bruce, shit Looper was amazing too, just amazing. Still Speaking of Bruce - re-watched the Fifth Element twice, and what madness, what a perfect movie in every way!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
23. We went to the Frieze Art Fair on Randall Island - t'was interesting enough, if more than a little pretentious. I'd never been to Randall Island before and it was quite lovely. My husband gave me birthday shoes and I had a pregnant fit about not having ice cream cake precisely at midnight, as is the tradition, which he rectified the next day after watching me seethe unhappily and not knowing why. (Pregnant women are crazy!)

32.What is one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I feel like time's really gotten away from me - I haven't done everything I had wanted to, not by a long shot, and that's frustrating and depressing. This year more than most years, because there's been so much more to do, and I've been places that I really liked that I knew I would leave too quickly. Honestly, if I had spent more time walking around New York, taking pictures, editing shit, whatever, being useful, that would have been great.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

34. What kept you sane?
A boyfriend and then husband that would put up with me, 30 Rock, Breaking Bad, the fact that when I was living in Astoria I could use my 27-inch Mac from my bed in all its wireless glory, with a queen-sized mattress being virtually the only piece of furniture I owned, which I sat and ate from disgustingly and lounged about for the better part of ever.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Mm, I don't think there was anyone I thought particularly appealing.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The shootings, Colorado and Sandy Hook. It's really been an unsurpassably awful year.

37. Who did you miss?
The person I was pre-pregnancy - while pregnant I was a shadow of myself, and could do almost none of the things I loved doing before. Drinking, smoking (somewhat), being on set, carrying heavy shit, being with people. I got really bad socially during my term, in that I wanted to be left alone entirely, which is about as far from what I'm normally like as possible.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Cerilene. More than that, I co-produced her!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
Sometimes life is as good as it is surprising, or as surprising as it is good.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

True love leaves no traces
If you and I are one
It's lost in our embraces
Like stars against the sun

- Leonard Cohen's True Love Leaves No Traces


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2013 10:04 am (UTC)
Janice, I read this blog religiously several years back and today, after a considerable moratorium, decided to check up on what you were up to.

I'm so glad you're still writing. Far less time and resolve indeed.

I am not as creepy as the comments I leave on people's websites.

Hope you are well.

Jan. 4th, 2013 01:31 pm (UTC)
I don't usually comment on LJ so much anymore, but I just wanted to say how friggin touched I was reading that. It soundsl ike an incredibly intense, difficult and beautiful year, and I'm so happy for you that things seem to be working out at the moment. May your future be filled with happiness, family, friends and enough diapers to go around! :)

Jan. 11th, 2013 02:11 am (UTC)
Oh, shit.

Well, uh, congrats on the baby. and the pregnancy. and the marriage. and the engagement. and the relationship. and the new york.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )