2010 was the year that went in circles for me, with the starting point perhaps being the second of three trips to the UK when I got Be grand tattooed on my back after speaking about fan mourning for fictional characters at an academic conference. The mark seemed to be about one thing when I got it in July and another entirely when I was busy being tall and fragile and twelve at the New York Musical Theater opening night party. A stranger came up to me there, complimented the piece, and asked me if it was a reminder to myself or an exhortation to others.
It would be awesome if I could tell you 2010 was the year I stopped being afraid, stopped asking for permission, and stopped caring about what other people think of me. It wasn’t. And to be frank, I don’t know if any year will ever be that year.
But 2010 was the year I realized other people were rooting for me. Not just Patty or my friends or folks I chat with on the Internet, but total strangers, not because I’m some sort of special or because they even know my name, but because the world is actually full of people who feel joy not just when they succeed, but when other people succeed. Believe it or not, I didn’t know.
A lot of 2011 for me is going to be about making good on the promise of 2010 — musicals and chapters and books and auditions (and probably all sorts of unanticipated) need to get done. And like 2010, 2011 is going to have a ton of travel — some professional, some personal, some a weird mixture of the two. But those things, like most everything else I could list, is just how my life is. They’re not resolutions or even grand plans; they’re what I do. Learning to calm down, treat art like work, and be grateful without getting distracted by viewing everything as a miracle has been a really important part of the last several years.
So actual resolutions for 2011? Vegetarian before dinner; less sugar; err on the side of kindness; bring joy; make sure the people I adore know how much.