what floats your boat or 10 Ways to be a Happier Person and a Better Significant Other Even if You Might Just be an Introvert Who Just Happens to Like to Talk A Lot

Dear Kids,

Happy winter vacation! I, for one, can’t say I’m sorry to see you go, because you were a fucking nightmare ever since you got back from Thanksgiving. You may have seen me around school these past few weeks looking tired and sad, slumping around gloomily or, alternately, running as fast as my silly little loafers will allow because I’d forgotten once again when I was supposed to pick you up from music… maybe I’ve been a little bit of a nightmare myself. I feel like I should say something to you poetic and super wow grand about the end of another year, but honestly, I got nothing. Truth be told, and how can I put this in the gentlest and most appropriate way possible, 2014 was a fucking cunt, and I feel defeated and hollowed out and ready to spend the next two weeks (or the rest of all eternity) under the covers, in the safety of my poorly-heated apartment with the comfort of the Food Network and my electric blanket.

There is something to be said about having a bad year. And, typically, I’m going to say it using too many words and rather heavy-handed analogies. What I have learned, I think, is that, on any given day, we are sailing our little freighter ship-selves on a web of tiny, intricate little mantras and contingencies and itty-bitty little white lies, like Everything happens for a reason and Everyone gets theirs in the end and Tomorrow will be better and If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be and The right answer will present itself and Someday I will Not Take The La Cienega Exit The Wrong Way Off The Eastbound 10. And they seem small, and silly, and often downright stupid… but they all connect in just the right way, kind of like how Miss What’s-Your-Name-Again couldn’t manage to do with those fucking circuits in science, and it keeps hope (which, in this analogy, is that goddamn lightbulb) alight in our little hearts. But it is when we begin to let those little strands fall, Everything will not be okay, I will never have the answer, I should just give up driving because I’m part Asian and it’s a stereotype because it’s true, you realize how easy it is to uncurl your fingers and let them all slip away. And I’m the first person to scowl at overly-positive, life-affirming Instagram memes, and Upworthy links, and Elite Daily posts like 10 Ways to be a Happier Person and a Better Significant Other, Even Though You Might be an Introvert Who Just Happens to Like to Talk A Lot, but I don’t know guys, we have to be careful. You have to hold onto the words that keep you going, that lift you up, that heal you. Screenshot those motherfuckers, save them in your FOR WHEN SHIT GETS REAL folder because, without anything keeping you afloat in the tougher, longer days, well, you sink, kiddos. You just fucking sink.

I think, as a lifelong lover of stories, I always hoped my life would be measured in giant, cataclysmic, super wow moments, the big gestures, the giant public failures followed by the meteoric comebacks. I’m not sure about anyone else’s life, but mine doesn’t really seem to be constructed like that so far. My ship capsized in a very small, painful, private way, gradually, over the span of a year, and I can only imagine that coming back up will be much in the same. I can, however, tell you that, on the way home from Santa Monica today, I took the La Cienega exit off of the 10-E and proceeded to get on the southbound ramp, which is the wrong direction to go to my apartment, which is precisely what I have done every single time I have taken this exit in the seven years I have lived in the same godforsaken neighborhood in this godforsaken city, and, in what could almost be described as a giant, cataclysmic, super wow moment, my brain suddenly shouted YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG FUCKING WAY, YOU DUMB BITCH, YOU DO THIS EVERY SINGLE TIME! … and I, white-knuckled, triumphant tears in my eyes, switched lanes and got off, for the very first time, going the right direction home.

I don’t know what 2015 holds. I don’t know shit. But I know that I still have the capacity to learn from my mistakes. It’s not enough to float my boat, but it’s a start.

Happy New Year,

Miss Park