This year has been the very definition of “growing pains.”
When it was good, it was good. I have the most amazing friends and I did the coolest things. There was a lot of new fiction and music that filled my life and it feels nice to say I’m employed and volunteering my time and writing to an online publication I love.
However, when it was rough, I could feel it. I can pretty much pinpoint exactly where my feelings about myself began to turn from “majestic women worthy of praise and love” to “world’s biggest loser.” It didn’t help that I was still working out stuff with my mother and trying my best to get off the couch I was sleeping on to not a whole lot of success for a few months. Feeling like I wasn’t spectacular and special dug that hole further.
In 2014, I say that’s no more.
I expect there to be growing pains. I’m 23 years old. I nearly kicked out my car radio every time I heard ’22’ by Taylor Swift because it sounded like what a sixteen-year-old thinks being 22 is like. I seriously can’t believe I bought into the high school lie that I would have it figured out by now because I really, really don’t. I expect some serious desk-flipping frustration.
However, I’m going to face them head on. Because that’s what Cindi and Carol would do.
Last year, I resolved to bring more color into my wardrobe and my life and it has worked out spectacularly so far. I’m not turning back now.
This year though, I had two things that inspired me to go to another level: The Electric Lady by Janelle Monae and Kelly Sue Deconnick’s Captain Marvel.
The Electric Lady is my favorite album of this year along with Save Rock and Roll by Fall Out Boy. Continuing the story of Electric Lady #1 Cindi Mayweather, The Electric Lady is an album about growing pains, but also putting on the brave face and transcending beyond that. It’s standing up for your beliefs and being electric and unreal in the face of people that are determined to knock you down. And nothing drove that home further than seeing Janelle Monae perform a sold out show to the Tabernacle in her hometown of Atlanta. I had seen her perform three songs live before, but not on the level of that show. She was everything I expected Cindi to be and more, blurring that line between fiction and reality and electrifying everyone into a frenzy. I wanted to be that. I want to be an Electric Lady. I want everything that comes with it and everything that means, even if it’s just a fraction of it.
Captain Marvel was late in the game. I had only read In Pursuit of Flight earlier this month, but I unexpectedly fell for Carol Danvers in a way I hadn’t with any female superhero since Kate Kane when I read the first issue of Batwoman: Elegy in 2009. Much like Greg Rucka’s writing for the tenacious Kate, so much of my feelings for Carol come from Kelly Sue Deconnick’s writing of the character. Carol is not the one to lay down and die. She doesn’t give in, and she goes out fighting. I mean, she stubbornly refuses to stop fighting even in the face of her brain exploding. (Though, I haven’t read The Enemy Within yet. I’m getting it in the mail today. No spoilers!) She strives for more and encourages others to do the same. I’ve found myself multiple times in the past few weeks muttering “higher, faster, futher, more” to myself and vowing to punch holes in the sky and dinosaurs in the face. Matt Fraction’s Kate Bishop and Suzie may speak to my sarcastic sides, but Deconnick’s Captain Marvel has given me something to strive for. Flying high and not backing down.
So this is what I resolve for 2014.
I resolve to be electric and unreal. To catch eyes and ears and make people not forget me. To make them wonder if I actually exist.
I resolve to not give in. That even in the face of sadness and adversity, I’ll keep going instead of laying down arms. I will love where it is appropriate, and punch it in the face when it isn’t.
I resolve to raise antennas and fly high and soldier on.
I resolve to do this concurrently with being magic, and to remember that loving and punching goes well with being a magical girl too.
I resolve to remember that it’s okay to be sad and angry, but that it can always be worked out somehow.
I resolve to punch holes in the sky and dance until the end.
But above all things, I resolve not to forget how wonderful and worthy I am. I will always remember that I am electric, magic, unreal, and spectacular, even if no one else does.
I’ll post my year ends this week. Happy New Year to you all and hope that you all have a fantastic and safe night.