I worry about regressing. Regressing into my old self. The last time I went to a New Years Eve party, I regressed. It was two years ago now. My old friend from high school was throwing another house party. Having something to do one New Years was a constant source of anxiety. Just like the song, what are you doing New Years? It was a question that filled me with dread.

I asked him if I could come. He said yes, of course. I was a good party guest. I never drank excessively. I picked bottle caps up off the floor so nobody would step on them with bare feet. I said “thank you.” I left early.

And yet I felt out of place. I was surrounded by people whom I realized I didn’t know anymore. Balls thrown into red solo cups filled with warm beer. White boys rapping to “King Kunta.” Absent small talk. Pictures taken where I would be cropped out later.

Regressing so much I could sink into the floor.

-

Every year, I try to fashion a new Me. A Me who gets up at six in the morning. A Me who eats breakfast, goes to the gym and goes to sleep at a reasonable hour instead of drifting off at midnight with Bob’s Burgers or Archer playing in the background. A Me who believes in Law of Attraction.

2017 was not that Me.

2017 Me was going through the motions. 2017 Me lashed out and cried because no matter how hard she tried, control was out of her grasp. 2017 Me yelled and shouted and wanted everyone to know she was 23 goddamn years old and did not deserve this life.

Does anybody deserve anything?

2017 Me felt too much like 2015 Me and 2014 Me and even 2011 Me.

2017 Me regressed. 2017 Me was sinking into the floor.

-

2018 Me arrived in a better place than 2017 Me. Before midnight, 2018 Me already reared her head. She gathered her friends in a circle and said “let’s manifest our intentions for this year.”

Manifest our intentions. Who is this woman?

My friends played along, because they actually believe in Law of Attraction whereas I try, but remain indifferent. But maybe they’re right, and maybe there’s something to be said about putting it out there. After all, I was the one who said “let’s manifest our intentions.” Apparently sparkling rosé turns you into a wellness guru.

Maybe I said it because 2018 Me will actually be able to manifest some intentions. 2017 was mostly a blur of pain, crying, going to events that I didn’t really feel like going to, rejections, surgery (again), and arguably peaked when I fainted on the bathroom floor at 4:00 am and had to be taken away by paramedics.

(It wasn’t until I got to the hospital that I realized I didn’t have pants on.)

(I wasn’t drunk or high, just infected and dehydrated.)

It probably goes without saying that 2018 has to be better, right? I could just say my resolution is “don’t faint,” and I’d probably be able to keep it. But instead, for some reason, I’m making more resolutions (excuse me, intentions). Some are technically beyond my control, but it’s part of this Law of Attraction thing I’m trying out.

If that’s how it works. How does it really work?

I’m going to write more (and not always about myself). I’m going to get more acceptance letters. I’m going to travel more. I’m going to do things for myself again. I’m going to stop wasting time on things that I can’t control. I’m going to pay more attention to the things I can control. I’m going to cut my hair (no really, the appointment is tomorrow).

2017 regressed a lot, but finished strong — doing a live podcast show among other things. 2018 Me won’t regress.

Freelance writer/comedienne with mixed results. Personal essays, pop culture and lukewarm media criticism. www.emmachapple.com

Freelance writer/comedienne with mixed results. Personal essays, pop culture and lukewarm media criticism. www.emmachapple.com