For Christmas, I’m giving myself strict orders: Take more responsibility for your happiness

So this Christmas I sent out some traditional cards as well as a few postcards starring Ozzie Koala, a little koala I sculpted out of clay.

I left Ozzie too long in the oven and his ears got burnt and his sweater looks melted, but my mom and one of my best friends, the amazingly talented realist painter Joe Velez, still loved him and I learned a lesson about being awesome even when you’re flawed. I gave Ozzie to Joe for Christmas and he loved him just as much as he would’ve loved a perfect koala, if not more.

Here’s the postcard I created featuring the crispy-eared marsupial and his snow koala buddy:

The Tale of Ozzie Koala

I’ve also decided that I’m sick of doing so many things I don’t really want to do and never doing the things I really want to do. Some things I have no control over — I’ve been having pretty bad health issues over the past half year, so I can’t eat a lot of things I want to eat and end up eating things I don’t want to.

Also, some things are necessary. For example, I still do some non-writing jobs that I don’t really want to do anymore because I’d like to invest my time differently and make more money.

I’ve done some awesome things this year. I was part of the Downtown Urban Theater Festival and So Low Theater Festivals, for example, and I’ve done well journalistically as well. I ended a great run at The Jersey Journal (which I still freelance for); got a great gig working for one of my favorite pubs, The Jersey City Independent; and have had the awesome opportunity to copy edit for Sports Illustrated. I’ve made some really awesome new friends and have had some really rewarding experiences. But there were also places I fell short, especially personally. I continually cheat myself. I’ve backed down from writing scripts or doing projects because they’d be to hard to fund or produce. I’ve chased away people I love and clung on to people who hurt me. In many ways, this was kind of one of the worst years of my life. I’ve had enough of that.

I’m going to climb mountains and do the things I really want to do. I’m not going to forget my responsibilities or obligations; I’m a fighter and I’ll do what I need to do, like always. I’m just going to try getting more joy out of it.

I’m tired of being tired and unhappy about being unhappy. I want to focus on all the good, wonderful people, opportunities, things and experiences God has blessed me with and will continue blessing me with.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I make goals. I make prayer requests. I make plans.

Here are some of them. I will…

– Finish writing a play that I know will be SUPER difficult to produce — and take steps towards producing it
– Submit my stuff. To contests, to festivals, to theater companies. Writers aren’t writers unless they write and playwrights aren’t playwrights unless they get produced.
– Stop allowing men to disrespect me.
– Take control of my health.
– Be a better friend and person.
– Actually start making music. I always say I will and then I don’t. I’m so bad at this. I just want to SING!
– Start acting again.
– Become financially stable enough to not work on Sundays and be able to go to church. And worship!
– Sculpt the tea party scene from Alice in Wonderland. Because.
– Read more books.
– Learn to take time off.
– Make my home a place I can feel at home in.
– When possible, not do things I really, really do not want to do.

So there.


About Summer Dawn Hortillosa

Summer Dawn Hortillosa is a journalist specializing in arts and entertainment. Among other things, she is also an award-winning playwright, director, singer-songwriter and actress. Her work has been seen in The Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal and other publications.
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