Halftime Check-in: People on the Best Decisions They’ve Made in 2018
Alternatively titled, Girl Finds Wisdom Through Clothes Rack
In retrospect, the window between January to June was a strange one. For me, at least.
For the most part, it was tepid. It was neither electric nor dull, neither warm nor cold. A cup of stale coffee that’s clouded up and cooled to room temperature. That, to me, was an off-putting thought in itself. I had seen that Roald Dahl quote shared on my Facebook feed (“Lukewarm is no good,” reads the overshared image) enough times last year for me to fear and avoid that kind of ambivalence to the best of my abilities.
Yet there was no mistaking it. That’s exactly what my year has been: lukewarm. I was unemployed for the better part of three months, which has always been a fear of mine if I’m being a hundred. I scored my current job, which was definitely big and exciting news, but I’d be lying if I said the rush felt as soul-stirring as it did when I got my first job offer two and a half years ago. I’ve found myself knee-deep in emotional slumps more times than I can remember, but even those stretches of melancholy weren’t as crushing as I expected them to be (thankfully). The thought is amusing, I guess. In my evasion of lukewarm, it’s exactly what I got. The lukewarm day-to-day, punctuated by lukewarm highs and lukewarm slumps. One big lukewarm sundae.
That’s what I thought, until a good look at the wobbly clothes rack beside my bed changed my mind.
A few months ago at 2AM, I ordered a collapsible rack online on a whim using a year-old gift certificate.I never gave it much thought, but after confronting how shitty-but-not-quite my year has been, it suddenly hit me: that purchase was easily the best decision I’d made all year.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a few hundred bucks and it’s flimsy as hell. I still come home to the sight of the clothes I so meticulously fixed on hangers, on the floor sometimes. But hey, the pros easily have me overlooking these liabilities. Since assembling and making room for my rack, my outfits have become significantly cuter (if I say so myself). My room has become cleaner. My life feels oddly in order and all it takes is putting two and two together to realize these are reverberations of my impulsive online purchase.
I feel like I achieved a shallow state of enlightenment through my clothes rack that night. Maybe everything felt lukewarm because I was looking for too big a positive or too low a negative to gauge how well or how badly my year went. Happiness exists in small things, too, like when I survived hours of queueing outdoors in negative-degree weather, leaving with only a hoarse throat and literally cold feet. Or getting a new pair of glasses that complemented my face shape better. Or discovering that a torn-open 150-peso hand roll can be as satisfying as a 300-peso sushi bowl.
I think I see things in perspective now or at least I’m looking at the past six months from their most flattering angle.
If my case is any indication, spotlighting your best decision can help shed a better light on the bleak, lend a little heat to the warmish. Riding on this wave, I reached out to over 50 people to ask about what their best decision of the year was thus far. Below, I’ve hand-picked a few that illustrate that there is rapture to be found in both the mundane and the memorable, and that ‘good’ can come in varying gravities.
“Going back home to see my family.
I studied away from home for two years and
studied abroad for another two. I haven’t really been home
with my family for more than a month at a time.
So I went back home, spent time with my family and
took a break. Best 4 months of my life, I might say.”
– Imz R.
“Getting therapy. I was in a dark place and now I
feel like I can breathe.”
– Oli L.
“Quitting my current job and taking a sanity break.
Work had become really toxic, to the point of making me
low-key hate the thing I love the most.
Quitting allowed me to breathe easy while
looking into myself again and focusing
on what I really want to do.
There are financial repercussions but
money can’t buy peace of mind.”
– Abi P.
“I started selling nudes. Honestly, I just love taking men’s money in
exchange for a little nudity here and there.”
“Buying the best seat at a concert instead of going
for a cheaper one. The members [of the group I watched]
are going to enlist soon and I want to
fill the [remaining] days with their vivid image
and good memories as much as I can.”
– Jane S.
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“Praying. I’m not an obedient person; I think because of that
I am lost. I feel empty. I don’t know
what path to take for my future.
But I decided to pray after a long time, and I know
this is the best decision I’ve made this year.”
– Dafadya W.
“Learning crocheting. I learned it out of curiosity
and the need to train my hand-eye coordination.
Probably the best decision I’ve made since it has become
a good way for me to de-stress.”
– Lily S.
“I confessed to my long-time crush of the same sex,
even though I wasn’t exactly sure how she
would respond to it. It was hard for me
to keep it in so it was really great to
tell her all about it. Although she
confessed she loves someone [else], nothing
really changed our friendship.
I honestly felt great and free!”
– Natty P.
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“Deleting my Instagram accounts.
It might seem like a small thing but it’s
been bothering me for really long.
I didn’t like who I was when I was on there. I thought
about all the unnecessary things like followers,
feed, likes, instead of just documenting what I wanted.
I decided, just yesterday actually, to delete it.
And I’ve never been better.”
– Jan S.
What’s the best decision you’ve made in 2018?
Art Alexandra Lara.