Happy 2011!
Sarah Dopp

Photo by Dreamfish

Hi Internet,

Wow. That was some year, huh? I’m still rubbing my eyes to wake up from it all.

Here’s a recap:

I organized some social media workshops, I started an industry blog about community management, and I launched a campaign to build a clothing marketplace (which hit it’s funding goal three weeks early, last Monday!).

I also spoke at Oberlin College, co-coordinated a camp weekend for transgender children, produced a public reading of content from Genderfork, started a personal newsletter, and was published in two books.

I kept hosting Queer Open Mic, I kept shaving my head, I kept on twittering, and I kept Genderfork running smoothly.

I built websites for some amazing clients like Gender Spectrum, Marc Davis, The Personal Data Ecosystem, and THE LINE Campaign. And I pushed my focus from “website development” to “online community development,” consulting on projects for Offbeat Bride, Cisco, and a few others.

It was an odd year. A creative year. A year that required a lot of long drives just to clear my head. It was filled with rebuilding, reorienting, and rethinking. It was jumpy and inconsistent. It ripped me open in all the right places, and it held my hand when that hurt like hell. I’m grateful for every moment of 2010, but let’s be honest: I’m glad it’s over.

It’s time to stop turning my brain upside down and shaking its pieces all over the place to figure out what matters. I know what matters. I know what’s next.

Now it’s time to build.

What about you?

I hope your Internal Annual Review today is just as clear, and that whatever’s next for you is stretching itself out in front of you with a welcoming smile. I hope you’ve seen it coming, and are ready to change gears and launch forward.

And speaking of which, while we’re here, do you mind if I make a few suggestions?

1) Send yourself a letter today using FutureMe.org. I do it every year at New Years (and a few other times during the year when I’m drunk or punchy, just for kicks).  The letter will arrive in your inbox at exactly the same time a year later. Use it to write out what you did last year and what you hope to achieve this year. And use it to remind yourself of what’s important to you.

2) Don’t make New Year’s resolutions that set you up for failure. Every time you break a promise to yourself, you trust yourself less, and that poison seeps into all aspects of your life. Don’t take the bait. Set intentions instead. Make predictions. Generate ideas. If you must play into the resolutions game, then set gentle, realistic goals and make a plan for how to meet them. But really, I think you should just go outside, take a deep breath, be quiet for an hour, and reflect on how far you’ve come already. You’re kind of amazing. Remember?

3) Whatever you focus on this year, make it special. Keep it small enough to stay special, and let it grow when it’s ready. Don’t litter on the Internet by posting things you don’t actually care about. Build up your character and integrity by only doing things that actually matter to you. Practice discardia. Be selective. Don’t just throw spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. Pick your spaghetti off the shelf carefully. Go for the one that smells the best. Love that water as it boils. Make your sauce from scratch. Taste test. Get it right.

May your year be full of what you need, and may it challenge you to reconsider what that is.

(And thank you for being here. You make me happy.)

Love you,
Sarah

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3 Responses to “Happy 2011!”

  1. Meg61 Says:

    You get involved in the coolest shit. Rock on sister! Hope you have jammin’ year in 2011. :-)

  2. Quiet Riot Girl Says:

    Hi Sarah
    I mentioned on twitter that I loved your story in Coming and Crying. It was my favourite in the book.

    This is my most recent project- a collection of writings ‘from the sidelines of pornography’. If you like it and you know anyone else who might, do share it.

    http://www.gamespervertsplay.wordpress.com

    Thanks
    Elly
    Quiet Riot Girl

  3. ian c Says:

    hey sarah! I’m a regular genderfork reader & occasional commenter… I live in Providence, RI. my housemate Chris came home tonight (from Brown University’s campus) and said “I just went to the awesomest workshop with the person who runs genderfork…” and I was like, “Sarah Dopp!? Aaaaah!”, in an authentic fanboy shriek. I didn’t know about the event, or I would have gone! I feel dumb that I missed my chance to meet a real live person from the internet. :) and from what my housemate said, it sounded like a really interesting discussion and session…

    do you have an rss feed or somewhere on your website you blog about upcoming public events & workshops you do? let me know, or put me on your mailing list…

    thanks! — ian (formerly jean c.)