My annual Unsolicited Advice weekly planner and journal turns ten years old, which means I have officially been making them FOR A DECADE. I'm so surprised to have made it this far, but so grateful to everyone who's invited my planner into their lives year after year.
The first year I printed them after hours at my campus photocopy center job. The next few years were produced by a small printer based out of a construction office in Queens and carried home in the back of a taxi (one year we had an accident and the cab driver had to help me unload my boxes at the side of the road six blocks from my apartment). Now they're professionally printed with production bells and whistles that you'd expect from a mass-retail product. All the while designed by me to be as personal and weird and special as I wanted.
So much about my life has changed since this project began, and it's always been in the spirit of my things are what you make of them mantra – doing what I can with what I have. No money for holiday presents? Print a thing at work. Don't know how to get an ISBN barcode? Google that shit. Slowly and surely the project grew, attracting new work and opportunities along the way.
I say this stuff all the time but I still believe it: Life is hard, but mostly worth it. Life is hard, but it's better together. You're alone but you're not really alone. Time is always moving forward and so we are all always moving forward, 1 page at a time. Wake up and smell the endless possibilities!!!
You're wherever you are, and I am here, in the past, writing a message for you to find in the future to let you know that despite how long a year can be, and all the scary and hard parts, there will also be a lot of good. You will grow if it kills us both and I will encourage/nag the shit of you until it happens. I'm so excited for us all to ultimately look back and realize it was as it was meant to be, and mostly okay.