2018: the year of living enthusiastically;

So, you know how Gillian Anderson went from stand-there-while-she’s-signing-and-no-X-Files-stuff to Grand High Priestess Troll That We Fans Do Not Deserve while the show was off the air?

I was watching these pre-season 11 promo clips and interviews on YouTube. Specifically, the one where she and David Duchovny discussed “the Mulder-Scully relationship” as it stands in 2017 2018. And she’s all, oh, it’s like it always was, except now there’s no sexual tension. Because we’ve already had sex.

Verily, I did squee.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson at The X-Files: I Want to Believe fan premiere, Leicester Square, London 2008

I must have talked about that clip for a week, never mind the initial scream (which I’m fairly sure was loud enough to wake the neighbours, and really must have confused them because it’s 2018 and you never meet a fangirl anymore, only something called a “stan” which exists only on Twitter and seems to communicate solely in Drag Race .gifs? idk? I’ve never liked Drag Race?).

“This is going to sound patronising,” says Stringer, “but I’m glad you’ve found something to be enthusiastic about again.”

Guys, he’s right. That was really fucking patronising. It’s a long time since I’ve let myself be demonstrably enthusiastic about anything.

Lis squealing over Hold Steady tickets, 2008

We’ll just not mention the fact that this photo is 10 years old.

You’ll remember how, towards the end of last year, there was some kind of hack attack on my blog which resulted in thousands of spam links to dodgy pharmaceutical sites getting inserted into over a decade’s worth of blog posts. The clean-up has been a painstaking manual effort – and continues, as I’ve just moved onto the generics – but it’s given me a chance to revisit all my old posts, and reflect on the kind of writer I used to be.

The answer is mostly pretty terrible (although, as Molly – who has read my writing online even longer than that – reminded me over mulled wine in the East Village, our blogs and what we used them for were very different things back then). But behind the mortification – between the Top Gear, and the picking fights with the young, female music journalists whose opinions I disagreed with and who should have been my people, and the cryptic comments about first dates, and the over-reliance on “lame” as an ableist antonym for cool – there was enthusiasm.

There were copy-and-pasted press releases about the minutiae of what my favourite musicians were up to, hefty annotated with caps lock and exclamation points. There were the breathless responses to hearing that song, or buying those tickets, or, hell, even the announcement that those tickets were going on sale. And most people didn’t care – apart from, like, five people who really, really cared – but every comment thread was pages long, full of my pals talking about their days.

My life is on here. All of our lives are on here.

And Top Gear. We used to really, really like Top Gear.

Lis and programme for A Doll's House at The Donmar Warehouse, 2009

It’s not that I want that back. I mean, the comment threads aren’t coming back regardless; and it wasn’t really writing; and it turns out that even that nice Richard Hammond is a massive homophobe these days. But I want to write lines that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and I want to read these posts back in 10 years time and cringe and smile at just how much of a dickhead I was back now. I want to capture my life in all its messy, explosive detail; I want to remember exactly how I felt the first time I heard that break in Lorde’s “Green Light”. I want to have hundreds upon thousands of grainy cameraphone photos of my friends’ beautiful faces to look back on when I’m proper old. When did you all get so awkward about having your pictures taken? When did I get so awkward about asking?

Happy New Year, 2018

I think I find myself in this same headspace at roughly the same point every year: wondering what my blog is and how and where I fit into what is now quite seriously being called “the blogosphere”. With longevity comes high domain authority, paid work and a decent following. I have a “media kit” now – a media kit! – which sets out the work I can do for companies who want to feature on the blog, and in which I describe myself as providing recommendations and practical advice for my fellow reluctant adults. I like that.

There’s no point putting my personal diaries on the internet anymore like I did when I was 20, but I’m not making a magazine either (take note, all you music PRs who keep asking how “Lisa and everyone at Last Year’s Girl” are getting on). I’m still going to quietly strop to myself when I see everyone but me getting sent things I don’t want quite enough to spend actual money on, but fucked if I am writing a Free Shit Review Catalogue. I’ll keep sharing the music that makes my heart hurt, the places in Glasgow that I love, the things that make me angry and the stuff, good and bad, I tell my friends about. I promise to love fiercely, to pick fights mercilessly, to turn almost everything into a poorly-written joke and to emote like a motherfucker.

I hope that’s cool w/you.