It Should Have Been My Year, Not Angelina's

Since 1996, people have been telling me, "This is your year." That they feel a need to say that at all is depressing. You don't tell someone that unless you think they need to hear it. I doubt anyone's telling Angelina Jolie, "This is your year."

By Ariel Leve.

Whenever someone says that, they sound so insightful I tend to believe they must know something I don't. But now, after a decade of erroneous forecasts, I'm beginning to realise that no, it's just something to say. Plus, whenever someone tells me "this is your year", I can't help but feel that the unspoken part of the sentence is, "to find a husband". They might have good intentions, but it makes me feel worse. Because what they're really saying is: maybe this year someone will love you.

The only thing worse than hearing "this is your year" is hearing, "I hope this year brings you all that you deserve." How is that helpful? I think I deserve George Clooney and a faster metabolism. But chances are that's not going to work out.

While this past year wasn't terrible, I wouldn't anoint it with "my year" status. In fact, the more I think about it, everyone I know seems to have had a more productive year than I have. One friend had a book published, someone else I know had a baby. Even worse, I met someone who had a book published and a baby. What have I done? I threw out the mustard in my fridge.

The problem is, as soon as you expect it to be your year, you are heading for disappointment. If you set goals, you'll feel like a loser for not meeting them. If you meet them, you'll realise it wasn't the thrill you'd expected. If you make plans, they can go awry. Then, no matter what good has happened, it gets overshadowed. Especially if it's health-related. I could be winning the Nobel peace prize but if my lower back ached, it's a bad year.

It seems that the only way to ensure a good year is to have a baby. Even if you rupture a disc while giving birth, as long as the baby's healthy, it's your year. Having a baby trumps everything. That or an iPod nano.

But I have neither. So in an effort to make myself feel better, I tried to focus on all the people who haven't had a great year. Like Kate Moss. But thinking about Kate didn't make me feel better at all. Because I'd trade five of my good years for her crap year any day.

If only I'd had Angelina's year. It really was her year. I thought it was supposed to be my year, but I guess she stole it. I'm sure I would have found a way to screw it up, though. I'd have called Brad one too many times and he'd start to wonder if adopting my baby was really the best thing after all. Then I'd pick up on his doubt and ask questions like: "You still want to come with me to meet the president of Pakistan, right?" and he'd start to call-screen. Good times.

So what will it take for it to be my year? A boyfriend? A book deal? Becoming an ambassador of goodwill for the UN? No, I like to aim low. My year would mean being able to get out of bed without finding an ache or a pain or a melanoma. I'd settle for it being my month. Or my afternoon.