Hello 2018 // A Good Year for Dreams to Begin

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I wrote yesterday that ending of a year is a strange time. Of course, there is no difference in who we are or how the rest of the world behaves from December 31st to January 1st, not any more different from any other two days, but something is different though isn’t it. Something about changing the date from 2017 to 2018 changes everything else too.

This morning when I woke I felt a kind of pressure in my chest. I felt full of potential and possibility, and I felt afraid. I didn’t want to explore that feeling. If you don’t acknowledge it, you don’t have to face it right? If you never dare to dream, then you never have to regret your choices or hate yourself for being so cowardly. You never have to try, or fail, or try again and fail again. You can just float through life all the way to the end. Easy peasy.

But what a waste, and I should know, I have been floating along for a very long time. I have been lucky that happiness, for the most part, made its way to me, but lately, I’ve wanted to find a kind of happiness I had gone after myself. I wanted to feel I had earned something.

This year, I need a win! It would feel so good to have something to bring to my family and friends to show them that I wasn’t a loser or a failure. It would be nice to have them feel proud of me. It would be nice to know they didn’t think I was wasting my time. I need to prove that I’m more than a mere dreamer. I want to be a doer too. Maybe I need to believe those things about myself first.

So, I am going to explore that feeling of possibility and potential. I am going to dream big impossible dreams about all the things I want to have and do, and little impossible dreams about what kind of person I want to be deep down inside.

I’ve written a list of 100 dreams that I thought were impossible but aren’t actually impossible at all. It was only that I had convinced myself I couldn’t do because it was too terrifying to imagine a life where I could. Dreaming and trying, focusing and making a real effort, believing in myself and finding the strength to love myself enough not to get lazy, undisciplined, or timid, that is how I will get through my list. This is how I will make my life into the one I’ve wasted all this time dreaming of.

Of course, I can’t tackle all 100 dreams in the short course of one year, but I can start with just a few. Some highlights include:

***

1. Get over my driving phobia
2. Get my driver’s license

This has been on every New Years Resolution list I have made in my adult life, and every year I fail, but going into 2018 I feel closer than ever to getting it done. I have been driving, to and from work, to the store up the street, and around the neighborhood,  up until a little over a week ago. Then the weather turned nasty here, and I didn’t feel ready yet to drive in the snow without having a full on panic attack.

But the roads are all cleared now, and I go back to work tomorrow, so back behind the wheel, I go. I don’t want to lose all that progress, and I don’t want to go on letting everyone, most importantly myself, down. I will get through this by the end of the year. I have to because I can’t keep relying on others to get me where I need to go, and I want to because there are so many places I want to go and things I want to do and driving is the only way to get there.

***

 

***

59. Journal every day
60. Hand make all of my own journals

I already try my best to write in my journal every day, but buying the same old journal, again and again, is sucking the fun out of the habit. It’s boring and monotonous. It’s the same pages every day, with the same number of lines and even if I bought a notebook full of grid or dotted pages they would get just as boring eventually too. Why not pages that were all different? Some ruled, some dotted, some with a hexagon pattern, and some that were completely blank? What about some different color paper, something that pops! Hot pink or bright yellow?

I’ve been looking for a new hobby, something I can do with my hands, in the real world. I want to make something beautiful and useful, and a new journal, one I might enjoy writing in again, sounded like an easy enough place to start.

I found a tutorial by Sea Lemon on YouTube and decided to start making my own journals this year. It feels right that a writer should make their own tools don’t you think? So, a new notebook, and maybe a few notepads, and a pocket notebook, and a planner, and maybe a bullet journal for my sister and if people like them maybe I can make a few more for anyone at all who would like one.

I also have a lot of pages piled up just waiting to be made into a brand new art journal for number 72, “Complete one year of a creative habit.” Then maybe next year I can get to number 52, “Learn to paint with oils or acrylics?”

***

48. Publish a book of essays and poetry

This one is the hard one. This one is what my year will be all about. This one will take discipline, and focus, and hard everyday effort! I’m starting with 400 words a day, no matter what. No matter how tired I am, no matter what else I am doing, no matter how much I don’t want to. 400 words a day that is all I have to do. I don’t have to write something great. It just has to be honest, and it has to be mine.

I’m not trying to get rich, I’m only trying to say something. I plan to self-publish whatever it turns out to be on my own when I am ready, and I will consider the dream realized if I can get 5 whole people, who I don’t know, to buy a copy of the damn thing.

I have other writerly dreams too. Number 46 is “Publish a sci-fi/dystopian fiction novel.” Number 47 is “Publish a graphic novel.” Those are big, and very far away dreams but number 49, “Publish 2 blog posts a week” and number 50, “Publish a zine” feel very doable for 2018, I think.

***

66. Read 30 books a year

This is another repeat resolution. Every year I set a goal of 30 books on Goodreads, and every year I fall short, but by a little less each time. Last year I read 22 books, my best yet. I got stuck a few time on books I didn’t enjoy and out of sheer pride refused to let them win and move on. This year things are a little different. This year I will move on when books aren’t interesting to me, and come back to them when I have the strength to try again. Some books take more than one introduction to click. It has to be the right time for you to meet you know.

I’m also going to work on number 58, “Get a library card.” I had one, many years ago but I checked out more books than I should have once and never got them back, and I’m afraid of how much money I might owe to be allowed the privilege again. But books aren’t cheap, and I don’t have the room to bring a brand new one home to stay every few weeks. I’m also going to give ebooks another chance. Number 67 is “Read more philosophy books,” and I happened to have a list of 135 completely free ones! And when I get tired of those there are many more authors, genres, and topics to turn to, all for free too of course.

***

37. Start running
38. Join a gym, attend regularly
39. Make meditation and yoga a daily habit
40. Become a weekday vegetarian

And finally, finally, I have come to my last resolution, so common and prone to failure I almost chose not to include it, get healthier. I want to start a running habit. It seems like the easiest place to start. Even if I just went once around the block, it would be better than all the couch surfing I am doing now.

Then there is a gym up the street. Walking, or rather, running distance away from my house. If I could prove myself by running every day for a month or two, maybe I could trust myself with a gym membership. I could cycle, take classes, I wonder if they have yoga? And then, I could take the two nights a week I don’t eat meat and make it 5 days a week. A weekday vegetarian doesn’t seem so hard.

As you can see, I’m trying to take it easy and make small improvements to my routine. Too many people try for a 30-minute hardcore workout every day of the week with a goal weight and a brand new radical diet. I have no goal weight, and I have no diet restrictions, as of now. I’m just going to try, and if I can just do that much, I can’t fail.

***

One hundred dreams feels like a lot, and I doubt the list could be completed in one lifetime. I doubt I would want to complete it. There are things on there I may want to do now, but five years from now or more I might change my mind. So, the list is a dynamic one. Not only will I be crossing things off, but I’ll be tweaking, and adding, and deleting from them too.

Hell, the list isn’t even finished yet! I made it to 85 things before the ball dropped last night and I thought I’d give myself some time to figure out the last 15. There is no rush after all. I have my whole life to figure it out, I only have to remember that lives tend never to last as long as we hope they will. I have time, but I better get started, and no time is better than the first day of a brand new year.

But what about you? Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions? Do you believe they can actually work? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments.

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

― Neil Gaiman

***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Check out my complete list of 100 Dreams, or what I have so far anyway and if you make one yourself, feel free to drop the link in the comments so everyone can check it out.

Featured photo is by Josh Boot on Unsplash

Advertisements

Currently // December 2017: Nothing Has Changed, but Everything is Different

The ending of a year is always a strange time, but ending this particular year is quite a bittersweet thing. This past year was full of disappointments, death, and shocking setbacks but so many of us learned so much about ourselves and the world around us, and we came together! We grew stronger! And we’ll grow stronger still. A new year might be starting, but the same old work has to be done. So much has changed, but so much is still the same too. We have to bring 2017 into 2018 with us, as much as it hurts and as hard as it is.

With that in mind, while I have quite a few resolutions—big and small, personal and more worldly too—for the coming year, I only have one intention, to make an effort, to keep making an effort, every single day. No one really believes that these new year’s resolutions work because we give in, give up, and let it go until another year ends and another year begins, and we try to try again. But why waste so much time? Three months from now, when the effort gets hard, and the missteps start adding up, don’t give up.

I won’t give up. I will start again, a new me with renewed effort.  Every day is a new chance to start over. Every day I can be a new me, not just once, not just at the start, because there is no start, and the end was all in your head. You, I, we, we have to start looking at this a little differently. Discipline, focus, effort, those are the words we have to bring with us into the new year.

But first, here is what I am currently:

Writing slowly. Starting this year, I will be trying a new way to write. I am going to try word counts. I’ve never been good at them because on days when I don’t want to write it feels like torture and when writing feels like torture I write crap. But, I’m wondering if 400 words of crap might be better than no words at all. So, I’m starting with 400 a day of words that aren’t for this blog. It’s not a lot, but if I start with 750 or 1000, I’ll fail by January 31st. I’m going to start slow and give myself a chance to make a real habit of writing again. Slow and steady through 2018 is the goal.

Making a new journal, and some other bookbinding and paper goodies. I love writing by hand. Every day I fill in two pages of my Moleskine large ruled notebook, but I’m coming to the last pages of this one. As much as I love this brand, it’s pretty boring to look at, so, I’ve decided instead of buying another, I’m making my own, and I plan to make it very interesting. In the process of researching how to do it, I came across a lot of tutorials and inspiring examples that made me want to try other things, notepads, pocket notebooks, planners, etc. I need to make something with my hands and, loving words, and reading, and paper the way that I do, bookbinding feels like a good place to start.

Anticipating  So much pop culture goodness in 2018. There’s going to be some amazing movies dropping: Black Panther in February, A Wrinkle in Time in March, and Solo: A Star Wars Story in May, and the TV shows: A Handmaid’s Tale, and the return of Westworld, plus Game of Thrones, and maybe Atlanta. Oh, and the winter Olympics!

I’m also looking forward to the 2018 midterm election with great enthusiasm and anxiety. I’m hoping for a blue wave to wash across this country and cleanse the bad taste left in my mouth from the last round. I’m hoping we can take back our dignity and have faith once again, for the first time, in our institutions. I’m hoping the course can be corrected and compassion will return to Congress, for the first time, too.

Reading The Oresteia by Aeschylus. A trilogy of Greek tragedies—“Agamemnon,” “The Libation Bearers” and “The Eumenides”—that follows members of House of Atreus through murder, revenge, and eventually the end of a family curse. Apparently, it is the only surviving example of such a play and considered Aeschylus’s best work. I had never heard of it before but instead chose it from the many used books I won from Macrolit.

I didn’t hit my goal of 30 books this year, I only read 22, but it’s better than the year before and I plan to do even better in 2018. I’ve set another goal of 30 books, but I’m secretly hoping to read 40. I’ve carved out 30 minutes of every afternoon to read, and if I feel up to it, I can read before bed too. I’ll be getting a new library card, and trying ebooks again too to remove any financial obstacles. 30 books, no excuses!

Watching Black Mirror season 4 on Netflix. I have waited all year for this show. To be honest, I binged it in two days, and I’m already done, but it was so good I plan to watch it all again. The wait was worth it and not for a second did I feel let down. The” San Junipero” episode will always have a special place in my heart but some of this seasons came close to topping it. I highly recommend it! I’ve also finished The Crown, and I’m working my way through Planet Earth II.

Learning nothing right now. In the latter half of the year, I let learning go. My goal had been to watch a new Crash Course episode every day, work on a little math, and complete the International Health and Human Rights course on Coursera, but I didn’t get to any of it. So, I’m trying to start again. I’m trying to come up with a plan. I love learning, and I never want to let myself think I have done enough, learned all I needed to, or that knowledge and learning are not a top priority in my life.

Feeling a lot less stressed now that the holidays are over but also more stressed because some big changes are coming around the corner. My mother is moving in with us again, we’re fixing up the house, and we are getting married, I’ve been driving and slowly getting over this phobia so I can get my license in the next few months. After all that there will be school and maybe, possibly, talks about finally expanding this little family of ours. I feel like my life is going to begin soon, for real this time, and I am so happy and scared.

Needing a little love and patience, now more than ever. My anxiety has been worse, and depression is only barely being kept at bay. I’m doing my best to be strong and face my fears and my future and to do while working with my partner rather than against her. We need one another. We’ve made so much progress together this year, and I want us to keep going. We have to remember to love each other and be patient with each other, no matter what! We’re both flawed, but we’re both good, and smart, and creative, and worth every frustrating moment and every ounce of strength it takes to listen, communicate, and compromise too.

Loving that this year I will get to ring in the New Year in style, surrounded by my friends and my girlfriend. Not that there is anything wrong with easing into another year, but we’ve done that, and as nervous as I am to look nice, and have fun, and not make a fool of myself tonight, it feels good to do something different. It feels good to know that I will be with people. I’ll have people who like and care for me with me, and I’ll have complete strangers too. People I don’t know and may have nothing at all in common with except that we are alive right now and got to see another day, together. It’s beautiful. Plus there will be an open bar!

Hating how these little breaks from work never seem to be enough. The weekends aren’t enough either. I want so much more time to enjoy the things I love, my family, my friends, my hobbies, and my pets, but I’m always kept away by work and by trying to find work that can get me out of this work. I hate that this is just the way that the world works. That we all have to spend so much time doing things that don’t make us feel good just to keep a roof and a bit of food. My job isn’t the worst, but it isn’t what I love. It isn’t what I wish I were doing. It isn’t for a lot of you I am guessing, and I just think it’s all such a sad shame.

Hoping that in 2018 we can all find a way to spend a little more time doing things we love, without guilt or fear. Work is a reality, but it doesn’t have to be all there is. It shouldn’t be all there is. There can be hobbies, and side hustles, and small joys all your own. Ones that you make happen and that no one can take from you. I hope you find some, make some, and share some too. I’m going to make things, and write things, and put more of myself out there for you to meet. I’m going to learn to say no to people and help others to say it too. I am going to learn to say yes, and hell yes, to myself as much as possible too.

All in all, this year was a batshit crazy one, and I am 100% sure 2018 will be just as batshit crazy or worse, but I’m here, and I am happy, despite it all. I hope this year was good to you, and if it wasn’t, I hope 2018 will be full of fresh starts and all the healing energy you need. I will post a proper list of resolutions and goals in the coming days, and if I feel up to it we may have a little coffee chat later too, but if I don’t see you, please, stay safe out there and remember that tomorrow you will be a the same you that you were today, only new.

***

Thanks for reading! If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

The inspiration for this posts come from Andrea at Create.Share.Love.

Featured photo is by Luke Hodde on Unsplash

My 2017 Reading Resolutions

I will read at least 30 books this year. I had the same goal last year, and while I did fall a little short, I am still so proud of myself for reading more than I did the year before. I am going to do everything I can to make sure that 2017 is the year when I finally meet my goals.

I will read even when it is hard. One thing that set me back was that I kept giving up when it got hard. When a book was hard to understand I avoided it but rather than just picking up a different book, I did nothing. This year, if a book is hard and I find myself falling into old habits, I will move on to something else and come back when I feel like trying again.

I will read the Bronte sisters. I’ve been curious about the sisters Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Anne Bronte but I have been afraid to dedicate time to books on romance and domestic affairs. I thought the same about Jane Austen so I could be wrong about these obviously talented and quite mystereous—I hear—ladies.

I will read Jorge Luis Borges. Fantastic realism is a literary trick I would love to get a handle on, why not start reading a man who was famous for employing it in his own work? Not to mention he has a body of work across many forms of writing including short stories, poems, and essays.

I will write in my books. I’ve read that reading should be an interactive process and that the notes we take in the margins, the words we choose to highlight can be considered a sort of art form. I hate writing in books because I want to keep them in pristine condition but I recently got a used book with a ton of writing in is, and I love the book all the more for it.

I will read before bed. We should all be turning off our screens about 30 minutes or so before bed, but what to do instead?

I will write more reviews. I’ve written a few but not nearly as many as I’d hoped. This year I am going to take the reviews in a different direction, I want to share what I learned from the book. How does each book I read become a part of who I am and where I am going? How does the book make me feel and think? This is why I read, and this is what I want to share.

I will have a plan for what to read next. This was another reason I fell short of my 2016 reading goals. I lost days and weeks just trying to figure out what to read next. This year I will have a plan!

I will ask for recommendations. I don’t talk to a lot of people about what I am reading and what I like to read. I don’t ask people about their reading habits much either. I guess it’s because there is so much pressure to react to a book the way other people have. If a book changed someone’s life, and then you read it, and you didn’t really like it can be awkward to say that, but there are so many books that I have never even heard of. I need help.

I will get a library card. Actually, I have a library card. What I mean is, I will pay off my library fees so I can use my library card. When I was young, I lost a ton of library books and never paid for them. I know, I’m awful. I have to fix this though because books are expensive!

***

If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter on life, love, and suffering (:

Written in response to The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday Prompt with a twist inspired by Nut Free Nerd

Many of the items on this list or ideas I’ve gathered from the author and artist Austin Kleon. Check out his posts How to Read More and 33 Thoughts on Reading. And if your phone is too much of a distraction download his Read a Book Instead wallpaper.

Featured image via Unsplash

 

Progress Not Perfection, 2017

I thought I would skip this whole New year’s Resolution thing. I thought I would just keep going as I have been going and hope that December 31st, 2017 would find me better off than The year before. I thought I was wise. There is no “new year, new me” after all. I am smarter than that, I am better than that…or maybe I am just afraid.

This past year was a hard one. There was so much death and disappointment. There was so much I thought I was sure of, but I learned in the end that we are all living on much shakier and shiftier ground than we knew. I finally learned what I thought I knew,  that the world is big and scary and indifferent. So, I thought, why eve try?

But of course we should try, we should always, always try. I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t at least consider what the new year could bring if I tried hard enough. Progress, not perfection is my mantra but progress cannot happen without a willingness to examine where you are, and an occasional course correction and I suppose that is what New Year’s Eve is all about.

So, here it is, my dreams and goals for 2017, a year I hope will have more good and less bad than 2016.

Yoga and less sugar. I hate physical activity, and I hate thinking about what I eat, but I am getting older now, and things have got to change. I’m not going promise a whole new lifestyle, but I promise to start I promise to try out a Yoga habit and to be more aware of the amount of sugar I am consuming.

 

30 books, for real this time. I failed my reading goal this year, but I don’t care, I read way more than I did in 2015, so I am happy. This year I am going to have a reading plan, a list of specific books to read so that I don’t waste any time.

A new direction in writing. This year I am going to be very busy. I am going to be working more hours at work, and I am going to spend more time writing. I want to put together a collection of poetry. I want to work on this novel and possibly start on a sequel for next year’s NaNoWriMo. I want to write more on science, philosophy, and current events too. I hope to do everything I can to start getting paid for these words too.

Snail mail! I have always wanted a pen pal, and I think 2017 is as good a year as any to get one. I love snail mail and paper products, and I’d love to have a reason to start making things and sending them out to someone. I need a reason to experiment I suppose.

Weekend trips and a real vacation? I want to see new places, eat new foods, and breathe new air. I want to stimulate my mind and make some memories. I want to get out of this town and see the ways that other people live. I want to slow time and see the world.

I will never be a real artist. I had to choose between language and art and writing was something I could never let go of no matter how much art pulled. So, art will be regulated to nothing but a silly thing I do when the words don’t come so easily. I look forward to sharing my doodles with you.

Do scary things! There are two things hat give me terrible anxiety, and they are two things I need to be able to do if I want to start changing my life in real and meaningful ways. I need to meet new people, and I need to get over my fear of driving. Every day next year I will do one scary thing. I will tweet someone I admire, I will share ugly drawings, I will ask for help, I will drive to the store, and I will submit work wherever I can. I will do the thing!

I know that even though a new year starts tomorrow that doesn’t mean I am instantly a new me. I know that change takes time and hard work. I know that I need dedication and motivation. I know I have to be flexible and let myself fail a few times too.

Tomorrow I will still be me, but I will try to be a better me. Maybe I will make it and maybe I won’t but I will treat January 2nd the same way, and January 3rd, 4th, 5th, and so one all the way to December 31st, 2017. A new year is a new chance, and so is every day of that.

I hope we all make progress. I hope we all find what we are looking for, learn to love ourselves and each other, and come out a little better than we hoped. That would all be wonderful, but even if we all just survive with our hope and curiosity intact we will have accomplished more than most.

Good luck to you all in the coming year.

***

If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter on life, love, and suffering (:

Featured image via Unsplash

2016 Dreams and Resolutions 

I can’t believe it will be a whole new year in just a few short hours. It snuck up on me this time, I thought I had more time than I did and I feel a little unprepared to start a new chapter in my life. There was so much more I wanted to do this year but I have to be content with what I did. Time neither stops nor slows for anyone right?

So instead I am thinking of all I want to accomplish in the next chapter, and working on a plan to get it done.

*************

Make my health a priority. I turned 30 this past year and I had to face the fact that I am never going to be young and carefree the way I was in my twenties. I can’t go on acting like I’m invincible, I have to start thinking about how I am going to live a longer life, and that means taking better care of myself. So this year I want to:

  • Join a gym. There is literally one walking distance from my house now. I have no excuse not to do this.
  • Start a meatless-Monday tradition. Studies have shown that red and processed meat can increase your cancer risk, so I’m going to start cutting back.
  • Buy a longboard. I want to do more to be active than just going to the gym. I need an activity that gets me out in the sun and moving and longboarding looks like a good time.
  • Stay smoke-free. No more putting poison in my body. I have gotten through the worst of quitting, and I know every day will get easier.

 

Make learning something new a daily habit. This was also a resolution I had for 2015 and while I did better than 2014 I still wasn’t perfect. When things got hard I gave up, for months, and lost a lot of progress. This year I am going to remember that even a tiny bit of progress is good and not get so down on myself.

  • Finish learning Spanish with Duolingo. I love this app so much! I think I might actually be addicted to it. I do little Spanish lessons anytime I have more than 5 minutes free time. I have a long way to go still but I would love to be able to finish it this year, and maybe start German next?
  • Continue working on Codecademy and Khan Academy. I don’t have specific goals for these projects except to say I need to work on a little bit of a project there every single day. I am interested to see how far I can make it through each site learning resources after a whole year.
  • Read 30 books. I didn’t reach my reading goal in 2015 but I’d like to try again in 2016. This time, I have a daily goal of reading 10 to 20 pages which won’t be terribly time-consuming.

Do more writing, outside of this blog. Last year I had a few poems published in felan zine and it was a great feeling to know someone thought I was good enough to be included in their work.

  • Get published again, this time in a bigger publication. I’ll be on the lookout for other places to submit work. I want to have more to add under my list of writing accomplishments, I want to have some “writer’s cred”.
  • I want to publish my own work too. I want to become a better essayist and poet and publish and sell my own zine. I think it would be great fun and good practice to self-publish a small zine of my own.

Be a better blogger. I think I’ve done well for myself here, considering I am still new at this. I was Freshly Pressed, and I met and surpassed my goal of 1000 followers (I’m sitting at 1450 now). Next year I want to change things up a bit.

  • Focus more on quality, not quantity. With everything else I want to accomplish I may have to publish here less often but what I do publish will be of much better quality. I want to go more “in-depth” and learn to edit better.
  • I want to try for Freshly Pressed again. I got a lot of exposure for this blog and it was nice to feel some kind of confirmation that I was doing something good and right. I’d love to experience that again.
  • I also want to involve my readers more. I’m not sure how yet but maybe an event of some kind….

Become a better person. Resolutions are all about improving your life and character but I like to focus on exactly what that means for me.

  • Learn to be less afraid. I still haven’t gotten over my fear of driving. this year I need to practice more and get my licence finally. No more excuses! I can do this!
  • Become more aware of and more involved in civil rights and activist movements. I’m not looking to do anything radical, yet, I just want to help spread the word and be more informed about what’s going on in the world.
  • Embrace minimalism. Starting in January 1st, I will be doing a 30-day minimalism challenge. I want to learn to control my impulses and spend my money and time and what is really important or what I really want to do. Practicing a bit of minimalism can give you perspective on you wants vs your needs.

Do a whole bunch of fun stuff. A lot of these things I did last year but they were so much fun I want to do them all again. The new ones are to travel to another city in another state and

  • Go to a drive-in movie
  • See a concert at Red Rocks
  • Visit the Museum of Nature and Science
  • Visit the art museum
  • See a play
  • Go camping
  • Spend a day at the hot springs
  • Visit another city, in another state
  • Get another tattoo
  • Get another piercing, or stretch my ears up another size

And finally, and most importantly, get married already! My girlfriend and I have been engaged for over 2 years now and we just cannot get our shit together enough to plan and execute a damn wedding. This year we are going to finally make it happen.

*************

I may have chosen to do too much but I felt it better to aim too high than to sell myself short and aim low. I’d rather give my all and accomplish more of this than to put together some half-assed resolutions and accomplish it all.

So wish me luck in the New Year and know I wish you the same in return. Next year is going to be a good one for us all, I can feel it :)

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

— Neil Gaiman

 

Growing, Learning, and Loving in 2015

A new year is upon us and that means a new start. Twenty-fourteen was a good year and honestly I am sad to see it go. A new year means new possibilities but it also means possible disappointments too. New years are as wonderful as they are scary but around here we face our fears and stay positive.

This past year I did so much and learned a lot, mostly about myself. I changed a great deal and grew into a person I like very much. I became more serious, more focused, I learned the face my fears, and to love myself.

This year I hope to continue growing, and learning, and loving. I hope that more good things keep happening and I think if I just keep moving forward, keep my head up, and keep doing what I love, then more good will keep coming my way. I imagine that how good things get depends on how hard I work. I plan to work very hard.

So, with that said and without further ado, here is my list of New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. This year I will write, write, write. This is my my most important resolution and the one I want to accomplish the most. I want to write here more. More longform, more opinion and memoir pieces. I want to write short bits about my days over on Tumblr every evening. I want to start writing some poetry, flash fiction, short stories….basically I want to write.
  2. This year I am going to work on creating some art. Last year I tried doing a year of creative habits, I failed miserably. I just…stopped one day. I think with work and learning to write I just couldn’t keep up with another habit change. I’ve gotten a hold on this blog, somewhat, and I think I can try the drawing thing again. I have to remember not to strive for perfection, I just have to strive for progress.
  3. This year I want to learn something everyday.This is a two part resolusion. The first part has to do with reading as much as I can. I have a goal of 30 books this year, both fiction and non. Part of this is learning facts, the other part is for learning to write. What better way to learn to write than to read the great authors?The second part is taking advantage of free educational resources whenever possible. There are videos, podcasts, websites, and apps available for anyone to learn anything that they want to know about anything. Right now I am learning math and philosophy. Next up, biology, physics, history….
  4. This year I want to help others in need This Christmas I had meant to donate to local charities but I still haven’t settled on which ones I want to give to. I wish I could give to them all but I am not rich, only better off than I was in 2013. I want to do more than just write a check though, I want to give my time. It’s the least I can do for those who have less than me.
  5. And finally, this year I will continue to strengthen my relationships that matter the most. In the past few months I have let my friendships go a bit, but only because I have been so focused on creativity and learning. And because me and my girlfriend were so focused on each other. I need to make time for them again.

    I had also started building on my relationships with my family. I plan to work even harder to see or talk to each of my immediate family members every week. I plan to begin reaching out to extended family members regularly too.

    And above all else I plan to continue to love my girlfriend with everything I have. This year I want to be and even better partner to her and make her feel more special. She my whole world and I want to be sure she knows it.

Whew! That’s quite a list isn’t it? It’s possible I am trying to do too much but I figure I shouldn’t under estimate myself, I might very well be capable of doing everything I want to, if only I try my very best, over and over again. I don’t think anything I have chosen is unreasonable. I’m just going to keep doing what I love and what feels good and every thing should work out fine :)

What are your resolutions this New Year’s?