Come in, 2014, sit down, make yourself at home, check out our instagrams on the side of the blog. No? Why so tense? What’s that face?
Ah. I see. That’s the face of bitterness, isn’t it? That’s the face that says, “Why has it taken you this long to call me up, have me over, make the time for me?”
Well, you see…I meant to – that is to say, I had every intention…no, no, I mean I tried to get in touch with you, but where were you at? Mmm? Must be your internet connection. Or my phone. My phone’s haunted. Also I’ve just been so tied up –
Ahem, no. I just feel ashamed. So here it is: 2014, you’ve been left out in the cold because I’ve been pretty horrendously disorganized.
Thus I give you January 14th, also known as the day wherein New Year’s resolutions either stick or are so far in the past already that there’s no point picking up where you left off.
My resolution? Be organized.
Hah. I can see you’re scoffing with that knowing scoff, believing that I’m part of the latter group of resolutioners…and, well you’re probably right. That said, I’ve been doing pretty well with my resolutions for the past three years. Maybe there’s time yet to break the habit of breaking the intended habit?
My natural inclination towards insubordination of the mainstream (aka my innate hipsterism) has led me to being stubborn when it comes to flouting people’s expectations. Doubt my ability to marathon the whole of my DVD library at the end of term and then write six essays in one day? Assume that because I woke up late with ten minutes to catch the bus for a 5am ski trip departure that I’m going to miss it? Don’t think I can make it to an eight-hour-shift after being violently ill (after being violently drunk) not four hours after my head was limp in a garbage can?
It’ll get done, but that’s not to say that I don’t pay for my stubbornness tenfold while living in the sufferance stretch. Agony, panic, anxiety, the nausea of hangover…you’d think I’d learn. But the pride of having accomplished my self-imposed constraints of ever-escalating challenges usually outweighs the pain and I do it all over again. (Note: family members who are reading this who are less than proud of the above instances, I do apologize. Also I wasn’t drunk with my head in a garbage can. That’s a lie; kindly disregard it and take this kitten as an offering for your selective amnesia).
So, what my long and convoluted message above is trying to get across is that no pain no gain: resolutions shouldn’t necessarily make you happy, but they should make you better. Few payoffs are as satisfying as perseverance.
I do have a little cheat though when it comes to forming said New Year’s resolutions. The trick: make them very vague and non-specific. Like a horoscope. That way you have to fail really hard to disappoint your resolution (ahem…such as I’m currently doing).
It all started in 2011: I was heading to Australia for my exchange and terrified out of my bowels about it. I’d never been on a plane before let alone a separate continent – nay, hemisphere. And I’d be taking two planes in a +24 hour trip. Then once I got there – what would I do? Who would I talk to? What if the ozone opened up and I got swallowed by global warming aliens?
Solution resolution: be brave. That was it. In 2011, all I had to do to fulfill my goal was to stop being a pale, wall-crouching flower and get outside my comfort zone. Which I very successfully did within no more than a few days.
2012 (which, incidentally, was the shittiest year in history), I made my goal to be productive. I was coming down off my Australia high and wanted to keep busy. Got a job at Indigo, a freelance typing job for a Ugandan refugee writing her second self-help book, and an internship at an anarchist publishing company on top of my full course load. (Again, one of those why-did-I-just-stubbornly-choose-ALL-THE-THINGS-to-do??-yet-satisfying-payoffs). I figured even if none of them amounted to anything, I’d at least have some interesting stories to tell. Which I totally do.
2013 was a little mix of 2011 and 2012, since I was really coming off my Australia slump and craving the traveling: I chose to tackle procrastination (which takes an equal amount of bravery as productivity). I’d been getting real tired of leaving everything last minute and putting stuff off. I knew that 2013 was the year I’d be leaving Canada and so what better deadline to put all your affairs in order than an imminent trans-continental move? I can’t say it was the most successful of years, resolution-wise, but I certainly got all my affairs together on time enough to get out of the country and took advantage of C’s visit to travel the area and do the touristy stuff of my own home. Additionally wasted no time going to Bota Bota nearly every Tuesday before leaving. God I miss that spa.
So this year, having moved out, and having witnessed the abysmal state of crammed receipts (if they were cholesterol in an artery, my wallet would have needed several triple bypasses by now), I find myself in need of a more adulty type resolution: organization. (Ew, boring). For the first time in my life, I have bills to pay, loans to stay on top of, groceries to restock – all of which in a language that isn’t just foreign but entirely alien.
Despite my above declaration of cheating with vague resolutions, because mine is fairly dull this year, I’ve decided to pair it with another: receive 100 rejection letters from magazines, literary journals, webzines, quarterlies, reviews, biannuals, and anthologies for various pieces of my creative writings. It’s an idea that I stole from a friend and one that I find extremely encouraging: 1) you have no expectation of success; 2) any success exceeds expectations and is thereby 500% more awesome and esteem-boosting; and 3) it’s at least getting you writing and sending output into the world.
So we’ll see how that goes. Should you have reached the end of this fairly lengthy, self-indulgent reflection, I congratulate you.
Even if you just skipped to the bottom, I’m curious: what is (was) your resolution this year? What’s been your most successful resolution ever made, if any? And how was your year in general, hey!