So I’m writing this list publicly because resolutions are bullshit. Not because I’m necessarily going to ever write another thing here again. I’ve never ever followed a single resolution I’ve ever written for myself, and while I’m not sure this will work any better it’ll sure as hell be more embarrassing to neglect this entire list publicly.
I’d save myself the trouble of configuring a new install of wordpress, and just throw it on Facebook, but if it got less “likes” than your bullshit chemtrail conspiracy post, or your 10,000 times regurgitated share of a dog that did something funny once, I might actually contemplate never talking to anyone ever again.
It’s not that I hate Facebook, I just think that if you spent half as much time in the company of your actual friends creating original meaningful memories, you’d find yourself far less interested in sharing pictures someone else created, with messages and goals that you’ll never actually follow despite the oh-so-important message you thought you were going to start living your life by for all of 10 minutes. It’s fake and not nearly as interesting as if you had shared something you made yourself, or shared that very same image, but added a message to it. Why you thought it was important. What you were going to try and do differently. Why it was so damn important to you maybe. Anything. Seriously anything. I care about you all on some level or another or I’d have ignored your friend request, and I’d enjoy that tiny tiny bit of personal reflection because you’re so much more interesting than you give yourself credit for. So very much more interesting than any picture with a quote from the Dalai Lama to me, no matter how many likes it already has.
I’m not nearly as angry as all of that above might make you think. It’s just on my mind as I stall. The longer I ramble the less likely I am to finish this. Do you know why I feel like I need to stall?
Because I’m afraid.
I’m so afraid. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid people don’t think I’m funny anymore. I’m afraid they won’t take me seriously when I stop telling jokes. I’m afraid I give up too easily when success is right around the corner. I’m afraid I keep banging my head against the wall over people and things I should have moved on from already.
I’m afraid that I now live such a boring existence that I’ll never have inspiration to write again. See I used to write a lot and it came a lot easier to me and so I think if I just get back into that frame of mind my production will be that good again. Some of it will be shit, but some will be good. I’ll take that good stuff and expand on it. Years from now I’ll hit my 10,000 hour mark and people will be like “I still don’t think he’s any good but there are enough morons on the Internet for anyone to have an audience I guess.” And yeah, I’d be more than happy to accept that.
Problem is I really hate a lot of the stuff I wrote back then, and if I’m being totally honest with you (I am!) very few people ever read TFA outside of my friends and family. I owe the vast majority of my 500+ hits a day at the end (which I bragged so hard about at the time without mentioning this next part) to google losing their minds for a summer and making TFA the #1 hit for a Fall Out Boy lyric just as they were really blowing up. And so it’s difficult to point towards those days as any sort of goal.
So before I get to the list I need to get pretty specific about goal number one. I need to fail more in 2013. I need to try things (more than once!) and keep doing them if I don’t like the result. Because I won’t like the result most of the time, but it’s easier to fall asleep at night when I know I’ll wake up having improved as a person in the teeniest, tiniest way. Because you are a better person when you’re actually trying and not just existing from day to day. I used to put so much more effort into things, and I imagine I was a lot more enjoyable to be around back then, nagging requests to read my shitty poetry all the same.
I’m going to try and fail publicly when I can, and be really honest about it because it’s normally just as frightening confiding in everyone as it is to confide in an individual. Also, If I’m being honest with you (I still am!) picking and choosing a confidant from your pool of friends leads to disappointment more often than not. You can’t rely on a few people every time. They have lives, and their own problems, and sometimes they just don’t care as much as you want them to. If I’m going to fail or succeed in 2013 I’m going to do it where everyone can see it. Maybe the people I thought I needed were busy but someone else has something to point out I hadn’t considered.
So there we go. I’m going to try and do a lot of things until I figure out what fulfills me going forward, but I’m going to try so so so hard not to worry that I can’t do it. Or that it won’t be good enough. Or that you won’t like it. Or that you believed I would fail and in doing so I’ve just reaffirmed the snarky bullshit thoughts that make you feel better about yourself. Or that you believed I would succeed and with every misstep I just disappoint you.
So here’s what else I’m going to try and do this year:
Write something significant. – A novel, I think. And I won’t stop after Act One just because Act Two is the part that scares me.
Learn Katakana and Hiragana. I want to go to Japan someday, but I honestly believe the trip won’t be the same if I need a guide or visit with a tour group. I want to wander off the beaten path and get lost and find my way back. I don’t want to see the “sights”. I want to go to Super Potato. I want to go to a Ramen shop and order something without any help. I want to talk to a stranger whose experiences growing up I did not share and I do not understand.
I want to make a children’s book, which I never knew I wanted to do until a few days ago. I want to be silly and tap into the kinds of things I thought were funny or scary or interesting when I was a kid. I want to work on it with my friend, which I’ll get back to in a second.
I want to put my thoughts out into space about old video games, because I find them more interesting than the games people make today. I don’t know if I’d write about them or do a book club style podcast, but I want to give serious consideration to their impact. I want to carefully consider whether or not they hold up and whether or not they can be recommended today, because if these are the things I’m already thinking about all day long I shouldn’t be worried that anybody thinks it’s not worth doing. I want to do this with a friend too. Speaking of:
I want to collaborate more with my friends. Because some projects are too big for me, and for reasons that escape me, they want to work with me too. A fear of creative inadequacy leads me to avoid those kinds of talks more often than not, but I can’t let that happen this year.
I want to be open about the fact that I’m sad sometimes. Really sad. Or that I’m sometimes I’m afraid of things other people find trivial. Or that sometimes it feels like someone is pushing down on my chest while I’m trying to breathe, and even though I know full well my lungs are being filled perfectly adequately with each breath, I have to keep trying to suck more air in each time, as if someone just announced our supply would be out tomorrow.
I’ll try to write less run on sentences, but maybe not actually. I fucking love run on sentences.
I want to make sure the people I care about know it. I want to learn to distance myself from people when they’re making me feel shitty. I want to be there when people need me, but not feel less significant just because they don’t.
I want to post this to facebook, because jesus, if I wrote all this out and never told anybody about it, can you imagine? It would definitely rank with some of my life’s most pathetic moments. But I’ll be honest as of 12:06 am January 1st, 2013 I haven’t decided if I will yet.
Whatever happens to it, I’m not editing it. I don’t think I’m editing it anyway. I used to save drafts of things I wrote and edit them over and over for days. A week+ on one occasion. I haven’t even gone back to re-read most of it which is so terrifying, you can’t even imagine. If you end up reading this thanks. You’re pretty great, probably. I’ll even take any constructive criticism you have without getting angry or sarcastic (I hope!). I don’t know that I’ll be doing things on this site specifically, but I’ll be doing them somewhere. You’re welcome to watch me struggle.
When I started writing this I was sleep deprived, dangerously sober, afraid, more than a little bit hurt and not super optimistic that 2013 would be any better than 2012. None of those things have changed, but I did start out tonight with a blank word document, and I thought if I sat here all night it would still be blank when the sun came up. I really genuinely thought it would be impossible to put all this down in writing the way I used to.
That much has changed, and I’m feeling pretty good about it.