I like new beginnings; I like the sense of hope and renewal that we typically tend to invoke this time of year in the form of new year resolutions. These new starts for me have historically involved the creation of grand ideas involving skills I do not possess, and which must be
learned mastered before I can even really begin to conceive of the the goal I’ve loftily put in place for myself. Once, armed with basic web development skills, I set out to build an animated portfolio in Flash (when that was still a thing). I’ve attempted other various artistic endeavors, daydreaming of being a prolific illustrator while struggling to become proficient in the basics (and really wanting to bypass years worth of practice), or resigning myself to mouse drawn images on my computer that required herculean efforts to produce what someone with a drawing pad could have busted out in an hour. (I only did one fully illustrated post. It took me weeks.) Let’s also not forget my more recent attempt at becoming a calligrapher, although at least this time around I had enough wisdom to call it for what it was: self-invention. It’s fair to say that all of these flighty goals were just that—fluffy, fantasy-driven inventions that might be possible if, well, I were simply someone else.
So this year, I am bucking my own trend. I have never come close to fulfilling those fantasies and have only been left frustrated, more deeply stuck, and ultimately trying to find some other undiscovered talent. I think I’m officially tapped out. My resolution this year, therefore, is to attempt nothing new. As it turns out, I am not alone in this realization. (Thanks, Leo!) Truthfully, there are things that I do actually enjoy doing, dare I say that bring me authentic joy, so my goal is to simply focus on those things. I have some big, though not lofty, running goals for the next few years, and while there’s nothing especially exciting about getting up morning after morning to put in the time, it is a journey that I don’t have to question for myself. Likewise, I enjoy reading, mostly for pleasure, sometimes to learn, but I tend to get stuck when I try to make it too structured or focused. I also like typing at you here, and occasionally I like making a goofy graphic to make myself laugh.
I also saw another perfect summation of this idea via the magic of social media, and have committed to it as my personal 2018 mantra:
Sometimes you have to walk yourself round and round in a circle until you straighten yourself out, and even if all those loops weren’t necessary, in the end they turn out to be at least interesting and illuminating in that ways-not-to-drive-yourself-bat-shit crazy kind of a way. And who knows…maybe you picked up a useful skill or two somewhere along the way.
Feature image credit: Caroline