I don’t make New Years resolutions. I never have. I suppose the reason for this stems from some time around high school when we were asked to make a set of goals for the year and I bullshit my way through it all the while thinking ‘goals are stupid, they are setting you up for failure’. Well, maybe that’s true. I have always been a glass-half-empty sort of person, because I would rather be pleasantly surprised by success than disappointing by failure. It doesn’t hurt that I literally have the worst luck known to mankind. If there is a way for something to go wrong for me, it probably will. I like to call myself ‘Murphy’s Example’. Screw you, Murphy, whoever you were.
But, I am finding that’s a crappy way to be. Honestly, there are a million and one amazing things about the world, and I need to stop finding the negative aspects and focusing on them. I said in one of my earlier blogs that changing your life was hard. It is. I don’t think there’s anything more scary or difficult than to leave behind something that you know it okay for something you where you don’t know how you’ll be. And yet, somehow, right after I wrote that blog I started to decline into some sort of defeatist trap where everything seemed hopeless and options cut off. I have always thought that it is never too late. As long as you are breathing, there is always something you can do to change your circumstances or feelings. I am not sure how I let myself forget that.
So, in order to help pull myself out of this funk I decided to do something drastic. I decided to Resolve. So, here are my New Years Resolutions for 2010. I may not achieve them all, but that’s not the important bit.
– Read more.
It may seem like a ridiculous goal, because I read an awful lot now, but between work and writing and watching too much television sometimes I feel like I am neglecting the bits of my brain that need the written page. I have been reading Anna Karenina for about a month now and I’m still only on page 250. Okay, so I took a small break to read a book lent to me by a friend, but that’s hardly an excuse. These days it seems like Tolstoy only comes out when I’m on break at work. And that’s only fifteen minutes at a time. Not good, Lindsay, not good. I also resolve to read more classic and important novels and forgo a lot of the trash. Although, I do need a little trash (ie Bridget Jonesian books) every now and again, I’m only female after all.
– Write more.
When I was applying to colleges I wanted to be an actress. This involved going around the country and auditioning for said colleges. It’s a nerve wracking experience, to say the least. But, it was something I had to do, because I am a firm believer that when it comes to difficult professions that pretty much guarantee you’ll be struggling for the majority of your life to do what you want to do and get paid pretty much, well, nothing unless you’re super successful like .1% of those who are in your same line, you should only do those things if you don’t have any other choice. In high school, I had no other choice than to try and continue that path, because it meant that much to me. But then my sophomore year something unexpected happened, I couldn’t get into any acting classes my first quarter and instead took three English courses. It wasn’t long after that I changed my major.
In one of my classes, I don’t remember the course exactly, but I think it was something along the lines of Sociology, the professor made everyone raise their hands if they were in certain departments. She then made a joke that those in Arts and Sciences would never have high paychecks. I raised my hand cause she hadn’t even said my department, and when I told it Humanities all she could do was make a face and look at me pityingly. It was hilarious. But I was an English major because I didn’t have any other choice. I was, and am, a writer. Sometimes I forget this, which shouldn’t be possible I know. But, sometimes I wonder why I still do it, when it stresses me out when I can’t get plots or characters right. When I read something I did once and cringe at the purple prose and cliched plot lines. But then I realize that I am a writer because I will always write. Maybe I will never be professional, maybe I will never make a dime, but I will always write because it makes me happy. The moment when it all makes sense and everything comes together is one that’s pretty much perfect, and can’t be replicated. So, goal-wise; I need to write more. I need to remember that it’s not a chore, and even when I am frustrated, just writing things down can help. I need to remember that no one’s opinion matters but my own, and that, at the end of the day, I really am pretty good at it. If only in my own mind.
– Legitimately be able to say “Come with me if you want to live.”
Okay this may not happen this year, but mark my words, it will happen someday. I figure the best way to go about making this happen is to put myself in continual dangerous situations. And know what the fuck is going on of course. Cause, honestly, I don’t think you can tell someone to follow you and pretty much guarantee survival if you don’t know what’s going on. I see several ways of doing this. 1) Become a spy. I am not sure that this is really… possible. I mean, I figure the CIA is pretty attune to what they are looking for in an agent, and it’s probably not an out of shape, computer addict in Cleveland, Ohio. Though, who knows, maybe I am selling myself short. 2) Become some sort of freelance danger seeker. I go around looking for drug deals turning sour and butt my nose in. That or bank robberies in progress. While probably the most realistic, this plan needs a little work. Can’t say famous lines if you’re dead. 3) Wait for machines to take over the world (though I always really hoped it would be zombies), survive said apocalypse, travel back in time to warn the mother of the leader of the human resistance against killer robots in human form. The third option might have to involve a sex change operation at some point.
– Get in shape.
I am not talking miracles here. I am not even saying I want to loose weight. Well, I mean, obviously I do, but that’s secondary. Really, I just want to be healthier, and sitting around watching too much television isn’t the way that happens. So, I joined a gym. Well, I joined a gym months ago, but the gym has just opened and it’s amazing. They really went to lengths in order to make it a place you want to be. So, there’s the first step. Second step is, clearly, utilizing what’s there. But, seriously, there are three pools (two indoor and one outdoor), whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, tons of classes, dozens of pristine new workout machines, pilates (costs extra, bah), yoga (free!), a gym for basketball and such, a rock climbing wall (this is inherently cool, even if I will never be able to use it, acrophobic and all), a cafe, sweet locker rooms… I am going to stop now, you get the picture. With all that it really shouldn’t be too hard to be more active. Today I went in the lap pool. Okay, so I didn’t last as long as I thought I might without getting tired, but that’s something I can build up to. Also, to quote Elle Woods; “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” Who can argue with that? And, well, if it doesn’t work out… at least I’m not married.
– Go to Niagara Falls.
I have been there before, but I was young and I was far more interested in the wax museum we visited than in the Maid of the Mist. I live in Cleveland, Niagara Falls is literally four hours away. Every year when I go to camp in New Hampshire I drive through Buffalo, New York. That’s like… a half hour, if that. And every year I think ‘I should go to Niagara Falls on the way back’, and somehow never do. There’s always a perfectly good reason, like the fact that I usually don’t roll through Buffalo until later in the evening and would therefore require a hotel room, or that I am driving a rental car and need to get it back by a certain hour. Legit, really. But, no more excuses. This year I am goin to Niagara Falls. I think that the best way to approach this will be a separate trip, it’s only four hours after all, and the rest stop at the PA line allows for some phenomenal views of Lake Erie.
– Laugh more.
This is another one that might seem a bit silly, because I really laugh all the time. Even when miserable I usually manage to find something that amuses me enough to rouse a chuckle. But, I want to laugh more. There’s nothing better that laughing, and there’s so many things to laugh at. And, I don’t mean cruel laughing, I am making fun of no one here. At least, not without K to make me feel okay about it. And really, if you’re going to go places with your hair all over the place… you deserve it. What I mean is that there are so many things throughout the day, especially at work and especially at my work, that can come off as irritating. There are people pushing you around, there are people telling you one thing only to be contradicted a moment later who then yell at you for not doing both at the same time. There are people who clearly want to be in charge and can’t accept that they just aren’t. There is merchandise that you don’t understand, policies that make no sense, uniforms that are really not all that comfortable. There’s enough, and for a long time I let all those things frustrate me and make me bitter. No more. Cause on another level, they are hilarious. I am learning to roll with the punches, and it’s fun. You could try it too.
– Not be so hard on myself.
I am not the cause of all the world’s problems. I am not even the cause of the problems of the people I know. I know that I have a huge capacity for believing everything negative about myself that I can come up with and reject the positives. This will probably be the hardest one for me. I have always been self conscious about my appearance. It’s difficult not being pretty. Sometimes I lie and say that it doesn’t matter, but the truth is that it does. But, I have plenty of other qualities that are probably better than outward beauty anyway. I think I am fairly clever, I strive to be witty, and I have a genuine desire to learn things. It doesn’t matter what, really, because I love random facts and trivia. I also think I am pretty open minded, which allows all sort of ideas in.
I have also always been self conscious about my role in people’s lives. I have trouble using the telephone. This wasn’t always the case, in high school I was outgoing enough. Always a bit ridiculous, never popular, but I don’t think anyone out and out hated me enough to make fun of me. And… if they did they didn’t care enough to be too public about it cause I never knew. I was always just myself, take me or leave me. This is what I strive to get back to, because the first year of college for me threw me into some sort of funk. I became monumentally shy, and worse off I got depressed. Maybe it was the change in life, maybe it was just when my brain decided to show it’s true colors. Either way, the serotonin in my head started not being absorb into the neighboring neuron and everything turned grey. And it stayed that way for a long time, throughout college and through about a dozen different kinds of anti-depressant. And in the meantime the medication made me irritable, fat, and sometimes downright ill. My decision to go off them was more a financial one (no health insurance, of course) than anything else, but I found that if I worked hard at it, I didn’t need them so much. It didn’t hurt that I was happy. I had a job I feel useful at that could divert my attention. I had friends to hang out with pretty much any time of the day I wanted. I didn’t have a lot, but I had what I needed. I was happy, and even though my life changed again it stayed that way until I let it not. Well, no more. I am done with that depression bullshit. It will probably follow me for the rest of my life but I am not letting it rule my life anymore. I will keep active, I will create things, I will follow my goals and then eventually I will come out successfully on the other side.
I am very tempted to add two more goals here, but I don’t want to be over-extending myself here. One is getting a new job, but I have been working on that for sometime now. And, honestly, I am not huge on the one I have, but I am getting used to it. Maybe that’s being broken, but I think it’s more like accepting what I have right now. I wont always work there, that’s for sure, and I certainly wont stop looking for a new job, but I can live with what I have right now. At least until I figure out where I want my life to go. The other is moving out of my mother’s house. Unfortunately, this goes hand and hand with the other. Even at full time I don’t make near enough to afford an apartment with heat, or electricity. Certainly not internet, unless I can steal it from an unsuspecting neighbor. My mom is a cool lady. She lets me do my thing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need my own space, and my room’s getting a bit stifling.
So, there are my goals, Resolutions if you will. And I am sticking to them.