Thursday, December 31, 2009

on two thousand and ten

Dear Two-Thousand-and-Ten,

A decade ago, I was only thirteen and brought in the coming millennia playing in the snow and contemplating where I would be on this very day, ten years and many roads later. I wondered if I would be married or have children, and in my head then I’m certain I thought I would have graduated college or become a successful travel writer or marine biologist by now (sorry to disappoint, Miss Dayna who was thirteen).

A year ago today I resolved my resolutions from the year before. I concluded that I would make no promises or resolutions for 2009, and in lieu of those I would simply try to live more deeply and abundantly. As this past year ebbed and flowed, I sometimes succeeded in that, and those were beautiful moments.

Earlier today I stood on my porch and let the snowflakes drift past me, letting a few hit my face and turn to droplets. As I sipped my lukewarm coffee, I wondered what I should resolve to do – if anything – and how important I would make said resolutions. This year, in place of resolving much of anything, I am simply going to try much harder to do a few fairly important things. This eliminates the hassle of exactly one year from this moment when I will undoubtedly return to read this blog and wonder how I failed so miserably at simple things, thus triggering my mental self-flagellation. Setting painstakingly concrete resolutions can be a drag, let’s face it, so I’m trying something a little different.

(As a treat for next year, I’m going to save my opinion on why we only set goals for ourselves on one day out of the year and then waste the other 364 thinking we can’t decide to resolve anything until next January rolls around. You’re welcome.)

Part of why I hate resolutions is because I’m very bad at sticking to plans. I am awful. It’s embarrassing. Those who know me well will attest to my spontaneity and free-spirited wandering as being endearing yet simultaneously burdensome and annoying. Especially Kurt. He’s a planner. I’m a drifter. Most especially my mother, but only because she’s worried I will waste away as a hitchhiker while never recognizing my full potential as a world-changing writer/singer/songwriter/political activist/what have you. The people that choose to love me in life are rewarded with anecdotes and pretty cool stories while simultaneously being stuck on the rollercoaster that is my life.

The past few weeks I have been realizing just how badly I have been treating my mind through most of this last year. I haven’t been feeding it with new things to encounter and process and enjoy, like books or documentaries. Much of this will be remedied by the obscene amount of new books I received for Christmas thanks to my wonderful parents. Thanks to them, I have beside me a stack of books that, when I look at it, makes me so happy I want to pee my pants. I love the written word; Steinbeck, old classics, obscure travel writers, even local newspapers. Until a month ago I had forgotten how it felt to spend hours in a book. It is lovely. Thus, my first Unresolution is to read more and more diversely, to feed the amazing working thing that is my human mind.

Following along that same thread with Unresolution II, I need to write more and become more serious about it. Save this entry and notwithstanding my lack of practice, I promise that I can be a great writer in time. The general idea is not to give a hoot if I make money but to send in freelance work to build up a portfolio so that when I do again have money to travel, I will be able to make extra pennies (I’m under no delusion, they will be pennies and not dollars).

My third Unresolution is that I will write more music and pursue outlets to hone that ability within me, seeking out smaller coffee shops and performance venues that will help me get better while keeping my head and ego at a nice and manageable level. (Back when I toured I started to think I was a big deal, much like Will Ferrell, so this is more important than it sounds, especially as I lack the office that smells of rich mahogany.)

So 2010, you are Unresolved at last. I want to read more books, learn and practice the craft of writing, and reignite my passion for writing music. I would also be okay with sending more postcards, winning a Nobel Prize, finishing my novel, quitting smoking, and trading in my cat for a dog that doesn’t pee in the corner.

Nice to meet you 2010, I think this year will be great.