Cliches can hopefully be good

The thought of New Year’s resolutions are cringeworthy to me. I have opposed them for as long as I can remember and will likely continue to oppose them as aging cements my individual behaviors and mindset. And right there is why I’m embracing New Year’s resolutions this year. The sedimentation of my behaviors, mindset, and really, my life.

2016 was a deceptively stagnant year for me. In many ways, I made good strides in my professional career that some say I should be pleased with, but to be frank, I’m not. For every accomplishment, I had many moments of various levels of fret. Disappointment is too extreme to describe these feelings, but I’m afraid of fret snowballing into that territory.

The gateway to my personal disappointment is complacency. I feel I’ve grown complacent in so many areas of my life and ways of thinking. Areas that I’ve been aware of for a while. Areas that are finding company with other, more unfamiliar areas. I’m not ready to talk about these yet and I certainly don’t want to do a disservice to my own growth by summarizing a source of angst into a list. These areas need to be individually fleshed out and explored before I can attempt to fully disarm them. What I am ready to talk about is my plan to reverse inertia via New Year’s resolutions.

The resolutions below are my attempt to start making manageable, yet meaningful changes in my life. They are the first thoughts that came to my mind as the minutes marched toward the new year on December 31. Number 4 is my permission to myself to embrace these resolutions, among other things. Number 3 is why you’re reading this (Hello? Anyone here?). Without further ado, the list:

  1. To read more.
    • Read less non-fiction and dive into some fiction. Create a more imaginative me. A different way of looking at the world and interacting with new people. Also, read more news. Start the day by reading at least two news articles. Any articles. Just read them.
  1. To learn more about the world.
    • Follow one world news item for the entire year. Immerse myself in it. Know the characters and plot lines inside and out. Even learn about the people covering this news item.
  1. To write more.
    • I am scared of writing. Now that that is out there, get over it. Don’t let the scars of graduate school ruin my personal and professional growth. Start a blog. A blog about something, about nothing. Just write.
  1. To become an anti-contrarian on two topics.
    • For two things, get over your contrarian ways. Brunch, coffee, popular media, 14ers, Colorado, etc… But don’t just attempt them. Embrace them. Let them become a thing in my life. It’s time to embrace the world that other people experience and not just the once I create for myself. It’s ok to let other people introduce me to the joy in their lives.
  1. To reacquaint myself with the guitar.
    • Learn three songs. Really learn them. Impress people with how well you can play them. It’s ok if it takes time. It’s ok if you’re afraid to become intimate with the guitar again. Remember, you left it, it didn’t leave you. You know how, just pick it up and start again.
  1. To volunteer.
    • Give your time to two volunteer opportunities. Really invest in them. It’s not enough to just be there. Much like a relationship, you get in what you get out. Maybe I should figure out what I want to get out of them first. Once I figure it out, give back.
  1. To record more.
    • Create one natural or non-natural recording per month for the year. Don’t cop out either. Create something great. You love to listen to the world. Others necessarily don’t. Let them hear what you hear. Convince them to listen. Become great at what you do. Learn to be a kickass audio recordist.
  1. To be a more honest me.
    • Be you when you date. Let them see you earlier. Don’t do what is expected. Do you. It’ll get you closer to what you’re looking for faster. How to do that? Not sure explicitly, but implicitly, you know exactly what this means. It’s time to take this search seriously.

So there it is. This is the map. This moment me is the starting point. The destination may be unattainable, but as the old cliche says, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey“. Gross.

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