So here we are. One year after I started this thing. The end of 2017. And what a year 2017 was. By most accounts, a pretty dismal year in many ways. I think most of us can agree with that sentiment.
First, #45. What a shitty human being who has totally lived up to the billing. Hanging over our heads like the clouds of winter hang over Michigan, seemingly forever. Him and his merry band of asshats each and every week made some egregiously ignorant attempt to rewind time 60 years. And of course, the majority of us received this behavior appropriately, like a complete and utter punch to the balls or ovaries, whichever you prefer. And just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did, seemingly every week. Dragging the hope and pride of a country down the drain. So there’s that.
Personally, I had a rough year as well. I lost two grandparents. To say that I’m going to miss them dearly is an epic understatement. I had a period of work turmoil at the end of summer that had me seriously questioning how much longer I would be able to continue before I needed to start looking for my next stop. This has long since been resolved and I’m back on track, but what remains is the fact that I’m still so easily shaken by feelings of abandonment, both personally and professionally. Clearly something to be addressed. I had two other events happen, one of which still is ongoing, both of which I don’t really want to talk about and I’m not sure I ever will. Both drained me emotionally and have caused me to reevaluate who I am. And finally, my dating life, outside of a somewhat promising three months, didn’t improve all that much, and has in many ways has caused me to stop trying. I’m told that’s a good thing though. Who knows. Bleck.
But the main point of this post is to revisit the resolutions I made during my initial post back on January 1. This was supposed to be a year of change that would jump start the next x number of years of my life. Did I succeed? I don’t know. What would that jump start even look like if I had succeeded?
But I suppose this doesn’t need to be so deep and meaningful. So let’s just take a look at the resolutions and see how well I did. Successes are highlighted in green and failures in red. Without further ado…
- 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.
I managed to read five non-fiction books and four fiction. For my fiction fix, I stuck with Steinbeck all year and finished ‘To a God Unknown’, ‘Of Mice and Men’, and ‘Cannery Row’. I also read ‘Travels with Charley’, which isn’t fiction per se, but whatever let’s toss it in the Steinbeck fiction pile anyway. Hurray, fiction!
I plan on continuing with Steinbeck this year, before switching over to someone a little less daunting like possibly Suess to really help up my reading numbers.
- 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.
I read a lot of news! What did I read? Of course it was the shit show that is #45. I started the year thinking I would follow the story surrounding the attempt construct the world’s most pointless and racist wall. Turns out I turned my attention towards something with more of a Kremlin flare.
The story is riveting and it’s just getting started! Is it too much to say that I hope to ring in the new year with video of either Don Jr. or Jared in cuffs, while the orange one showers us with a barage of #fakenews tweets that hang like celebratory confetti in the air?
- 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.
I can’t say I’ve really written more outside of this blog, nor am I sure if my writing style has improved. I do feel more at ease with putting thought to paper, which was the initial goal. Now I feel my next step is to add a more professionally focused flare to my writing and do something more meaningful. I have a few ideas floating around. Stay tuned!
- 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.
Coffee. Boom! Game of Thrones. Boom! Brunch. Don’t get me started.
- 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.
Not a total loss. I traded in my mandolin for a banjo and learned how to play that somewhat well. I did learn one song on the guitar this year as well. However, I don’t feel like these are in the spirit of what I was trying to accomplish, so we’re going to call this one a failure.
- 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.
Nope, it never happened, so just an outright failure on this one. Anyone want to join forces in 2018?!
- 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.
Ok, so the goal was to create a new, awesome recording every month. That didn’t happen. However, I produced my best recordings yet this year. I am beyond proud of the progress I’ve made as a recordist and an audio editor. I also created a new web page to highlight my work in the national parks. If you haven’t checked it out yet, HERE is your chance!
I have a years worth of recording to carry out in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in 2018, as well as a continuation of my work in Rocky Mountain National Park, and trips to Trinidad and western Colorado coming up. 2018 is shaping up to be another great recording year!
- 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.
In some ways a failure, in some ways a success. I gave a relationship a real shot this summer and at one point thought it might turn into something long term, but it just wasn’t right and I knew that deep down inside. I thought this was progress for myself. Trusting myself to seriously evaluate a romantic relationship. I could have been more honest and open about it all along, which is something I’m actively working on and getting a lot better at since then.
I was close to getting into another relationship that looked so promising, but that quickly fizzled and was a shockingly crushing blow. It sucks to be so close and so far at the same time. Since then I’ve continued to be completely open and honest in an attempt to find what I truly want in life. I’ve never felt so vulnerable, so I guess that’s good. Here’s to hoping things turn out how well in 2018.
So there it is. A recap of my first real attempt at resolutions. Maybe this blog was annoying to a lot of you and you just want to smack me in the face and say “get it together dude”. Maybe some of you enjoyed my folly. Possibly a few of you found value in my thoughts and it inspired you to do something similar in your own life. Either way, I enjoyed this adventure quite a bit.
So much so that I’m bringing it back in 2018! Complete with brand new resolutions, updates on new professional endeavors, more honest accounts of general happenings in my life à la Chelsea Handler, and hopefully a more positive spin than 2017 had to offer.
See you next year!