Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome, 2011

If only I were a person who could change their life without the deadlines and due dates that come along with New Year's resolutions.

However, I am not. I won't say if that's a good or a bad thing; it's simply a reality of my life. If I want to get anything done ever, I need the checkpoints along the way. It's most helpful when they're set by someone else, but since I control my own life, I absolutely have to set them for myself, too.

And that, my friends, is why I am a fan of New Year's resolutions. Yes, they're often impractical. No, most people don't fulfill theirs. But anything that encourages people to make a good fresh start is a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.

Normally I either forget to make New Year's resolutions or I completely disregard my own by the end of January, but this year I feel this intense internal pressure to do everything -- and I do mean everything -- on my List O' Goals.

See, for the past few years, I've been in a funk. I couldn't tell you when it started, but for all practical purposes we'll say it was in ninth grade. I wouldn't call it depression, exactly; to call it such seems to take away from the many people who actually have chemical imbalances and only fake smiles and all the other shit of which I have no real authority to speak because I'm not depressed. If I lived before the age of psychoanalyzing away every last fidget and blink, they'd probably call it A Lack of Motivation and tell me to Get Over It and Get a Move On. Whomever they are, however they spoke back then. Whenever "then" is.

The point is this: there hasn't been an extensive period of time over the last three years when I've been truly happy or truly satisfied with my life. I've had many good moments. I haven't had any real hardships but nothing truly great has happened and nothing I've done has made me truly proud of myself. If I were a line on a heart monitor I'd be the comatose patient, squiggly lines indicating that I'm not dead, but there's certainly nothing to get excited about. Stable yet disappointing.

I could take this space to get into a whole list of my flaws and my personality and who I am and what I want, but I'm afraid that if I started, I'd never stop. As I said on Twitter (oh, Twitter, sometimes I wonder if you were ever meant to exist for a purpose other than an outlet for complaining about one's life), I'm fairly certain -- almost as certain as I can be without going in for a blood test -- I have a mild form of anemia.* (That would certainly explain my perpetually freezing fingers and toes and the fact that by the end of a school day, I am thoroughly exhausted (more than the average person seems to be). Additionally, it apparently makes it difficult to concentrate on schoolwork and, uh, regular work, so then I could scream from the rooftops that, at long last, my procrastination is validated!**) If I do, that's only half the problem. I don't believe that any medical illness, aside from mental disorders of any kind, stop people from being whom they wish to be. It puts limits on what you can do, sure. It gives you a hell of a good reason to be grumpy, of course. But I truly believe that anyone can become a person who can look in the mirror and say, "I'm proud to be these eyes and this nose and this mouth and this irregularly shaped head and this hair, or lack thereof, and this forehead and this skin and everything pulsing and beating and coursing and living inside of me." That's who I want to be. That's who I will be.

There's much more that I want to tell you, and maybe I will later, but this post is already getting hella long. For now, let's focus on these New Year's resolutions/life goals/changes (for the record, I wrote these to myself, which is why I use "your" instead of "my"):

- Find your copy of Hamlet. If you can't, pay for it?
- Study for your math unit test until you actually understand.
- Don't procrastinate on your homework for the rest of this quarter.
- Actually study for your midterms this year; don't just flip through your notebooks and expect it to magically seep into your head.
- Go get a blood test to see if you have anemia, and if you don't, figure out why you're so tired all the time. Subsequently, sleep more.
- Get a real harmonica and learn how to play it. By the end of this year, you have to be at least decent at it.
- Start studying the classical guitar for real. Practice a lot more, and especially learn a lot more about the technical aspects of the guitar. Put yourself through a mini guitar-specific music theory class.
- Figure out what you want to do with your life, and I don't mean an inflexible plan, but at least get some ideas about jobs you might want in the future/where you might want to live/etc.
- SERIOUSLY: start looking at colleges; see what colleges you want to attend and which colleges might accept you.
- Fill out your goddamn CAS forms; this is not going to be a repeat of your mad scramble to fill out the paperwork for your MYP hours.
- This summer: find a paying job.
- In preparation for this summer: find an internship or volunteer job that you're interested in, and apply for it soonsoonsoon!
- Freaking stop eating so much junk food. You need to sit down and figure out what kinds of foods you should be eating. Go to a freaking dietitian if you have to.
- Subsequently, freaking exercise more. (Important: go to a doctor to see if you have low blood sugar or something.) You also need to make a realistic plan for this, because if you don't, you're just going to go running once and then wallow about feeling sorry for yourself.
- Start and COMPLETE NaNoWriMo 2011. If you find yourself simply incapable, at least get halfway done.
- Start writing regularly. It doesn't have to be one project; keep writing those strange, short, philosophical/descriptive pieces that you love so much.
- Read all the unread books in your room (there are a lot) and read a lot more.
- This summer, spend at least 2 weeks without any internet at all.
- Make an active decision to be more outgoing. You're a natural introvert and that's fine, but sometimes everyone else around you is a little introverted too and they just want somebody to say hello.
- Do the things you say you'll do. If you can't/won't/don't want to do them, tell people upfront instead of waffling about.
- Use your big hanging calendar! You're never going to be naturally organized, but you can at least keep track of things better.
- Be more inclusive of all the new people on Set Dec. Most of them don't have the huge influx of fellow freshmen to rely on, like you guys did in ninth grade.
- Speaking of Set Dec: be waaay more organized. You don't have to be totally anal about it, but take initiative (even though you're only assistant chief :] ). If something needs to be done, get on it. Talk to Ms Davis & co. about what you need, realistic goals, etc.
- Get back on track with blogging. Don't use the excuse of being too tired; you're tired because you procrastinate so gosh darn much. It's only two days a week, and you enjoy doing it.
- Additionally, improve the quality of your blogs. Sadly, your earlier blogs were better quality than your recent ones, even though you were nearly two years younger.
- Have an honest conversation about your parents with religion. Keep calm, but don't back down.
- Be more assertive. I know you hate confronting people or even asking for help sometimes, but your problems multiply when you let them stew.
- Freakin' study for French...? Let's face it: the rest of high school is going to be substantially less fun because of French, but you have to take this class. You're not going to become fluent or anything, but at LEAST learn enough to do decently in the class and get at least a 5 on your HL exam.
- Stop procrastinating. Fact: you're never going to completely stop procrastinating. Fact: the extent to which you procrastinate is not normal and definitely can't be healthy. Get it under control.
- Find an EE topic that you love; something that you can actually get excited about writing. Don't procrastinate on writing your proposal, and actually refer to your EE adviser.
- Watch all the Doctor Who that you need to (you know what I mean).
- Don't use the internet on your phone unless you NEED to.
- Clean your room. Keep it relatively clean. Redecorate this summer.
- Organize your backpack. Seriously.
- Study for the SAT. I know you think it's dumb, but you need to retake it. Talk to Dad about developing a study plan for the math section.
- Organize your iPod. Catch up on Pottercast.
- Go to at least one Wrock show.
- Go to the midnight premiere of Deathly Hallows. If possible, do something within the fandom.
- Develop a good skin care routine.
- Get your driver's license! :)

It occurs to me that I am more honest on this blog than I am with most of the people I know offline, despite the knowledge lurking somewhere in the back of my head that millions (billions?) of people technically have access to this information. It's a strange thought but not a particularly nerve-wracking one. It's not that I say anything I wouldn't want people to hear; it's that most people don't want to listen. Not that I expect them to. You can't care about everyone, not on a I-earnestly-follow-your-exploits-on-a-blog-that-you-neglect-to-update-half-the-time level. I suppose that anyone who reads this blog cares just enough about what we have to say, and if you're willing to take the time to listen (figuratively speaking) then you've earned the right to my honesty.***

* The trouble is, of course, once you go about trying to self-diagnose on the internet, it becomes increasingly difficult to tell if you actually have those symptoms or if you're just twisting your body to fit the label that you want (sometimes we're all just big masochists at heart, aren't we?). As far as I can tell, I do, although there is a curious one about possibly having a desire to chew things, which of course led to a train of thought something like this: "A desire to chew on things...?" Wait... I like to chew on things! I used to chew on paper and wet dishtowels all the time when I was little! And I like to chew food! Oh my gosh I totally have this symptom. Make a room for me at the hospital right now. Actually, I kind of want to chew on something now... mmm... wait, no, do I actually want to chew on something? Or is that just some subliminal messaging going on? Okay, think of the last time you chewed on something that wasn't food...
** Okay, not really. Procrastination is a) not validated and b) present in many non-anemic people's lives. But how great would it be if I could just take iron supplements and actually feel focused?
***Pretentious blogger is pretentious. :)

1 comment:

Alex said...

My addition:
- Calm down a little. You don't have to take procrastination and run in the completely opposite direction. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Good luck.
Also, I am glad you are so honest. I find it ridiculously refreshing and I can't really find this with any of my other friends. So thanks.