Why hello there, boys and girls. How are you feeling today? Me? Oh, I’m fine. I mean, I have a raging headache, the kind where I feel like something might come bursting through my skull, but since I’ve had this headache for the past three days, I’m not going to complain about it. At least I’m not hungover. I was going to go out last night, and I would’ve, I’m sure, had some kind of story for you today, but instead what happened is that a friend of the friends I was supposed to go out with ended up being admitted to the hospital with something very serious-sounding (let’s all send good wishes to her in the hopes of quickly-restored health!) and so the friends I was going out with went to the hospital to be with the other friend, and I had a quiet evening at home with my headache. Well, it wasn’t exactly quiet. At midnight, a bunch of my charming neighbors lit fireworks and shot guns, because I live in Redneck World: Icy Tundra Version.
Anyway, here we are at the dawn of a new year. A new decade, even. (Unless you’re one of those people who argue that the new decade technically doesn’t begin until 2011, in which case, we can still be in the same old decade, and let’s not get worked up about it — though — and I don’t know, because it’s not like I’m actually doing any research on this — if we think of the Gregorian calendar from the beginning of the common era, the Anno Domini years (does it annoy anyone else when people think A.D. stands for “After Death”? Do you know anybody like that? Because I do. What do these people think the 33 years that Christ lived are called? TJY — The Jesus Years?) begin with the birth of Jesus — and yes, I know that the actual timeline of this is hazy at best — the first year of his life would’ve been the first year of our lord, and it wouldn’t have begun a year later, otherwise there’d be some kind of random gap year, I think. Like I said, I’m not doing research, but if anybody knows anything about this and/or cares to do so, feel free to correct me, as needed.)
Let me start over.
I don’t believe in making new year’s resolutions, not really. I think self-improvement is a laudable goal, but I feel that it’s a process, and not something that magically begins on a certain date. When you really think about it, outside of historical documentation purposes, a year is an arbitrary measure of time anyway, so I say let’s all just do the best we can while we’re still alive, and we can break old habits and create new ones as we need to do so. Be that as it may, I am resolute on a couple of points, though they both stem from the same thing.
I started working a little over two months ago, and it’s changed a lot of things for me. I’m okay with most of these changes, except for the fact that I feel like I’m at work all the time. I’m not actually at work all the time, and I know this, it’s just that I have this schedule that makes it so that on the days when I am working, I haven’t figured out how to have time to do anything else, because the hours I work come in a chunk that seem to take up the entire day. Because of this, for the past couple of months I’ve felt largely disconnected from myself, or from the things that make me, well, me. In short, I feel uncreative and dull. It’s making me grumpy. And I don’t want to be grumpy, so I’m at the point where I have to do something about it. That means it’s time for a project. A little over a year ago, I finished with a 365 Days project, the goal of which was to take a self-portrait every single day for a year (due to a leap year, I actually did a 366 project). I simultaneously hated and enjoyed the project, and my primary goal was to finish it. Mission accomplished. I thought this time around, I would attempt a similar, yet less rigorous project — the 52 Weeks project (one self-portrait a week for a year), but then I remembered other times I’ve attempted weekly projects and how every single time, I’ve failed at them because I forget from one week to the next, and then I go three weeks without doing anything and I think “Oh damn.” There’s another version of the project that involves taking a photo a day for a year (any subject), but it presents a similar problem, in that I tend to have a hard time focusing on things when they’re not specific. So after a bit of hemming and hawing, I have decided that it’s back to pictures of me for another year. Still not that interested in myself as a subject, but at least this way I’ll have a focused task, and I do like the idea of a daily photo, if only because it will force me into thinking creatively for at least a few minutes every day. I miss feeling like I have some sort of consistent outlet.
Of course, I’m not guaranteeing that it won’t be a series of photos like this one, in which I am nearly dead upon returning home from work, all I’m saying is that I’m going to take some pictures.
It seems counterintuitive, perhaps, to hope that committing myself to a project will give me a needed kick-in-the-ass in other areas, because where do I think all this time to do these things is coming from? But I am hoping that pushing myself toward being more creative will help me get back into a groove with some other stuff, namely, The Novel. I’m still sorta working on it, but I’ve discovered that the thing about writing a book is that no matter how much you think you know about the book when you start it, the truth is that the book will turn around and sucker punch you with its own surprises as you work on it. So, what I mean is that I done been sucker punched. A different thing seems to want to emerge from everything that I’ve already done, and trying to reconcile that with all the previously-accomplished work is… daunting. I suppose that’s a nice way of putting it. It’s kind of infuriating, actually. But there it is. I have a lot of work to do, anyway, more than I thought I did. I’ll tell you what: if you’re not crazy before you attempt to write a book, the process itself is enough to push you over the edge. Keep that in mind if you ever decide to write a novel.
So what I hope is that by proving to myself that I am not actually at work all the time and I have time to do things that I want to do, I might inspire myself somehow to wrestle control back from my wacky schedule.
We’ll see how it goes.
Anyway, um, I’m sure that was really interesting. I’m mostly just putting it out here as a means of having written it down. I think writing things down is important.
And now I can get to the really important part, which is to say, happy 2010, you.