The end of every year always feels like a weird week of suspended animation. December comes, it’s all, oh snap! Christmas! and then Christmas happens and it’s everything you hoped and dreamed it would be or it’s moderately alright or it’s nothing close (personally I was mostly alone on Christmas and spent part of the day throwing up so it was, in a word, spectacular) and then it’s like, oh yeah, there’s another week.
(I mean all of that provided you celebrate Christmas, that is.)
Tomorrow begins a new year, and I don’t know what it is about beginning a new year that makes people think they need to summarize the year that was. This year, I’ve done a 365 Days project, which I wound up today. A photograph of myself every single day this year, and I didn’t miss a single one. Oh, sure, I didn’t upload them all on the day they were taken, for all kinds of reasons, though if I missed an upload, the usual reason was that my computer was being a dick. When I started this project, I had the intention of forcing myself to think creatively at least for a few minutes every day. I didn’t promise myself I would take a great photo every day, and good thing, too, because I sure didn’t take a great photo every day. I don’t think I thought creatively every day for a year, either. The truth is that by now I know how to take a decent photo of myself. I know the angles, I know how I like to light things. I didn’t experiment much or surprise myself or take many photos that challenged me in any way, but you know what? I got it done. Even when I was sick or recovering from surgery or stressed or achingly sad. I got it done. And you know what else? I’ve been hard on myself this year for not trying very hard, but the truth is that when it comes down to it, getting it done has been enough for me.
So that project is over. This is my second time through a 365 Days project, and when I finished the first time, I was fairly confident that I wouldn’t do it again, yet I did. This time I am even more confident that I won’t do it again, but I always leave room to be surprised. In short, maybe I’ll give it another go someday, but for now, I’m looking forward to the break from every day thinking “Oh damn, I have to take a picture” followed shortly by “I don’t care, just do this.” I can understand having that attitude toward any extended project at least some of the time, but that shouldn’t be the prevailing attitude, I don’t think.
I will say, though, that even though I rarely captioned my photos with information about my daily life, when I look back at them, I can remember the events of my year. It’s been an eventful year, in ways I didn’t even think about expecting, though isn’t that always the way? There have been things so astoundingly great that I don’t have words for them — and I have words for everything, so that, in itself, is saying something. And there have been moments of heartbreak so profound that I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep breathing. And this month, well, to say that it’s been an emotional rollercoaster would be an exercise in understatement. I like understatement, though. And I really should exercise more. So I’ll just leave that there.
It has been a remarkable year. One that I will be thankful for as long as I live, thankful for the things that have brought me joy, thankful for the things that have hurt. And now it is over. Or will be in less than four hours, which is close enough. I don’t really do the resolution thing, because I don’t get the point. Of course there are things about myself I would like to improve, but I will continue working on those things in my slow, steady way, instead of trying to believe (for upwards of a week) that I can magically change, starting TOMORROW! Because the truth is that tomorrow, I will wake up and be exactly the same person I am now, alive in this skin, walking through this life of mine. I will have the same talents and failings, the same gifts and struggles. And I will just keep going.
Since I spent what seems like an inordinate amount of this post writing about my 365 Days project, it seems fitting to bring this post to a close with the final photo from the set:
It’s not really a pretty picture, but I’m okay with that. When I started the project, I took a photo of myself not too long after getting out of the shower, with wet hair. So this is also where I ended it. I’m not smiling for this one, but I am looking ahead.
And tomorrow, tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will be the same. And that is not bad. Not bad at all.
One thought on “farewell, 2010”
i enjoyed your 365 (for the record) for the chronicle it was, and it certainly was
i think my favourite was you painting your hallway.