Taken in Spain, Sept. 2011.
Way back on January 1, 2009, I wrote a post about the one resolution you can't live without -- not my own, but rather the overarching truths and lessons of goal-setting, what it means to truly resolve.
Each year since, I have written a litany of earnest resolutions and attendant goals in my journal, and they're often the same items. Every year I tell myself to make more time for writing. Every year I say I will travel to new places. Every year I vow to be a more loving person.
And every year I think I have failed.
But the march of time -- in this case, at least -- has been kind. The wise idea I presented in 2009 came from a place of intellectual understanding, and now, finally, after three years of the DC circuit and friends' deaths and interrupted sleep and tiny victories only I can see, I understand the concept emotionally too.
You see, I haven't failed. In fact, in many of my goals I've made significant progress. I write the same things each year because those things -- creating, exploring, relating -- make up who I am. So I'm never going to 'finish' or 'accomplish' them because I live them. They will always be part of what moves me across this earth.
This year, I identified my 2012 resolution three months early in the midst of a punishing travel schedule. "Stay put," I said to myself. "Go away less, leave more time for writing, and don't burn yourself out. That's it. Let everything flow from that."
I felt smug about my proactivity at the time, but now I think I spoke too soon. My beautifully still December -- spent in my own home in my own routine -- gave me ample time to examine where I stand, and it boiled down to a few themes:
- I believe and I doubt. These states are not, not should be, mutually exclusive.
- Self-expectations are the harshest of all.
- Overemotional ninniness signals my investment in the world around me.
- It's not a quarter-life crisis. It's life.
- My will to be bold has brought me this far, and it will carry me forward.
2012 is my year to keep plugging away at ever-moving external targets and ever-evolving internal ones. My success is assured for next year, because the goal is to live. That much I know I can do.
Prayer #194: What's New is Old
I pretend I am the first
to see the visions
hear the voices
ask the questions
But I know I'm far
from the last
And I know I'm far
from the answers.
I think, though, I've arrived
at a rest stop where others
because I see their scrawls
on the bathroom walls
and they all say
so I will.