I’ll be honest, I’ve been looking forward to this post. I started the Shoemaker’s Daughter series as a way to unplug from feeling like I needed to constantly be enlightening, and by part three I found myself missing our conversations. Between that and my little vacation, I’m feeling good. A new year has begun, and like many of us, I’m imagining what the year will have in store. When I inhale, I can catch the scent of change lingering upon the breeze, and it smells quite pleasant.
2011 ended with Leah and I moving out of our apartment. We are now renting an honest-to-goodness house, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. For the first time, we can blast music at ungodly levels, leave the garbage outside our door, and paint our walls any color we want without fear of mob-violence or reprisal. We have a two page list (single spaced!) of projects we want to complete and things we want to build all in the name of awesomeizing our home. I think the freedom to make your space into whatever you want it to be is one of the pieces of adulthood that I’ve not been able to fully grasp previously. I look forward to making this house something that is unabashedly Paulish. (And Leahnian.)
In fact, lately I’ve been thinking about my life on similar terms. With 2011 ending, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have precious little to show for my time spent living last year. No major goals set or achieved, no major contributions made to the world or otherwise. I feel like I’m being pursued by my potential instead of the other way around, and this year, I aim to change that.
I’ll probably go more into detail in another post some time, but I’ve been spent the first few days of the new year creating a productivity system that leverages my Nerdish tendencies and love of video games into something that can actually help me get stuff done. By the end of this year I’m hoping to have written a screenplay, filmed a music video, made soap (cold process with lye), eaten a few expensive meals, made some extra cash fixing computers, smoked a few cigars, gotten a promotion, written a manuscript for a book, competed in a few film competitions, and that’s just the first page of my to-do list.
The bottom line is that I’m sick of feeling like I could be doing something bigger than what I am. All the people I admire who are living their dreams got there by doing shit, even when they weren’t being paid for it, even when all it did was act as padding on a resumé. The things I really want (to know and be known, to do what I love and get paid for it, to help others figure out life) aren’t things that will just happen. I’ve got to be proactive if I’m ever going to get anywhere. And that’s what I’ve decided this year is about. Progress. By the end of 2012, I want to have things I can point at and say “Look what I did!” I’m hoping that by picking a word at the beginning of the year it will haunt me. When I’m faced with the decision to play video games for hours or do something productive, my hope is that the word “Progress” will help me choose wisely.
What about you? If you had to boil down everything you want for yourself in 2012 to a single word, what would it be? How would that word help you stay on track to accomplishing your goals?