Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Year, New Actions- Do, Or Do Not

"Do. Or do not. There is no try."
In talking about the years prior to 2011, and the year still to come, I’ve been focusing on the idea of “resolutions” –  not as agents of guilt, but as agents of change. Simply saying out loud (or writing down) where you are and where you want to be can make those ambitions more real, and therefore, more achievable.  So far I’ve shared my ambitions to be more present; to be more aware of myself in how I look and how I “come across”; and to take more control over my relationships, both platonic and otherwise. That said, even though I‘ve written about how I want to look and how I want to act, but I’ve said very little about what I want to do.

It’s not enough to want something. It’s not even enough to be something. As human beings, it is important to be an “action figure.” And, as one of my favorite action figures once said, “There is no ‘try.’” And yet, I find over the last few years that I haven’t been “doing” what I want to. In 2011 I want that to change.

Something I want #3: I want to stop caring about being great at things, and start caring about just doing them.  Ever since childhood, I was the kid who didn't want to do something unless I was already good at it. That’s deadly thinking, and a good way to avoid doing anything meaningful. This actually leads into two “sub-resolutions”:

I want to sing again. Solo. That’s pretty straightforward, actually. I used to be a pretty good singer, once upon a time. Other people seemed to think so, anyway. As the years have gone by and my range has shrunk, I’ve become more and more reluctant to sing by myself in front of people, and I haven’t pursued it. It’s a vicious cycle –  the less I sing, the less robust my voice gets. The less robust my voice is, the less eager I am to sing. Well, I’m going to sing again this year. By myself. And you’re going to enjoy it or you’re going to stay out of my way.

I want to write. Every day. This is, I think, the hardest resolution for me to keep. I’ve always been someone who likes to “express myself,” but actually sitting down and writing is not something I do easily. Part of it is laziness – there’s always something else I could be doing. But a lot of it is perfectionism. I started this blog in order to have a place where I could display “good” writing. The problem is, “good” writing requires rewriting, too – so, by the time I’ve been happy enough with pieces to call them “good,” they’ve ceased to be particularly relevant or timely. Once again, it’s a self-defeating pattern. If I wait to be good all the time, nothing ever gets published. And so I never get better, and I give no reason for anyone to read what I have to say. I don’t want to stop caring about quality – but I have to become willing to accept when “good enough” is…good enough. For now, I’m going to keep this blog for “good” stuff, but I have decided that I need a place to just write, too, without worrying about it being good. There will be an announcement in this space about that tomorrow.

Ultimately the last three days’ worth of resolutions have shared something in common. They have all, ultimately, been about fear. Fear of doing, fear of how others see me, fear of loving, and fear of trying to be the best I can be because of fear of failure. Ultimately, then, I have just one resolution:  I want to – no, I will – live my life without fear in 2011. And to do that I will work on three-to-five “SMART” goals. Too many? Too few? Who knows. But, at least they’re goals. Next time you see  me, put me on the spot and ask me if I’ve been working on them, and maybe tell me some of yours. But not when I’ve been drinking, please – I’m saving that one for 2012. Happy New Year!

No comments:

Post a Comment