That’s it for this year. How did we really do in 2017?
I kept good track of my progress on goals over the past year. Scientific to a T. I collected data on my study time, reading time, writing time, walking time, gym time, sleeping time, and more, ad absurdum, including variables that can be recorded therein each. All for the purpose of really getting to know how I do work, and making that fact a better carving in stone than David.
The details of that science will not make it here, as neither have a few of my more personal goals. Nor did some of these personal goals reach last year’s post. Because some things still belong solely to us, one will only have to wonder. A few of these may become good artifacts to share as they ripen with age, but until then, a secret they remain.
I hadn’t mentioned that I wanted to play more in last year’s piece if I recall correctly. While the trumpet stays often restful, and singing is reserved still for long walks and hot showers, the bass guitar I keep at the ready in my study has worked with me on a myriad of short lines.
Lines, that a well-placed notebook beside the instrument, has recorded and added poems to. Where this will lead in the future is my guess. I’m a writer more than a musician, but my lullaby style is surely there and audible. Perhaps it’ll be a song someday.
Notebooks now overflow my office, with notes, doodles, figure drawings, landscape pieces, abstracts, diagrams, graphs, poems, and charts that keep track of seemingly every detail of this writer’s life.
This year I’ve picked up some more skills in particular writing, layout, and editing, but the skillset continues to grow thankfully. Expanding now into graphic arts, I’m playing more with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and ImageReady more than ever before. A full-marketing company is erupting from my office little-by-little. That said: I am open to lessons.
Not to encircle back to my notebooks, but I’ve also been typing more, especially as research online brings me to my computer where books bring me to a notebook. The wide net that is my interest and curiosity also seems to have narrowed and honed its focus. This means more data journalism perhaps, or other work that reflects this, in the days to come.
Going from writing press releases to interviewing representatives for public office, I feel a lot has developed in my realm of knowledge. Spoiler alert: my realm of knowledge is an actual place in my fiction. Writing as a journalist I have brought more than myself to where things are happening. As a journalist, I’ve brought people and ideas together, and that excites me more than I think it does most. Not a bad thing in either regard.
The most personal of personal that can be pursued:
I lowkey enjoyed being single this year. Not for the reasons that people would assume a 20-something like myself would, but because it was a genuine year of self-growth and introspection. Besides, being chased was enough for me this year — more than enough.
I also hurt myself a lot. Much of it was because of that rush of energy, not like being chased, but like running towards something. Rushing recklessly. That’s when I got the most scars this year.
Relevant, I also found an old quote that I really enjoy:
“Though I am always in haste, I am never in a hurry” — John Wesley
To do things fast but also to take time in doing so. To never be pushed by a deadline to making mistakes, but just quick in step as conscientious of it.
To be quick, but focused. To not lose awareness, and contain a sort of edge friction in things, perhaps something not strange to one whose spatial intelligence is high, but to me, something to think about as 2018 persists.
Shortcomings of 2017
In the past year, there’s definitely been times where I’ve fallen short in some way. Where patience was concerned: folly. Communication: threatening destruction. In optimism: dark, ineffectual depression.
While once I had perceived silence as the underlying form that characterized reality, this might not be the truth of a universe that’s described as having begun with a big bang. For starters, big compared to what? And where then does that leave my thoughts on sound.
Previously, sound, in general, had been a violence to that silence — perhaps a strange thought for a musician to have. A break. Yet, it seems more likely that sound is the basis of all that there is in this philosophical way: big bang compared to what?
Silence is truly its own violence. The violence of death. The violence of silencing opposition. The violence of not knowing what to say or how best to say it.
Violence may be an expression, as one could make a deep performance art of silence, the defining pauses in a song, or the scream, or lack thereof. Violence is a last resort to worst choices.
Silence for me in 2018 must be this also, the last resort. I am most naturally a quiet and listening individual, but my resolution for the shortcoming of missing my chances to pose ideas and questions: to ask more questions in general.
That’s a place to start. I don’t want to talk more when I’m with people. I like listening. There’s still so much more to hear though, and that’s why I must ask more questions. The silence is violence and must be placed strategically. In between questions.
Likewise, there’s a question that finds itself hard to be placed to each of my friends. I have a lot of wonderful, and very busy, friends. “How are you?” That needs to be asked more, and finding that best time is a goal for 2018 because I’ve been reclusive or isolating myself more and more as I study. There are times to study, as there should be times for catching up with all of my friends.
There’s going to be a lot of exciting new projects and developments this year and I can’t wait to see what my friends add to this beautiful life.
This is for them, a cheers to them still being here in 2018 as they were the year before. I learned early that life, even in youth, shouldn’t be taken for granted. I’ve lost friends as early as middle school. Happy 2018 to everyone still with me!