Saturday, January 16, 2010

Half of this wasn't me (it was Tom Waits)

nighthawks at the diner
of Emma's 49er, there's a rendezvous
of strangers around the coffee urn tonight
all the gypsy hacks, the insomniacs
now the paper's been read
now the waitress said

eggs and sausage and a side of toast
coffee and a roll, hash browns over easy
chile in a bowl with burgers and fries
what kind of pie?

A bottle of nail polish remover next to
an ashtray, four butts smoked down to the filter behind
a crumpled brown styrofoam cup, perforated by plastic spoon.
This whole city is dying of second-hand smoke,
and the rest of us are just dying.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Take-Off.

I mentioned earlier this year that I wanted this to be my airport year, to bravely march into the unknown world, stop being perpetually stuck in plain contentedness and stop settling for normalcy. So this year, I bought a plane ticket, traveled on my own and realized my own abilities to adapt, made wonderful friends from all corners of the world, threw myself into completely new environments (from the rural French township of Jonquiere to the bright lights of Paris), found a clearer idea of who I want to be and what I want to be doing in ten years, and dipped a hesitant toe into the icy cold waters of journalism. In this time, I've lost some important people in my life, learned from some unlikely people, and realized who my real friends are.
And so, without further ado,

What I've Learned About Myself (and really, life) This Year
- I'm terrible at keeping a balance in my life. Unless all aspects of my life are going well, than nothing is, and this is often due to a skewed mindset. I will go long stretches of time getting 12 hours of sleep and napping all the time, and then I'll quickly snap into a rigorous routine where I'm out the door at 7 AM and come back home at 10:00. It's very inconsistent and something I need to work.
- Sometimes, at the most unlikely moments, there simply isn't any room to be afraid or worry and it's important to just keep moving.
- Often, it takes one very drastic (but calculated) risk or action before the rest of the details line up. You can go on telling yourself you'll do something, or wait around for people to catch up, but it doesn't amount to anything until you finally push yourself off.
- It's remarkably easy for me to immediate put up a cold, "I'm better than you" front when threatened or insecure. This is alienated me from a lot of people, or it has set me up to be a completely different person than I am, which pigeonholes me into a character that will inevitably disappoint.
- I drink way, way, way too much coffee. Five cups a day should not be a consistent norm, and it has been in the past four months for me. I also don't drink enough water or milk.
- I bypass many of the larger problems in my life and instead target a lot of petty inconsequential things like appearance and weight.
- I need to give myself more credit for a lot of things. I'm a more genuine person than I think I am, and the self-delusional "Oh I can't do this, I'm a terrible person, I hate everything" is easily turned into an excuse to not go for what I want. At the same time, I also need to trust myself to know to stop when I should.
- I am terrified of a whitebread suburban lifestyle. It obviously works for a lot of people, but not for me. Hell comes in the form of a mini-van and a white picket fence.

So that's the sum-up. And this year?

2010 Resolutions:
- Quit soul-sucking job, attempt to find job where I will engage with real human beings who have no chance to hang up on me.
- Do not spend more than $350 a month.
- Drastic, but calculated decisions.
- Only go to bars once a week (Karaoke, Tuesday nights, Peel Pub)
- Use time that would have been spent at soul-sucking time cooking dinner for self
- Blog once every two weeks.
- Find a balance. And an internship.


Hopefully. Have a good year, everyone.