New Year, New Me?
My concise thoughts on the matter, if you don’t want to read my long-winded, tangential, ramblings: Forget it. Just be a better you. Otherwise, don’t do anything different. Oh, and fight really, really hard.
There are some things to consider: What do you want to do? What are you doing? What can you improve?
In his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a former plastic surgeon, determined it took 21 days for changes to stick. Later the myth was broken by Phillipa Lally who found it can take about 2 months, 66 days really, on average. That’s a crazy amount of time to make a change and stick to it. Look at THIS Huffington Post article for more information.
Near the start of February 2016, I weighed 210 lbs. I didn’t exercise, and I ate horrendously. I hope you’re aware that’s all bad. I did. I realized my problems. I decided to start eating better, and running and working out nearly every day or every-other-day. Guess how long I kept to it? An entire year. I even plan on keeping it up the following year and the year after that, etc. I’m down 40 lbs. and I’m much healthier.
This is one of those rare occasions where I stick to something and achieve it. But I would say it’s more because of my stubbornness rather than anything else. I hated my appearance and my health, and I was determined to fix it. You know what I go for all my hard work? Clothes that don’t fit right anymore. I’m a writer. It’s not like I can go out on a shopping spree for new clothes. I’m kidding. That’s why belts exist.
Most of you is probably fine the way it is. There are things you could work on unlearning like being a jerk, for example. I’m sure, reader, that you’re most likely not a jerk. Really, what you need to do is reflect on the things you view as good that you already do and you think you should do more of… For me, this was writing.
Previously, I mentioned that, before I got a job and before I went to grad school, I was writing a ridiculous 4 hours a day. This diminished greatly to maybe once a week. I knew this was bad even with the commitments of adulthood. What do I do? I make a deal with myself to write once a day. I don’t set a time limit. I try to block a time, but I still keep it flexible. Then I write for as long as I can before something like my work break ends or my stomach decides food is needed. To me, it’s the most important thing to do. I can’t write like the old days, but I don’t want to give it up either. So, I have this solution. It’s not the best, but it is better.
Other important things to consider:
- What’s your work habit like?
- How can you improve it?
- What do you want to work on?
- What can you realistically work on? (work on the ones you can)
Part II, The Artists
What can I say about 2017 in regards to artists and creators?
A few things, really. At the very least, the next four years, not just the one, are going to be difficult, more so for some than others. Here is where I’d make a joke if I found it appropriate to do so. Even though people are griping about the severity of 2016, it can, in fact, get worse. This is especially true when you consider that some of the worst parts people refer to tend to be the deaths of celebrities they’ve never met. This is fine. They impacted you at some point. The odds are you probably didn’t know them personally. Although a famous stranger’s death can affect you, it’s not the worst thing that can happen to you. There, I said it.
So, what are we supposed to do with this new year that seems to be the coming possible apocalypse? I have a couple ideas. You don’t have to agree. You also don’t have to disagree. These are thoughts.
As an artist, you are going to be facing a group of people in power who will do all they can to get what they want, and they don’t seem to care about you or most anyone else. This means you need to enter the fray in arenas like socioeconomics and politics, as much as it pains me to say that. Let’s face it, society is in the process of shitting all over itself. You may not feel like this, but it’s the artist’s duty to not only point this out to them but to also assist them in cleaning this mess.
Here you are, thrust into the scene of uncertainty, a bohemian militant. If you can see the wrong, it can see you. Now is the time to fight. Or, really, now is the time to create. Don’t hold back. If someone tells you something is too much, the correct response is, “Fuck you.” Then carry on with what you were doing. Also consider getting rid of that person. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. I think that’s what that is.
It won’t be easy. It won’t be fast. Most everything about it will be painful. It will probably be dangerous at times. If all you want to do is make money off of art, then you’ve come into the wrong time period, with exception to being born into certain races, classes, and sexual orientations. Even then, the world will make no promises.
Part III, Everyone
Take a deep breath. Reflect on your life. What’s going on? What do you want to do? What have you been doing? What of that stuff you’ve been doing can you do better? Think.
I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s important. Don’t accept what people tell you. Or don’t take everything you’re told at face value. Investigate matters. Call your leaders that you chose to represent you and your best interests out on their bullshit. Don’t be offended when other people do the same thing to people you side with; they are simply doing the same for themselves.
Do you care about someone? You should keep caring about them. Unless it goes to shit. Then don’t. Whatever. You’re your own person. Just take care of yourself, and try to cherish what you already have. Do you love someone or something? Does it hurt someone else? If not, then keep loving that someone or something.
Remember to eat well, drink lots of water, and get plenty of rest. Wait. I forget. Are you sick? Never mind.
Part IV, End
It’s the beginning of the year, but I’m talking about the end. Figures.
Here’s the deal, you’re most likely going to be living longer than four years, let alone the one. This makes it important to not only fight through 2017, but all the remaining years of your life. Also, live. Be sure to live. That’s going to be key. Enjoy what you can. Create what and when you can. Think deeply. Love widely. I appreciate you as both a person and a reader, and, despite everything happening, I do hope for the best for you and the people in your life.