“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” -Neil Gaiman
So, here we all are, the end of the old year, and the beginning of the new year. It’s a time for resolutions, it’s a time for promises, it’s a time where we reflect on the past year, on past accomplishments and past... well we won’t really call them “failures” so much as “oopsie daisies.”
I’ve always found it both odd and interesting that we take this time to reflect. On the one hand, nothing really changes. Today is Monday, tomorrow will be Tuesday no matter what the calendar says. Same bills are due. Rent is due. All that really happened is that when someone asks me the date I’m going to type 2012 instead of 2013 for a little while, much in the same way that sometimes I’ll accidentally type “February” when we reach January 31st. Really most of the Earth stays the same.
But on the other hand, it is another year, insofar as we understand time, gone. We do have a need to recognize time gone by, whether it be some kind of anniversary (That I swear I’ll remember this time) or birthday (until you reach 39) or some other significant event that you want to recognize (11 years since Firefly was taken off the air. We want your adventures back, Captain Mal.)
The other interesting concept is the idea of New Years Resolutions. I used to enjoy making these, back when the stakes were lower. I mean, “Hey I want to get in shape” means something different. But I don’t like making them now. Not that I think people should, (especially me) but because they’re so easy to break. Yes, I made a promise to myself I’d write more, but there’s this Firefly marathon on, and I don’t want to miss an episode that I’ve already seen twenty times. (Damn you, Joss Whedon!)
So, this year I have decided I’m not making any resolutions. I’m not making easily breakable promises that I’ll forget in a couple of months and chalk it up to “Not keeping my New Years Resolutions”. No, the Twenty Twelve Michael Bay Explosion Monster really did a number on me. And the only way that things are going to get better is if I make some changes. Real changes that will improve my life and ensure that there’s no Twenty Twelve Michael Bay Explosion Monster Part two. I’m at the point that I need 2013 to be better for my own general sanity. So I’m not making resolutions. I’m making actual promises that I must keep. There is no other option. So...
I promise to actually start do do more with my writing. Yes, I blog here at Bad Shakespeare, and I will continue to do so. And I love each and every one of my readers, thank you for following these adventures. But I need to do more. I need to finish my comedy novel that got mired in my own melancholy and was stalled. (That’s a good line. Remind me to do something with that.)
I promise to finish my degree and become a teacher. I’ve spent a good number of years learning what I’m not good at. I’m an ok editor. I’m a pretty good writer. I’m a so-so government acquistioner. I suck at working at Best Buy and as a Lifeguard. But I’m an excellent teacher. I love literature. Keeping me out of a classroom is bad for me. I have so many ideas, some original and some standing on top of desks like Robin Williams in that one movie.
I promise to do more that scares me and makes me uncomfortable. Like all of life’s big questions, I usually turn to the philosophy imparted in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. (Two science fiction references in one post! Score!) In it, Constable Odo, who’s a shapeshifter, was a blob of goo that was found by a scientist. The Scientist “tortured” him until he finally showed him that he was a living, thinking creature that could shapeshift into the guy that played Clayton on Benson. The kicker was the scientist wasn’t torturing him. Odo loved being a blob of goo. That was comfortable to him. It was being uncomfortable and challenging himself that allowed him to eventually become humanoid, then help round out the cast of the best Star Trek series on television to date. We all need to be a little uncomfortable or scared. Taking the well-worn path is easy. Look at the Frost Poem “The Road Not Taken”. While people love to quote it and hold it up as an example of adventure! Of course once you read it you find out that the speaker has decided to just call the path he took as the one less travelled. Probably to impress the ladies. So rather than just saying I’m taking the scarier path, I’m going to actually take the scary path.
Star Trek, Benson, and Robert Frost in one paragraph. I’m on a roll today!
There are more, and I will update you all on them as they occur. From me, I hope you all have a healthy, happy, exciting, wonderful, unsafe, book reading, suprising, adventure filled, twitterpaited, gravity-defying, goal breaking, path not taken, Cow and Boy reading, Yippie Kai Yaying, Bad Shakespeare reading, Firefly-watching, Benson-referencing 2013.
And as for you, Twenty Twelve Michael Bay Explosion Monster... you didn’t win.