Monday, December 15, 2008

city in my mind.

When I looked back at what I’d set out to do in 2008, this is what I found:

The weather inside of myself has been changing. 2008 will be about embracing adulthood, but also embracing what is at my core, rather than telling myself that what is authentic to my core is childish or unrealistic. 2008 will be about finding the balance between joy and melancholy. It will be letting creative productivity and my social-self (myself as a friend) be the pivot on which I balance my life.

Sheesh. Maybe my head is in a completely new space, and I can't relate to that girl. Or maybe I am still working out some of those things subconsciously.

So, goals for 2009. Right now it is these things:

1. Improve my vocabulary. (Notice that I've added two different Word-of-the-Day applications to this blog.)

2. Read more. (I can't remember when I became so lazy about reading, but I think it fits somewhere into the time period between landscape and architecture.)

3. Develop and stick to a journal submission routine. (I didn't submit stories to one single journal in 2008. I'm not beating myself up, because I did spend a lot of time pushing out drafts. But it's time to turn drafts into final versions, and further, it's time to get those final versions out to journals.)

4. Stick to a writing routine. (I suppose it will largely involve revisions, but I've also got to plan in time to work on new stuff.)

5. Stick to an exercise routine. (blah. I just read an interview with Tina Fey, and I got so annoyed with the writer/interviewer. She spent HALF of the article obsessing over Tina Fey's weight loss. Fey once was 5'4" and weighed close to 150 pounds. I GET it - why it is such an issue in her industry, but at the same time, I really don't get it. Not on any deep philosophical level. I get that, psychologically, we are a totally warped nation. Being 2 inches taller than Fey, and having pushed 150 myself, I have to say - I didn't look THAT big. I didn't feel like my healthiest self, but I also didn't look like a monstrosity. Like, no one would've covered their eyes when I walked into the room. What is wrong with us, America? Great big sigh. Who knew this goal would spin me into a rant.)

6. Complete another triathlon. (See above rant.)

7. In general, structure and schedule my days. (See all of the above.)

I can’t think of any soul-changing goals right now. I’m feeling fairly well planted in the ground. The biggest challenge I can think of, that I am too chicken to even put on my list right now, is to get an acceptance letter from some journal or other. I would really like that. But I understand that it also means I've got to be disciplined about revising my work and about sending it out.

I feel really boring laying this all out, but I’m sort of happy to be boring in the moment.

Okay. I am letting myself copout. I better list the publication thing.

8. Get an acceptance letter from a journal in 2009. (There is only so much I can do to achieve this. A lot of it is not in my hands. But I guess at least half of it is in my hands.)

There's one more. I guess this one would be soul changing for me, but I'm slightly terrified to write it down. We thought, when we sold our house, that we'd budget a portion of money to take a trip this summer. A really wonderful trip overseas. I REALLY REALLY desperately want to travel for an extended period. I'd be satisfied to have two months. I want to go to India with my husband. And I want to just see part of the world together as two young and married people who don't have a tremendous amount of responsibility. I thought we'd budget some of our house-sale money for just this trip. But I didn't know we'd be eating away at that money in the face of an incredibly tough job market, in which c. has not yet found a full time job with an architecture firm. And this makes traveling more and more unlikely. But here you go:

9. Travel to India this summer.

Now, do I round out my list of goals with a number 10? I guess this isn't a goal so much as a desire.

10. A wish a dream a perfectly valid dream. I'm really hoping that my husband finds a job. Not just any job (b/c he is working part time right now), but something that fits him and that he fits. An architecture firm that he'd be happy to wake up and go to each day. That's my wish. I guess I've got to work on visualizing this, thinking positive thoughts about it, putting forth crazy amounts of energy to that end. Same as I did when I wanted to get into grad school. Same as I did when we were trying to sell our house.

The thing is, I can see inside of my head exactly what my life looks like. And I'm trying my hardest to focus. To get myself to that place. When my mom died, I started to see it, like some kind of city in a sno-globe, the place I'm supposed to live in, the life I'm supposed to lead, person I am supposed to be. If I tell the truth, there's nothing about what I'd hoped for in 2008 that doesn't still stand - that I'm not still self-consciously pushing toward. A little bit nearer to there each day, each year. Here I come 2009. Head more in the clouds than I'd wanted to believe.

*lovely sno-globe by walter martin & paloma munoz.

SONGS: Road to Nowhere and Once in a Lifetime, Talking Heads (enjoy the videos below; just press 'pause' on the playlist player to the right)

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