Thursday, January 10, 2013

Full Circle Year

It's just a little into the new year and it only seems fitting that I write something.  Because looking back at last year?  I realized I haven't really jotted much down for 2012 and my writing has suffered from lack of exercise.  Time to get back in shape.

So, I'm going to open this post by sharing a something I mocked up during a writer's gathering the other night.  A gathering I'm hoping to hold many more times in the coming months.  The writing exercise we utilized was to pull three words, at random, from a box.  (We used Apples to Apples game cards for ease.)  You set a timer for say 10 minutes, and write something using all three words.  In this particular example the words drawn were "Stun Guns," "Disco," and "Television."  (*Warning, constructed in form of a really bad poem with no title.) :

Television holds so little attention
Time has slipped beyond its worthy mention
The glow that once held us all has faded
Much like disco's legacy left bitter-jaded
Self-fulfilling prophecy airing Logan's Run
Jaws drop like Trekkies with guns set to stun
Such inspiration and ideas doth pass
Replaced by reality and Jack Ass

It once foretold technological advances
Now it merely shows Stars at Dances
This display lost amidst the static
Leaves one pondering the tragic
Stupidity grows as does my tension
Television is dead, yet airs no mention.

It's a far cry from Shakespeare, but damn fun to write, allowing you to break free of over-thinking and be surprised with the outcome. But enough of that.  I want to move on and talk a little about the new year, and what I've learned in the last.  Because, after all, this surreal year, has really found its odd niche for coming full circle.

Looking Back, while Moving Forward.

It was a LONG year.  Friends lost, friends gained, friends lost again...  Single, almost not single, DEFINITELY single...  Acting job, no job, 3 jobs, including writing and illustrating jobs, one job, two jobs....  For feeling so little has happened, A LOT has.  So here's the interesting bit.  The full circle quandary.

Part of my approach to life is a philosophy that it's important to know what you want.  The ancient Greek commandment to, "Gnōthi seauton."  Or "Know thyself."  I think the reason so many are afraid to know what it is that they want out of life is because that means if they don't get it they think they have to be upset or disappointed.  And that may or may not be true at times.  I suppose that depends on your personal ambitions.  I think you can do both.  Know what you want, but still be perfectly happy with winning the consolation prize.  So long as playing the game was enjoyable in the meantime.  What I cannot abide by is not even trying.  Especially when the game is already rigged in your favor.  If you've been given a leg up over the other contestants?  Why the hell would you just walk out on your turn?  I admit I get upset with people that give up before even really trying.  Even more so when it leaves friends of mine in the lurch.  Say, like when two people have feelings for each other, but one is too timid to give it a chance, breaking the other's heart.  I get protective of my friends, and hate seeing wasted chances even for strangers.  But enough said for observations and others.

As for me, my dilemma has never been the lack of courage to go for what I want.  In the past I've rearranged the entirety of my life for mere whimsy.  I've moved mountains for love.  I've drained oceans for career goals.  And I've lassoed the moon for family.  And sure, I've been left in the lurch more often than having had my efforts rewarded, but I've also bounced back time and time again.  Bouncing back was sometimes harder than others, but I'm certain I still have a little rubber left to spare, and will continue to spring around in future.  I'm not afraid of getting hurt.  Not anymore.  My pondering lay elsewhere.

In more recent days, it's not about having the courage to go after what I want so much as the knowing.  After failing so many times at pursuing the grand prize, you move on to the consolation prize as the focus.  As I said, you can be perfectly happy with that.  ...especially when plan B is so close within reach.  So, when an unexpected opportunity, however slim, presents itself to go for the gold again, do you take it?  Do you risk putting the contingency plan on the back burner in the meantime, knowing that by doing so, you could lose both options?  .... gnōthi seauton.  How many times do you trust, or try, or believe before you consider yourself foolish?  Or is risking the fool's reputation just one more way of proving you would move the mountain?  The last test.  It's something to consider.

I have a lot of open doors ahead on me in life now.  Sure I look back and realize a few doors have closed, locked, and the key thrown into the volcanic Mt. Doom....  But a lot of new doors are open.  And a couple of the doors behind me, are unexpectedly looking like they might still be cracked, just a little.  Just enough.  And there's one in particular that stands out.  And I'm having trouble, for the first time, choosing a direction.  It's just so damned bizarre for some of the same doors to have slammed shut at the beginning of last year, to have opened again at the end of this one.  I've heard more than a few say "maybe the timing was just wrong before."  I can't say that's the case, because if anything the timing is worse in some regards now.

But for now, I'm going to let go.  Let loose on the rudder and see where the wind takes me.  "Wind blows northerly, I go north." Not that that is such a new concept for me.  I try not to steer too restrictively as it is.  Life is going to hand you what it wants to hand you, after all.  I suppose what I find curious is that I'm not even sure which path to root for anymore.  Guess I'll find out soon enough.

In Other News.

I have applied for an internship in Japan.  This last semester I have been studying diligently away on the Japanese language.  Somehow I scored a B for the course.  It was a super difficult course I feel like I hardly deserved such a high score.  But on the other hand, I can now read and write in hirigana and katakana and know a couple hundred words, and more importantly I know how to put them into sentences, so maybe I'm just being hard on myself.  The plan is now to take this semester off from the language course, study on my own to get a little ahead of the game, go to Japan for the summer, learn some while I'm out there, and come back to kick some butt next fall.

It was a hard semester for some reason.  Maybe I lost some stamina along the way, (I blame chemistry, it drained me,) but aside for Japanese, I managed to pull off some pretty awesome grades again.  This upcoming semester is going to be twice as difficult, now that I'm working yet another job, and taking a whopping 18 credits.

I finally have the chance to catch up on my major and minor classes.  (As if there was a choice, as I've pretty much taken every elective and gen-ed class I can now.)  This upcoming semester will include two studio art classes, intro to psychology, and two writing classes.  As well as a women's studies class, which I'm less than excited about, but should be interesting material at least.  I am excited for the semester on the whole though.  I love a good challenge.  And at the end of the semester I am planning a bit of a reward for myself, road trip style.  Never been to Canada, and it's time that changed.  Especially since outside of the cost of gas (which will be shared with others) it will be relatively on the cheap.  Which is awesome, since this semester is costing me an arm and a leg.  ...and maybe a couple of toes.

I'm looking in to some scholarships and such, (beside the two jobs previously mentioned) but in the meantime I am trying something new as well.  ""  A site that you can raise various dollars for various things; college, medical expenses, church trips... whatever.  It unfortunately takes a portion of the donations as a fee, so I feel hesitant to share my page to facebook where it would come off as panhandling amongst friends that I know don't really have the money either.  Putting my page out into the ether or here, where a wealthy benefactor may stumble upon it is different somehow.  So here it is:  Now I will leave that, as well, up to fate.

So in a nutshell, this is how my year is starting.  And I'm exceedingly interested to see how it unfolds.

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