Knock Me down, I’ll get right back up again. I’ll come back stronge than a powered-up Pac-Man.

I had higher hopes for myself this year, but I also had lower expectations.

At the dawning of 2015, I really only had one “New Year’s Resolution” for myself: to pick back up all the habits and hobbies that I had in 2011/early-2012 that made me feel like the most authentic version of myself I could possibly be. At the time, I was a complete hedonist. I did what felt good and natural to me without giving a shadow of a fuck as to what I “should” have been doing with my life. I read voraciously, averaging a book a week, and gave myself up willingly to the allure of escapism; I maintained a diet and exercise routine that consisted primarily of counting calories and walking and jogging as much as physically possible, simply for the pursuit of my own health and aesthetic goals, eschewing society’s thoughts on both; my fashion sense was probably the most evolved it has ever been, as were my makeup skills; I expressed myself daily, both in code and prose, and as a consequence, felt more intellectually alive than I have since; and, perhaps most importantly, I felt like I was living authentically and not out of convenience or laziness.

So, as last year drew to a close and I reflected on who and what I would ideally be at the end of this year, my mind naturally drifted back to this time in my life when I felt like I had both my shit buttoned up and my hair down. I started the year with grandiose delusions of slipping back into the self-control and serenity that I wore so comfortably in years past only to discover, much to my dismay, that it didn’t quite fit. Rather than letting out the seams a bit to make it work for me, I tossed it back into my closet and continued walking around wearing my current outfit of haughty apathy and, gluttony, and indifferent cultural consumerism.

Here is where I feel the need to pause and defend myself a bit. It’s not that accomplished nothing in 2015 (also, there are four-and-a-half months left this year!) The energy and attention that I didn’t focus on reeling myself back in was instead tossed into other things, to some measure of success: I got promoted at work, did some dating and figured out a lot more about myself and what I want in a guy, spent more time with my friends than I have in a long time, saw a ton of great concerts, got on a combination of medications that’s helped me more than I could have imagined, and developed a new hobby in board gaming. I have grown and made strides in a lot of ways that I didn’t expect to this year and I proud of myself for that, but at the same time, I yearn for the…motivation?…self-control?…to go through with my initial plans for myself this year.

Thus, I am going to pull the wrinkled old garment which was once so magestically dawned by my 23-year-old self out of the back of my closet and wear it in whichever ever way it fits me best for one week, starting on Monday; a low-stakes, high-reward foray into making the best of the back half of this year. Maybe I will end up just avoiding reddit and Buzzfeed for a week in favor or actually reading books or maybe I will work on a small coding project or dust off my Arduino, or maybe I’ll just end up counting calories for a week, who knows?

All I know is that when it comes down to it, what I’m really committing myself to is proactively seeking happiness for a week and just accepting the path of least resistance. So, I will venture forth and live deliberately and return next Saturday with an update as to how that’s working out for me.

Here’s to better chances.

My Story is Not Done

Ever the inconsistent blogger, I have reemerged from the shadows to quasi-publicly ruminate on the state of my life at present.

I have been challenging myself a lot lately: professionally, personally, and soon, academically. Being so far out of my depths in so many areas of my life has left me absolutely drowning in the feelings of discomfort and self-doubt which accompany being a neophyte. Granted, I recognize that these feelings are a good thing; they mean that I’m outside my comfort zone and consequently growing. However, knowing that I’m acting in my long-term best interest is not a salve strong enough to ameliorate the burn of an almost-overwhelming frustration with myself for not having developed flawlessly and immediately. I have been attempting to partially counter these growing pains by spending my super-limited free time indulging in things like playing video games and reading fluffy literature: activities which replenish me rather than drain me. If the majority of my day-to-day life is going to be spent dragging myself kicking and screaming toward becoming a bit more like the version of myself that lives in my head, then I have sure as fuck earned the right to spend my leisure time as unproductively as I so choose. To that end, I am not beating myself up for not living up to other people’s wishes as to how I should be spending my leisure time. Selfishness is a virtue which I’ll simply have to embrace (at least in the short term) if I want to cling to the few shreds of sanity I have left.

So, yeah. I am definitely 100% in the midst of making progress in life right now. Consequently, everything feels so foreign and awkward and uncomfortable right now because it IS all of those things…and that’s okay! I think a large part of my growth as a human being will be learning how to deal with those feelings without being plagued with self-doubt and turning to self-deprecating humor. If anything, I should be proud of myself for doing what so many people don’t and actually taking action to rectify the areas of my life which need improvement rather than simply shrugging my shoulders and stating “it is what it is.” Life is hard right now, but that’s a good thing.  Here’s to the struggle of the present and the pay off of the future!

And to those who would choose the safety of inaction over the danger of taking a stand, I have this to say: You bloody cowards. May you have the world that you deserve.” ? Mira Grant, Deadline