Friday, December 29, 2017

maybe in another life

welcome back to the frosty city!

(clearly i'm not complaining, as it has been well documented how much i love the cold, but it's always a bit of a shock when toronto gets those first few "extreme cold alert" days. adjust! adjust fast!)

okay so i'm doing this blog post a couple days in advance of new year's day, just so i can get my last kicks in at 2017 and hopefully start off 2018 right. i realized i hadn't done a year-end wrapup/goals for the new year blog post in like a billion years, so hi hello here we are. (i used to do these somewhat yearly but fell out of the habit)

and honestly? it's a good year to do one of these, especially when it comes to making better, more achievable goals for myself. it's not that i'm running out of time to have an awesome fulfilled life, necessarily, but year over year i'm becoming more aware of how much time i'm wasting, and how many opportunities are slipping away from me. stop the world, damn it, i want to get off.

so here's a list of stuff i want to start working on in 2018, in order to really get out there and have a life as opposed to something i'm just going through the motions for:

see friends more, set up more hangs, say yes to every invite if you can. i've been really thinking i ought to do one of those "year of yes" things, where you don't turn down any opportunity and just see what happens. over the last year or so - really, mostly because i've been single - i've found that i do tend to turn down a lot of my friends asking if i want to hang out. i tell myself so many excuses - i'm tired, i need to go to the gym, i don't have the money, i don't want to stay out late on a work night - but i need to cut that shit out this year. my connections with my friends suffer for it, and i need people more than ever (again, see: now that i've been single, as it really does shift the framework of how you spend your free time).

stuff i could and should be doing more of: movies, dinners, house parties, art installations, sports events, nights out at the bars (wrestling-related social plans are already a given, and you're damn right i'm going to keep up with those in the new year) - just, like, try to be fucking social again. i have been before, so it's not like i've totally lost my extrovert side. i just need to rediscover it, you know? it's far too easy to be a hermit in this city.

work more on photography. i've always enjoyed taking photos, and my parents have really stressed that i've always had an eye for it. that doesn't mean that i've ever been motivated enough to go drop thousands of dollars on expensive camera equipment, but i think this year i should put some more time and effort into it. i already have plans to get a new phone once i'm done paying off my (frankly massive) income tax debt in april, and the #1 quality i'm looking for is the best camera i can find - because honestly, i don't want to be lugging around camera equipment all the time. part of the appeal of working on my photography, for me, is being able to do it spontaneously and from anywhere, so i rely on my smartphone for that.

also, honestly, it may be dumb but being able to go out and take cool photos is a huge motivator for me to go do stuff. even if my life is otherwise very average, i can still keep a visual record of the fun stuff i've been doing in between the everyday banality.

work more on writing. this includes aiming for at least writing two new blog posts per week. you all can hold me to that, if you want. but also, i should start looking outwards towards doing more topical writing; the clear answer here is that i ought to begin writing about wrestling, finally, though i'm not entirely sure where to begin. of course, i know that the answer is that i need to just find an outlet and jump right in. we'll see where this takes me.

earmark money for travel in 2018 (and 2019). i mentioned it briefly before, but it was announced that rammstein aren't touring in 2018, with the (tentative) plan instead (maybe) being to release the new album in fall 2018 before doing the big tour in 2019. disappointing news, but at least that gives me more time to 1) get even better at german and 2) save a fuckton of money so i can attend many many dates across europe in 2019. but beyond that, i should be looking to save money so i can have more freedom to just...go places. i clearly want to start looking at wrestling trips as soon as i can, but it would be great to get out and see a little more of the world as well.

get more tattoos. cost-dependent, clearly, but i always have a need to get more work done, and i think i need to make a goal to aim for in 2018. maybe two new tattoos? three? i already have a few ideas, so now it's a matter of earmarking additional funds to go towards getting more ink. it's not the cheapest hobby, but i do love it so much.

listen to more/new music. is anyone surprised to find out that i listened to rammstein exclusively for like eight months straight in 2017? as much as i love them and depend on their tunes to comfort me and keep me grounded, i really ought to spread out some more and put my shit back on random shuffle. this probably means i also should start listening to more, uh, current stuff - i get jealous reading peoples' "best albums of XXXX year" lists, because they remind me that i'm so behind - and i need to make time for that. broadening my horizons and such.

work on german. this has been a constant for me for almost a year now - directly related to the whole "listening to rammstein for eight months" thing mentioned above; i couldn't stand not understanding what the all-german lyrics meant - and i'm still dedicated to it on a daily basis. i'm not sure what the next step is - buy more books? actually take physical classes? find a german club in toronto so i can practice my speaking? - but we'll see. sticking with this (on my own, without encouragement) has been such a source of accomplishment for me in 2017, and i want to keep it up.

stop spending money on dumb shit. this does not include gifts for people; i love buying gifts for people when i know they'll be appreciated (and i'm a very good gift-giver). but in 2017, i did waste a lot of money on stupid things for myself that either didn't work out (see: ring of honor tickets for las vegas) or that i didn't need (see: so much makeup). i need to be smarter about my spending in 2018 if i ever want to climb out of my ridiculous debt.

learn how to play bass? question mark because i've considered doing it for years, and maybe in 2018 i should just take the plunge. my friend emma plays drums, so between the two of us we could be a sweet duo. again, a cost-dependent hobby, but maybe this is finally the year that i give it a shot.

so! that's my list of...not quite resolutions, i guess, but personal goals and things i want to work on in the upcoming 2018. i think it's a good place to start; clearly i can't tackle all of them all at once, but that list is at least something to work towards in small increments throughout the year. just a number of little ways that i can start making my life count for real, and hopefully become more fulfilling to me beyond the banal everyday routines.

but hey, a lot of big things happened this year, too:

i got my nipples pierced after having wanted to do it since 2009, and i got a new tattoo (my 11th!) that i still love so much - both choices somewhat spontaneous, but i regret nothing. i saw ring of honor not just once, but twice (and even going to buffalo for the second one!). i went to rockfest all on my own, and i saw my favourite band of the year live from front row. i went back to vancouver for the first time in eight years. i had lots of nice sarahah anons inspire some writing, including this piece which i still really like. i was reflective on my birthday. i cried at logan. i had a band bring me back to who i was and their music saved my sanity all year long. i spent almost the entire year learning german and i'm currently sitting at 71% fluency. i was brave and took a chance on something, and though it didn't turn out the way i'd hoped, it turned out the way it was supposed to.

i'm thankful for everything i've learned from 2017, really, whether about myself or others. sure, i made some mistakes, but i also made so many new friends this year, and there are so many important people in my life, and i'm grateful for all of them, and you out there reading this.

the two vitals truths i need to remember for 2018:

- when someone tells you who they are, believe them.
- everyone in your life right now is there for a reason.

i hope we all learn something. learned something.

maybe next year.

[ music | florence + the machine, "only if for a night" ]