1.05.2010

Wrapping up these years

As it's the end of the 2000s and the beginning of the 2010s, so it's time for reflection and extension:

It is tempting to view this turn of the calendar as a new era, a time for redefining how to think and how to live, but the reality is that change never comes so quickly. One year's goals bleed into the next, just as our lives do not start and stop with the rise and fall of the sun. The new year seems to be a time when our goals are recognised, put into words and phrases and written on the walls above our desks. The error which seems to arise, however, is in marking progress by time prior to achievement. Let us define our goals when it is pertinent, when there is ambition, when we have completed one already; not when we've been told to use a new number. I have had the same goals in mind for at least the past year, of which the greater ones stay relatively stable and some of the lesser objectives fluctuate. In 2010 I will continue to be me: to write, to pursue a career in architecture, to dream of Paris. If I am alone I will not worry, for as I have come to know recently it is neither the worst nor the best thing, neither possible nor impossible as I remain here. I have pants, I have books, I have a computer; I will use these much in the same way, and if there is any change in my habits it will not come because I have willed it so at the start of some defined third-dimension time.

I have spent the last ten years growing up and the last year holding all that I have done in that time so highly, and because I do not wish to consciously change myself but to react accordingly to Fortune, this post will contain some musings on the decade from which I am emerging. It seems not only fashionable but downright constructive to compile various lists which define and organise some aspect of these years, and I have thought extensively (ten to fifteen minutes, tops) about which life-points to objectify. I decided to make two lists: one personal, the other more material. The material list was easy, but I will not publish it yet. As far as the personal list goes, I nixed anything having to do with other people, deeming it too personal for a public space. I entertained a list of fascinating concepts that had been brought to my attention, but that was not personal enough. I settled for a list of bad habits I've acquired over my adolescence. because we all strive for betterment and maybe I can learn from this.

Five Terrible Habits, 2000-2009
5. Smoking/Drinking
D.A.R.E. didn't work for this young man. Though it started in high school/Europe, alcohol consumption reached a peak at McGill, which fed free beer to the masses of incoming firstyears. Too much money spent at bars, too much time spent kneeling on the bathroom floor . . (though it does seem to be a wonderful lubricant). It doesn't help that I'm a lightweight. As far as smoking. . environmental and personal causes. We're going on six months, which seems right by my calendar. Is it cool if everybody (and not just the elite) does it? or is it just natural? Bad habit, regardless.

4. Expectation
Followed, of course, by vocal approval/disapproval. I'm learning, but it used to be that I was hooked on one taste and expected more of the same. Now I'm content with an explanation. Basing actions on projected realities has failed me more times than not. I think specifically of my junior/senior year of high school.

3. Immobility
That lull that comes every summer, that inability to do anything creative or physical. Those uninspired moments that I can't seem to shake. They haunt me, keep me from progress, and as time goes on they get worse and worse. Oh if I could have just gotten up off my ass so much could have been done. I didn't realise until now how much what I did and didn't do as a child affected what I can do today.

2. Restlessness
Worse than immobility, though, is my sense of restlessness. Blame it on my parents, who showed me the world. Again, give me a taste for something and I'll long for it the rest of my days. I have one life and I'd like to experience everything that can be experienced within that. Impossible, yes, to see everything and meet everyone and do everything on Earth, but I strive for impossible goals. This, naturally, led to chronic discontent.

1. Love
As good as it is bad, when I fell in love I also succumbed to the habit of dependency. Because of love I have given myself to someone else so much that I forget my own ambitions and morality. It has made me obsessed and depressed and unable to function rationally. If I look now at my behaviour then, I am ashamed. I am sorry to have cared so much, but that's probably just because nothing has lasted. Maybe I'll have reason to rethink this in the future.

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