Ah me: another year almost gone to bed, another year about to commence. And with the turn of the calendar pages comes the near-eternal question: to resolve or not? Actually, it’s not much of a question for me, nowadays.
I don’t resolve.
I especially don’t jump onto the losing weight/”getting
healthy thinner” bandwagon anymore. Instead, I’ve been coping with every diet ad Facebook throws at me by clicking the “report this” button and labelling the ad as “misleading or a scam.”
What I have been doing for the past few years is that thing where you select a word to be your focus/theme for the year.
Some years the word comes to me in a super-organic fashion: I recall how, right after the 2016 election, I just knew that my 2017 word was Speak. And it was, and I felt the north star draw of that word, and I did. (Speak, I mean.) All sorts of truth and honesty and activism that I’d been too chicken-shit for in my younger “good girl” days.
Other years, the process has been much more labored. I went through all kinds of exercises and reflections last December. I can’t even remember what word I eventually selected on New Year’s Day for my 2018 focus. Whatever it was, it was such a forced and inauthentic choice that it evaporated just about as quickly as those hackneyed
fitness thinness resolutions usually do.
This year? The word came to me late in the game: this New Year’s Eve morning, to be precise. But it has such a brick-to-the-teeth power to it that I know it’s an authentic choice, and one that can be powerful for me.
I mentioned back in October, when I was trying to restart my JALC flow, how I’d been feeling–and resisting–the call to write for some number of months. Well, it’s some few months since then, and I’ve still been mired in self-silencing.
That stops tonight. My word for 2019 is Write. And I will. Every day. Not always here: there’s my journal, there’s the Shakesblog, there’s the fantasy I carry of writing a book (once I figure out what the fuck kind of book I want to write). So long as I’m flinging expressive text onto some sort of page (electronic or paper), I’ll have met my goal.
As the late great Roger Ebert once said:
So to Hell with the outline. Just puke on the page, knowing that you can clean it up and make it structurally sound later. Your mind is a babbling lunatic. It’s Dennis Hopper, jumping all over the place, free associating, digressing, doubling back, exploding in profanity and absurdity and nonsense. Stop ordering it to calm down and speak clearly. Listen closely and take dictation. Be a stenographer for your subconscious. Then rewrite and edit.
Here I go!
Image credit: Disney’s Snow White via Giphy.