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Goodbye, Year of Discovery. Hello, Year of Dedication.

I have an issue with New Year’s resolutions.

It is not so much the act of making them. It is the act of leaving them unfulfilled. Often it seems that resolutions are made simply to be forgotten as the chocolate high and bubbly buzz fade. Regardless of the year’s worth of time that passes before open eyes, rarely are resolutions actually achieved. I myself am guilty of making resolutions and dismissing them over the course of the year. Even those resolutions which I am heart desperate to fulfill, often get pushed aside as unimportant in the wake of new circumstances. At the donning of 2012, the Chinese year of the Dragon, I made nine resolutions on this blog:

2012: Resolutions.

  1. Exercise more frequently and achieve the most physically fit state possible for me.
  2. Listen to others as well as to my own conscience.
  3. Finish the short novel that I have begun.
  4. Travel as far as possible and allow my senses to run rampant in each new place.
  5. Feel as often as I think, for too much of either is no go
    od at all.
  6. Find family.
  7. Paint and draw until my ideas run out–art will never come to be if you never begin.
  8. Disappear to a new place and find what I do not even know I am looking for.
  9. To be like a dragon and achieve exactly what I want.

Now, as I feel 2012 fading into a year of memories that even I already cannot keep straight, I am disappointed in all that I have not done. Yet, at the same time, I know that something must have happened in this time that has passed. So, I have made this list as well.

2012: What Actually Happened.

  1. Reading whole stacks of books from the library.
  2. Learning who my real friends were in the midst of college confusion.
  3. Spending three months traveling the west coast with my parents by RV and car. 
  4. Buying this domain name/address and finally putting new efforts into my blog.
  5. Learning how to ride a bicycle without training wheels or having Padre help me.
  6. Letting go of high school drama/ the past, and remembering how to start fresh.
  7. Conquering my fear of heights by traveling to the top of the Seattle Space Needle.
  8. Allowing myself to deal with the emotions of life rather than always being logical.
  9. Not voting in the first presidential election for which I was actually eligible to vote, and thereby showing my political colors even as others did not respect them.
  10. Developing a growing disdain for the way in which technology has dulled the emotional and social connections of people in modern society.
  11. Realizing how strong the influence of music is upon my moods, thoughts, and feelings, and also realizing how much greater CDs are than downloads.
  12. Changing my degree plan from Computer Science to Business Administration and then back to English and Literature, the only degree I can really see myself finishing.

I think the best way to describe 2012 is as a year of true discovery.

At the end of it all, 2012 was less about all of the action verbs themselves, and more about that which I learned from those verbs–the lessons along the way.

In books and travels, I learned freedom. In writing and bicycle riding, I learned what it is to feel simultaneously weightless yet weighted down. In overcoming fears and focusing on emotion, I learned my own strength and power. And, in college and music, I learned that there will always remain lessons to be learned and songs to be sung or heard.

After a year of unexpected discovery, I will not be making another set of resolutions. Neither will I be casting aside the idea of goals entirely. Instead, just as this year was all about discovery, I want this year to be about something else.

new-year-2013-618x339

2013 will be a year of dedication.

The people who have known me for years know that my interests are spread wide and far. One day, I may be entirely dedicated to art and design, and the next my focus may be on boxing or military history. My interests are so thinly spread that dedicating myself to any of them in particular is difficult.

And, it is scary. Absolutely terrifying. The idea that I might make the wrong decision and end up devoured by an interest that does not truly deserve such dedication. Being happy in my choices is so utterly important that I have entirely avoided making any choices at all. It is time to change that.

This year I will be learning from the discoveries of yesteryear. Embracing the idea of falling into something so deeply that I might be entirely encompassed. Welcoming whatever my heart longs to be immersed within.

I will dedicate myself to a soul song and let my life sing.

  1. And
  2. maybe
  3. through
  4. my
  5. soul
  6. song
  7. at
  8. least
  9. thirteen
  10. tremendous
  11. things
  12. will
  13. happen.

I cannot wait to see precisely what they will be.

Happy New Year, my darling readers. I adore each and every one of you, and I hope your 2012 served you well and that your 2013 will be even better.

Do not be afraid to let your life sing.

Remember: “Whatever satisfies the soul is truth” (Walt Whitman).

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Defining Storytelling, Defining Reality

“Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts” (Salman Rushdie).  Stories are the physical, chemical and psychological make up of the world.
Stories describe days from the past and hopes for the future. Stories make up each person’s own perspective of reality.  Stories cover the imperfections and dry the tears of horrible days, teaching a lesson and smoothing over the details we do not care to remember. Storytelling is essentially the reason the human race has the ability to speak.
Within stories lay the answers to past questions.  Between the mind’s creases, laiden with memories and reflections, a miriad of hypothetical “could have,” “should have,” and “would have” statements lie waiting to be found, each one telling it’s own story of reality or want.
Within stories lay the decisions and reasoning of today.  Confused, perplexed, depressed, needy, wanting, melancholy, happy, pleasant, rejoicing and every other noun, adjective, and verb that will make up today, also make up a stry for tomorrow. Today’s reality, is tomorrow’s story.
Within stories lay hopes for the future.  The past was a lesson, today is an example, and tomorrow is another chance, a second or third or one-millionth chance.  Hope lies in the combination of learning, living and wishing for more.
Stories pour from the mouths of every person in the world. Stories pore from every environment, object and existence.  Stories are the physical, chemical and psychological make-up of the world.
“The universe is made of stories, not atoms” (Muriel Rukeyser).