With every new year, we all settle into what we think is a “new age” unbound from our previous life and experience. As if by the stroke of 12 we will magically jump through a portal and enter a completely different reality. The only problem is, as we jump into this new time, our ankles are tethered to the past and we bring with us the same bullshit and baggage that had previously plagued us. We attempt to change this by making resolutions, as if these statements of absolute change will be keys to unbind us from the shackles of the past. It’s the optimistic spirit of humanity, I suppose. We want to believe in abrupt and resolute transformation.
As I stare down into the valley of a new dawn, I know that it will be much of the same as before. Only that the landscape is entirely different and it will be far worse. My life isn’t really on any path to a brighter tomorrow. The one I tread is only taking me further into the darkest of woods, in which I will discover who I truly am, through tests of emotional fortitude.
Like the title of this blog says, these posts are the entries of the journal of a jaded josh. I am not here to offer any real optimism. If I alluded to that I sold you false hope. I will try to bring some light into the darkness of the woods I journey to and through, but for the most part it will always be an unaltered, unfiltered view.
I write all of this as a mental exercise for my “writer skills,” the abilities and “talent” that have long languished in my apathy. I have goals and aspirations to one day be published. And I very well can’t get there unless I fucking write something. Want and action are not the same, as much as I want them to be. And despite my jaded perspective, I am still human and therefore an optimist. I enter into this with the same hope as all the others.
Despite knowing that there should only be one, I have two New Year’s resolutions. The first is for my health, even though I secretly wish for my own death most days. However, the thing in which I want to stop isn’t going to be a quick trigger. It will most likely be a long and painful demise, as “god” likes to bestow upon those in my life. Therefore I am going to stop smoking. My last cigarette was on December 30th. I knew that if I even purchased a pack on the 31st I would drag this bullshit into a New Year. So I started this one a little early. So far… It has been successful, as most of my previous attempts have been. Well… that is until I broke beneath the weight of my emotional turmoil and decided to purchase a pack of smokes.
The second was hinted at earlier and (I’m sure) has since been guessed: I want to write more. Initially, I had this grand scheme of writing every single day from a book of writing prompts that “Writer’s Digest” had provided me, after purchasing a subscription. I had attempted such an endevour in the past, however by day 3 (or 4) it petered out and I was left feeling defeated. In an effort to stop anymore feelings of failure (of which I feel daily, regardless) I decided to simplify my task. By committing to “write more” I give nothing to measure my efforts, but a general benchmark that was better than last year, and that is somewhat measureable through blog posts and stats provided to me through wordpress. And that’s the best I can hope for.
To help facilitate my goals, I’ve decided to set aside the hour between 10 and 11 P.M. to tapping out some kind of bullshit for public perusal. Or I might even finish my fucking novel, which has sat unpolished for 11 years now. It’d be ironic if I completed my edits by year 12. (Twelve is my lucky number for those not in the know.)
So even though this new terrain looks ever more terrifying than the one I leave behind, I continue on this “new path” just as jaded, but with a glimmer of hope. I want to switch the addiction of puffing on a cigarette to punching these tiny keys. There is no shortage of keyboards to achieve my goal. I carry one in my very pocket. Letter by letter I can possibly piece together a better future for myself, and wind up more skilled than last year. And maybe through the written word I can handle the emotional turmoil that I am most certianly going to see in this coming year.