A few days ago, a friend asked me via Facebook if I had followed through with my Patrick Nagel tattoo -- in November,I had promised myself the reward of getting one of his minimalist pin-ups tattooed on my arm
upon successful completion of National Novel Writing Month.
I didn't make it through NaNoWriMo, so I did not get the tattoo. I saw no point in giving myself such an insane reward without doing the work -- if only because I wanted to have a good story to tell if I was going to walk around with a tattoo like that. (Whether you have one tattoo or one hundred, you know how much strangers love to ask/assume/use your tattoo as an uncomfortable talking point.)
But thinking back to my failures of November, I wondered how long, exactly, were my New Year's resolutions going to last? No matter how much I reminded myself to follow through with such declarations, how successful was I going to be?
And so, seven days later, here's a check-in on my progress.
See also: - Resolutions for 2013: Bring on the rejection letters - Resolutions for 2013: I promise to stop being a dick and shut up about Belle & Sebastian - Ten cliche Instagram photos to avoid in 2013
Every year just before the holiday hits, data surfaces that reinforces why we don't succeed at our personal goals, as if to remind us of how human we really are. Maybe it's that we don't think things through beforehand or we take on too many resolutions. Or maybe we're just lazy.
Regardless of the idea that we will inevitably fail, I still devote all of New Year's Day to coming up with, reveling in and writing out my resolutions. Self-competition is my thing, and making myself a more awesome me according to me is right up my alley. (I suppose when you're a single, kid/cat/dog-free person, it's easy to spend hours thinking about yourself.) Yet, like my NaNoWriMo debacle, I often fail at what I set out to do.
In 2013, I am holding out hope that I won't become a loser at my own game. Seven days in, I'm happy to report that I'm doing great. I resolved to submit my fiction for publication, and acquire as many rejection letters and e-mails as I could by the year's end. I've submitted to two literary websites so far. I'd say I'm looking good there, statistically-speaking.
I also resolved to talk nicely to myself, and I've followed through. I remember a friend telling me that she once dated a guy whose therapist told him to make a tape of himself saying things like "Good morning, Phillip. It's going to be a beautiful day today, Phillip." He was supposed to play it every morning when he was getting ready to go out into the world, and respond with kind words back to himself in the mirror.
I really thought about going there, but then I remembered that the walls of this commune are paper-thin. It's bad enough that my roommate has to endure the piercing whir of a protein-shake-creating Vitamix each morning at the crack of dawn. She doesn't need to listen to a tape of me saying to me, "Good morning, Bree. You look fucking fabulous today, Bree. You're not too fat for those stretch pants, Bree."
Still, I have managed to quell an internal dialogue that plays "she could be a farmer in those clothes" on repeat. And that's a pretty good start.
And finally, though I haphazardly mentioned resolving to be a little less obsessed with Montgomery Clift but didn't really mean it, I think I got over him, anyway. He's still the most beautiful man that has ever walked the earth, but I've got a new love: Humphrey Bogart.
When a dear friend burned a slew of Monty movies for me to DVD, he slipped a copy of Casablanca in there, I'm assuming for good measure. It might have been the best/worst thing that's ever happened to me. Before this week, I had never seen Casablanca, let alone any Humphrey Bogart movie. Thirteen viewings in seven days later, I'm obsessed. Bogie's so brutally straight-acting!
I feel like I went through one of those bogus cure-for-gay treatment programs, except watching Casablanca repeatedly made me appreciate straight men again. For the longest time, I did not understand them. But now I feel a little less like a gay man trapped in a straight woman's body, and it's all thanks to Humphrey Bogart.
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By all accounts, 2013 is still on track to rule. But not without the effort, so you better work!