Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Year of Selfishness

Written 24 December 2015

As I write, I’m on an Airbus 321, at an altitude of about 36,000 feet, and somewhere between Toronto and Vancouver. Today, Vancouver is my final destination. It’s Christmas, and as 2016 nears, I’ve been thinking about my journey through 2015 — where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m still hoping to go.

Where I’ve Been: I dubbed 2015 “My Year of Selfishness” because my goal was to acknowledge what I wanted to achieve, recognize what made my heart tick. Over the course of the year, I remained focused on my writing (what makes my heart tick). I succeeded at completing a major rewrite of a novel, which has been with two publishers for several months now. I wrote more short stories, experimented with flash fiction, made more submissions. I managed to run more and took up the challenge, thrown at me by a high-octane café owner, to undertake an exercise program called Convict Conditioning. Making my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Child, Bertholle and Beck), I’ve honed my culinary skills. Where have I been? In a state of perpetual learning, working to become the man I’ve always dared to be. Through it all, I’ve reminded myself of this simple rule in life: “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it.” In 2015, I’ve gone after what I want.

Where I Am: Still pursuing my dreams. I write daily. Sometimes the writing goes well, sometimes not so much. I don’t wait on inspiration (I have lots of ideas and projects on the go, and working to finish something), I just show up and write. And despite me showing up at the page, I also struggle to achieve some sort of balance. My day job often leaves me exhausted, and on my days off my biggest challenge is to sit down at my desk and write that first sentence. But once the first sentence is down on the page, a writing session is usually quite productive. As a writer, however, I’ve had difficulty coping with the demands of social media for two reasons: 1) Social media can be all-consuming, and if I let myself get caught up in it I can waste a lot of time; and 2) Social media is not something that I am particularly drawn to. I can see social media’s worth, and I can even appreciate it, but I worry about getting lost in it, that posting updates and gaining more followers is more important than that act of writing itself (or creating in general). I don’t want to feel obligated to always tweet or post updates to Facebook or Instagram about life when I’d rather be out living it. Where am I? Standing in the middle ground, trying to shore up my footing, to stay focused on my goals and build the life for me that is worth living. So I remind myself of this simple rule in life: “If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.” I ask, daily, for balance — for a natural ebb and flow to life — and that all my dreams will come true.

Where I’m Still Hoping to Go: Moving, still, slowly but surely — or as fast as the Flash on any given day — confidently in the direction of my dreams. To, when procrastination rears its ugly head, not give up, not let myself be defeated. To remember where I’ve been and where I am so that I will see clearly where I’m going to. The third simple rule in life is this: “If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.” So I will keep moving, keep my eye on the prize.

2015 has been a year where I’ve done the things that I love to do, where I remained true to myself. Perhaps not my best year, definitely not my worst, but a year filled with love, joy, peace, and the support and courage of friends and family. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Thanks for being a part of my journey. Wishing you all the best in 2016!

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! Those are wonderful accomplishments! We are very proud of you xo