Now that Christmas has come and gone it’s time to look forward to the New Year. With this comes a tradition that many wishful-thinking people participate in each year: the New Year Resolution.
Like many rituals surrounding the holidays, resolutions have begun to straddle the line between timeless tradition and generic cliché. However, it is still an act that at its very core strives to make a better person, relationship or, if extremely ambitious, world. It’s an idea that January 1st represents a new start, and with this new start comes a new “me.” Whether it’s to drink less, workout more or hell, even if it’s to eat more pizza, the resolution is an act worthy of recognition.
2012 was the first year I committed to a resolution. I found myself on the roof of a random center city apartment party. The friends I had gone with had disappeared so I was left watching the final minutes of 2011 tick away alone. It was then that a girl approached me. “Are you gay?” Having hid in the closet comfy and cozy up to this point, the question almost knocked me off the roof. “No!” I said back a little too defensive. “Shame,” she said, “my friend needed a New Years kiss.” As she and her counterpart walked away and the clock struck midnight, it was clear what my resolution would be. By year’s end, I had to come out. To friends, family, to anyone that was a part of my life. I would no longer stand watching the fireworks alone on the roof.
I had brought out the big guns in 2012 and had succeeded. That was a year about sharing who I was with my loved ones. As I stood on Waterloo Bridge watching the fireworks explode over Big Ben and all of London, I realized that 2013 would be a year of reflection. Too often, I would plan things, look towards those things for days, weeks and sometimes months, and then they would pass. Was I growing? It was time to find out. My resolution then was to write at least once every day. It didn’t matter if it was in a notebook, piece of scrap paper or a discarded cup. I wanted to touch a physical pen to physical paper once every day calling attention to the day I had. I needed to acknowledge my days. I needed to stop letting them float by. I created an external space to analyze myself and my actions. Reflection was what I needed in my life. So that’s what I strived for.
However, for 2014, I have a different resolution.
I want to fail. Miserably.
I want to fail so hard it hurts. I want to put aside my sharing and reflecting I’ve picked up over the last two years, and I want to attempt to grab life by the horns only to be tossed into the air like a rag doll. I want to seek to achieve something I never thought I could, work day in and day out to achieve it, put every ounce of effort I have into something, and still come up short. I have big goals, but I give up too easy. Much of what I have accomplished this far has been through the support of others. I want to shoot off into space for the first time alone. I I want to aim for the stars and miss by a mile. I want to come crashing back down to earth, reset my trajectory and launch right back off into space, this time a little higher. Failing at something this bad can only mean one thing: I tried. I want to try this year. I have goals that i’ve shared with others and reflected on with myself. This is the year I’ll go for it. When I fail, I’ll know what not to do next time to not fail.
I want to get my heart broken.
I want to suffer heartache. Maybe twice. I want to want to do nothing but cry in bed all day eating Chinese and watching whatever Bravo marathon is on. I want to feel actual physical pain from an intangible emotion. I want to put aside my reasoning and my independence and invest love into someone else only to be rejected. As someone who falls in love with every stranger that passes him by in the streets, I should have no trouble finding someone that I could temporarily put my heart on loan too. However, by date three I continually find myself hanging the “Closed” sign and pulling the shades down preventing anyone from looking in. I want to let go of this defense. I want to let go of all defenses and instead always leave my shop door unlocked. When someone does finally come in and rob me for everything I’ve got before running off, at least I’ll know I’ve finally stayed open long enough to make some sort of profit. With this, I’ll invest in something better for next time.
I want to get a real bone broken.
Whether it’s an arm, a leg or a collarbone, I want to break something good. I want to wake up in the ER with nothing but an aching body and sore ego. I don’t care if it’s doing something stupid I’ve done 100 times, or doing something stupid that I was doing for the first time, I want to end up with a cracked rib. Being scared and walking away from something never ends in a story. It ends in a “I should have.” I spend too much time playing it safe. If I’m already in the process of putting my mental and emotional self on the line, why not throw my physical self into the line of fire as well. I’ve always been one to let reason talk me out of action. I fall back on a night in front of the TV watching “real” people live out their lives. It’s time to give up the remote control and toss out the self control. I want to attempt everything, even if it’s just once. This way years from now when someone inquires about a scar I can smile and say, “I was an idiot.”
In short, for 2014, I want to live a year with no “What If I’s.” In 2012 I shared with people what I was too scared to do. In 2013 I reasoned with myself on what I should and shouldn’t do. In 2014, and hate me if you want because I hate myself for thinking it, YOLO. I want to live a life worth living. Worth talking about. Worth thinking about. I’ve learned how to learn from reasoning. Now I want to learn how to live from living. I could probably think of a million better ways to sum up my resolution for this year. But, I’ll just give one more so that my final word is not YOLO: For 2014 I want to live each day with no reservations — not like it’s my last, but like it’s another day and chance to fuck shit up just so that I can rebuild, better.
That, and to eat more pizza.