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Retrospecticus

January 1, 2012

In my old age I’ve started to prefer January 1 to December 25, because today everyone gets what they really wanted all along: an ending and a beginning. CLEAN SLATE, MUTHAFUCKAS!!

Of course it’s going to degenerate into the same crap as usual, of course it is, starting tomorrow, but today, god love us, we’re too optimistic to care. Behold the contagious enthusiasm of the Facebook statuses of all of your friends this morning, cheerfully complementing last night’s Good riddance, 2011, you asshole! sentiments with proclamations about the glorious future. Obviously this year I will finally get everything I need! Love and money and confidence and enough sleep and daily exercise and writing every weekend and the dysfunctional bitch next door breaking up with her equally obnoxious girlfriend and losing her passion for awful house music, yeah! So fuck you, reality, and fuck your friends! Fuck you, economy! Especially fuck you, human psychology! Job stress, insecurity, anemia, one-hour commute, fuck you all, I’m wearing an adorable new shirt and there’s a three frying pan brunch sizzling on my stove and 2012 is my sexy bitch and I’m flipping a double bird at the past! How do you like me now? Hangover or not, January 1 is wonderful, like the first day of a new semester when all your school supplies are still in the wrappers and you haven’t yet failed a test or embarrassed yourself socially or read anything boring.

(Uh… [looks away nervously])

By way of expurgation I’ll start by tossing it out there, from behind the shelter of the miraculous new livably-paying job in my field that I’m starting on, holy shit, Tuesday, that 2011, and let’s definitely throw in 2010 as well, was/were (sorry, this is one of those sentences that hit a grammatical wall midway through because of a subordinate clause that pluralizes the verb, or does it?, who the fuck knows) the most exhausting, terrifying, and demoralizing of my life. Objectively speaking, moving here in 2010 was a mistake, one of my worst. I’ve done my best to turn it around, and life seems, touch wood infinity, to be working out half-decently at last. Now let us never speak of it again. Let us only always ever look forward from now on.

Just for s&g I had a look at my resolutions from last year and I’m batting above .500, which is pretty respectable, baseball-wise at least, and maybe even real-life-wise. Here’s a rundown:

  • 1a: No form poetry for three months. Done!
  • 1b: No writing shit that trivializes real situations and difficult emotions with sarcasm. Done! Done in public in front of a microphone, for that matter. Nobody laughed, and a few people cried, so there.
  • 2. Get a library card. Totally done! See you later this week, VPL; I need a book on teaching phonics to adults.
  • 3. Have an actual birthday party. Well, I worked on my birthday, then I had a grammar exam. I did go out for a drink with a friend afterward and she gave me a great gift (a bottle of rum and an order of ginger beef!), and the bartender gave us a free birthday shot, which unfortunately was bourbon. Nice enough night, but not by any means a party. FAIL.
  • 4. Improve the employment circumstances. At the eleventh hour, done!
  • 5. Various blog-inappropriate personal life things: FAIL. Let’s just leave it there, sports fans.
  • 6. Find Kraken rum in Vancouver. Done, done, done. Three bottles.
  • 7. Singlehandedly end world suffering: FAIL. But that was a joke one so I’m not being too hard on myself about it.

Now then, 2012. New year, new goals. I still get skeptical about resolutions because I don’t think it’s really fair to announce to the world that you’re going to accomplish such-and-such by a particular date, unless it’s something you have 100% control over, which is nothing in life. Still, though, there’s the magical pull of January 1. And last year’s didn’t work out so badly.

Hmm…

1. Make a trip to Calgary in the next four months. Or five at the very latest. Time it properly so that I get to see everyone I can reasonably expect to see there. Oh, and don’t get a fucking cold as soon as the plane lands. This one is number one because it’s just obvious and must obviously happen. Literally I will withdraw $300 from the bank after I get my first paycheque. I will put it in an envelope marked “Calgary 2012.” I will hand it over to WestJet by mid-April. In August 2011 I left a partially finished bottle of Lemon Hart in the home of two good friends who were away at the time. I promised to return to drink it, and I am a promise keeper if ever there was one.

2. Earn a livable income as an ESL teacher for 12 straight months. For realsies, I was trained to do this on top of also having been born to do it, so let’s make it happen, Cap’n.

3, redux. Have an actual birthday party. I’m throwing this in again even though when I think about it all my friends here would probably be weirded out by each other and it would be the weirdest time. Okay, at the very least I expect myself to effect a gathering of three to five people, and no offense to my own baking skillz but I want a cake that I didn’t make, and I want some kind of informal toast (preferably with Burt Reynolds shots) to my bad self having reached age 32. It seems that 16-year-old me was wrong about me, lifespan-wise.

4. Don’t let work stress and busyness keep me from reading and writing. Like, no lesson planning on the Skytrain. No activity preparation on weekends. That type of thing. I hear a lot of people referring to taking a reasonable break to do something they enjoy as “me time.” That expression makes me want to punch things; what two-year-old came up with it? I just hope I’ve changed enough since leaving grad school to be capable of creating a decent balance between work and other equally important aspects of my essence or whatever you want to call it. I did very little writing this year, not only because I was busy with school but because I felt guilty and anxious every time I did something that wasn’t homework, volunteer work, or a job application. That attitude needs to make its way into the toilet post-haste, because my revised manuscript and fuckin’ great poems aren’t going to produce themselves. Teacher or not, I moved here to write.

5. Start running again. I stopped in the late summer for health-related reasons, most of which are now mostly resolved, so once it quits being dark and rainy I’ll have no damn excuse not to get out there and give’r.

That feels like plenty. I’m not going to be stupid enough to list the personal life things a second time; they depend on other people changing in extreme ways and who am I to resolve for someone else to start being different. Maybe instead I should try to resolve to try to accept that these people are who and how they are and maybe some day they’ll come around, figuratively and/or literally, and maybe they won’t, and I’m most likely the exact same amount of lovable irregardless. Irregardless!

So. Onward. Employment! Adorable shirts! Clean slate! Hash browns-sausages-crepes trifecta!

Calgary people, I’ll see you soon. The doorbell tolls for thee.

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