These are some questions for the New Year posed by Devon from
Ink in my coffee
Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions 2007
1. Take a few minutes to reflect on the previous year. What are you happy with?
I am happy with the sheer amount of change that has taken place in the last year. A year ago today, if I were to watch myself from a time travelers box, I would have told myself that moving to DC is the best thing to do. I wasn't terribly excited about moving to Washington but I now realize it was a big blessing. I have realized that having physical distance from your past makes you realize you don't have to chain yourself to ideas of how other people think of you, or how you think you should be based on how you have been. I feel like I have a lot more personal freedom now. I dream more now, I feel more motivated, and stronger.
Daniel and I are getting along better than ever. I remember being a little girl staring out the window at the stars when I was in bed, and having this very intense feeling that there was a person out there who I was supposed to meet and wondering what he was doing at that very moment. I missed this person I had never met very much- as if we had been separated. Of course, as I grew older I let go of the childish fantasy. When I met Daniel though, I believed in it again. I knew he was the person I missed as a little girl. I didn't realize this fully until recently- when I remembered that feeling I had looking out the window. He was the person I was thinking of when I looked at the stars. I don't care if this sounds cheesy, it's true.
2. What are you unhappy with?
I really wish I had more time to work on my real talents. I wish I had enough confidence in them to believe that they are real talents. I wish I was brave enough to take a plunge and do what it will take to be happy in the long term. I want to be creatively free. Sometimes I think whats holding me back is that I am waiting for someone or something to shock me into action. But of course, there really is no such thing and I need to make it happen myself.
3. What unexpected joys did you discover during the year?
I have rediscovered my enjoyment of creative writing. I have actually started a novel, and I am having a lot of fun with it. I don't know if it is any good, but that's not the point I guess.
Also, I never thought that I would actually like DC. But strangely enough, it has really grown on me. When my plane was descending onto Reagan airport after spending Christmas with my family, I saw the infamous national monuments from above. I had a very strong feeling of coming home, I never thought in a million years I would feel that way about DC. This ugly, beautiful city. I am happy being here for now. I have learned so much about our country. Like a David Lynch movie, every character and situation in it is a reflection of a part of what's inside everyone. A specatacle of whats in every American town, city, and family. That's not something you realize as a tourist or visitor. DC is a shy girl at first, she takes a long time to open up to new people but once she does she is mind boggling.
4. What were some of the unexpected obstacles that came up, and how did you deal with them? Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
I didn't think it would be so draining, so energy consuming to figure out what my career goals are. I wish I was one of those people that knew from the day they could talk what they wanted to be when they grew up. I have too many interests to be able to be so specific. I feel that because of my indecision, I ended up in a job that doesn't exactly knock my socks off. Some days, I wake up wondering, "what the hell am I doing?" But other days, I am happy I have the routine and security of a steady paycheck, the comfort of going to the same place and knowing exactly what I am supposed to do. I don't think I will be in this for the long haul, but for now its good (I think). I just wish I had more time and motivation to do other things to prepare myself for when I do want to do something else.
5. What expectations did you find you needed to let go of?
That I am supposed to have it all figured out. That I am supposed to be perfect, that my life is supposed to be perfect. That I am supposed to be good at everything I like doing.
6. Looking ahead, how do you want to structure next year to support your creative endeavors? I want to make artmaking and writing a permanent habit. I want to meet other artists, and be around other artists. I want to get over my social anxieties, and "get myself out there."
7. How does the rest of your life support your creative endeavors? I am lucky in the respect that my job is not stressful most of the time, which in theory should leave me plenty of energy to do other things. I am thankful that Daniel is so supportive of me and creates an open dialogue with me about my art and aspirations. Like an existentialist, he never lets me forget to constantly redefine myself every day.
8. How can you change/compromise on the non-supportive elements? I wish I could make an additional income somehow- you know, off the stock market, or a blog, or something- ANYTHING! so that I could have the financial freedom to pursue writing, painting and photography all the time.
Going back to school is always a possibility; sometimes I think that is what I really want to do, but other times I think it would be pointless to go to school again for art. (by the way- I am thinking of going back to school to get an MSW).
I can also work on striping the mystery away behind artmaking. I think that is a barrier that I have, and other artists have, that really holds me back. There is no mystery except for the one you create in your mind. Artmaking is artmaking. You either do it, or you dont. How many times did my teachers tell me this in school, and I am only now realizing this? (many)
9. What new aspect of the writing life do you want to try next year? Like I said, I have started a novel. I really want to finish it within a year's time and see how it goes. I would like to find an honest and unbiased editor
10. Where do you need to be more disciplined? In my practice. Like Naomi Wolf's father said, "You cant revise a blank page." You have to write or paint something before it can be good or bad.
11. Where do you need to ease up on yourself? Being a "good" painter, writer. Being amazing at everything I do.
12. List your goals for the coming year. 1. Write a novel. 2. make artmaking a permanent habit. 3. Consider going back to school.
13. List three positive, active steps to take on each goal to get it going.
1.1 write a page every day.
1.2 do it the same time every day so it becomes a habit like brushing my teeth
1.3 stop wasting time watching television. Watch David Lynch movies instead for inspiration
2.1 paint everyday
2.2 do it the same time everyday so it becomes a habit like taking a shower
2.3 stop watching television
14. List three positive, active steps to help you stick to them.
"You may delay, but time will not" -Benjamin Franklin.