Changing Patterns

“You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.” 
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

I saw more ups and downs in 2017 than I have in any other year of my adult life. There are so many moments I enjoyed, however short lived they were. But the moments that shaped me this year are ones that, upon reflection, are littered with mistakes and loss.

The result? I lost my way professionally, romantically, and personally.

I used to have drive and ambition. I used to have something prove. I don’t know how or why I lost all of that; I fell into a lull and became content with what my life became. I didn’t try to grow and push myself. I just kept on making the same mistakes that made me feel that way to begin with. As Mr. Pirsig says in the quote above, “you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.” For me, those patterns were self-destructive.

Next year, I just want to be different. I want to leave the things behind the best I can and create new experiences that help get me moving forward again, help me grow, and help me learn to love myself again.

For my own benefit, I want to list my goals for 2018:

  • Focus: You blindly skated through 2017, which led to many of the mistakes you made. Take a second and create set small goals for yourself to accomplish for that day, week, or month. Make sure you’re doing this at both of your jobs, too. There’s an opportunity at your fingertips that can help you the rest of your life. Take. Advantage. You. Idiot.
  • Reflect: Every so often, check yourself. What have you done lately? How have you improved? What do you need to be better at? Who do you need to call?
  • Create: You keep saying you’ll play drums again, but have shrugged off requests to do so. When you’re ready, go play, even if it’s not as serious as your last go with a band. You also keep thinking about a camera. Fucking buy one.
  • See*: Go places. Do things. Take that camera you bought and see something new. Make sure you don’t live through a lens, though. Experience shit. Also, take Olive on cool hikes and day trips. Let her see the world.
  • Love: First, take care of yourself. That means eat well, exercise regularly, and read. You have a whole bookshelf of books you’ve yet to touch. Stop watching so much TV and read. Second, stay in contact with people. You’ve always been bad at this, it’s time to change that – not very hard to send a text or make a phone call. Third, while you shouldn’t be afraid of opening up to people, make sure you’re giving your energy to people who deserve it. Be a little more selective with who you surround yourself with and what you tell them. But, when you do choose, make sure you give them your attention.
  • Save: Even though you want to see and do things, make sure you stick to your budget. Save some dough so you can make the best of those experiences.

*See/do as many of these places as possible in 2018

  • Vancouver
  • Erie Canal Bike Trip
  • Hockey Hall of Fame – Toronto
  • Adirondacks
  • Vermont
  • Southern Tier Brewery
  • Colorado (Denver?)
  • Snowboard

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