Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Coming Storm

I face a great deal of challenges, but the two largest, from which most others emerge, are these: One, making myself and my work known to the world, giving it the best chance it can have for recognition. Two, mental stability.

What I am about to enter into addresses both of these things nicely, I believe, even if at first it sounds as though the former will heavily compromise the latter.

It's a ritual practice in the culture around me to make vast, unwieldy, self-sabotaging "resolutions" for the coming new year. Just yesterday, I read a woman writing on this very topic, though not with true naivete regarding her own previous resolutions. In her case, it was dismantling racism in the Netherlands, and much of her point, I believe, is about both acknowledging the difficulty and committing, resolving, to the process, without making her struggle or efforts dependent on deadlines.

In my case, I already have some "accomplishments" under my belt, and some goals I wish to pursue, but I am not interested in situating them within the neat confines of "a year". My ultimate goals will be processes that unfold over the course of, what I intend, to be a life well lived. Things like my gradual weight loss and strength gains are not things I can say, "by this time x" and rely on that for motivation. Rather it is a "today I get up and do this" and take joy in each gradual sign of progress. Today I finally dipped below 190 pounds for the first time in quite a while, and have more strength in me than when I was in my 20s. Making this process about goals implies end points, and really, what is the pleasure in coming to the end of growth?

Much the same with mental health. I will continue to self-sabotage if I orient myself around an "end point" of stability, because every set back or new challenge on the road will be like me saying "you have failed and are not there yet", instead of "aha, progress". My closest friend once told me earlier this year that I have a tendency to, as she put it, "do all the hard work of changing myself to accommodate others, and have no expectations that others accommodate me". As I confront the possibility that maybe my closest friend is distancing herself as well, and I may not be able to call her a close friend anymore, I've had to confront more emotional "failures" that could have pulled me under. They still might.

So again, it is about practice and process. Resolving to continuously do, and not invest worth only in what has been finished.

With this in mind, I begin a new project. It is not an original idea by any stretch, but it is something I can make wholly my own. I didn't invent fiction either, but I use it to tell my own stories.

And now I am going to tell a new story, every week, for 52 weeks. A full short story, original, unique, as polished as I can possibly make it, and each one released for free (or very close to free).

I have some planning to do, some rule setting, and a bit of exploration into the functionality of releasing these works for people's convenience.

That work begins now.


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