I have a thought to share on this last day of another year gone by. Your best year yet. Your worst year. Your year could have been better.
Couldn’t they always. Here’s an idea, and it’s one I intend to embrace myself: Stop making resolutions.
Nothing ever comes of it. You let yourself off too easy, either in the intention or in the follow-through. How about this? How about making a revolution.
I’m not talking about overthrowing a government, unless that’s your thing. Then, by all means. Get that shit done. What I’m referring to is revolting against your self-government. Topple the tower that is your conscious world and start digging around in that rubble.
Do something extraordinary for yourself, with yourself, by yourself. Any good at being alone? Practice that. You’re not going to do it by vowing to “not go out so much.” Maybe it’s the opposite for you, and you really get lonely because you’re so good at being alone. Ok, time to find some new friends. Easier said than done.
You have to upturn the tables in that temple and shout a little bit. You don’t change a mindset with your mind, and you’re never going to change your character. But you can put a scare into it. Slap your life upside the head and knock it off balance a little. There may be something remarkable in your sights when your eyes refocus.
Confront a fear. Throw a stone. Break a rule. Do something immoral. Do something illegal. Don’t get thrown in jail, or better yet…get thrown in jail. Just don’t hurt anybody. There is no growth in that. Scarring the self to promote healing is what our muscles do. Scarring others to promote our own growth is parasitic. So, since your starting a revolution, stop doing that.
Eat something that grosses you out. Go somewhere that bores you. Quit your job. Cut your hair, or grow it. Take a trip. Take a very long trip, longer than you think you can afford. Stop complaining about tourists and be one. Do something that terrifies you. Do something that gives you joy, and then do it again. Say no for once. Say yes. Better yet, don’t say anything and try silence. Yell. Dance. Belch. Sing. Sprawl out on the ground for no reason. Make a habit out of it. Envision yourself as the perfect you that you can be and then, goddammit, start creating that person.
In his very short story The Coming of the Messiah, Kafka ends with this paragraph:
“The Messiah will come only when he is no longer necessary; he will come only on the day after his arrival; he will come, not on the last day, but on the very last.”
Put away your resolutions.