Friday, December 27, 2013

2013: A Year of Melodramatic Journal Entries, Hooray!

How many 2013 recap posts will I write?  No one even knows.  But I didn't feel right leaving it with the last one (which seemingly confused everyone who read which I say, welcome to my world).

I've kept a daily journal for several years now, but in years past, those journals have always had a section at the end of each week for a recap.  This year, my journal had no weekly section, but rather a few lines at the start of each month and a few pages at the end.  This resulted in my laying out goals and hopes at the start of the month, and then writing rambling Austen-esque odes to the month gone by at the end of it.  Yes, I really do write like this when I write in long-hand.  (It's like you hand me a pen and I turn into a 19th-century Buddhist.)

Some of this is pretty personal, including a rather epic meltdown in the late summer/early fall, but I'm happy to say that December has treated me alright and onward we go.

So, in the tradition of journal posts on this blog, I hereby present some selected quotes from 2013 (quotes in italics from the beginning of the month, everything else from my month-end recaps).

HAPPY 2014!!!

January 2013:

"New year, new journal, new layout!"

"When it came time for me to make the choice of continuing the partying or going home and writing, I chose the latter.  I don't say this to insinuate I'm a saint (Lord knows I've made the opposite decision often enough), but that the older I get, the less interested I am in others failing to acknowledge that they alone own the responsibility for their choices.  I have a clear idea of how I want to divide my time right now, and I am sick - SICK - of doing nothing but running and drinking, and talking about running and drinking, and acting as if this is fulfillment."

"I sit here as I write this torn between contentment at my obvious luck in life and a strong desire to run away somewhere.  Maybe that's just life."


"A little earlier in the month, I was thinking of the truism that when your fears are realized, it is then and only then that you have the opportunity to not only show what you're capable of but that you grow to the point of moving past the fear itself.  It's not always so clean as that, and yet it is possible to become more than you once were through the process of loss."

"This whole month has seemed dark and cold and mired in a driving desire to MOVE - on, forward, ahead, whatever.  Maybe in March I should focus on letting life wash over me, and relishing in the inevitability of change, rather than trying to push it."


"Regardless of what happens with any of it, I will survive it.  Better than that, even, I'll make the most of it.  How can you not greet the onset of a new month with hope of what it might bring?  Especially if part of what that month is bringing is spring?"


"Oh, if I'd only known as I wrote that optimistic ode to the future at the end of the last month how utterly stagnant the world would seem thirty days later."

"I saw a fantastic aphorism online about how your life changes because of the things you try, not the things you avoid.  As a perpetual try-er, I like that idea, and I certainly see the credence in it.  Perhaps my current dissatisfaction stems not, then, from what I think it does (stagnation), but from a lopsided focus on the (perceived) outcome rather than the attempt.  Tired though I may feel from the work so far, I wouldn't change a thing about the way I've approached 2013."

"This spring has been the strangest that I remember, largely because it's been incredibly cool.  Another cold front, bringing with it all-too-familiar rain and clouds, is pushing through as I write this.  I shouldn't be taking my cues from nature:  just because spring doesn't want to move itself forward doesn't mean that I need to think my life feels that way."

"I have been feeling of late that there is a lack of potential suffocating me, but that's such a defeatist and illogical thought when, in just this book alone, there are so many blank pages ahead waiting to be written on."


"This month was such a good one - such a fun one - that it's hard to believe that that was me who was so emotionally overwrought as it began, struggling to reconcile reality with dashed expectations.  It's even harder to believe the undeniable truth that I will return to that state again, maybe even soon, and it will be this me that I find myself wondering over.

"That's just one of the many patterns of living and behavior that have come to me recently.  All those
couples who have broken up in the last few months, all those people who are moving away at the end of the summer...nothing is constant and everything changes eventually.  The things and people that once held great importance very well may someday not."

"[I]t's the things that stay with you even as life moves on that, paradoxically, allow the greatest opportunity for reflection.  I feel at peace writing this not because this month's reunions took me to the past, but because they reminded that I have one."


"For the first time in a very, very long time, there's a feeling of summer vacation in the air.  [...]  Let's celebrate and have fun, yes, but let's also shake things up, and keep this story moving..."

"What I'm looking for in my own behavior is the vigilance to retain perspective and to remove myself from the compulsions of others.  It's been a strange month, but an overall good one.  I went down, but I pulled myself back up.  I got upset when (several) things went wrong, but then I took the steps I needed to push ahead.  I got off track but then I recalibrated."

"...I have a feeling there are more lows ahead...and can only hope that they are once again offset by the wisdom to seize happiness in whatever form it presents itself.  I am so incredibly thankful every day when I wake up that I am me.  Surely there is peace to be found in that."


"I don't have to react.  I don't have to buy in.  I don't have to bear anyone else's mental burdens."


"Oh, who was I fooling with any of it?  All these 'deep' month-end entries full of optimism, meant to soothe my own mind, perhaps even inure it to the obvious wrongs of my life.  Turns out the books and advice specials were only half right:  yes, it is possible to delude yourself into believing there is only good where there are really two sides, but you can't do it forever.  Life happens.  Shit happens.  Things get out of control and no amount of positive (or even neutral) thinking can change [reality], only your perception of it.  I paid for that delusion this month."

"I write ceaselessly and get nowhere.  Then I don't write and feel empty, guilty even.  No - not empty.  Full.  I feel it trapped inside of me, and yet where do I find the energy to get it out?  It's work.  It's all work.  But working for what?  Why?  Why any of it?"

"The long runs have become monotonous, no longer bringing that baffling sense of accomplishment they once did.  Because I've done this before?  Because of the haphazard way I'm training?  Because all of the rest of this is so concentrated in my being that there isn't room for anything else?  I am tired of absorbing on behalf of the rest of the world - feeling everyone else and finding no joy in any of them."


"Perhaps the lesson of late summer, finally bringing with it the oppressive heat and humidity we expect in Memphis, is that you don't have to always be hopeful.  You don't have to always be happy.  I can just hate all of it, be cynical about everyone, bitch that life isn't fair, and selfishly take only what I need from time to time.  What I need right now is to not look ahead and to not look back.  Both are cloudy with disappointment, and I can't stand the sight."

"I'm exhausted with trying to explain this year:  what happened?  How did I get here?  I am sick of this year, with all its doubts and drama, its failures and false hopes.  At times, it almost feels like nothing will ever be right again, and yet I have no basis for explaining what it is I feel is wrong in the first place.  [...]  I don't know.  I don't know anything.  And I certainly don't know what happened."


"I know there is so much I will miss, and much that will 'never be the same,' and yet I also think back to the blog entry I wrote earlier this year saying that, devastating though it was at the time, so much good came from the 'foundation-shaking' act of having to graduate from college (or coming home from Ireland, or even losing my job for that matter).  I hope that's what this is - foundation-shaking.  I hope we act better...  I hope we drink less...  I hope we capture new people, and that they bring with them new energy and new perspectives."

"I am looking forward to November with absolutely no specific hopes...aside from a vested interest in 'what's going to happen next.'  Because for the first time in a long damn time, 'what's next' is a blank slate..." 


"All this talk of change I've been doing...maybe this hasn't been a year of change so much as a year of endings.  [...]  It feels like a good time to interject the metaphorical 'newness' of a new year."

"I've endured a litany of concern from a variety of people lately, all of whom seem to be under the impression that I'm not doing enough.  And it's entirely possible I've been profligating that idea with all of this tiredness I'm wearing on my sleeve.  But I am doing enough.  I'm more capable and competent than damn near anyone I know.  And why am I so convinced I'm not running a lot?  In comparison to whom?  I ran a fucking marathon six weeks ago and I kept right on going.  What I need to do is shut the fuck up about being tired and give myself time to actually be tired."

"Surely no time is wasted if spent in the pursuit of answers to questions that needed answering."


"...if there are two things I like to root for, it's myself and underdogs...  Bring it, December. :)"

No comments:

Post a Comment