Friday, January 14, 2011

Belated resolutions for 2011

(posted here in order to make them real)

1) Travel more.

Last year was a banner year for me in this area (10 trips, 2 of those long-haul international ones), but I'm still not feeling like this is enough. Maybe there is a magic number that creates the perfect equilibrium between being home and being away, but so far, I haven't hit it. And actually, I kind of hope I never do. The day I am not up for a trip is the day I am not alive.

2) Speaking of home, change where that is.

I love L.A., but I think I'm done with it. I've been here for 12 years straight (this is alarming), and I'm bored and need a challenge. One of the things I learned from my Japan trip is how exhilarating (and sometimes, frustrating) it is to be in a place that you don't know so well, figuring it out as you go along and reinventing yourself in the process. In any event, I want that and I want it BAD. I've got some possible solutions in regards to this, and I'll reveal more as they become more concrete.

3) Strengthen my relationships with the people I care about.

The first two resolutions seem to counter this one, especially since most of you know how awful I am at staying in touch on a regular basis. (sorry) But, this is a perennial resolution because it's important. I tend to get caught up in my own head too often and really, it's the other people in my life who keep me balanced and happy. To be more specific, the people who matter to me know me well and somehow still manage to love me for who I am. They are positive forces in my life and will support me completely despite numerous missteps and errors, and I will give all my love to them in return. Full stop.

4) Think less and create more.

There was a time when I spent every waking moment in front of a typewriter (yes, that long ago), writing and editing stories and essays until every word and sentence and paragraph was perfect. A few years later, I dedicated all my energy and resources to learning how to photograph pictures as I saw them in my head. After that, I lost hours and days while my eyes were glued to a computer screen, figuring out how to make words and images come together in a meaningful graphic package. In each of those times, I was in a constant state of creative flow and spent the least amount of time thinking myself into a corner. And I was happy because I had a purpose in those moments. Here's to finding that again.

5) Get enough sleep, drink more water, and continue to eat meals that also qualify as food porn.

I joked that the first half of last year was like the foodie version of having only six months to live. This was in anticipation of the austerity measures that I thought were going to be necessary in the wake of graduate school. But, a funny thing happened--I didn't stop. Sure, I wasn't going to Providence every night, but I was finding ways to make meals memorable. Whether that just entailed a perfect drizzle of honey on a roasted fig at home or a multi-course splurge at an actual restaurant, I made it work and will continue to make it work into 2011.