I’ve been thinking about what I’ve accomplished in the past 365 days for a few weeks now, and the list seems rather small.
One big thing is getting a job that has been amazingly perfect for me. It was sheer luck; I happened to see the job opening, so I applied and got it. Initially I didn’t know what the job would really entail. I wasn’t sure I would like it, but I figured I could do it for awhile, and try to figure out what I did want to do in the meantime.
Over time I have taken ownership of the position and used my role to expand and improve the station’s website. I work with sales and promotions as well as news. I’ve learned so much about the television industry, and I’ve expanded my knowledge of what’s possible on the web. And there’s still so much to learn.
But working full time for the first time in years has really changed other aspects of my life. I get up in time to get ready for work, and I get home at night tired and unwilling to cook. I just watch anime or DVDs all night and then go to bed. In recent months I’ve even stopped packing my lunches, going out for fast food instead.
I was so much more active in 2005, before the fire. I went biking often. I think I only took my bike to the Canal once in 2006, and other than that I rode my bike twice around my neighborhood–once down to the Y, and once just back in the neighborhoods. Both times I ended up entirely too winded.
So I’ve deteriorated physically, and I haven’t really done anything else, either. I haven’t done more to improve my knowledge of Japanese. I haven’t read hardly anything. Pretty much all the learning I’ve done has been in the course of my job. I haven’t gone exploring–I’ve been wanting to see the dam, and Mystery Photo Guy has turned me on to another place to check out, but it seems all I do on the weekend is sit around. I’ve fallen into a rut; I do only what I need to do, and nothing more.
And it’s driving me crazy.
I think part of this has just been recovery time from the fire. I dealt with it and moved on, in general–I was able to function. But was I really living?
There were so many things I planned to do and then backed out of. Baking Christmas cookies. Going to Wes’ church for a Halloween mystery dinner. Having a party. And I still haven’t bought the lining Brooke needs to make the curtains she said she’d make for Sean and my bedroom.
Some of these can be attributed to procrastination and laziness, but I feel like there’s something more. Even when I feel totally motivated to accomplish something, I ultimately don’t do it.
I wonder: was I afraid to live, in 2006?
Ever since the fire, I have wondered what it taught me. I wondered if I was supposed to learn not to be so attached to material possessions. I wondered if I was supposed to give up on my obsessive-compulsive self-archiving.
Have I spent my time wondering this, in lieu of doing anything else?
Do I analyze myself too much? Was the lesson really to just get over it and live?
I feel like I’ve been trying to learn that one for years.
Ultimately, there are some things I want, and I didn’t make any progress on any of it in 2006.
I want to lose weight. But in 2006, I gained it.
I want to learn Japanese. But in 2006, I didn’t even crack a book. My “studying” consisted of occasionally trying to read katakana on websites, and watching anime.
I want to play the piano again. But in 2006, I didn’t even try to figure out how to get back into it.
I want to join a choir or chorus. But in 2006, I didn’t look for one.
I want to be more sociable. But in 2006, I avoided social occasions and really only spent time with Brooke–essentially clinging unfairly to someone who will be moving soon.
I want to cook dinner and pack lunches. But in 2006, I ate out for the majority of my meals.
I want to write blog posts–and hell, maybe even other things–that are interesting for people to read. But in 2006, every time I thought of writing something, I just felt tired…so usually I didn’t even bother to try.
In fact, pretty much everything in 2006 made me feel tired.
I remember being so happy when 2005 ended. I was so excited to leave the year of the fire behind me. But what did I do with the new year? Nothing.
“Why don’t you want anymore?” AJ asked. “Straight up. Is it because you just don’t like it, or are you afraid of what might happen?”
“I’m not afraid of anything happening,” I said. “I just don’t see the point.”
“Fair enough,” AJ said.
“There really isn’t a point,” Dan added.
Later, AJ said, “I really wonder what you’d be like drunk.”
“I know, you really want to know,” I said.
“It’s because you’re different–not in a bad way, but just different–normally. So what would you be like when you’re not normal?”
“Probably depressed,” I said.
“Depressed? Why? Do you feel depressed right now?”
“…okay, yeah, you’d probably be depressed. Or pissed.”
Happy New Year.