Monday, May 07, 2012

This is Where I Hit "Post" and then Crawl Back into my Shell

So, do you ever feel almost as if you have too many things you want to do? Not things that you feel like you have to do...clean the bathroom, shop for groceries, feed the cats, stop at the drug store for mascara...but you know, like hobbies and stuff? 

And then you stop and realize that you just can't do everything that you want to do and that some things will just have to be brushed to the side to make room? Yeah. I hate that part...and I feel like that part might be closer than I would like it to be.

This year is my golden year. The year I've waited for since the first grade. The year I'm supposed to really shine [per my own agenda for 2012 along with turning 27 on the 27th of just makes sense that I do it up this year.] 

[this photo was taken as a joke for facebook on new year's eve. the huge cheesy smile was intentional...]

Anyway, I've mentioned my to-do list a couple times and I think I'm finally okay with sharing. I've always been one to keep most things under wraps until they are a done deal. Mostly because if I tell people, then I feel like I'm held to it but also because if I fail, I'd rather nobody knew that I tried. Yeah...I'm working on some of those personal hang-ups of mine. Oh, and also- I thought that this post was perfect timing for me. It's a challenge that's been showing up in blogland over the past week. And, like Ez, I'm sure I'll want to delete this post by the time I'm finished. It will be really long and I'll feel like I've talked way, way more than I'm comfortable with.

This post is a doozy. You've been warned. Come on in.

Here are the goals I've been pecking away at for the last 4 months, along with some words for each:

1. Finish a novel: done.
2. Become a volunteer firefighter: done.
3. Find a gallery space for my first solo art show: done.
4. Pay off the car: done.
5. Start playing hockey: in the process of looking for an "in".
6. Start brewing beer: will happen this summer.
7. Take an overnight solo canoe trip: will happen this summer.
8. Start playing bass guitar again: will happen this fall.
9. Join a yoga class: will happen this fall.

1. I have not read a book since I was about 15 or so. I've never enjoyed reading anything other than magazines or blogs...I've always wished to, but never have. I'm sure that being forced to read when I was younger only made me resent the idea even more. But as an adult, it really sucks to want to do something and not understand why you have such a hard time with it. The sun eventually came out last summer when I found out that I have ADHD...ugh, saying that makes me cringe...but finally understanding why I have always had such a hard time with certain things has really helped me. My meds have helped me a lot. I never realized how tired I used to be all the time or how many things were always going on in my head every second. I guess I thought it was normal. I mean, it was normal for me. So finding this calmer rhythm has made it easier for me to sit and read sentences from start to finish rather than skipping lines or even entire paragraphs to read the end and then go back to read the middle. I don't have to re-read pages multiple times anymore, and I'm still kind of amazed that I can do this with ease now. It's cool. Anyway, the book I read was Hot Lights, Cold Steel by Dr. Michael J. Collins. I really enjoyed it...anything to do with the medical field has always intrigued me. I think it helped that the story was based in Minnesota and Illinois, since I'm right between those states, and it didn't hurt to learn that he plays hockey and drives piece of shit cars. I love hockey and drove a piece of shit car for a long time. I became a professional at getting was nice to finally get a brand new car a few years ago. But yes, the book-- it was great and I plan to read his second book soon.

2. I've wanted to be a firefighter since I was about 18. I think I forgot about it for a few years since Joe didn't take me seriously, but the idea rekindled once we moved to Madison. As it turned out, I had just missed the hiring process and would have to wait 2 years until it came around again. Those 2 years went pretty fast and soon I found myself in a room with hundreds and hundreds of people anxiously shaking their legs and rubbing their groggy eyes. It was early. The test took a few hours to complete and then it was time to wait. At this point I was more focused on the fact that I actually went through with the somewhat tedious application process and was okay with whatever happened next. Some people try 3 or 4 or even 6 times before they get hired. It's rare that it happens the first time around. I will give it another go in January. Needless to say, my letter said that I wasn't moving on to the next round. I spent the next few months trying to find the courage to join the volunteer department in my very small town. I was afraid they were going to look at me and think I wasn't serious. I suppose I grew accustomed to that reaction; I have a small frame which apparently translates to "weak" and to be honest, I was nervous that they wouldn't have gear that would fit me well. I was thrilled and relieved that they were so welcoming when I showed up. They were really nice and seemed excited to show me around and tell me their stories. Anyway, you're supposed to go on the first Monday of the month if you're interested in joining...I missed a few by accident and a few on purpose and then I finally told myself "okay, next month I will do it." I pulled out my calendar to pen it in so I wouldn't skip it, yet again, and quickly realized that the next day was actually the first Monday of the current month. I couldn't find a reason to wait till the next month as originally planned, and the following night I found myself quietly walking across the parking lot and into an unfamiliar building. I got my gear a couple weeks fits decent-ish. Right now I'm only probationary, but I'm pretty excited to see what's to come. It's one of those things that I knew I would never forgive myself for if I grew old without at least trying.

3. I booked a space late last week for my very first solo art exhibition. When I decided that this would be the year that I finally went through with it, I figured I'd have till October/November. Well, those dates were full and so I took a week long slot beginning on September 7th. I'd be lying if I said I didn't freak out a little after I did this. I mean, seriously, September 7th is in 4 months. That's really, really soon. Too soon? Hmm. Well, anyway- I have a lot to do. But, I know it will be fun and I am really excited about it! Extremely nervous, but excited.

4. We paid the Toyota off last month. We're both super stoked because for the first time in 9 years we will have extra money! We are celebrating our first month of extra cash by starting our bathroom revamp. Exciting, right? Yeeahhhh.....more on that one later. 

5. Hockey. Oh, hockey. It's the only sport I watch [photo above was taken at a Minnesota Wild game] and the only sport I have ever wanted to play [other than soccer.] Growing up, I'd come home with the waiver to join hockey every school year. For one reason or another, the answer was always the same. By high school I couldn't just go join....for one my school didn't have a team and two, I was waaay behind everybody else who had been playing since they were young. Skip ahead a few years and I lived near Kenosha, Wisconsin- land of depression and lack of personalities. It's damn near impossible to find people with common interests. Sorry if you live there and take offense...I lived there too and absolutely hated it. Ugh, I could never do it again. But, now I am lucky enough to live near Madison, and I am working on finding a way into a league. I've never skated or played hockey, other than street hockey when I was younger. I'm pretty amped that this is finally going to happen, although I am kind of feeling like I will be in over my head if I take this on along with the art and fire stuff. We'll see. If it doesn't happen this year, it will happen next year.

6. I've been talking about brewing beer for ages...I'm mostly excited to make the labels for the bottles. This is a 'Me and Joe' venture. We don't share too many hobbies so this will be fun. :)

7. I bought my Bell Merlin II [a solo canoe] last fall and have gotten out quite a few times. It's the main reason there are weeds in my garden. I'm planning to do a solo canoe trip down the Wisconsin River at some point this summer, which has been something I've looked forward to for awhile now. The reactions I have gotten about this have been entertaining as well as annoying. A lot of "that's so cool!" and even more of the "by yourself?!" and "WHY would you want to do that?!" or "that's dangerous!" My answer for them is: "yes, by myself", "to get away from people like you" [okay, that's not the entire reason...and I don't really say that. but still.] and "driving is dangerous too, you know."

8. I've had my bass guitar for about, ooohh, 10 years now. Bass is my favorite instrument to listen to in music, with drums coming in at a close second. I'm going to buy a nicer amp and I'll probably take some lessons so I can build a decent foundation. I'm looking forward to it.

9. Yoga is one of those things that should have happened a long time ago but just hasn't. I do meditate and I really could use the flexibility, along with the vast amount of other benefits, so it only seems right that I do this. I'm shooting for October...after the art show is over and canoe season takes a break.

So yeah, those are my prospects for 2012. In writing, it doesn't seem like much, but I feel like I haven't really had a direct focus in a while so this will be good for me. Next year's list includes stuff like beekeeping, welding and learning how to ski, and I'm hoping to start school before I'm 30.

I've felt great since I started working on my list. It's nice to have goals; they're so important for anyone who's after some sort of personal growth. If we don't challenge ourselves, we just stay. Staying is boring. It never changes. It becomes dull. I know that change scares people, but I don't know how people stay comfortable by living in their little boxes that always stay the same. It makes me sad that they are afraid to try new things and that they just fill the same routine, all the time. That they don't realize there's so much more to life than shopping, eating, working, watching television, browsing the internet. I know it comes down to more than simply doing something; there's usually a reason they haven't tried. But even just trying something small can have a tremendous impact on a person's self confidence. To me, self confidence is the first step towards genuine happiness.

But anyway, that's basically it. I know, it's a lot of words. It feels weird to throw all of those things into the world, to total strangers, and to people I know in real life who secretly read this blog. If you made it to the end, I'm pretty impressed. If you skimmed through, I don't blame you. Like I said, this post is a doozy. But thanks for reading whatever you did read. I'm interested in hearing about the goals you hope to conquer. Hearing about people who go through with doing things that scare them is one of my favorite things. I think it helps to feed my own ambition to read or hear about people who are living.

Okay, I need to start drywalling the bathroom now...I've never drywalled before. This should be fun.

Thanks again, friends. :)


Caitlin Butler said...

bravo! excellent list, excellent post. You're a neat person.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful list. Thank you for sharing it with us. It's nice to look deeper into the lives of bloggers. :)

Kristin said...

Your house is looking really good- please don't take away the scalloped edge over the sink- it's so sweet...

Kristin (again!) said...

I meant to post that after your house blog... oh well.. you get the idea!