It is day two of the new year and I’m not sure if I’m failing at my resolutions. It’s hard to tell.
Three days ago I told myself a story of another me that I’d approve of more, and likely ways I could become it. You can imagine the list – everyone is tempted by at least one of the following: plans of actions (e.g. exercise, eating vegetables, not yelling at one’s children), deleting unwanted life props (cigarettes, alcohol, debt, belly), and vague feel-good inclinations (trying new things, spending more time with family and friends, enjoying each moment). So, as I was writing this future story of myself and numbering the bullet points, I had a moment of aesthetic disgust. Why should we always be writing the stories of future self in this terrible, pseudo-scientific prose (the hypothesis being that if I exercise, don’t smoke, and enjoy each moment (whatever that means), then I’d be… what? Healthy? Better? Perfect?) Instead, I tried to summon up a feeling, that feeling of perfect that we all sometimes wade into, no matter our smoking, belly, or debt, and then wrote a line to remind me of it. (Do a couplet, if you’d like). Now, the line makes no sense to anyone but me. It is my secret paper-plane that delivers me to the door of that feeling. Sometimes the door is open and sometimes it’s closed. Sometimes I forget I have a line.
I know for some of you this seems unwise. After all, how could you verify whether you are keeping your resolve? How would you know if you failed? You wouldn’t, I’m afraid. If all this makes you itchy for a list, please embrace the bullet points. As for me, I’ll keep my line handy, and do whatever takes me through that door. I’ll see how it goes this year. If it doesn’t work, there’s always next year to fail at being imaginary perfect me.