The year 2013 has been a good one for me, and I’m eager to make 2014 even better. Now that I am resigning from my day job and pursuing life as a “freelance professional,” I intend to make up for the missed opportunities that flew by the previous year.
To be frank, I’m scared of giving up the security of my day job. There’s a certain peace in going to an office, bitching with officemates over overwhelming workloads, and getting paid twice a month. But this feeling of discontent is growing each day, and I feel that there are bigger things in store for me. I may be wrong, but I want to try and see what I can offer publishing.
Many people have resolutions, but I’d rather have goals. To me, resolutions are an after-thought, something people keep beside the lives they lead. It’s not something people take seriously, which is probably why they fail. On the other hand, goals are something we consciously work for and try to achieve. And I want to work for it, I want to achieve it.
Lately, I’ve been getting the creative bug. Suddenly I want to create things. I’ve been restless in 2013, 2014 is about taking risks and doing what I want. It’s a leap of faith, but a leap I have to take. I’m turning 25 this year and I don’t want to wake up and be 50 – stuck in a day job and wondering… what if?
As days go by and doubts start creeping in, I just tell myself: just fucking do it.
1. Watch 100 movies. I’ve also been hit with the film bug, and I hope I could watch more this year. I want to expand my taste in film and discover more visionary filmmakers. One hundred this year seems reasonable, no?
2. Read 50 books. My attention span has severely diminished, and in effect, the number of books I read. I think my attention span has fizzled out because of the number of things I have to attend to every minute, but I hope the free time I’ll have this year will keep me focused. Now it takes me days to finish a book; when I was a younger I could finish one novel a day (including the Harry Potter books). I think 50 this year is a safe bet. That would make it one book a week.
3. Write 10 stories. Many people do not know I write short stories. My stories deal with surrealist themes, and most have murder as a pivotal point. I stopped writing right around the time I started doing it for a living, but I hope I could still flex my creative muscles for a story or two. Ten stories a year means one per month, which sounds like enough time to flesh a simple fiction. I have something planned for these stories, which I will discuss below.
4. Control weight. Weight has always been an issue with me. I’ve struggled with eating disorders, failed attempts at the gym, and manic attempts to regulate what I eat. There was a point when I gave up and decided to enjoy life, thinking I’d rather be happy than a miserable stick-figure. End result: a bloat that developed through months of binge eating and “living the life.”
I want to finally take control of my weight and put a stop to the endless cycle of fat-thin-fat, so I decided to enroll at a gym. This time, I have a more realistic view of my body and where I want it to go. I don’t want to be stick-thin or be a musclehead, I just want to be healthy. In line with this, I’m taking a healthier route this year, with more fruits and vegetables, and less chips and desserts. This might be tough, cookies are my addiction!
5. Publish Voyeur. My friend Nikko and I have been building Voyeur for many months and while we’re about to close our first issue, we can’t finish it because of time constraints and unfortunate circumstances. But we’re passionate about this project – a series of interviews with passionate people doing things their own way – and we want to make this last. We hope we could do this quarterly.
6. Publish two literary zines. My craziest ideas come to me when I am in the shower, and I have this suspicion it’s because I’m Aquarian. My idea of publishing two literary zines came to me a few days ago. A few of my short stories get published in the occasional anthology (mostly student publications), but most never see the light of day. It has always been my dream to publish my own collection of short stories, but I’m realistic and lately, addicted to the DIY movement. So I plan to just collect it and self-publish it by June. I’m also planning to get someone to edit it and deflate my huge ego.
I’m also planning to self-publish another collection of short stories, this time with content from friends and writers I admire. It’s a great way of creating a community of creatives with a shared goal of good literature. This one I’m pegging for December.
7. Write more. I spend a lot of time in the office writing, but what I mean is to write more for the spaces I contribute for. I want to write more for The Philippine Star and When In Manila, and contribute to magazines and websites. I want to write more short stories, reviews, content for Voyeur, and blog posts. It’s sad that I have neglected so much of my blog, and I hope I could write more here.
8. Surround myself with art. My growing interest in art began last year, and I want to expose myself more this 2014. I want to go out of my comfort zone and explore more artists and media, especially from the local scene. And by art I mean in a general sense: fashion, architecture, interior design, conceptual, and all its forms. Like my zines, I’m currently exploring the DIY movement through arts and crafts (which I’ll hashtag #artsandcraps). I started with a little flowerpot – which is really just using this dainty teacup I got as a Christmas gift and stuffing it with flowers – and customized mini-jars for my officemates. I could make at least one project a month.
9. Make more friends, and maybe get a boyfriend. I want to meet more people and expand my network. Having more friends means I get exposed to ideas, philosophies, and points-of-view that are different from my own. It might also mean that I don’t have to travel alone, but which I plan to do anyway. I also hope I could get a boyfriend, because 2014 would mark my fourth year being single, and I am finally ready to enter a serious relationship. I just don’t want to be that person who makes every man a potential partner. Being ready is different from being pathetic.
10. Be a minimalist. I had discovered minimalist in the latter part of the year. It started with fashion; I had decided to go for a mostly-black wardrobe inspired by Berlin grunge and the personal style of Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. This is a departure from my previous style, a messy collection of prints, both animal and geometric. A few days later, I decided to go minimalist instead, incorporating more colors yet maintaining that quiet and subtle feel.
Research on minimalist fashion led me to sites on a minimalist lifestyle, and I was intrigued with the thought of living more with less
. As a self-proclaimed hoarder, it inspired me to get rid of all the unnecessary clutter in my life, be it items, thoughts, and feelings. I’m taking it one step at a time, and I hope I can achieve happiness with living with the basics.
I used the word ‘hope’ more than I should have. Hope is different from actually doing it. And I will do it.