I received a notebook for Christmas from my titi, my aunt.
For the sake of providing a more accurate description of my Christmas gift: I did not receive the equivalent of Five-Star spiral notebooks or those seemingly duct-tape bound and cow-print composition notebooks.
Instead I received a thick journal of a soft navy blue textile. The front cover has an engraved quill and the side binding has ridges that protrude, reminiscent of the aesthetic of antiquated books found in libraries that house classics in their original form. Each page is gilded with a metallic gold such that when closed, the side of the book where the pages are exposed is equivalent to the dreams of those early-day Americans seeking out the Western Frontier on their quest for Manifest Destiny.
As the days darken, both due to winter’s inevitable entrance, the stresses of newly acquired adulthood, and dealing with the mid-life crisis of an adult who has experienced adulthood far longer than childhood, I have decided that I want to wind down these final days of the year with plans rather than resolutions.
My plan is to singe and sear off the negativity of others. That large empty book I received could be the medium for carrying out the plan.
I’m not one for writing down something I appreciate or am grateful for on the daily. The whole finding zen and “Dear Self” introduction strikes me as the muse for alternative designs made to update what we have come to know as the straight jacket.
I think Lifetime movies are morbid dramas that could not in any way accurately portray reality. Drama is a genre. I always thought life to be so multifaceted that it cannot be typified into a single entity, like a drama.
How naive and how wrong I was.
It is not so easy to disconnect from the misfits of one’s life, especially when they have taken root in your very biology.
I won’t say that I am going to try and attract positive energy by making sweeping changes to a social circle I cannot fully sever. Unfortunately, future invitations laden with fake smiles will transpire without regard for my resistance mistaken for rebellion.
My plan is to omit any negativity from the written word I put in that notebook - and no better a time than in two days, the first of January and the first day of the new year.
I had tried in the past to keep written record of not feelings, happy, sad, and/or the in-between.
I had attempted to keep a record akin to Benjamin Franklin - I believe it was him, the patron of my college alma mater - who had kept a running log of what he had done.
The journal read like a timetable. he would write down the time he woke up, brushed his teeth, and so on.
The reasoning behind this activity had something to do with not having idle hands and what not.
My sibling used to partake in an activity similar to this, several years ago, as a grade-school-going child. I had found it humorous, his obsessive cataloging of mundane necessities of functioning.
As he grew older, I found post-its thrown around his room. A more mature development of those kiddish journals.
“8:00 AM - Wake Up. 9:15 AM - 100 Crunches. 9:22 AM: 100 Push-Ups. 9:30 AM - Freshen Up. 9:40 AM - Take MCAT practice exam.”
Always one to be quote unquote, carefree and not stressed, my brother was unaware or just deliberately ignoring the goings on around him.
Possessing a countenance such as that is the envy of most of humankind.
So that’s the plan: To be untethered.
Remaining true to myself, having faith be shaken and not yet fully restored, I am determined to quell the rumblings of my being.
I’ll watch a funny program because, well, there is no use in running against the tide from the opposing direction just to stay true to my politics; An action that no one else but myself will witness. I’m talking about you, Modern Family T.V. series.
I still think that the concept of ‘Live and Let Live’ is an oxymoron. How can one live without exposing one’s honest to God point of view and without being regarded as unjust or even phobic? Since when did one opinion stand truer than another?
I have come to associate myself as more of a Republican and then just as swiftly reverted to the Democratic camp my mixed heritage had ushered me into as part of our auto-universe.
Here’s to 2014, in spite of the annual sore point that New Year’s Eve presents.
May the first few hours be the equivalent to those fun-house mirrors so that it distorts a different, more clear and luminescent, picture of the following year.