Though a bit late, I thought I would share some of my New Year’s resolutions with you:
1. Allow myself to make mistakes. Too often, in jobs and elsewhere, people are penalized for making mistakes, but mistakes are how we learn. When we fear to make mistakes, we stop improving. Therefore, I hope to make many mistakes this year.
2. Allow myself to fail, so long as the failure isn’t permanent. Life isn’t going to always be successful, and — like making mistakes — failure means that you’re trying new things. So, this year, I hope to fail in at least a few things, because I know that only by failing will I come closer to success.
3. Do what scares me. What lies beyond the fear is worth a small moment of panic.
4. Spend more time learning foreign languages. If I had spent these five years away from Japan in studying Japanese at the level that I studied it when in Tokyo, I would be fluent or very close to fluent in that language by now.
5. Slow down and take more pleasure in the moment. Too often I’m running around like a maniac, and I don’t enjoy life’s simple pleasures. I eat without tasting, hear without listening, and read without contemplating. That needs to stop.
6. Explore more of the neighborhood when I have the opportunity, and spend less time in my room. Now that I have a laptop, I can’t even use the Internet or my novel as an excuse not to go outside all day.
7. Read more books and watch less movies. This one will be one of the toughest ones to keep, especially since so many good films are still in theaters, but necessary if I want to read more books.
8. Write more. This includes diary entries, blog entries, poems, short stories, and my novel. I should be able to work on more than one project at a time, and since my novel is in its revision stage, I need to continue to create new works while I’m tweaking the old, in order to keep my creative juices running strong.
9. Look at people’s faces more. Whether I’m walking down the street or talking to people, looking at faces will remind me that I am connected to the people here, whereas stealing a glance at their form as they pass only severs any connection I have to the community which surrounds me.
10. Be true to myself. None of us can be completely true to ourselves and function in this world, but the compromises should be ones of degree, not of kind. In my case, this is a particular issue when being true to myself exposes me to danger, and to the wrath of society.
But in order to do that, I must also carry out the following resolution….
11. Spend more time reflecting on what kind of person I was, what kind of person I am, and what kind of person I want to be. I must ask for the best in myself while forgiving the worst in others. And, while I’m at it, I might as well forgive the worst in me, too.
Happy 2013, everyone!