“Paying rent in hell.” That longsuffering we all do so much of – because we’re just absolute suckers for punishment. We’re habitually quick in reminding ourselves how bad we’re supposed to feel about our shortcomings. And celebrating the successes? Not on your life.
The New Year brings ‘new’ lists by legions of people who promise to be better, lose weight, give more and work harder. So, what a list like this is really saying is that you are not good enough, your body isn’t (someone else’s idea of) perfect, you’re selfish and lazy. Nice. And it’s from there that you expect to take over the world?
That whole it’s always darkest before the dawn thing is really real though. Things have to get worse before they get better (otherwise they’re just staying the same, right?). You have to hurt before you heal and can move on. But to move on, you have to Move. On. You can’t stew on a list of shortcomings (that someone else compiled, anyway).
Coming out of TheFourteenthSunset, I said: New Year’s Resolutions? None, but to remember that good things can still come from dark spaces, big things from small places and loveliness will surprise from the most unexpected faces. I said no resolutions, because maybe we should rather take stock of what we learned, and therein what could do with a little remodeling so that I become the remake – of me. So there, with that spirit, I listed 14 of them.
1 | I am not just a drop in the ocean. I am the ocean. You are yours. And terrible or terrific – those are tides, and they will. Each tide’s value is tantamount to what you take from it. Transience is the only constant.
2 | There are autopilot-assholes everywhere. And they’ll be saying the same when they look at you or me. Here’s the deal: one man’s delusional is another man’s deity… That’s all good. These are the days of our lives.
3 | Who’s to say how many cooks should be in the kitchen? Who cares? Insist rather that cooks be accountable for their cerebral contributions. Add value or don’t offer to cook.
4 | Armchair activists will only offer opinions they can enter into a status bar on Facebook. The confidence to commit to confrontation when it matters will always show the courageous from the cowards. Fickle futility is rife.
5 | Consistency is crap. And anyone who tells you to be consistent is crap. It is just another manipulative tactic used to make you feel bad about things you do or have done that weren’t what someone else wanted from their exchange with you. You are not a catalogue. You shouldn’t allow yourself to be catalogued. Don’t give anyone credit who wants you to believe that inconsistency is a flaw.
6 | Living by other people’s lists makes me feel like a loser. Must stop doing it.
7 | Fearless fucking-up is not a stain on your soul – no matter the scale. Its sincerity is its silver lining. The ratio of people whose fear-fuelled inertia versus those who refuse it, is probably the only fear that’s worth anything. Dispassionate dorkism is unforgivable.
8 | Salute sunsets with a conscious conscience that you didn’t treadmill time. That yours was spent accelerating your heartbeat because you used it to get: To get happy. To get angry. To get loved. To get hated. To get admired. To get ignored. To get fucked. To get asked out. To get stood up. To get broke but get rich because you got it – and you get it. Your heart is a happening. Let it.
9 | There is only the moment – and then the moment is gone.
10 | The value in learning to domesticate your darkness comes from how you value your Light.
11 | The difference between your Sacred Duality and a Duality you’re scared of is sacred in itself – but is a) a journey you should journey on your own or b) someone else’s you can’t get involved in. Some leaves live to be lost in the wind. Choose the journeys you choose to join – wisely.
12 | The unholy war is the tug between who you are and who the world wants you to be. You can recognise a war is on without having to commit to its carnage.
13 | Never don’t-care. Even when the sweat from passions-persisted seems never offset by the returns. And then still care enough to find better places / people whose passions persist closer to the ways yours do.
14 | The real volume in loving the wrong ones will only be heard when you eventually find the right.
Sun up! It’s TheFifteenthSunrise. Be unprepared for anything.
Picture courtesy of Dave Luis.
© Dylan Balkind