Not In The Past

Looking forward from 30

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

30 Before 30: Update five

This is my last progress report on my 30 Before 30 list: my deadline is next Monday, the 2nd.

Accomplished:

  • I have my learner’s permit.  So far I’ve been practicing going forward, backing up, turning and signaling in a church parking lot that’s a bit out of town.
  • I’ve decided that my old address (the one with my full name on it) is going to be where my portfolio rests when it is done.
  • Went up to Bathurst with Kyle and shot his entry for my Simple Portraits series.
  • Booked my trip out of town for the week before my 30th birthday (I leave tomorrow).
  • Applied for more jobs.
  • Did one free write for one hour.
Needs work
  •  I’m thinking of seeing a live music performance while I’m in Halifax.
  • I still need to finish my letters.  I’m going to work on them this week (I say that all the time).
  • I’m trying to think of a timeline to accomplish all the other goals I won’t be able to meet in the next week.  I decided to incorporate this into my 35 before 35.

So I’ll be in Halifax from tomorrow until Sunday, then up to Moncton for a night.  If anyone wants to meet up or get a bite/drink or have me take a picture of you, let me know.  Offer only open to people that I have an idea who they are (sorry, murderers).

Sorry..

I’m going to be a little late in posting my update for my 30 Before 30, and will have it ready for tomorrow.  After that, there will be only a week and a day until my birthday.

I’m working on updating my links bar on the right.  Check out some of those sites in the meantime.

The short term and the long term

So, you may have noticed that my blog has gone from one address to another.  While I had wanted to start an official website that included my full name and would end up serving as a professional space for myself, I eventually started to realize that sometimes my posts would be a little strident when it comes to political matters and issues regarding sexuality and gender.  I also had some material in my writing that may have been a bit too decadent.  While something that’s posted online is there in perpetuity, I figured the best way to get around Googles of my full name (especially while job hunting) would be to use that space for a professional site (under construction right now…I also purchased the domain name), and move the blog content to something slightly more anonymous.  The post where I had some stuff I was shortlisting for my photography portfolio I took off for now: the pictures still exist but I will post my final portfolio on the other site.  I’ll still gladly share this site and use my first name, but my last name is rare enough to easily track myself down.  Better scrub it for now.

I hope this frees me up in terms of the content I provide in the blog.  I was a little apprehensive to do free-writes with spelling errors, references to sex and drink and so forth once I thought about the Google problem (not just for Santorum anymore).  I also decided to import material from a few previous blogs I kept over the last few years: this is an incentive to keep writing and taking pictures.  I’m publicizing the posts for now, but my Facebook posts are friends-only and I took my last name off Twitter (it still lingers in the search results, though).

It kind of ties into something I’ve been thinking about.  I’ve always been intrigued by the possibility of just uprooting my life and starting fresh somewhere else.  I wonder if I would be able to pull it off, though.  Halifax isn’t that big a leap for me because I’m going to a place that’s close enough to my family, and I know a lot of people there, but I still sometimes have this urge to go further away, into a place where I may not no anyone.  I’ve always liked the possibility of reinvention and have been inspired by people making big changes in their lives.  Maybe this is something to think about in the long term?

Wiling away

I’m considering getting a paper journal to write in, just to log the day’s occurrences in a place, keep track of where I’ve been and any stray thoughts that I don’t think would be worth posting here.   Might be good to keep one while I’m out of town: I’ve always thought of keeping log of thoughts in my head when I took trips before, but I have already put scraps of my writing in the various notebooks I keep.

Where does the time go?  I’m just letting myself waste time on Discogs, looking at pictures of old CDs, records and cassettes while I listen to my jazz playlist in iTunes.  I love jazz, but I need to pay attention to it to fully enjoy it.  It doesn’t work as background music for me.  I was 16 when I bought a CD of Kind Of Blue.  I know, it’s cliche to use it as an introduction to the genre, seeing as it’s everyone’s gateway drug into jazz, but hey, it worked for me.

For everything I accomplish, there’s still a lot of time being idled away.  I guess it’s not an especially bad thing, but I can’t help but have a little guilt when I don’t work on my photography portfolio, SNL reviews or even cutting down on that stack of unwatched DVDs.  I’ve come to the realization that those are things I have to do when I’m actually in the mood to do them.   I don’t expect to have all of my 30 Before 30 list done before my birthday, and I think its served its purpose pretty well.

I still think I might need to do a free write sometime.  Not on here…just in a word document where I type blindly for an hour.  I might assemble what I let out into a more polished piece of work, but then again, I may not.  Sorry to come off as a little coy here.

My iPod Touch is loaded as full as possible with the works of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Cockburn these days.  I just had an urge to spend some time alone with their words and music.

Light in the distance

Spring is almost here.  Miramichi’s finally getting some fantastically mild weather, and the snow’s starting to give way to clear sidewalks and patches of green.   I’m starting to get a little more optimistic about the future: making plans here and there, actually working to get out of town for the time being.  The plan is to be in Halifax from March 26 to April 1, then take the train back to Moncton for a night, and then go back to Miramichi the next day.  I’ve also decided to go to Sappyfest this year after remember how much I regretted skipping out on it last year. Maybe the one skipped year was necessary: it felt more like a ritual and a way to cling onto a version of myself that I felt was fading away every year I stayed in Riverview.   Travelling and having the opportunity to see friends are more important to me than a lot of things I thought I wanted.

I’m thinking I need to find a way to phase out Pepsi (or for that matter, soft drinks) from my diet.  I’ve been hooked on the stuff since I was kid, to the point where I get caffeine withdrawal headaches without it.  The more I think about the crap I put into my body, the more I realize what kind of changes I want to make.

Restless again

I posted earlier about how I want to get out of Miramichi for a little bit around my birthday.   I’m starting to get quite restless now, and I’m considering my options for the short term.

I think what’s getting to me is that I just feel like I’m in a bit of a repetitive cycle these days: I feel like my days are predictable and my options for variety are too few right now.  I feel like bad habits are easier to fall into here, and I need to force myself out of my rut.  I can see where I have been able to accomplish things in the last little while, but I feel that too many baby steps won’t get me as far as I want to go.

I’m considering submitting articles and essays to different places.  Worth a shot…

Happiness and getting older

I’m trying to really figure out what makes me happy.

I think I’m getting closer to knowing, but at the same time, the whole process is a bunch of trial and error, and it’s forced me to re-examine things that I thought I knew about myself.  I’ve come to a few realizations: some things that I used to enjoy were just comforting because of their familiarity, and there were some things I was actually afraid of liking.  I’m not going to go into too much personal detail here, but I know more that my preference to get through life as unscathed as possible was holding me from a lot of things.

The gulf between 20 and 30 narrows and widens depending on the day.  I remember ten years ago I was shocked that I was already an adult when I didn’t feel like one.  Sometimes I don’t feel a whole lot older and do a double take when I realize that some memory was already many years ago.  In a way I still feel like I haven’t really gotten a start on life, just staying in different holding patterns for a few years at a time.  But then I realize how many of my friends are well into careers, relationships and even parenthood.  One of my good friends is actually running for political office.  Those are moments when I realize time is finite, and I have to stop being so passive and resigned to my inertia.

The longer I avoid making difficult decisions and forcing myself into action, the more years I lose that could have been spent happy, fulfilled and heading towards something.

Out of Miramichi

I’ve talked a little earlier about how one of my goals is to get out of Miramichi for a little bit around my birthday (if anyone’s wondering, it’s two weeks from next Monday).  I haven’t left the region in a while: the last time I did leave was back in January to drop my sister off at the airport.  I haven’t settled on where exactly I want to go: Halifax would probably be my first choice since I’m planning to move there.  Moncton and Fredericton are also possibilities, although with the Acadian Lines lockout that has been going on since December, getting to and from Fredericton is difficult without a car. Doesn’t help that the train doesn’t go there either.  Going further to a place like Montreal or Toronto would be fun but unrealistic, and too much of a strain on my finances at the moment.  Where I end up going depends on a few factors, namely being able to secure a place to stay.

It’s not enough for me to go down to the city for the day to shop.  I’m starting to get tired of the Trinity Drive power centre (and whoever designed that whole area hates pedestrians).  As much as I like browsing a better selection of CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays that I can find in Miramichi, which often feels cut off from the world culturally, I’ve become dissatisfied with going to the same chain stores you see in any sizable city and am more interested in the downtowns, the cafes and the restaurants.  I still like going to chain restaurants once in a while, but I feel like I’m just experiencing the same thing over and over again.  I’m fine with doing these things once in a while, but when it gets to the point when even special occasions and vacations are exercises in the overly familiar, it’s no longer satisfying.

Maybe I’ve only realized how empty consumerism is, but I really want to experience a bit more in my life than just buying shit.

Brain fart on religion, faith and belief

Last night, I was thinking out loud on Twitter about issues of faith.  I have a friend who is very conservative, and very outspoken, and she made some comments about how she disregards International Women’s Day as a day for the “femi-nazis”, “career bitches”, the man-haters, and the pro-aborts, and that it does not represent Christians and homeschoolers at all.  I think she is entitled to her belief, but I know there are many Christians, homeschoolers, male-likers, stay at home mothers or self-described pro-life people who do still believe in feminism, celebrating women’s achievements and fighting for women’s rights.

To some extent, I see religion as an extension of human nature’s tendency towards tribalism, in both its best and worst senses.  I wrote last night that I couldn’t fully commit to a doctrine that demands complete adherence and unquestioning obedience of its followers on pain of eternal torture after death (assuming that’s the version of Hell they believe in).  I wonder how pure peoples’ motivations are if they are only doing the “right” thing to get into Heaven or avoid Hell.  I wonder if fundamentalists would still believe the same things even if there was no eternal reward or punishment  at stake.  I just have trouble embracing doctrines that discourages independent thought or discovery, especially if it leads to a divergent viewpoint.  I wonder how much of the rules are more to sustain and increase a religion’s power over its subjects than actually relieving their pain and suffering.   I also have an issue with a rejection of science (especially evolution) simply because it doesn’t line up with neatly what was written that long ago.  Science doesn’t prove or disprove the existence of God…in fact, I’m more inclined to believe that rejecting science is a sign of a tenuous faith.

I think there are universal truths found in religion, but sometimes the testimonials of those who could no longer reconcile their belief with their experiences and other knowledge speak too loud for me sometimes…some people do everything to keep a shred of faith only to have it fall away.  I found myself reading through the entire archives of Ex-Christian Mom and a good portion of We Were Going To Be Queens lately.  I’ve come to the conclusion that any faith that comes from lying to yourself is an empty one.

I can’t completely articulate what it is I believe.  I think there is much of value in the teachings of religion (especially Jesus’ sermon on the mountain…sometimes I wonder how much of Christianity is merely putting asterisks on this).  I accept not everyone is fundamentalist.  I accept there are good people and bad people irrespective of religion or lack thereof.  But I’ve long had a discomfort with doctrines and rituals.  I’m not at the point where I can wholly accept or reject anything right now.  I think I need to learn more about who I am though.

30 Before 30 List: Update four

As scheduled, it’s time for my latest update on my 30 before 30 list:

Progress:

  • I stayed offline for a whole weekend, and didn’t go crazy.  I’m actually considering doing it every so often.
  • I chose a new layout for the blog.  I think this one works for me more than the other one did.
  • I set up some tentative meetings for portrait sessions.
  • Not one DVD, book, or CD bought still..
  • Seven reviews of SNL 1980-81 down, six to go.
  • Tossed a handful of clothes I know aren’t in any condition to be worn by anyone.
  • Went one whole month without fast food.  Even now, I don’t really have much of an appetite for it.
  • Went to a restaurant I had not been to: The City Square.  Ordered the Chicken Tikka…thought it was pretty good.
  • I have six people who are getting snail mail letters from me in the coming weeks.  (If you’re interested in receiving one, please let me know)

Needs work:

  • I did call the driver examiner, set up an appointment and took the test, but I definitely was not prepared for it and failed.  My own fault, though.  Right afterward I scheduled another test for the next week, and now that I know what to prepare for, my goal is to pass it by a wide margin.  I don’t really think I want to be in control of any car unless I’m sure I have an idea what I’m doing.
  • I said I was going to turn off the computer earlier and try to get to bed.  Didn’t work out that way.
  • I have a feeling some of my do “x” so many times goals aren’t going to be met.  I’m trying to figure out if I should revise my number, or do a small penalty for each unmet goal, or something or other.
  • I have to still schedule a full week of meals.
  • Schedule a set time of day to do each goal but allow for wiggle room for errands, outings and so forth.
  • I need to make plans to get out of town around my birthday (either the weekend before or the day of).

It’s been a productive two weeks, but I can see the deadline looming and I know I have so much left to go.

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