I’m usually not a fan of New Year Resolutions, mostly because I don’t really see a point in having to wait for an arbitrary date before one can start doing things he/she wants to do.
That said, because so much has happened in the past few months, events both hindering and catalytic, there’s no better time than now to give a big swing to set the propellers in motion.
Usually New Year Resolutions are very specific things like going to the gym more or to begin a Meatless Monday regime, but the things I want to do is more open ended that will yield to a more flexible, sustainable change in my life.
Be Less Agreeable.
This sounds ridiculous, I know. Who wants to make a intentional choice to be more of a douchebag? My actual intention is anything but. If you ask any of my friends (Facebook or otherwise), I’m actually very agreeable. I tend to (or at least attempt to) see everything through other people’s perspectives, and am overall very supportive for my friends. An RA, if you will.
But true as that may be, I also try my hardest to avoid having any conflicts with my friends. Perhaps it’s my way of “respecting my friends”, but in a way it’s also because that’s the easier way out. Like my father, I tend to keep my opinions to myself in exchange for the perception of being likable.
The problem with that is that likability isn’t what friendships are about. It’s not about agreeing with them as much as it’s about being genuinely helpful to them as I expect them to be with me. I don’t need to know how great my jeans look when there’s toilet paper stuck to my leg.
So I will work on being more supportive to those around me, even if the things I say may not be the most diplomatic or predictable. I will work on being a better friend, even if my comments may not be a pill that can be easily swallowed. I hope to lead by example and in return will receive more honest feedback from my friends. Let’s improve ourselves together.
Title of Ingrid Michaelson‘s debut album; a girl I barely know. But that’s precisely what I want to work on in 2012. Be okay. Those who know me know I’ve had my fair share of insecurities and self-esteem issues. I’ve come a long way in these past few years, but the struggle is continuous and at times brutal.
Like a veteran with PTSD, it hasn’t been easy to stand on my own two feet after coming off from months of unemployment. Rejections (or worse, invisibility) seem to be new currency in this age of social media. And living in Beverly Hills isn’t the kindest to the ego when your car is the only Honda parked on the street.
But all of this is okay. Instead of working so hard on being what other people expected of me, I will work on my expectation for myself. Being a perfectionist as I am, I will acknowledge that not everything needs to be perfect — writing some passive voice, listening to AACs in
128 192 kbps, and setting the opacity meter in Photoshop to 31% instead of 30% is perfectly acceptable. (Though I am cringing just as I was thinking about these very things.)
Be a maker.
I’ve spent most of my energy in the past few months focusing on my new job, but it wasn’t really until last week did it suddenly dawn on me that I’m not working at IGN — I’m a part of IGN.
I’m a lot of things, and my different interests are constantly fighting over my attention on a daily basis. But everything is in its mindset. For so long I simply saw myself as an outsider looking in to everything: I’m trying to be a better writer, I’m learning how to take photos, I’m working on my cooking skills. Yet all of these things make up who I am as a person, and I need to acknowledge myself as a creator and not a spectator.
I write. I think. I cook. I take photos. I play videogames for a living. These are not things I’m trying to achieve, but things that define who I am. 2012 is me.
Winson Shuen works at IGN but is not an editor. All opinions expressed here are solely his own and do not represent his employer by any means. You can follow him on Twitter @vdot90.