Veering Off-Course

I have maintained a dry-erase board since high school, one that also has some plastic foam to pin messages. It used to hold messages about college. These days, it holds my annual goals, related to creativity. I also put incentives on achieving those goals.

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. I made four goals this year. It is now December 30th, and I only accomplished one of them. While part of me feels disappointed, some friends surprised me this year by what they’ve said.

“I’m surprised by how much do you.”

“You are so organized.”

“How do you do it?”

These comments, plus my daily journal, told me an important fact: I accomplished so much more than I thought I did. Many items ended up on the bucket list.I went out of my comfort zone. Even if I didn’t do what was according to plan, it was still an accomplishment.

Traveling – I traveled to three different cities that I wouldn’t have done the year before: Philadelphia, Chicago, and Atlanta. While I’ve been to Philadelphia and Chicago before, it was the first time I went on my own and stayed for at least a day solo. One of the best decisions I made was doing Chicago, and agreeing to participate in panels on WorldCon. Despite a few hiccups with a delayed flight on Sunday night that necessitated rescheduling for the next day, the experience left an impact on me. A positive impact. I realized that I could speak onstage and be confident, in places that weren’t Toastmasters.

Comic Workshops – A Google search revealed that one website had free weekly comic workshops. I’ve been doing them for the past few months, and they have been very helpful. My comics tend to be crude, owing to the fact they’re done in a sketchbook on brush pen. Yet they are very cathartic, and I can slowly build up my discipline and schedules. Some friends have also said that they prefer the honesty in these pieces, that they are powerful. I started drawing an original comic for one dear person, and the inks are on my desk for page four at the moment.

Game Jams – This venture didn’t go as well. I do want to get into video games and to learn the structure with the nuts and bolts involved. Game jams are timed challenges, where you make a game in a limited time. One group went okay, another seemed fine until the co-leader revealed they were lying about something important, and after that I haven’t rejoined a team. Next year I may try to code a game solo for these challenges, and see how it goes.

My new decision is trying to figure out if I should accomplish the same goals next year, or aim for new ones. I’m going to think about it this evening as the new year progresses.

Veering off-course isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes you need time to accept it properly.