I picked up a pen but drew a blank {another new year, another chance to make it better}

Tomorrow is my birthday.  Every year, around this time I feel the need to reflect and re-gather my goals and ambitions (including establishing exactly what those are).  I was more than happy to see the end of 2012, which will be forever in my memory a year of struggle, sorrow, anger and disappointment.  Every time I started to get back on my feet, another tidal wave would come and again I would be drowning, with no sense of what direction to go.  This hurts to admit, especially re-reading my new years post from last year (although at the time, I could not have possibly predicted the year we were about to endure).  But I can not dwell on the past, there is nothing I can do to change how 2012 went, but I can make a promise to myself, and to my family, that I will grow and become stronger from experiencing all of it.

Despite all the terrible things of 2012, I do feel that I am closer to my (and my family’s) big goals than I was a year ago.  The house, a year ago, was still crammed, disorganized and in no way close to be ready to put on the market.  But now?  We’ve organized almost the entire house, cleared out the basement, and actually put systems in place to keep it that way.  I know that the progress we’ve made on the house, and our lifestyle habits, has made a huge positive change in both myself and my partner.  It feels so nice to just be in a tidy home on a regular basis.  Plus the bonus fuzzy feelings when friends and family come over and are truly amazed at the transformation (pictures of said transformation are on their way, but you know, one thing at a time).

I’m still working at Michaels as a Certified Art Framer, and honestly, I love my job.  I am proud of myself for taking the risk (even if it did result in some serious financial insecurity throughout the year, which also means that I still work at Swiss Chalet to supplement my income).  I love being able to actually talk about colour theory, plus I get to see a tonne of interesting art.  I’ve seen everything from limited Star Wars lithographs (from 1979, signed and numbered by the artist), original paintings by an apprentice of Tom Thompson, a silk war map with a truly amazing story behind it, to beautiful fabric and yarn art made by a 90-year-old woman.

Last year, I made a resolution to post to this blog twice a week, on a regular schedule.  Although that worked for a while, I admit that I allowed myself to be swallowed by the rest of my life and was too sad to blog most of the time.  I do want to try to pick up regular blogging again.  Last week I re-started my Photo Vault Tuesday posts on the Shock Stock and VHS Swap blog, something that I intend to be, once again, a weekly thing.  I also am continuing my photo blog, and my series that I have dubbed “Another Day”.  Last year, while I was reviewing a lot of my photography, I realized that somehow, somewhere along the line, I had actually developed a style.  I’m not sure where to go from here in that regard, but for the time being I am content with working with that.

Last year’s resolutions really focused on me establishing what I want, what was important to me, where I want to go, and how to move forward from failure.

One aspect that I attempted to tackle last summer was the main purpose of this blog.  I did a lot of changes, in hopes of making the blog easier to navigate.. but I don’t feel that I quite hit the nail on the head.  I have frequently changed my mind about what I want this blog to be, and generally have wanted to be so many thing that it is probably confusing.

I think that a root of this problem lies in Identity.  I want this blog to be honest, even when it’s ugly.  I want this blog to represent me, my voice, my art, and my life.  Identity is something that I have struggled with since I was young.  I think this is also why I have always been fascinated with self portraits, and the idea of transforming myself on a regular basis.  But I’ve grown to realize that identity is not something that is static, I do not have any single identity.  Rather I am (like all living beings) always in flux.  This gives me a better sense of control, knowing that my identity is not something that I need to stamp out into a neat little square, but something that can change and develop with me.  I just need to listen to my own heart, and be honest with myself, and move forward from that.  I just need to be the best that I can be, so that I can be proud of myself when I fall asleep each night.

I’m sure that, to a certain extent, the tone of this post is influenced by my current medical problems.  I’ve been more or less bed-ridden for almost two weeks now, and have not been able to talk very well the entire time.

Oh, and if you love my title, it’s a lyric from Touche Amore’s song I’ll Get My Just Deserve.  It’s a beautiful song, I highly recommend it.

 

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