Nostalgia Holes & Life Goals

I fell down a nostalgia hole tonight, then came out and discovered it was 2 o’clock in the morning.

It started with a random thought about an artist on a card game I used to play—Magi-Nation. It was halfway between Pokemon and Magic, and I was really good at it. I wasted my Saturdays in early high school playing in tournaments out in Gresham, winning a bunch of cards that I’ve held onto for so long that they are now worth absolutely nothing. Unlike Magic and Pokemon, the game had no staying power, but it had a narrative, so I found it compelling.

I am horrified to think of the amount of money I spent on those stupid cards, and really, on every fad I’ve ever been addicted to. Warhammer was my high back in Ireland—then again when I went back on a study abroad trip. Staying on the wagon is, apparently, not my game.

On the same shelf in the back corner of my room where I found my old card binder were my high school portfolios. One look at my personal statement, and how I’m still pretty much in the same boat seven years later, was enough to make me want to weep openly. But I also know that I will not be ridding myself of these artifacts anytime soon.

Except I’m worse. The skills I’ve developed in those years are not what I wish I had—though apparently younger me saw himself teaching at the collegiate level—and the ones I wish I possessed, I do not.

I’d like to be able to play the piano.

I know that you’re not supposed to reflect on your life in the dead of night, but it’s not going to be blissfully different tomorrow. I’m fat, unemployed, broke, unpublished, and achingly, perpetually single. And I know that all of those things are my fault. Because I lack willpower, and I am afraid of change and rejection. I have wasted two whole lifetimes.

I am neither happy nor proud of who I am. And that pattern will continue until I change it, until I teach myself willpower. And to do that means rigor, and rigor means goals. So here are my goals. Immediate goals. Effective immediately. Starting now:

* I will look for a job for no less than six hours, no more than eight every weekday. Until someone’s paying me to work, finding someone who’ll pay me to work is my job. However, this goal has the biggest caveat, in that this time may be butchered so I can work on the home improvements.

* I will write for an hour every day, and publish whatever I come up with here on this blog. Every day. Even if I’m absolutely disgusted by the sight of a text file after eight hours of writing cover letters. It will be sloppy and ugly, but it will get better. My mind was the only muscle I ever really had in shape, and I’ve allowed it to atrophy. That stops here.

* I will work out every day for a half hour. Again, every day, probably before I got to bed. This will include running laps up and down the nearby schoolyard.

* I will go to bed at a reasonable fucking hour, like say maybe before 3 in the morning.

* I will teach myself to play the Portal theme song on my dad’s guitar, and after that, another song. And after that, another.

* After her foodcart reopens in Sellwood, I will go there, and I will ask Hillary out on a date. But until that happens, I will stop hating myself for not getting her phone number when I had the chance. Self-loathing solves nothing, and it’s only making me mopey.

* Addendum—I will no longer internalize the idea that me being attracted to a women is anathema to a positive human experience. I have no idea how a girl might react if she finds out I like her, so it’s time I stop assuming it’ll be rejection.

* I will set this to publish at ten tomorrow morning, so that people will see it and read it and call me on my bullshit when I’m not living up to these. Because I haven’t exercised my iron will quite yet.

* I will quite now, because the hour is finally catching up to me. Good night, see you tomorrow for the first day of lifetime number 3.

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