Every year I write a list of what I want to accomplish in the new year, roughly sketching out the future for myself. I used to write this by hand and post it around my apartment, believing that writing it by hand over and over reaffirmed the affirmation that, yes, these things were going to be accomplished in the new year. They also served as a somewhat embarrassing means by which to humiliate myself in case I did not accomplish anything (or, more positively, they served as way to applaud myself if I did everything right).
Last year, I didn’t write things out by hand and simply posted it as a somewhat detailed, ALL CAPS listing of what I wanted done for 2011 to Facebook. If we know anything about that social network, that is where dreams go to die or get intertwined in rabbling hullaballoo that doesn’t advance shit. Moreover, the pace of that—and any—social network is so fast that shortly after posting readers—including me—completely forgot about it. Thus, that somehow served as a metaphor for what happened to last year: not much happened.
This year, I am getting the word out more to myself and others: writing them out by hand a few times and taping in various spots of my apartment (projected spaces: the refrigerator door, the inside of the bathroom, on my bedside table, and next to my computer) along with writing my goals on my very-infrequently-posted-or-followed-but-soon-to-change-on-both-fronts Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. This ensures that I will actually accomplish all of my goals (or remember to attempt them) because they will all be staring me and anyone else who sees them in the face. I find that humiliation is the ultimate form of inspiration and discipline leading to productivity: welcome to my personal hell’heaven, you guys.
Thus, a 2K12 list of goals hovering over a theme of being successful on my own terms. Some have asked for focus, some have asked for heightened sociability, some have asked for one million dollars, some have asked for fifteen pounds off—I just want some success, by my own definition, that I—Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick—can say, “I did it!” to myself. Now, chew on this and give me your feelings on them and, should you be able to assist in accomplishing any of them, assist away!
- Finish Something/Don’t Be Lazy. If 2011 indicated anything, it is that I’m good at starting things but terrible at finishing them. Last year, I started a new series of one man shows. What happened with that? It had one show, then died. Last year, I started writing a book. What happened with that? It’s 3/4 of the way done and hasn’t been touched since October. Last year, I was asked to audition for the comedic “institution” Upright Citizen Brigade’s Maude Teams in hopes of making it on a 2K12 roster. What happened with that? I slightly blew it because I wasn’t prepared and then huffed and puffed about it when they sent an e-mail that I didn’t get it seven hours after auditioning. (Note: I deserved that e-mail./That e-mail was complete bullshit.) All of the aforementioned are wonderful opportunities that were squandered on the aforementioned excuses. I want to overcome excuses this year and actually *do* something. Similarly, I’m good at starting things but not finishing them. I had a startling realization late last year that I am very much like my mother: she is great at starting things—but never finishing them. This is not a bad thing for a fortysomething mother of four who has done a shit ton in her life and has made a huge impact on countless people’s lives; however, this is a very bad thing for a twentysomething gay male who has done fucking nothing in his life and is trying to accomplish everything. This year, I want to take on three other projects at a time in addition to having a man, being a dog owner, and running a website. Those three things are: A.) Finding time every week to write a post on the 1234KYLE5678 Tumblr; B.) Working on the television pilot I promised myself I would do last year; C.) Finishing the book I started and then shopping the space around; and D.) Helping myself make myself—and holding myself accountable. Once B and C are finished, a new project can be subbed in. I’ve been kind of relying on the idea of relying on others and have not been creative. I need to get back to my old self in many ways. I also want to, like, exercise more and shit. Enough of this subject.
- Educate Thyself, Child. I hate reading. Like, I H A T E reading. If social networks have also encouraged me or brought about any enlightenments, it is that I can only handle small dosages of reading. I’ve never been good at reading. Never. I’ve always been slow at it and too lazy to keep myself entertained this way. What has happened as a result? A lot of skimming to intake ideas and a lot of suffering and redundancies in my writing. This has made writing incredibly unfun and uncreative and laborious. Thus, I must take time to educate myself. I want to finish reading three large books this year, I want to actually read articles that are sent to me by friends and/or that I save to read later, and I want to reduce the amount of “small” reading I do, in exchange for larger reading. This also means “doing my homework” in terms of written, comedic, and acting pursuits, i.e. taking classes, diversifying creative pursuits, and studying up on those that I admire and want to become (inspirational figures: The Marx Brothers, Stella (Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain), Roger Ebert, Billy Eichner, Drew Droege, Dan Savage, Paul Reubens, Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, David Lynch, and a handful of others).
- Don’t Be Bothered By People And Know What Bothers You So You Won’t Be Bothered At All. A few months ago, a friend posted this great article that “went viral” and really had me dwelling on how I think about my life. The article shared thirty things you should stop doing to yourself, basically summarizing how most people are self-sabotaging, many of which I use to sabotage myself. The article also highlighted how 2K11 was the exact opposite of this article for me: I was hanging around people that did not excite me or were using me, I wasn’t very honest with myself about what I was achieving, I was dwelling too much on what was upsetting me, and I allowed myself to enter dark depressions for reasons that were justified but were easy to overcome. I am going to stop putting myself in situations that will bum me out this year and will avoid occasions that will have me sad, mad, jealous, or excusing of people. I need to focus on being happy, which I don’t really do. This is a year of clean house and zen for me. I won’t worry about not texting people back or not calling people back or the fact that someone I know copied me or that someone I know booked a show or that someone I know used me. So what. That shit happens and it’s happened worse to others. I just need to wish them the best and keep playing my own tune or whatever idiom best expresses that idea.
- More Technology/Less Technology. I have grown to hate my computer and iPhone over the past year, a theme that has played in the background of my life since the first time a computer burned me by not saving a file. They just create excuses for me and large gaps of time, energy, and productivity that I could have used elsewhere: I’ve relied on technology too much. On the flip side, my computer and iPhone have grown to be increasingly important over the past year. I need them desperately to carve a dent into the world and, without them, I’d still be some assistant working for someone becoming no one: I need to rely on technology. Like people, I need to manicure how I interact with the Internet and remove myself from it whenever I don’t need to be interacting with it. This will likely tie into writing by hand and lots and lots and lots of utilizing of the SelfControl application (you should download it). I don’t want technology to be an excuse anymore and I also want to be more aware of the real world than the online world. I’m also going to make a point to shut off my phone and/or computer more often so I don’t have the excuse to just stare at it for no reason. Also, they give you cancer or something.
- Get Paid For Something. As I work for and with Robert Aaron Solomon on TFIB and LAIY and am an “actor/writer,” getting paid and actually contributing fiscally to our family is something I do not-as-much-as-I-wish-I-did. I do writing work for others and am trying (T R Y I N G) to get paid to act in something. Thus, little is going on in my bank account besides flies and I make ends meet by I-Don’t-Know-How. This makes you feel worthless. Moreover, it makes you feel like you haven’t contributed shit in forever. Thus, maybe in addition to getting some part-time gig working for little money, I want to make some sort of income doing what I’ve been doing. This basically means finishing my book and making entertaining work financially for me and then growing from there. If technology has taught us anything, it is that everyone has a talent and everyone can get not-paid and paid for that talent. I want to get paid for my talents, finally. Of course, this is using money as a gauge for success and can be seen as vapid. So what? Getting paid means you did something correct. Is it a crime to want to get compensated? No.
- Routinize, Routinize, Routinize. I am pretty okay managing other’s schedules and building routines. For myself? Nope. Terrible at it. So, this year I want to create some sort of schedule and stick to it, an integral thing for independents like myself. Essentially, I want to create to-do lists for my week, accomplish them, and move on to the next thing. I’ve gotten really, really lazy with this and with a lot of other aspects of my life: a routine will hopefully clear this up.
- Wake Up Earlier. Having a dog means having a lot of things. One thing it means having is more hours in your day by way of waking up early. I used to take Dottie out and stay awake to work out and write. Now, I don’t. Likely from depression or lack of drive or just being fucking lazy, this year I want to reclaim the two to three hours I spend between 6AM and 9AM sleeping and use them for ME things, like exercising and writing (FOR ME—NOT WORK). My proposed schedule: wake up at 6:30AM with the dogs, take them for a hike from 6:35AM to 7:15AM, make a cup of tea, and work from 7:20AM to 9AM on whatever personal writing project I am working on.
- Ask For Help. I started 2011 off with asking some people for help which went OK but fizzled off around March and left me coasting aimlessly through the end of December. I know a lot of people in a lot of different arenas (online, television production, professional writing, etc.), but I don’t ask for help. I need to just send some e-mails and be like, “Hey, I was wondering if I could poke your brain or if you could help me. I’m trying to make things happen for myself per my 2K12 resolutions and think you can help. Let me know if you would be down. Speak soon!” It can’t hurt. It can only make things happen. Like some biblical bro said or something, “ask and you shall receive.” By mathematical application, the modern day version of this is “e-mail someone for help and you shall get help.” I’m going to do that. Be prepared for that, y’all.
- Make People Laugh. This is one of my life’s goals. I feel that I can make people laugh and want to make people laugh as my contribution to society. I don’t know how I’m accomplishing that now—and that is quite jarring. I’m not performing around town as much and don’t have any desire to collaborate with others as that seems to end poorly for me (since I am an *I~n•D~e*P~e•N~d*E~n•T~~w*O~M•a~N*). I am going to try to write more, make more videos, and do things around town that expose people to me being what I think is funny. I am leaving this vague so that I don’t beat myself up when a new one man show goes OK or a new variety show of sorts goes OK as well: I have thick skin—but not that thick.
- Make Myself Happy. See all of the above. I want to make myself happy this year because last year I made myself really unhappy. No one else can make me happy but myself and I need to be selfish to achieve that. If that means hiking everyday or petting more dogs or getting a screenplay sold or taking pills or talking to a therapist or being more blunt, then that is what I need to do to make myself happy.
This year’s goals are a great deal more attainable (and longer, sheesh) than last year’s goals, which were quite, quite, quite lofty and grand. 2K11’s goals weren’t accomplished because I forgot about them and allowed myself to be too distracted by far too much. Thus, a lot happened and a lot didn’t happen and I have next to nothing to show for it. This year, I want to come out of 2K11—and every year thereafter—with something to show people that, “See: I did do something. I did contribute. I am worth a shit.”
I hope your 2K12 is a blast and I hope we all don’t die. And, if we do all die, I hope the power that exterminates us at least lets me have a book deal or teleplay contract or the script for an acting gig I am getting paid to do in my hand as the nuclear flames wash over my body, igniting me and those papers into billions of tiny particles that will contribute to a new world’s creation.
2K12 will bring magical success in one form or another to all of us. If you have read this far, I will give you a kiss on the lips to thank you and 2K12 for being in my life.
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