New Year New You

I never attempt to make resolutions. I feel they are a waste of time. Something to dwell on that usually disappoints in the end. Instead, I prefer to make goals. I suppose goals are resolutions cloaked in the costume of positivity, but they always seem more attainable. Resolutions have the pressure of one year, while goals have a forward motion. They can be completed within the new year or they can be ongoing, in perpetuity.

When I graduated from my first bachelors program at buffalo state, in 1997, I made my first, hand written, goal list. A five year plan. Before that, I had myriad lists dealing with everything from simple daily tasks to my ultimate goals. They were usually in my head and sometimes committed to a piece of paper in my journal. Always hand written and erasable, they were fluid. A business idea here and a song idea there. Ever changing and evolving. These lists were little reminders to keep breathing. To keep pushing forward. Without the little daily lists I may have just stayed in bed every morning and not bothered to try anything.

The first official, hand written, proper list had pieces of furniture on it. All the things I needed and wanted for my very first apartment. This sounds odd for me to consider as my first true goal list, but I really believe it was. It was written by my friend, over coffee, as we discussed the things we were going to bring from our homes and the things we would need to buy. It was three pages long and listed so many items that we would have never been able to fit everything into an apartment the size of which we could actually afford to pay the rent on, monthly.

I was reminded of this list while cleaning out boxes in my “office” on the weekend. I found it in a box with mementos from my longest running career and old wall hangings from my room in my parents house. It was stuffed in a folder next to pages of writing for an old ‘zine that I attempted to write and distribute on campus. Cackling from the depths of the box, it mocked me. Look at me! I am your first list! I am the one that got away! I am the reason you are still in Buffalo! I was your way out and you stuffed me in a folder to be stuffed in a box to be found 15 years later to create a lamenting! Why have you forsaken me so? If only you would have made it work. If only you would have packed up your room, bought a few items from me and moved in with your friend’ you might be further along now.

This is an interesting thing to think about. If you could go back in time and take a different path, would you? If you did, what would change? In the case of this list, I would have moved in with my friend, who was the reason I met my husband. So the writer would still be in the picture. I would have learned a earlier about feminism and sociology. I would have worked at a coffeehouse, instead of a bank. I would have most likely went back to school earlier and by now I would be at the end of my phd road, rather than the beginning. All these things could have been or it could have been the opposite. I could have not been able to afford rent and moved back in with my parents. Having been defeated, I would have probably still applied at teletech and worked there for two years, restarting the same history, but two years later, putting me two more years behind on that phd. So it could go either way. The best thing to do is to be thankful for what I have and move forward. Make a plan to become a sociology professor and go for it. Make it work anyway that I can. Scrimp and save, beg and borrow, and get to the end point.

So this brings me back to my goal list. For 2012 and beyond, here are the things I would like to accomplish, moving forward.

– get a new job
– start a masters program, leading to a phd
– move to north buffalo, temporarily, to save money

That is enough for now. This list should grow over the next few months and years to encompass my future. We shall see how it goes. Positivity is the key!

Chantale aka hippiegrrl

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