Monday, January 4, 2010

The Resolutionary War, or How Survivor will Change My Life in 2010

I fucking hate New Year’s Eve. There, I said it. Every year, my hearing gets a little worse thanks to the fireworks that go BOOM in rapid, obnoxious succession. The smoke from said fireworks is pretty smelly, and it colors my boogers black (heehee, I said “boogers”). I stay up ‘till ungodly hours (read: 9am) because my family heads on over to my lola’s house in Dasmariñas Village AFTER 2am, and we party until after the sun comes up.

Perhaps the thing I dislike most about New Year’s Eve, though, is the resolution-making. Every year, people ask me what my New Year’s resolutions are, to which I mumble incoherently so as to disguise the fact that I don’t have any. I don’t make any resolutions because I think they’re silly, desperate attempts to correct the previous year’s mistakes. I mean, most of the resolutions I’ve heard were all based on what my friends should’ve done in 2009. I should’ve been friendlier, therefore I resolve to be more social this year. I should’ve taken more care of my figure, therefore 2010 will be the year I diet and exercise! I should’ve fallen in love, therefore I will leap at the opportunities that present themselves in 2010.

Blah-dee-blah-dee-blah. I don’t see why people should start their years by thinking immediately of their regrets, nor do I see why they attempt to make up for these regrets by making these vague, impossible-to-fulfill promises to themselves. Saying “I promise to be better” opens you up for disappointment, especially since the goals set during New Year’s Eve are usually too hard to reach.

But this isn’t some rant entry. In fact, it’s supposed to be quite jolly and optimistic and motivational. Let’s rewind and brighten things up, shall we?

In retrospect, New Year’s Eve isn’t too bad. Sure, the fireworks can be deafening, but they’re also really pretty, and I happen to find them very romantic. The smoke does get pretty gross, but the awesome Silent Hill-like fog the morning after makes the city look a lot more interesting. I may lose sleep over the holidays, but that’s because I’m drinking and partying with people I really, really love.

The resolutions, though, I still find kinda silly and desperate. I guess it just isn’t my thing.

And then I remember that 2010 is the Year of the Tiger, which to my overly-cheesy mind reminds me of Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger. This, my friends, is THE YEAR OF THE THEME SONG FROM ROCKY. Because The Immortal Power Ballad of Triumph now plays in my head every time I think of what year it is, I must pay due respect to it. I must overcome physical exertion, mental exhaustion, and an indecipherable Italian-American accent. I must challenge myself and succeed. I must… make some New Year’s resolutions.

See, I like to approach life with a little spontaneity. Resolutions kind of take away from that, like planning what you’re going to have for dessert before raiding the fridge does. Telling yourself, “I’m soooooo gonna have ice cream,” before opening your freezer door can have one of two effects – A) You get your ice cream, and you are satisfied over getting exactly what you want; or B) You find that there’s no ice cream, and you’re left with that lingering craving for cold, creamy goodness. Opening the ref without really planning your dessert brings the possibility of pleasant surprises. You can peek into the freezer and go “HOLY SHIT ICE CREAM FUCK YEAH EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE JOY”. You can find that there’s no ice cream at all, but you weren’t really looking for it anyway, so there wasn’t really any loss. Or you can look into an empty freezer, have your eyes wander downwards, and find cookies that you didn’t know you wanted until you saw them. Approaching life with light expectations (because, of course, you’re still hoping to find dessert in the ref) just brings you more avenues for happiness through serendipity. Heck, the night I met Lauren was a prime example of that (you can read her fantastically-written account of that evening here while I'm still writing my own).

This outlook towards expectations has never really failed me, and I really like the ways things are now. I don’t really put too much pressure on myself or on the things (or people) that make me happy. But then Survivor’s words echo through my mind, and I recall the sweet, sweet feeling of triumph that Rocky reveled in when he got past that final step at the end of the classic movie montage, and it makes me want that feeling. Bad. And if New Year's resolutions can give me that feeling, well... Maybe they aren't so silly after all.

And so, with Eye of the Tiger playing in the background, here are the steps to my Philadelphia Museum of Art:

1. Write all those blog entries I wrote in my head these past two months and finally post them, GODDAMMIT! I’m giving myself until the end of next week for this one.

2. Update my blogs a lot more. Attempt to write an entry in either blog at least once a week. This one counts.

3. Once I’ve gotten the hang of writing more often, shoot for an entry a day for an entire month (probably May or October).

4. Give my sister the Most Awesome Palanca Ever for her final high school retreat.

5. Learn to draw better poses for my doodles.

6. Unlock the mysteries of perspective drawing.

7. Finish a painting I’d actually be proud of.

8. Make my girlfriend insanely, butt-wigglingly happy through some sort of gesture (although this is always a goal).

9. Gain five pounds. Preferably of muscle. Preferably before I take my 6-foot+ junior varsity cousin on in a basketball game I challenged him to.

10. Stop making such stupid challenges.

11. Make enough money to be able to buy myself a Wii, a Rock Band set for Susan (my shiny new Xbox 360) and still have enough left over to keep myself comfortable.

12. Make myself a kick-ass personal calling card.

13. Learn a new skill, or refine an existing one. Drawing doesn’t count.

14. Make at least two more fwends. Two because I’m kinda shy. *blush*

15. Travel one more time (domestic or international) this year, after Bangkok this April.

Okay, so maybe my list is 57 steps short of the 72 that Rocky ran (does this appease you, fellow trivia nerds?), but I’m all about consistency, and staying consistent with myself means keeping my expectations for myself light. I’m also pretty good at disguising my inability to think of more goals (at least those that I think are achievable) through semi-believable rationalization. It’s going to be fun coming back to this list in the future and checking to see what I’ll have achieved by then. I have a horrible feeling I’m going to fail number 10, but 14 out of 15 ain’t so bad. I think. Anyway, I’m going to attack this list and do my goddamn best to rise to the challenges.

Eye of the Tiger, bitches. It’s my year. Roar. Meow.


  1. God, I wish gaining weight were on my 2010 goals/resolutions list. You are seriously lucky to have this problem. :P

  2. i love reading your blog! i guess i'm your number 2 fan? hehe
    i wanna go bangkok also!!!

  3. umm anonymous is me- karina. i don't know how to post a comment apparently.

  4. Hi there, Karina! Thanks for dropping by! BANGKOOOOOOK!!!

  5. Here's to us updating our blogs more often! I haven't written anything substantial in weeks!

  6. Hi Dodge! Hahaha, I'll have to admit, your updates kinda reminded me that I had my own blog to take care of. :P

  7. There's just one little hitch in your whole plan: you're giving the wrong band credit for your inspiration. "Eye of the Tiger" is by Survivor, not Foreigner. ;)

  8. @paolojcruz LOL, you're absolutely right! This is what I get for writing after 24 hours without sleep. :P Thanks for catching this rather embarrassing oversight! :)