10 January 2014

2014 Resolutions . . . Or, Fun Things I Want to do This Year!

I used to write resolutions a lot. Back in tha day when I was much younger and a little bit more ridiculous with expectations and things . . . In my adult life, I think I have only written them once, here on this blog. And actually a good number of them were accomplished! Ta-da for me, so I thought I would try it again. And besides, my resolutions are more just a list of fun things I am going to do instead of major life changes. 

This year is BIG. This year I am turning 40. The big 4-0. (There will be a party. A big one. Everyone's invited. Everyone.)

The stakes are high, folks . . . Lots to get done!

1. I played the violin when I was in middle school. I really liked it. I made a poor decision to leave the orchestra after being first chair for a few years. Things got in the way, and I got distracted with all of the preposterous things that middle school girls get distracted with. So for the last 10 years, I have been saying that I would start playing the violin again when I turn 40. It's been a really long time since I've played an instrument on a regular basis. I think it will ignite a new source of creativity within me, and keep my brainwaves stimulated. 

Hopefully I can find a place where I can rent to own a violin. I'm not sure if that exists here in Singapore, but the goal is to look into it and have everything scheduled by February 1st. Then, my plan is to find an instructor in Singapore for the remainder of my time in Aisa. Someone that I can see for about 2 hours every 2 weeks or so. I would practice in between lessons. Hopefully I will be able to use this new musical knowledge in the future video projects I have planned for 2014 and 2015.

2. I need to learn how to write grants. I need to just stop everything and begin writing grants for projects. My projects are getting bigger and bigger and more expensive. To have the proper funding, I will need alternative sources. My first order of business is to apply for a Fulbright in Morocco. Competitive, I know. We shall see, we shall see!

3. Learn a second language. Knowing a second language would help to secure a spot for the Fulbright I mentioned above, and help me in my travels even more. I am most interested in French. However, I feel that Spanish or Mandarin would be a lot more useful. But French is so romantic and beautiful! And French is a major language spoken in Morocco. 

I have never been very good at learning languages. Learning languages involves a lot of memorization. Memorization is the exact opposite of creativity. You see my issue. But I feel like living in Asia and being more exposed to people speaking several languages has helped me. I think I could be quite good at learning French if I could find an instructor who would teach me in a more conversational/over coffee sort of way. I'll look into it and get back to you . . . 

4. Learn to play tennis. Run more. Swim more. Dance more. Play outside more. I'm a pretty active person. I regularly take Bikram yoga. I ride my bike to and from work everyday. But I want to do more this year. I feel creaky. I'm pretty bendy due to the yoga, but I would like to be less creaky for sure. And for the love of all things holy: will my lower back ever stop hurting? I knew lifting giant 100 pound loads of clay over and over again for 10 years straight would eventually catch up to me. 

Bikram definitely helps with my lower back pain, but I feel like it could be strengthened even more if I learned something new like tennis. My mother tried to make me play tennis when I was in the 6th grade. But the plan backfired because she took me out of softball to do it. I loved softball, so I ended up loathing tennis. But now I'm older, and older people play tennis. So I'd like to give it the good ol' college try.

5. Finish layover projects from 2013. I have been finishing up a book about a project that I worked on in Nashville forever. Now is the time to finally wrap this project up. My friend Stacy is editing it and my friend Emma did all of the illustrations for it. I can't wait to show you the finished project, so I'm placing a final deadline on the piece. I will be premiering the initial draft of this book in March. Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait! Two versions of the book will be available: hardcover and PDF download. It'll be so great to get this thing out into the big wide open!

Another project I am currently working on is a water ballet. I am writing it and designing the sets, props, and costumes for it. It combines cultural influence from my travels in Southeast Asia and my home country, the United States. I'm hoping to complete this project in collaboration with a water ballet team back in the States, during an artist residency. It will be colorful, awkward, exciting, and funny! Yay!

Buoyant Echo. Corey and I got a pretty good start with this performative piece last year. I hope we can nail down another great version of it in August of this year, right here in Singapore. You can find out more about this piece here.

Number 5 is alive people. That's all I got. 5 is good enough to get me through the year. Besides . . . All of those normal resolutions that everyone always says they are going to do: lose weight, save money, find love, blah, blah, blah. Those things are always ongoing. They are a regular part of just general bettering of oneself that never ends regardless of the time of year. They make lists boring and redundant. I'd rather use my redundant-list-making-time to watch shows that I missed while I was in India. Like Saturday Night Live with JT and Jimmy Fallon.  

Happy mid-January, folks! How ya doin'?

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