I no longer have resolutions for the new year. I now have themes, and the change came this year but I now realize it extended into years past.
2014 was the year of Challenges for me; I moved to a low rent place to save up money because I was making a major move, and even spent a year homeless, living out of my car in snow country, working two jobs to save up capital I needed to make the transition. I slept in my car in below zero conditions, I bathed halfway using a truck stop shower and swimming in a lake, I brushed my teeth and changed my clothes in a public bathroom, and I got most of our stuff into storage because I would not be able to take it with me.
2015 was the Year of Survival.. I slept on my dad’s couch for almost half the year, part of which was without any income. The housing and employment I had planned ahead fell through. I had to take temp jobs just to survive, I had to ground my car and travel by bicycle, in freezing rain, to work in a warehouse lifting heavy boxes. I ended up finding a much better job during this, got my car back into working shape, went back to that storage facility to get some of the stuff we had there(Most of it was thrown away), looked at many places and finally found a place that I still live at to this day. Then my car had several issues, which led to me using my bike again to work in freezing conditions, and cost me thousands of dollars. But I made it through.
2016 was the Year of Recovery. Early in the year the engine failed and I lost my car for several months, leading me to rent a car during that time to work. I did get my car back with a rebuilt engine, got several bills taken care of, got the chance to go on several trips, and was able to gather many resources to make my life a lot more comfortable and cut my costs of living to the bone. Most importantly to me: this was the first year I was able to send out gifts out to the people that helped me get to where I am now, people like my parents, my employers, my instructors, and my partner. I spent almost $400 just on New Years Eve, and was comfortable doing so.
2017’s theme actually came to mind from the movie Battle: Los Angeles. For those that didn’t watch the movie, it’s a military action movie with an alien invasion, and honestly the plot of the movie kind of parallels my own life. Of course in the beginning they get the soldier love propaganda out of the way, then they encounter the enemy that Challenges them. the squad that is featured then has to Survive the onslaught. They make it through, though with losses, and start to mount a counter offensive, during which they make a Recovery. And then the lead character realizes they, after all this time, they have the advantage on the enemy, and he rallies his soldiers with one word:
That word marked the turning point of the entire movie. For the first time, they weren’t getting the shit kicked out of them, they finally had a chance to strike back, and even the ability to Advance was the biggest part of that. For the first time, from the moment he says “Advance!”, they stopped retreating, stopped surviving, and started fighting back! And they made ground! They got the enemy to surrender, they made plans to retake the city they lost, and the movie ends with them going back out to kick more ass.
That’s what this years means to me. I’ve spent the last few years taking shot after shot, loss after loss, transitioning to a better place, observing and orienting to move forward, and here that opportunity has arisen. Now, I have challenges to face, but I am in a much better position to take them on, I have far more resources, skills and information to use, I have a much better chance of succeeding against any adversary, all while living in relative luxury. And today, I look at the challenges I have in front of me with bull’s eyes on their weak spots, ammunition at the ready.
That perspective could be yours. Many people today think last year was just a shit show of turd slurry. They think it was just horrible, butt they think that because they didn’t make any progress in their own lives. You, and other people like us, we did. We made strides in our careers, in our education, in our personal relationships, etc.We positioned ourselves to move forward, to Advance in the face of your enemies, guns blazing, dodging shots, and cornering our enemies, achieving our goals. And in my humble opinion, if you need a resolution, or what I call a theme or this year, it’s “ADVANCE!” Take what you’ve gotten from the past year, and use it to move forward. Take the lessons of years past, the struggles you’ve gone through, and use them to carve a path forward, and conquer your enemies.
You, and I’m talking directly to you: you have goals to accomplish. You have milestones to cross over, you have tasks that need to be completed. And everything you’ve done up to this point, all of the trials and tribulations you’ve been though, all of the hardships, everything leading up to this moment has prepared you for this moment! The time to take it is now. Move forward. take them down.