Saturday, August 15, 2009

Announcing 33Y

So this is my first blog post. Wow. Friends have been telling me I should blog for years, but I've never gotten around to it. And now, here I am. Subjecting all of you people to my random thoughts and meanderings. But if you don't like it, you don't have to read it. That is the beauty of blogs. And if you want to blame someone, blame Jason Mraz.

I've always loved his music, but had the pleasure of seeing him perform last Sunday at the Festival Pier at Penn's Landing. Despite the fact that the show was held up thanks to an electrical storm and my back hurt from standing in one small spot on the asphalt for five hours, it was a moving experience. I've always heard people talk about artists or albums that changed their lives. My friend Bill said it about The Smiths. My friend Chris says it about Depeche Mode. I've never really been able to identify, except for when I was in college and T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" inspired me to change my major to English. Which did, in a lot of large ways, change my life. But I've never been able to say that about music or a musician. Until Jason Mraz. I've followed him since he put out Waiting for My Rocket to Come, but I never really knew much about him except that his music made me happy and he made me want to shake my ass. Then I saw his show on Sunday. Holy sweet goddamn. He positively emanates positivity (to be purposefully redundant), and I was so inspired by the show that I looked around on his web site later and started reading his blogs. I'm addicted. Mraz is funny, fresh, and unapologetically original. He has no agenda other than to spread positivity and share his thoughts, and that made me think, why can't I do that? Granted, it is doubtful that thousands of people will actually read my thoughts, but whatever.

When I was in my second master's in creative writing program (and the second one I would drop out of), a professor led this huge class debate after reading Oscar Wilde about whether art is art if no one sees it. I don't remember much of the conversation, except that I was bored. I was bored with all these people professing themselves to be artists and claiming that your art isn't art until it has an audience. If the ultimate goal of creation is an audience, when why create at all? If you are not enough of an audience, and the fulfillment you get from the very act of creating isn't its own reward, then I think something's wrong. Maybe you need to get your ass to a yoga class. Or a museum. Or a park. Or wherever you can be and just be and be happy to be doing your thing for the immediate joy it brings you instead of worrying about the possible rewards or ramifications it might bring. Do what you love, and the necessary resources will follow. I read that in a fortune cookie, and I saved it. It is pinned above my desk in work.

So to get back to the point, Jason Mraz has changed my life. Or at least inspired me to change it -- to live for the now (because that is really all you have), to choose to be positive, and to do the best I can with the light I've been given.

My good friend, Jose recently started his own personal journey, which he titled 28Y. It is a journey of personal betterment in which he plans to take several positive actions to better himself and his life. I like his idea so much I am stealing it (with his blessing). But since that bastard is five years younger than I am, I am re-naming it 33Y. Jose has lists, sub-plans, outlines, notes, contingency plans, and enforcers -- people he can call to kick him in the ass if he starts to stray from the plan. I have this blog. I can keep track of my progress on 33Y on here, and the good people of cyberspace can hold me responsible. And if no one out there reads this, Jose will hold me responsible. And he will. Big time.

So, without further ado, here is my list for 33Y (a.k.a. Things I Plan to Accomplish or at Least Be Well on the Way to Accomplishing by my 33rd Birthday):

1) I will write every day, for at least a half an hour.
2) I will submit work for publication at least 1-2x per month.
3) I will sleep in my bed instead of falling asleep on the sofa with the television on.
4) I will turn the television OFF.
5) I will earn my yoga instructor's certification.
6) I will move to (or at least begin the process of moving to) a place with culture (i.e. I will no longer be a constant slave to my car, and I will be able to do things OUTSIDE instead of being stuck in my balcony-less apartment that overlooks a parking lot, and I will be surrounded by more than strip malls and divided highways, which I am convinced are polluting my soul.)
7) I will organize my life and become more disciplined. (This one has sub-points, so buckle your seat belts).
a) I will pay bills on time.
b) I will put shit away.
c) I will stop letting laundry pile up.
d) I will exercise at least 4x per week, with at least 2 of those times being yoga.
e) I will meditate every day, preferably twice a day.
8) I will allow myself to be human, i.e. I will no longer mentally kick the shit out of myself for every mistake that I make, but instead understand that there are no mistakes, only opportunities to learn.
9) I will stop holding on to useless anger.
10) I will be the change I want to see in the world.

There you have it. If nothing else, having the list on this blog will make me responsible. Wish me luck.

Namaste. Much love.



  1. I agree with you about the art. The act of creating it is what makes it art, not the audience. Good luck with 33Y. I am contemplating implementing 36Y :)

  2. Go for it, Jen! We can make it a national movement! :-)