“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”—Neil Gaiman
I find myself looking at things and remembering them as they once were; how much things have changed, it seems, since I last looked. The trees in my yard, it seems that just yesterday they were saplings. And when did my fingers start to look like my mom’s? I don’t know what I would see if I turned on Nickelodeon, but it definitely wouldn’t be “Rocket Power” or ”The Wild Thornberrys.” And my face, it’s almost foreign. It strikes me how devastatingly old I look. Sixteen years old—well, almost—always seemed to be in the distant future. Sort of like how I look at being twenty-six, now. I know it’s probably going to happen, but I sure as hell have no idea what it’s going to be like, and part of me thinks that I’ll never really be that. I don’t know, I have this strangely twisted denial about aging. But then it subtly and quietly happens so fast, growing up.
It hits me sometimes, the inertia of life, all of us stuck in our stupid life cycles, moving forward before we’re sure about what we’re leaving behind. Before we know it, we’re eighty years old, full of regrets, wishing we had the foresight to have done something with the time we had. Looking back on those teenage wisps of days when anything and everything was possible, when we thought we could be conquerors of the world, only to settle as being fry cooks and insurance salesmen. Wasting time, wasting life.
2010 is the end of another year. And I know I should be thinking like everyone else, about how 2011 will be a land of beautiful opportunities where finally things will just go right. I may be naturally cynical, but all I can think about is that another year is passing, inconsequential and ordinary, and everyone is just focusing on their futures, how everything’s going to be better in the new year, when it’s not, really. Alaska said “Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia”—and it’s true; the dreams of our futures are just escapes from the present, nothing more. We have to do something about them. Find a way to make our dreams come true, make 2011 a year that’s actually important and meaningful. That’s my new year’s resolution, and I don’t intend on breaking it.
Time is passing. Can you feel it? For the first time, I really can. My blood tingles with the feeling. Like, my time’s running out. And I guess it is. 2010 was just another unimportant year, but I know I’m not going to make it the norm in an unimportant life. So whoo, everybody, we’re one year nearer to dying. How uplifting. Here’s the good part, though: now is the time. Right now. Start. Begin. Change your life. Now. Now. Now.
“I saw the size of the world and felt comfort in its hugeness. I’d think back to those times when I felt like everything was closing in on me, those times when I thought I was stuck, and I realized that I was wrong. There is always hope. The world is vast and meant for wandering. There is always somewhere else to go.”—The Vast Fields of Ordinary
“Saying ‘I notice you’re a nerd’ is like saying, ‘Hey, I notice that you’d rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you’d rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?’ In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even ‘lame’ is kind of lame. Saying ‘You’re lame’ is like saying ‘You walk with a limp.’ Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he’s done all right for himself.”—John Green
I am a liar unlike any you’ve ever met before. I lie when there’s no need to lie. I lie to everyone about everything. Big or small, for reasons worthwhile or stupid. I’m such a good liar that I can lie to myself. I can make something appear out of thin air and before I know it my mind will have accepted it as absolute truth. Half my brain is concentrating on the words I am saying or writing while the other half runs a test of real or not real. Results: Likely to be skewed. Subject generally impossible to decipher.
“Here’s what’s not beautiful about it: from here, you can’t see the rust or the cracked paint or whatever, but you can tell what the place really is. You can see how fake it all is. It’s not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It’s a paper town. I mean, look at it, Q: look at all those culs-de-sac, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.”—John Green