Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?
I walked into my apartment for the first time in about three weeks early Wednesday morning – I’d been visiting Ontario for the holidays – and I took deep breaths to make the smell of it familiar again. I’ve been living in Vancouver for a little over five months now, and this was the first time I’d returned to it after a vacation, so I guess it’s home.
I have a thing about cities and what makes them feel like home. I’m totally willing to paint a town with a big, wet, broad-stroked brush of generalizations, which I imagine to be a strawberry red. I spent a few days around January First holed up in my friend Mike’s flat in Ottawa, watching “How I Met Your Mother” and “Star Trek” marathons in between bouts of binge drinking and other self-destructive acts. Certain conversations with some sorely missed people made me realize that I’m sick to death of thinking about that city and that I’m probably now so traumatized by the years I spent there that I’ll never be able to look at it again from a fresh perspective.
Dramatic, maybe. But Vancouver feels new, and in the spirit of the newest newness I’ve experienced in a while, I’m breaking with tradition and writing about a few things I wouldn’t mind accomplishing in the new year. The first is done, as I called Telus and told them I wanted to be billed electronically, thereby saving myself two dollars a month and who knows how many thinly shaved sections of Pacific Northwestern forest. I’m also planning on telling the National Student Loan Service Centre that I won’t be able to give them any money for a bit, as the cold hard world of freelancing isn’t providing the sweet government scratch I was making in the City that Will Not be Named.
I had a three-year relationship go sour and end last year. It’s something I’ve had a hell of a lot of trouble talking about with people, but I should be more open about if I’m going to come to terms with it. I’ve had too many feverishly depressing nights to want them to go on much longer. If my twenties were any indication, the way out of heartache is (1) acknowledging past fuck-ups and (2) complete and utter withdrawal. I suppose I’m not willing to be any less vague than that in a public forum, which is one of the many tendencies that will stay in my twenties where they belong.
I removed a few articles from my closet to donate, sweaters I’ve had for a few years and feel dull in. I threw away a box of cereal that’s been sitting on top of my fridge since August because I couldn’t bring myself to finish the remaining 10% of it. I went to the grocery store and bought actual food – pasta, eggs, peppers, onions – instead of canned soup and raisin bread. The loaf of bread I’d mistakenly left out hadn’t appeared to have accumulated any mold in my absence, a horrifying fact that I’ll keep in mind in my quest to avoid preservatives this year.
I’m in a band called Wire and Light, alongside a midi keyboard and a Mac running OSX. This year I’d like to beat out an album in a week, something crunchy and loud and dirty. I also started work on a film score for a silent movie before the Christmas break. I resolve not to abandon it midstream.
Other art things: As far as writing goes, I don’t know that I have any fiction or poetry in the hopper, but I’d love to give it another shot. I have friends who demand that I submit to their small mags, so I should. And I should write letters, too, including one that I’ve been planning to write to my friend Emily, thanking her for the great mix CDs she sent me and telling her all about what I thought of them and where I listened to them. I should make more compilations for people. I should listen to more music.
I should keep seeing movies and writing about them. This year I want to attend a film festival using press credentials, something a friend I met through VIFF last year assured me I could do if I’m still in Vancouver come October. I resolve to stay in Vancouver this year in order to really give it a go, even though it sounds like most of the people I know in the city will be leaving it before long. I want to write more about Vancouver and not pretend it’s too big and new. I resolve to meet more people, and to travel to meet up with others.
I resolve to go to Victoria and do the list of things my friend Joni told me I should do while I’m there. A few weeks ago I resolved to quit Facebook. Instead I’ll email people, text them, send them tweets. I will post pictures of things that are happening in my life online, and I’ll message people individually to explain why I thought they should check them out. I won’t stop at simply “liking” something, first and foremost a person. I resolve to clean the Christmas cards off my desk.
I resolve to edit more work, should more work be forthcoming. If more work isn’t forthcoming, I’ll resolve to look for it, or to get a job where I’ll be happy. I resolve to volunteer my time for people who are less fortunate than I am. I resolve to spend time in libraries reading, in coffee shops typing, in non-trendy clubs dancing. I resolve to attend my longtime friend Matt’s wedding, and my brother’s. I resolve to talk with my family more often, and to see my niece walk, and to buy a picture frame for the cute photo I have of her.
I want to have more discussions, even if some of the discussions I’ve had over the last week have been emotionally taxing. It feels good to think out loud. And I resolve to listen, because listeners are among this century’s rarest resources. I resolve to blog more frequently. The other night in Calgary, I spent my layover looking through old angst-ridden journal entries. I owe it to myself to produce more than a period of personal writing characterized by youthful frustration. I resolve to grow up. And I resolve to turn my website into something more representative of me, where reviews will remain a big part but won’t be the only regular feature.
That’s a start, I suppose. Happy New Year to all.