I’m not sure why I started this look-back tradition in 2015, but now that I’ve started it, I’ve got to keep doing it. Right? Right.
That little exchange sums up a lot of what I’ve been feeling these past two weeks. The first part of my internal monologue touches on my current thoughts on “objectivity”. Granted, I feel like most people realize that there is no such thing as true objectiveness, but as someone who started writing seriously when acting as a journalist, it has always been something I’ve strived for. Even when it comes to covering I’m clearly biased towards, I pretended to be objective.
As such, I’ve been struggling on what I want to write for this “holistic” look back at 2017. My mood has flipped multiple times in the past four days, which was when I started thinking about what to write. At one point, I was going to start off by writing about how I didn’t fulfill two of my major writing goals over the year, and failed to write important stuff in a timely fashion. Such as two weeks ago when I had a major deadline I just didn’t write for until I was sick and on a special day that I should not have been doing work. That column would’ve looked at 2017 as 100% depressing, with little optimism showing up in the final cut.
Then, just a day after thinking that, my mood shifted to something much happier, because happy things happened in “real life”. That mood told me that, regardless of finishing the large projects, I accomplished much in starting and getting through a lot of each, and that I did actually write a whole bunch of other, smaller, good stuff that deserved recognition. That column would have been far more positive, and wouldn’t have captured any of the equally-real feelings of frustration that 2017 definitely had.
As such, my internal monologue came exactly to that little back and forth that prefaces all this. I’ve caused a lot of creative paralysis for myself this year in how I’ve thought about what I do. Let’s just take a random Saturday over the past month as an example. Some friends invited me to a bar to drink. My first inclination was to decline and stay home, which is something I’ve done every time I’ve been asked. Then, I asked myself why I would decline the invitation, as it is anti-social and from many perspectives a bad choice. My response to myself was that it is what I’ve done in the past, it is part of a character that people seem to like, therefore to continue the goodwill it would be best to act as I always have done and to decline. After all, if I do something else, won’t people dislike the “new me”?
I’ve explained this to friends and they question the logic saying that the part of my character that turns down drinks is not a part of my character that attracts them, which I understand. But what if it is? What if, somehow, if I did go on a bar crawl, I would stopped being liked? I’m too scared of change, even in the lowest of stakes. Which is why you’re reading this in the first place. Since my internal monologue convinced me this is a tradition on this website, and I must continue it regardless of feeling.
But, of course, I’ve already disproved “feelings” as being some totality. Even my desperate-to-not-change self can realize that feelings are extremely mutable. But somehow once those abstract feelings are made concrete, whether it be a whim made into a blog post or an instinctual refusal to go out that turns into a habit, I give them much more respect and try not to change the actions made on the feelings.
This got way more personal than I thought it would. Which reminds me of something else that was stuck on my brain for much of 2017: “the truth of the future destroys the truth of the past”. That’s a mangled quote from an obscure video game about solving a serial murder. You can tell it’s right because as far as you know the “true form” of the quote is what I have presented to you in this future while in actuality the perfect quotation was made and lost in the past. I just found that concept of the quote really interesting. Nothing else to it.
I also find it real interesting that the terrible Spyro the Dragon Soundtracks post keeps getting me views. Of my 2000 views this year (which is a number I am very happy to reach), a quarter were of that post. People whose stuff actually goes viral deal with this question, but I myself find pondering “why exactly did that of everything on this site get so much traffic?” Obviously, it is something people are interested in, but still slightly obscure, so the content has some level of attractiveness. It is a little frustrating seeing that and other old posts get views as the post from 2017 with the highest traffic only got 19 views. I’d like to think that I’m writing some good stuff, but the objective numbers just don’t agree.
But, once again, I’ve proved that nothing is objective. So, I can say that I won 2017, and while the truth in the future may prove that statement wrong, the truth is that I’m tired now and am content thinking that I did actually win 2017. See y’all next year.