I don’t read reflective posts, but to hell with it, you don’t have to read them to write them. (I mean, proof-reading and editing? Who needs editing?)
To start off, a tiny bit of beauty (to keep this at least vaguely on-topic), and then a few life-like lessons. I find myself vastly under-qualified for giving actual-life lessons, so assume they’re lessons of some other kind of l-adjective.
Tools make a difference.
Whether it’s a foundation brush with bristles so fantastically dense and soft that you cannot live without it (or, rather, you can, but it drives you crazy and you wish like crazy that you had a backup), or a gorgeous old sewing machine that you found inside of your grandmother’s old desk, or even a dozen refills of your favourite 0.28mm Uni-Ball Signo Bit pen, tools count.
I find our culture tends to want everything fast, shiny, easy, but no matter what you’re dealing with: a fancy tool can’t magically transform you into an expert at anything. What we sometimes forget, though, is that terrible tools can take away from great work, too.
So, get set up with some semi-decent tools, whatever it is that they may be, and then–
Be just as ready to put in hours (and hours, and hours) of hard work to actually perfect your technique, because the instruments you’re using can’t be expected to do it for you.
(And if they are in fact doing all the hard work for you, alert the authorities that the singularity has finally occurred and commence freaking out.)
There is no upper limit.
You will never be as good as you could possibly be. If you are, you’re probably in the wrong field, or possibly just completely sheltered from reality.
Embrace failure: engage in experiments instead of setting goals, do things just for the enjoyment of the process (rather than the end result), and build on whatever you already have, no matter how developed that initial skill set may be. You may be good, but you can always be better.
Most guidance councillors will probably disagree with me, but I honestly don’t see the point in aiming for a goal unless you’re going to enjoy the grunt work it takes to get there, too. Sometimes that imaginary upper limit lets you down, and if you don’t create something to lose along the way, the endpoint can only disappoint.
Everyone’s lives could use a little more percussion in them.
Take a chance. Don’t go throwing yourself off any tall buildings
though maybe a relatively small one would be okay, but don’t get stuck in a rut, either. Go out with the cute guy who works at your favourite coffee shop (bring your taser), take the long way to work (also bring your taser), start eating everything with sprinkles on top just for the hell of it (you will not need your taser for this one.)
It takes a certain kind of person to honestly believe that we deserve happiness simply by merit of existing, so if you’re not capable of that sort of boundless hope, make sure you at least have one person in your life who is. Be it your mum, your therapist, or the wise old man who lives around the corner and spends a lot of time in the woods with his dog, they’re worth listening to every now and again.
And, hey: if nothing else, I hear the suppressed cortisol levels of not constantly freaking out are great for your health.
Hold on tight, because we’re going to have an amazing 2013 together.