Today is the first day of the new year and I’m setting down with words my intention of writing something each and every day until the sun completes its trek around the earth and we again yell “happy new year!” to the sky.*
Why? I journal with some regularity, but altogether fail to record thoughts and experiences as well as I would like. This year I’m going to test a theory: that along with new experiences, reflection, too, allows us to more fully comprehend the time that is permanently slipping through our fingers. I’ve lived in San Francisco for over three years now, and due to the relative stasis of weather in our peninsular, fog-blanketed city, those three years can feel like that many twice over or a mere six months, depending on the day. The time just slips by unnoticed without distinct seasons to measure them by.
A stark difference between my intention in 2016 and that of previous years is that I will primarily write “in the open”. I’ll continue journaling alongside these posts, but there are inherently subjects I wouldn’t share publicly that would appear in a journal and likewise thoughts or essays that I wouldn’t find enjoyable to write only for myself. I’ve loved watching Medium find its way in the internet landscape over the past year, and I like this as a medium for sharing thoughts or (attempting) essays.
I’m going to write about things that tickle me, infuriate me and fill me with joy. I’m going to muse on the things happening around me and reflect on the inevitable life-altering choices I make in the next year. I’m going to write from my bed and from cafes on Divisadero and from the base of volcanoes in Bali. When my brain starts chattering, I’m going to hurry to the closest computer or notebook and let my brain spill out of my hands. Harnessing the wild tangents of my mind is something I want to become stronger at, and I intend to work that muscle like any other.
Yesterday, on New Years Eve, I spent the day wandering Burlington for First Night, their day-long celebration of music and community leading up to the first toasts and tipsy hugs of the new year. I feel so embraced by this city despite my absence from it the past three years. The community and respect here is abundant. The draw towards this place in the world is magnetic, but I’m pushing back like a trout upstream. I’ll be back, I know this, but in the meantime I have a whole lot of exploration to do. This year I want to record it all.
*366 days, if you’re wondering. 2016 is a leap year.