Oh boy, right?
I thought I’d never do this again. I’d lost my motivation, I had nothing interesting to say. And the rigors of maintaining a journal of any sort really seems like a good way to just pile on guilt and shame for aborted starts and broken dreams, right?
But over time, I dunno. Without an outlet, I could feel parts of my brain just shutting down from lack of use. As I get older, I feel haunted by the ghosts of my past — how easy it was for me to create and to discover, how my brain could flex around things to think about them differently, how effortless it was to challenge myself and see opportunities. Are those skills and qualities disappearing because I’m getting older, spending more time with my family, and just softening into a mess of middle-age/middle-class ennui? I don’t want to be one of those guys whose creative and consumptive lives have been put into a time capsule, or whose only creative impulses are to document the growth of their children. I’ve seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by mediocrity, dragging themselves through the suburban streets at dawn to lifeless jobs, gray-haired hipsters burning for the ancient nostalgic connection to experiences and discoveries they had made decades ago. Is that already me, as well? Ugh.
So I don’t know what the answer is to avoid that path. I’ve spent the last year doing some things to try and help bring some focus back to my life, hoping that they’d help shine a light towards where I needed to be going. I’m trying to be more purposeful in my media consumption — I’ve built up some bad habits over the last decade that I’m actively trying to shed, and maybe this year I can take some of that consumption and begin pressing harder into it. My hope is that if I can just start forcing myself to think and express myself at a really base level (i.e. “keep a media journal”), I can start activating unused neural pathways in my head…and good things will start appearing as a result. Expect to see that for a bit as I get my bearings, just random thoughts on the movies and music I’m taking in and maybe some grander thoughts about the way I’m taking them in. But I’m hoping things expand quickly from there…