My pen hovers above the piece of paper. Practically trembling with my plans for the year to come. 

This year will be the year that I turn myself around. Sure I said the same last New Year’s Eve, but this year will be different. It truly will!

I will go to the gym! Finally, make use of that membership I have renewed each year hoping I will finally go. I will write a book! Finally putting together those incoherent ideas that I have dreamed into existence over the past few years into a comprehensible tale. 

This will be the year I keep my house clean and wash my sheets every week! Everything that I have been promising to do every year will finally be accomplished! 

Yes, this will be the year!

I put my pen to paper, the blue ink making bold swoops over the cream-colored parchment. On the first line, I write: ‘Get in shape!’ before doodling a small picture of a stick man kissing an over-exaggerated bicep. 

On the next line, I write in uppercase block letters: ‘FINISH THAT DAMN BOOK,’ underlining it heavily with a red pen before putting multiple stars around it. 

I pause before moving on. My mind suddenly blank. My world of endless possibilities faltering for a second as I ponder what else I would like, no, need to do.

All of a sudden I feel alone and crushed. If I can not even compromise a list of goals I want to complete, how will I ever be able to actually succeed in anything?  

I feel all promise of this bright year of success flow from my fingertips before I’ve even had the chance to try. 

Art! The bright idea flies into my head. I can spend time on art this year! Work towards all those half completed studies I started only to leave behind. 

The next line reads: ‘Make something beautiful,’ with little golden flowers embellishing the words. 

I pause again, contemplating what my next world breaking goal could be. I look back on my many years of life, all of which have little to no accomplishments. My peers are all either going somewhere or have already arrived at greatness. 

My own achievements make me feel sick. My inability to follow through with even the simplest of things forcing me to swallow my shame as I see my former friends achieve greatness I will never know. 

This depressing realization sits heavy in my stomach. On the next line, I start to angrily scratch my dreams down. Hoping above all else that I will be able to maybe, just maybe, do something this year. 

Line after line is filled with letters engraved deep into the pulp of the paper. I start with the dreams of my childhood, long ago crushed by the weight of reality. ‘Artist’ and ‘Author’ are the first two words I write. On the next lines are my dreams from middle school: ‘Sailor,’ ‘Doctor,’ ‘Prof-’. 

The word is cut short as tears I did not notice were coming fall to my paper. The blue ink bleeds as I continue with my list.

Next are my dreams from highschool. Simply, ‘Make Money,’ and ‘Graduate’ are etched into the line. 

I would write my recently crushed goals since next, but I have given up on dreams long ago. What is the point in hoping for something that will never come? 

I slam my pen to the paper all glee for this yearly mockery of hopes thoroughly quenched. I push myself back from my small desk, in my small apartment, in this small insignificant town, that I pay for with my small dead end office job, with a heavy sigh. My face hot as I wipe angrily at my leaking eyes. 

I grab a new piece of paper and try to start over. 

‘Gym’ goes at the top of the page, followed by ‘Write Something’, followed by ‘Make something beautiful’. I take a few deep breaths, holding each one for a moment before releasing it. The tension slowly leaves me as I put my pen to paper once more. ‘Do Something,’ I write neatly, carefully looping each letter and spacing them out perfectly. 

Yes, do something great! My mind yells at me. 

I can do something great!

I begin to gleefully articulate my goals… goals building on the dreams I have had over the years. 

To be an artist I have to sell my work, and to be an author I must finish that book! 

Those are two possible goals that I had foolishly set aside in the early years of my childhood. How many more goals have I naively pushed away? 

I pull out another sheet of paper, making a plan. If I devote a measly 30 minutes to my book and 30 minutes to my art, that is just one hour of my day! Easily accomplishable because typically over four hours a day are spent on my couch perusing Netflix and YouTube. 

Yes! This will be the year! The year I turn my life around and join my peers in their success. 

Returning to the paper I hastily make a calendar of when I must reach certain objectives. By the end of the month, I must have three paintings done, and a site to sell up and running. For my novel, my storyline must be done in two months, and a rough (very rough) draft must be done three months at the latest. 

I look to the clock on my desk. Its blue blinking face reads 11:55. Without realizing, I had spent nearly the entire night comprising this list of goals for the upcoming year. 

I lay my pen down before pushing my chair back from the small desk and releasing a sigh of content. In front of me is a wide array of papers, some cream and heavy, others flimsy lined paper from the dollar tree. 

My fingers tremble as I reach for them, shifting tenderly through them before grabbing a thumbtack and pushing it carefully through the left corner of the stack. 

I grab yet another sheet of paper, the clock now reading 11:58, and write, ‘This will be the year’ before tacking that too over my list of goals. 

Leaning back to enjoy the view, I hear the chant start. Families in the apartments around me, gathering close to their TVs with loved ones near, counting down the last seconds of the year. 

 I close my eyes, excitement, glee, and relief washing over me. 

Truly, this will be the year!

January 24, 2020 18:54

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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