My parents are in the process of moving, so our holiday was spent packing up the house. I tend to take longer going through my things than the rest of my family; I'm afraid to throw anything away that has the slimmest chance of inspiring future work. Only twenty-five and I feel like my mind has become a sieve, and I don't want to give up external ties to my memories. Still, there's something refreshing about discarding unnecessary nostalgia.
I'm one of those people who'll say "I don't believe in new year's resolutions," but since my method of organizing myself includes making lists of goals to accomplish in the current day/week/month/quarter/year, I have what amounts to a very long collection of new year's resolutions after all. The majority are concrete results I can work towards, and know when I've achieved them, but there is one abstract concept I intend to pursue in the coming year: I want to find my voice.
I've been asked - and have asked myself - the same question a number of times over the last few months. What kinds of stories am I trying to tell, and to what end? This is something I never really considered before I ended up in art school; the piles of notes and sketches gathering dust in the closet of my childhood bedroom remind me that I was once quite comfortable churning out fantasy tropes and reforming fairy tales. Nowadays, I feel like everything I write is too self-referential, too self-indulgent. I'm uncomfortable saying anything that isn't close to my own reality, worried about getting it wrong. It's far easier to publish collaborations, while on solo projects I end up editing my work down into nothing. Perfectionism is a tough habit to break.
This year, I want to coax myself out of that shell. I want to learn how to keep the fear of showing flaws at bay, so I can show my flaws out in the open. I don't want to feel so frozen all the time that I can't let myself be vulnerable. I have things to say. This year, I'm going to figure out how to say them.