The Next Year


Quite some time ago, deep in the recesses of my brain, I’d dog-eared today. I’d made a half remembered mental note that by this date I would have done some really neat things. Currently, I’m doing one really fun thing(this comic,) and even that with far less “oomph” than it deserves. A few years ago something happened, and I’ve been wrestling for just as long to figure out exactly what that was. All I do know is that somewhere along the line I became very afraid of taking risks and being spontaneous.

Today I turn 33 years old, and I had so much I wanted to get done by now. I haven’t done any of it. There are times I think about this and feel I’m just too old now to start learning new things. I don’t have the money to go back to school. There are so many younger people so far ahead of me in anything I want to be doing. Whether it’s comics, or photography, writing, and a tad too many other creative areas. I want to be creating, and telling stories, and instead of being inspired by those around me who are accomplishing similar things I get frustrated and dejected. It’s all garbage excuses, of course, and deep down I know this. The anxiety’s always kept me from taking initiative on things though. Frankly, right now, I’m sick of it. I waste far too much of the time I’ve got and I’m taking it back.

Today I’m tossing off the gloves and am going to take my fears head on. I’m going to do things, because I want to, ignorant of “how” it’s “supposed” to be done and I’m going to fail. I’m going to fail a whole lot. But I’m going to keep trying until I figure it out my own way. I can’t keep comparing myself to other people and relying on other people to help. I don’t want to be them. I don’t want to be doing what they’re doing. Not exactly, at any rate. I want to do my own things in my own way, and I’ve been taking for granted this overwhelming support I get on a daily basis from friends and family.

I’ve never understood it, but for some reason people like me. While it may forever remain a mystery to me why this is I’m making it a point to justify it. It’s a really great feeling to know that my friends believe in me, and whoever I am to them they like me. It’s time to be somebody I like for a change. I’m going to start that right about now. It’s selfish time.

Unless this is hot air and I’m back to moping in a week, but if you see/hear/witness me doing this I give you permission to punch the crap out of me, maybe even in the face. Deal? 🙂


  1. Jasujo

    I just wanted to say happy birthday! I hope you have a great day. 🙂

  2. Simon

    Happy Birthday!
    I spent most of my 20s feeling the same way. I think our modern mainstream culture makes such a huge deal about 1.) child prodigies and 2.) having a career, focusing on one thing to do, “knowing” what you want to be/do for the rest of your life.
    It’s all crap. Unless you want to be an accountant or a doctor, or work in some giant corporate industry where you have to “pay your dues” to get started, there’s really no reason to decide things for certain when you’re young. Why trust a 17-yr-old with the rest of your life?
    I also have too many interests and not enough confidence, but I’m still happy with the way my life’s coming along. I feel like all my bouncing around (music, film, writing, fiber art, comics…) has made me more well-rounded as a person. It has kept me curious. And now that I’m actually starting to produce finished work, that confidence is slowly starting to grow on me.
    I hope it does for you, too.
    Welcome to the 1/3 century club.

  3. brian

    Jasujo: Thanks so much. My aim is to have as great a day as I can. 🙂

    Simon: I agree entirely. I love having a lot of creative interests, and being a Jack of Trades is great. Unfortunately it’s very hard for that Jack to make a living. People want Kings of One Thing, and it’s that search for lots of one trick ponies that just seems very silly to me. I share the confidence issues, believe me. I just think at this point I’m ready to tell that particular voice to shut up and start just doing things regardless how afraid of failing/succeeding/whatever I may be.

    May we both GET STUFF DONE! 🙂

  4. shagbark

    Brian – I’m in my early 40s, and I’ve accomplished some things, and I’m still single and alone. Accomplishments are bullshit when you’re alone. You’ve accomplished the most important thing. Nothing else really matters.

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