Happy New Year! Is It 2016 Yet?

Another year means only one thing to me -- I have to somehow get used to typing a 5 instead of a 4 when I write the year down. That's basically all of it in a nutshell. The real hurdle to bolt over is in remembering that the beginning of the year starts with a 20, and not a 19.
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Another year means only one thing to me -- I have to somehow get used to typing a 5 instead of a 4 when I write the year down. That's basically all of it in a nutshell. The real hurdle to bolt over is in remembering that the beginning of the year starts with a 20, and not a 19.

As for future resolutions, or takeaway lessons that I received in this past year -- I suppose I have a few, though as I get older my requirements for a happy life tend to be less ambitious and more about what it takes for me to live in peace. I would have to say that the desire to live in peace is probably the barometer by which I measure all that either disturbed or supported me in this past year.

The year 2014 really exposed for me the concept of jealousy versus generosity of spirit. Thanks to 2014, I know now that there are people who are completely unselfish in the way they show support for those who are fortunate enough to experience positive moments or situations. Adversely, there are those who are utterly threatened by the good fortune of others. Because jealousy is so hard to admit, rarely does it identify as threatened; in fact, in order for jealousy to fulfill its ultimately ugly destiny, it must be channeled into self-righteousness. Jealousy cannot stand happiness and will hopelessly attempt to rid it by dominating the atmosphere with malicious words and actions. It's a bit of human ugliness that is much like the pungent odor of a trash bin filled with rotting food. The stench of it can permeate even the happiest of events.

Jealousy is a dramatic addition to a scenario that is both unnecessary and stingy. Jealousy expressed has but one goal: to syphon the joy out of a situation -- not for the purpose of experiencing the joy itself, but to relish and thrive in the pain caused by it. Jealousy produces a thoroughly joyless waste of time for all parties concerned. To be jealous of another's good fortune is to indulge in the oily residue of negativity. To be the object of someone else's jealousy is to endure the sickness of another's ego as it rampages through all the flimsy excuses it needs in order to fool itself into thinking it's justified.

And no amount of, "They're just jealous," can ever be a comfort, though some folks tend to think this is a good way to explain why people are so quick to want to destroy a person's euphoria over some nice moment. Personally, I don't take comfort in knowing someone is neurotic, or suffering from an inferiority complex, or just plain negative in how they deal with me, or the good fortune I've received this year. We're all neurotic to some degree. Watching a person transform their jealousy into hate so that they can deal with their own sense of inadequacy is a drama I've learned has no positive side -- it's exactly the kind of drama I will be happy to walk away from in 2015.

Another of the things I won't be entertaining in the coming year is the idea of caring about what goes assumed as opposed to what is known as fact. On a personal level, I have come to a place where what 'you' think of me, what you assume I do or what you fantasize I'm feeling (for you, for the world, for art, for whatever) is irrelevant.

We live lives surrounded by people who think they know us because of our status updates on Facebook. I can tell you this: until we've looked each other in the eye and had a moment of warm recognition that silently affirms, "Oh my god, I can totally be friends with you!" -- You don't know me, and I don't know you. Assume one thing only about me: I will walk away from anything and anyone if it takes away from my peaceful life. How it gets to that place -- the how's, why's and who's -- is the drama I avoid trying to decipher.

This year also brought with it more worldly hate, violence and intolerance -- in fact, it was more than I could take, so I found a personal solution. If I am to not be affected by the inordinate amounts of poison that makes up so much of the news today, I have found that the number one way to combat everything that brings me down is by ignoring it. Yes, I practice the bliss of ignorance when it comes to world events. Am I aware of what's going on in this world? Yes. Do I wish to remain aware? No. And as the days turn into months, without the evening news and the perpetual reminders of war, hate crimes, sexual inequality, hate, hate and more hate in my life -- I find that without knowledge of every single heinous event that happens, I'm happier, stronger and generally filled with peace and creativity.

So, how do I fight for peace of mind? I ignore war. And how do I deal with those who can't handle my willful ignorance, my need for detachment and my conscious choice to say no to a world of problems I want nothing to do with? I ignore them, too.

Imagine a life without having to worry about health insurance, or being poor, or school shootings, or having a secure job, or being attacked, or being sick -- imagine that? That is how I live. I have chosen to live in a complete state of denial, and guess what? It works. As long as I don't make all the thousand things that can destroy me piece by piece into my religion, I can live the rest of my life in peace. It's a conscious decision, one that can be stated succinctly as: "It's not that you don't exist, it's that you don't exist in my headspace."

I have a purpose -- to create art and move along. It's very simple. I'm lucky -- I actually know my purpose. Knowing what I'm 'here' for makes me cut to the chase much more easily. I follow what I love and I allow myself to become completely absorbed in what I love. This brings me happiness. As for the rest, it's all noise to me. To accept one's lot in life may not sound like a glamorous conquest, but in my world, I'm the only one calling the shots, so what I decide to feel with my emotions and what I decide to put my heart into should only ever be up to me. This is how I live.

So, here's to 2015, or 2016, or whatever you want to call it. Cheers to the best in you.

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