10 September 2007

Defining Hell and The List

An old friend of mine recently wrote:
...if you had told me ten years ago [Summer 1997], when I was listening to a little cassette called Palace's 'Days In The Wake' on my walkman all day while lugging my aimless and critically depressed self around LA and San Francisco before returning to Florida for another year of complete self-imposed hell...
Obviously, it's an extraction from a larger thought, but it's that "year of complete self-imposed hell" that's really been on my mind of late. Not surprising with my birthday coming up next week. I typically think of the last three years as limbo, self-imposed certainly, but with my inability to shake it, perhaps it's more of a hell than I'd previously considered. My fear of repeating past hellish experiences keeps me from taking risks for anything better. Am I really such a coward? Existentialism is a convenient cloak of excuse, but by its own virtue this is also all there is.

One year ago to the day, I compiled a life list of 103 things I wanted to do, achieve, or own thinking it would help put me on track. Since then, I've crossed off 20 things, though to be fair some of those were more to-do list rather than life list fare. Four items I eliminated once I decided I didn't really care about them, but they got replaced with four new things.

What's left is predominantly split between distant places I want to visit and personal changes that are difficult to quantify as cross-offable. Today, the answer I seek feels like it may lie in items 50 and 51 (which for now I prefer to keep to myself). Time will tell.

One year ago at TTaT: Setting a body in motion


  1. Year of hell? Try to states, two jobs, and still unemployed only to now have to take care of mom as well as girlfriend and you will have to ask yourself, wtf? why can't things just be?

  2. the patient: I'm sorry you're having such a difficult year. I realize that compared to many people, hell really doesn't apply to my circumstances... it's more that I was thinking an attitude shift might help precipitate change.

  3. The good news is that at the rate of 20 things per year, you will have accomplished all your life's goals in five years. Wait...that sounds kind of depressing. Let's assume you will set some new, fabulous goals...or at least that it will take more than five years to make that trip to Bali (or wherever) happen.

  4. Not to worry, Cheryl. I've got 9 foreign places (Egypt, England, Italy, New Zealand, Petra, Leptis Magna...) I want to hit, and I bet I'll add more. If each takes 5 years to get around to then I'm pretty much set. :)