“Page one…page one, page one, page…nothing.”
That’s how the beginning of the movie version of Nine begins. It’s a movie that follows a filmmaker, Guido Contini (played by the incomparable Daniel Day-Lewis) as he struggles to find inspiration for both his work, and his life. He’s a man that seems to have lost focus and vision for life; a once popular and critically acclaimed director who more recently created a series of “flops” as he calls them.
While this film wasn’t very well-liked by critics, it remains one of my favourites. Why? Besides the fact that some of my favourite actors and actresses are in it (Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Kate Hudson, could you ask for anything more?)I think it’s because, I believe that anyone can related to Contini at a certain part of their life; feeling lost, trying to find a way to reclaim one’s grasp on life and find success once again. The movie is one where every time I watch it, I take away something new or different from it.
So why start off this blog post by mentioning it? Well, this past month, I have watched the movie or listened to the soundtrack at least once a week. A mix of finishing the semester, being home for the holidays and the advent of a new year have led me to be in… a weird place.
I’m the first one to admit that I catastrophize a lot, I’m super nostalgic, and the world’s biggest extrovert. I feed off the energy of other people, and if I’m left to my own devices one of three things happens to me: I get super bored, I sleep or I over-think… everything. Having spent this last month on my couch at home, due to a bout of sickness, I spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting. Which has led me to a weird place where I start questioning everything: How does the internet work? Am I meant to be a teacher, after my recent rejection from teacher’s college? How do they get the caramel in Caramilk bars? Do I have my priorities in the right place?
I’ve realized that I should take advantage of the whole “new year’s resolution” yearly thing and try to readjust some things in my life. However, I’ve tried resolutions in the past… “This is the year I’m going to read a book every week.” “I want to lose 20 lbs. this year.” “I’m going to learn how to speak Italian/Portuguese/American Sign Language.” And, like most people, they tend to fall flat on their faces. So this year, I’m going to try something a little different. Instead of specific, tangible things I want to achieve, I’m going to try to focus on new concepts. Since I’m at somewhat of a crossroads in my life, and I don’t really know exactly what I want, but the direction I want life to take, that’s what my “resolutions” are going to reflect. So what do I want to focus on this year?
Being Conscious Of My Health
I’ve always been a healthy person for the most part. I did Karate for eight years of my life, even though I’ve been taking a bit of an elongated break for the last year and a half. I don’t even have any allergies or food intolerances. Despite that, I’ve always struggled with my weight, going on different health kicks, fad diets. I’ll have time periods where I go the gym regularly, am active… and then the next week I won’t even want to walk from my residence room to the cafeteria. But besides being overweight, I’ve been fit and healthy.
However this past July, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a “disease of the central nervous system which is composed to he brain and spinal cord. The disease attacks the myelin which is a protective covering wrapped around the nerves of the central nervous system.” For those of you, like me, who don’t speak science what this means is there is a build up/lesion of protein on my spinal cord, that my body’s defense system doesn’t recognize so it tries to fight it. It’s not deadly or anything, but it’s pretty annoying. I’m going to write a more thorough post about it soon, though, so I digress.
Because of this diagnosis, I need to start paying attention more to my health. That means eating healthier, exercising more regularly and paying attention to my body. That way when I do go through a flare-up, it won’t set me back too far. My goal this year isn’t to lose x amount of pounds, or to get a six-pack, or to magically look like Zac Efron or something. It’s just to be conscious of my health, of how I take care of body, and paying attention to it.
Being Conscious Of Myself
When I say “be conscious of myself”, I mean anything besides the physical since my health/physical state is already something I want to focus on. This is my financial situation, my priorities/goals, my work ethic, my emotional and mental health. I need to learn how to control my spending because, let’s face it, university isn’t cheap. I need to refocus my energies and realize that perhaps instead of spending an hour voting on funny pictures on 9gag, I should maybe actually do my French homework…
Having gone to the mental health conference and the social change leadership program, I realize that making sure that I have enough time for my goals and priorities, self-care, and self-reflection is super important. My career path has been thrown a little off kilter, so I need to practice what I preach about staying flexible, but also I need to focus my sights.
The new year is always a time for people to make resolutions; whether you decide you want to have a specific goal, or change your life philosophy, I think it’s always good to be aware of where you are in your life, and decide if you’re at the best place for you. I have my goals for the year.
How about you?