New Year’s Eve has always been my favorite night of the year. Whether I was a crazy kid partying like it was the last night on earth, or a bit older quietly drinking rum and cokes with a notebook and contemplation, it has always represented the closing of a chapter and start of another. Maybe I’m just a romantic underneath this façade, but I’m a sucker for the symbolism of the closing year. For me, it is a time for self-reflection and evaluation; it is also a time to focus on the coming year.
As 2018 looms, I couldn’t be further away from those carefree nights, and Times Square might as well be a different planet.
I’d love nothing more than to be at home with my wife and a stiff drink, listening to good tunes while the ball drops. Perhaps it is more fitting that I am once again ringing in the new year in this factory where I spend so much of my year. Here in my little lab, with John Coltrane wailing over the hum of machinery, instead of rum I’m drinking bad black coffee in a Styrofoam cup. The years sneak up on you in this place; we usually only measure time here in increments of a twelve-hour shift.
I haven’t been near as prolific as I had hoped I would be this past year. Is it an artistic block or am I simply uninspired? Is it possible for the creative juices to simply dry up without warning? I have done some writing this year, and been published in a handful of places. Likewise, my work with sound has been limited this year as well.
Despite my lack of productivity, it’s been a rejuvenating year. I shifted from being the artist back to being the student. I’ve spent much time reading, listening, studying, and contemplating. After an entire adulthood of artistic output, I felt it beneficial to become a student of life and arts again. I needed the recharge, both mentally and physically. It was time to finally stop and figure out who in the hell I am.
Now as this chapter closes and a new one begins, I feel the creative juices bubbling up again. Will it be a prolific year? I don’t know… I’m not much of a resolutions guy. I do know that however prolific the year is exactly how prolific it needs to be. However, I can guarantee I will never quit. I’ve been doing this my whole life, sometimes I am prolific and sometimes I am not, but the need never leaves me.
I’d like to think I will own 2018 (and will sure as hell try) but it will likely include more emotional highs and lows, money stress, artistic insecurity, and long, cruel factory nights. That’s okay, because it will also include laughs, good times and misadventure with family and friends. There will be bad times, but they will be outnumbered by the good, and if I’m fortunate, I’ll be here writing something terribly similar in 365 days.
Happy New Year!