If you believe in all things prophecy, as of Tuesday, December 20th, 2011, we have a year plus a day until the End of the World. What are we gonna do about that?
Believe it or not (most likely the former) the Mayans themselves never actually said this was the end of the world: their modern-day descendants tell us that their long count calendars were basically “ages”, and that when one calendar ended, they just started up a new one. There are even ancient Mayan writings that refer to events in the human experience taking places on dates far beyond December 21st, 2012. As usual, the zeal in the West to find occult knowledge in exotic cultures eventually led to our decision that the end of the Mayan Calendar was, indeed, the end of all things.
So, no, I’m not thinking anything real will happen. Still, that’s a striking figure to me. A year plus a day. 366 sleeps. A lot can happen in that time.
Some of my friends know that I’m taking the first three months of 2012 to make a lot of changes, a life overhaul of sorts. This is also usually the time in my two year history of blogging that I do the “Year End” entry, along with the customary “New Year’s Resolutions”. Problem is, I’m just not good at follow-through. I have absolutely NO CLUE what I resolved to be, do, have, or change around this time in 2010, and I’m not terribly interested in going back through my archives to look, because it’s probably a mixed bag of success and failure, as usual. If I did have to state one of the big lessons that 2011 taught me, it’s that I’m the type of person who changes in a big way almost monthly, and there’s nothing wrong about it. I have to accept it, even if no one else does.
Still, as part of my big life overhaul, I recently finished much shorter versions of the two entries I talked about above. The second one – which looked forward to 2012 – came in two parts and had two questions (which I’ll paraphrase):
What do I want to see happen in the next 90 days?
What do I want to see happen by the end of 2012?
That last question’s most striking, because if you were to have a crazy moment and believe the Mayan Prophecy, then what it’s really asking is, “what do you want to see happen before the world ends?”.
Now that’s a game changer.
Much like a terminal diagnosis, our revision of that last question presumes we have a year to live. At the risk of turning this into a Tim McGraw song, I’d imagine a lot of people would go skydiving and mountain climbing. That’s not new or unexpected: of course you’ll want to soak up as much life as possible while you can. What I’d want to know is what and who do I want to be when the end comes? For a guy who goes through a lot of changes every couple of months, it’s difficult for me to answer this early, but necessary, because under this scenario, there are only so many months left. Right now, all I can answer is who I want to be in the next 90 days.
(This is, by the way, a major theme of my current work-in-progress, all about the end of the world. I’ve been writing it since September, and the story begins with only a few weeks before the Big End, so this kind of thinking has been very much on my mind for a while now.)
By the end of March, 2012, I hope to have finished my changes to Convergence and secured a literary agent. That would be the first big change, since I would be the closest I’ve ever been to calling myself “author” with recognition and validation from the industry. Of course, writing is just what I do, but accomplishing that goal would help me become far more confident and focused in other areas.
Accomplishing any goal also opens up a vacuum that the world fills with more opportunities that you can’t predict yet: how exciting is that? Imagine being someone who’s just gotten something they’ve been working towards for years. We’ve all been there: how awesome are those days immediately following that accomplishment? What other great things or people or experiences do you end up attracting into your life during that time? How would you feel? That’s the guy I want to be, twelve weeks into the New Year.
As for the end of the year, I dunno, I’ll have to see. I suppose meeting my soulmate – my real one, assuming the concept isn’t nearly so mystical as the Mayan Prophecy – would be the one thing I’d like to have happen by year’s end, even if we’re wrong about this apocalyptic business and everything were to indeed fall apart shortly thereafter. It would simply be fulfilling to know that, even for a few moments or days in life, my faith was validated by the outcome. Despite all of our skepticism and reason, when it’s just us and the world, it’s good and healthy to believe in things that are bigger than you. It would be nice to see that beautiful belief made real.
Until that time, though, there’s a lot of work and meditation ahead, a lot more crap to wade through, and the usual slate of surprises that life brings us, good and bad. 2011 was a year of firsts – my first sighting of the Pacific Ocean while taking my first trip over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on my first trip to California and my first solo trip ever is the signature moment of that year – and this trend’s going to continue in 2012, I’m sure of it.
And my questions for you? Why, surprise surprise, they’re the exact same.
What do you want to see happen in the next 90 days?
What do you want to see happen by the end of 2012?
(Special thanks to Giuditta Costanzo, who originally asked me those questions).