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"Resolutions for Maturation"

[written January 1, 2005]

For New Year's, I finished two books ("Word Freak" by Stefan Fatsis and "Colors of the Mountain" by Da Chen), studied some Swedish, and exercised heavily on the track/at the gym. Fuck the new year, I'm ready to study!

This year should bring a deployment, some Army schools, lots of life lessons, and hopefully some romance. Whatever happens, I think I stand to gain a lot of maturity by the time 2006 rolls around. I'm receptive to growth again.

So, here are my resolutions.

 Learn another language. (or two)

After almost acing my most recent Arabic qualification test, I decided that maybe I'm cut out to be a linguist after all. =P The western standbys and an exotic one like Mandarin Chinese are priorities.

Being a linguist seems a life-long, general pursuit that I can put myself behind 100% and develop a career, appreciation for life and cultures, and diverse circle of friends around. I mean, fuck, I'm already covered in tattoos in different languages. It was meant to be.

Right now I'm working on Swedish.

Develop a serious relationship.

I want marriage and lots of children with a gorgeous, intelligent woman. You know, someone I can respect.

I'm in an all-male unit in the Army in Backwoods, Tennetucky. You could say I kind of limited my options a bit. Yes, I'm a fucking dumbass. =P

 Go on only trips abroad. (besides Iraq)

Ideally, I'd travel to a new country and take some sort of class while I'm there, to acquire a new skill. Or join some adventuring party. Honestly, it's the only way I feel like I've done something worthwhile, to explore the world.

 Offer to help more.

Some people are amazing. They offer help no matter what they're busy with in their own lives. They offer to help out in situations where they have no expertise. They're just THERE for people. They get in the thick of things with people. I want to be one of those people. People like my team sergeant. Or my friend Kelly.

 Learn to cook.

I have a dream of whipping up a gourmet feast for a house full of people, and not thinking anything of it. How hot is a man who can cook well?

 Learn to dance.

Ever had a woman melt in your arms? You'd learn this too. =P It's social, uh, capital.

 Smile more.

I'm such a serious, focused person that I come off as hostile in public and with strangers. I don't smile much, which is a negative signal. Smiling is that initial hook that lets me use my charm later.

 Amass a retirement fortune.

I'm putting away a lot of cash right now. I learned to be a saver. I'm planning on a long, comfortable, luxurious life.

 Be more competitive.

I wasn't raised to be a competitor. Sometimes it helps to have a killer instinct. I'm more of a team player, but I've never failed in anything I've tried, so why should I be intimidated by other people? Once I integrate ferocity, my opponents will fold. I've witnessed it in rare moments already.

I'll be competing to get promoted to sergeant this year. I'll be damned if anyone takes my NCO slot. Also, I'm thinking about Georgetown for grad school. That dimpled, wide-eyed 22-year-old undergrad is going to get a punch in the mouth during the application process.

 Photojournal my life.

I'm getting turned onto photography. And I think I would enjoy properly photographing my life. I take poor pictures of myself, and miss interesting moments even when holding a camera. I'd like to have more pictures on my site.

 Be a major contributor to my team.

I'm probably going to be deployed this year. I'm going to try to be as helpful and competent as possible, and keep everyone in my team safe if I see something bad about to happen.

 Snog 3 random birds.

Just for fun.

 Be more honest and less patient.

I don't tell people what I think of them. It's out of politeness. But some people appreciate candid criticism. Some don't respect you at all unless you give it. Time to defuse my British manners.

 Learn to horseback-ride.

I have no claim on badassness until I can ride a horse.

 Read at least 20 books.

This might be hard. Some guy on the web read 52 books in 52 weeks in 2004. I, uh, think I'll go with 20. A deployment may interfere, but I have a lot of books I'm dying to read.


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