I think I did a decent job keeping up with my resolutions. All things considered, I’m achieving many things that weren’t on the list. For example, I’m earning a salary from the business and we’ve earned enough to repay ourselves for all of the start-up costs. We even treated ourselves to health insurance, which I suppose could come in handy in 2012.
I also made some serious leaps from a bumbling-wannabe holding a DSLR to an actual aspiring photographer. Seriously though. I taught two semesters of university photography and spent three weeks in Dubai taking photos every single day. Yes, both experiences were a bit surreal, leaning towards ridiculous and oh-geez-how-did-I-get-myself-into-this, but they were all experiences to learn from.
But now it’s time for a new year. 2011 was all about finding my footing in Bishkek. It was unsteady and awkward at times, but I’m getting the hang of it and feel like I’m finally starting to settle underneath Bishkek’s surface. That’s the thing about being an expat; it really does take that long to get situated. If your resolutions include anything about moving abroad, consider adding an extra year to your original plan.
Anyway. Here are my grand and ambitious resolutions and goals for 2012. I’m glowing with optimism.
1. Photograph the elusive Galactic Marshrutka. As you can see from my expertly constructed artistic rendition (above), this amazing specimen not only has a breathtaking mural of the cosmos depicted on it, but also the marshrutka itself is shown soaring through the universe. Then, even better, the painted marshrutka is accurately shown with its own galactic mural and its own tiny decorated marshrutka soaring through it. It’s an endless cycle of celestial marshrtukas, and I’m determined to get a picture of the real thing. I think it goes back and forth from Dordoi Bazaar, but if anybody has any leads, please let me know!
(1b. Photograph more wacky bus stops, like this one.)
2. More Russian language progress.
(2b. Start learning Kyrgyz.)
3. Complete a significant chunk of progress on my Kyrgyz pop music photography project. I’m currently in the researching/planning/oh-geez-is-this-really-feasible phase (which, let’s face it, could go on for eternity), but the more I talk about it to people, the more I hear “You should talk to my friend, he’s in the music business” or “You should talk to So-and-So, she’s a singer” and it gives me motivation to make this happen. A challenge that I’m already facing is that I have no idea what to do with the project when (if?) I finish it. But, I suppose I’ll work on that when (if?) I reach that point. As always, if you are in someway connected to Kyrgyzstan’s music scene, or know someone who is, and might be interested in participating, please feel free to email me (kirstin [at] ivorypomegranate [dot] com).
4. Create a more comfortable living space and working space. I’m currently channeling inspiration from this article.
(4b. Create a more clearly defined division between work life and personal life.)
5. Travel better. No more showing up to towns wondering why we came there in the first place.
6. Downsize the kipple from my life. I think I’ve always harbored some small, scrooge-like tendencies toward unnecessary objects, but it grew into a bigger beast when I worked in Baghdad. I wonder if anybody ever took stock of the number of Beanie Babies sent to the US military in Iraq? If some private, in charge of some sort of tedious inventory, ever came across a stash of old VHS movies, yoga mats or artificial Christmas trees sent by well-intentioned givers back in the states. Stale Halloween candy? Sample packs of instant coffee? The amount of kipple I saw in the embassy was mind-bogging. Personally, thinking of the half-dozen giant crates I had to buy to send home all of my extra clothes and belongings, acquired on purchasing binges fueled by an APO address and the largest salary I’d ever had, still makes me feel weighed down. Living without those two things helps tremendously, but the useless objects still seem to appear, like this photo I took a few days ago of a bunch of things that accumulated in my purse over the years. Stacks of papers, empty CD cases, wires and adapters for unknown gadgets. So, let’s shoot for less of that in 2012 (plus, I think I’d have to forego my fancy, private health insurance to afford to ship extra things back home).
7. Become more organized. I’m already trying to get myself in the habit of closing my browser (and all 20+ tabs) at the end of each day, and I’ve set my window to open to a to-do list. In theory, should I succeed in having to open a new window each morning, I get a fresh look at what I need to do.
(7b. Get better at emailing people back. Despite how much I have voluntarily put myself out there on the internet, I’m actually quite shy, and I’ve gotten in a bad habit of putting off responding to emails. I will definitely work on improving this.)
8. Blog more consistently. I have a draft folder with nearly enough content to get me through until June. I need to either free them to the public or trash them for good.
(8b. Although, I never want to forego hanging out with friends or inconvenience my real life in any way for the sake of this blog. If I’m not living in my real life, then I won’t have anything to blog about anyway.)
Did you guys set any ambitious goals for 2012? Or are you anti-resolution?