Yes “Obsessions.” I know most of you were expecting to read “Resolutions for the New Year”, but resolutions are problematic, firstly, because they demand will-power (which dons its illusive gift fleetingly) and secondly, resolution are created of air-born theory, which I have never given much credence to. Think of all those parenting books filled with fictitious scenarios; do they ever prepare you with sleep-deprived real-life decisions you make about sixty times a day? Nope. Nor do the education classes that extol behavior and pedagogy but leave out the on-the-spot responses you make to about a hundred teenagers as they file in and out of your classroom every day.
Resolutions fall flat because they are made of the same nonsense. They are comprised of a temporary will and a false theory about what you should be doing, or thinking about, or acting or looking like. On the other hand is obsession, that idea or passion that wakes you from your slumber and propels you without Oprah’s chastising, or Dr. Phil’s reprimands, or even the well-intended advice from your mother-brother-best friend-or spouse.
In 2010 I became obsessed with Michael Caine. Just out of the blue he hit me, and there was no quelling my desire to know him more. I filled my Netflix queue with every film he graced; I viewed 26 movies to date: Sir Michael could be a young thug, a washed-up con-man, an elegant butler who knew a hell of a lot about the construction of bullet proof rubber armor, no difference to me, those steel blue eyes and irresistible smile drew me into each world he inhabited. Along the way I devoured his autobiography, became a fan of his Facebook page, and read countless other internet dribble on his accomplishments. His innate thirst translated to my own and I found myself living larger by following Caine’s career. This obsession brought endless joy.
Through a New Yorker article I discovered a 14 year old fashion blogger named Tavi and started reading her posts and began dressing with more pizazz. In my closet are garments from the last three decades, most of which I never wore. Suddenly, propelled by my new obsession, I mixed up my color palate, broke out of my limited range of style, and just had a blast. I didn’t let myself be dictated by the spreads in Vogue or Elle, but mixed vintage and new, the knock-off with the real deal, in any combination I felt worked. How liberating! This obsession fueled this creative passion and spurred a tremendous new pursuit.
These obsessions came with far more power than any resolutions ever would. What will I be obsessed with in 2011? Top of my list is writing… then dancing and laughing and wearing sequins and glitter and my tiara, eating more mangos and making more jams, but beyond that I will follow whatever emerges from all the possibilities. Let your obsessions drive your will power, let go of distorted theory, and find your passion and you just might have an exceptional life in 2011.