The Year of Responsibility

I enjoyed my previous tradition of christening years with a name, so I’m returning to it. Welcome to 2010, the Year of Responsibility. This doesn’t mean I’ll turn into a square and ditch my sometimes-carefree character. There are some things that I’ve never thought about and some things that I’ve been avoiding thinking about. Despite graduation and a job search, I still never considered what I’d actually like in a job. I never really took stock of what I was good at or what I’d like to pursue. I’ve never ever thought about finances. When I was in college, I always lived within my means without thinking about it. I don’t know much about buying a car or getting an apartment. Some of this is boring stuff, but it’s necessary.

I feel as if I stop here in the weblog, this would suffice for me. It would be enough to get me started doing what I need to do. The self-improvement literature, though, would probably label me a lost cause. Someone with a vague resolution who’ll give up shortly. Whatever. I need this symbolism. At one point I recognized the power of myth and stories, but I’d recently been favoring the uber-practical. It’s time to return to the power of things such as symbols.

Still, I won’t disregard the practical. Let me mix in some of the concrete. I recently bought the book I Will Teach You to be Rich, which so far feels like a good primer and is aimed at my demographic. I’m going to go through that book and follow its advice. This should set me on a path of getting control of my finances, beginning investment, and paying down my debt from student loans.

Another goal is to buy my own car. I need to create a plan to save up for one. I’d like to move out, but I don’t think it’s necessary. There are definitely drawbacks to living at home, but family is nice. I’d rather live with them than live alone. Maybe at some point I’ll have a chance to move to a place with a friend. I don’t know if I’d necessarily jump at the opportunity. I want to make that decision within the context of my situation (job and money and goals) at the time. Even though my current car situation is okay (I have a ride to work and I usually have a car available for nights and weekends), I like the symbolism of having my own car. It would make me feel more independent. Yes, moving out would entail independence as well, but I value belonging more. I’m pretty sure if I lived alone, I would hate it.

I’m still resistant to the idea that there is a Platonic ideal out there: a job that I’ll love or a career that I’m destined to be passionate about. It doesn’t make much sense to me considering that humans didn’t evolve in this diversified economy. A born programmer or golfer is rather incomprehensible. Still, it does make sense to take stock of what I’m good at, what I like to do, and what kinds of environments I enjoy. My next job search should be a little more systematic.

I’m also going to do something a little different from most years and actually take the time to review these goals. I’ll see you in a week.

To do: Review 2009. (Not necessarily the resolutions, but just see how the year in general went.)

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