2020

Happy New Year, everyone!

There isn’t a new comic today (unfortunately).  But, with it being a brand new year and, heck, a brand new decade, I still wanted to pop in and post something.  More specifically, what I want to try and make happen this year.

So, here it is – Drew’s List o’ Goals for 2020.

1. Make it to the gym at least 3 times a week.  Weight loss tends to be one of the more common New Year’s Resolutions, and Lord knows it’s been one of mine for the past few years.  And, well, it really hasn’t…worked out.  So, maybe this is an easier, more concrete goal: get to the gym at least one more time a week.  And maybe watch what I eat more.  I’m a bored eater – I eat when there’s nothing else to do.  So I have to make the effort to watch what goes in my mouth more.

2. 10:00 – all electronics go OFF.  The laptop is easy enough.  The phone, on the other hand – that’s where I get in trouble.  I’ll end up falling down a rabbit hole and the next thing I know, it’s closing in on midnight, when I wanted to go to bed at 11.  So it’s time to make the attempt.  10:00 rolls around, and the phone is off.  Hopefully this’ll help with my sleeping habits as well.

3. Read read read READ.  Going along with the last one, it would probably behoove me to pick up a book and just decompress before I go to sleep.  But I also need to read more in general.  My book list is getting ridiculous.  I’ve got birthday/Christmas books lying around my room that haven’t been touched.  It’s kinda sad.  Also, I need to break into the myriad of cookbooks I’ve got lying around.  I love to look at them, but I really need to use them.

4. Explore more original characters.  This is probably the one goal that is most related to I Draw Walruses.  I’ve got all these ideas bouncing around in my head for new characters, some that have come about due to Inktober, and I want to get them out there.  So, that might be popping up here on IDW and my Instagram.  Now, Lars, Eliza, and everyone else – they aren’t going away.  Trust me.  Just want to give these new guys a bit of spotlight, that’s all.  Pretty sure that’s why I made this Christmas story about the Seasons.

5. WRITING.  UGH.  Another one I say every year.  And I barely make an effort to do so.  But I’m not letting go of it, because I know I need to do it.  Writing is a part of me, and I need to delve into it, to make sure my skills don’t just rust.  One of my professors straight up said that we will not write once we graduate – not unless we make the effort.

Damn.  He was right.

6. Let’s play some video games.  Bit of an odd one.  But there are video games that I want to try, and I just haven’t.  I could – but instead I end up doing what I always do.  YouTube and Reddit.  So maybe, when I get bored, I could try something else, like exploring some new games.  Or – again, a bit odd – watch some new shows?  Or at least catch up on some old ones.  I’m still in the second season of one show, and it just released it’s fourth, so I’m waaaaay behind.

And there we go.  Goals for the new year.  Not resolutions.  Goals.  I’ve got 12 months ahead of me to try and make these a reality.  Have to tell myself that.  But I’m looking forward to trying them out!

Here’s to 2020.  And here’s to making it an awesome year.

Resoluting Resolutions

Hey, two out of four ain’t bad, in the long run.

Didn’t really come up with any resolutions for the new year.  Or rather any new resolutions.  It’s pretty much the latter two mentioned in the comic – attempt to worry less and try to write more.  Both of which I failed at last year.

Of course, now that I think about it, I don’t think I helped myself at all in those regards.  I basically ignored writing – aside from this blog – in general, while ramping up my anxiety through constant Googling and clicking on stuff that I really shouldn’t have.  So this year, it is a matter of displaying some actual willpower and restraining myself from random Google searches at 10 PM whilst pushing myself to write.  So far, the Googling seems to be going well.  The writing, well – it’s a work in progress.

As for the other two resolutions that I actually managed in some capacity to achieve, now is the time to continue forth with those, not chucking them aside.  I need to make sure that I keep going to the gym and watching what I eat, whilst moving away from the snarky t-shirts in order to upgrade my wardrobe.  Time for them to evolve into habits, not just resolutions.  And hopefully at some point, writing will become a daily activity and the worrying will diminish.  In the meantime, it’s time to buckle down and make sure they happen.

Bonus Resolution: Wardrobe

"No characters?  No sarcastic sayings?  NOTHING???" "...no, just a plain t-shirt -" "WHHHHYYYYYYYYYY"
“No characters? No sarcastic sayings? NOTHING???”
“…no, just a plain t-shirt -“
“WHHHHYYYYYYYYYY”

Oooooo, bonus resolution time!

A good chunk of my wardrobe is currently made up of old t-shirts that I’ve had since high school – and maybe even longer than that.  The fact that I can still fit into these shirts may be a testament to how big I was at that age.  And yes, a good portion of those shirts have some kind of sarcastic slogan or witty saying on them.  I preferred my shirts to do all the talking, as opposed to myself.  People always seem to like my shirts, occasionally stopping me to read them.  One of my favorite stories is wearing my Bring Back Pluto t-shirt – which I’m wearing right now, by the way – to Disney World and having people, from workers to tourists to even Winnie the Pooh, laugh/comment on it.  That was a good day.

But recently, as I approach my mid-twenties at a breakneck speed, I’ve sort of realized that my wardrobe has remained somewhat stagnant.  Like, that’s all that I have.  Sarcastic t-shirt upon sarcastic t-shirt.  And maybe, just maybe, it’s time for an adultish upgrade.

To be honest, this has been coming in waves.  Freshman year in college was the introduction of my love for cardigan sweaters – saw lots of people wearing them and thought, “That looks so COOL.”  Last year, I started getting into baseball Ts thanks to my brother.  And now I’ve added a few nice, plain colored t-shirts to my collection – which I know a certain someone is ecstatic about, by the way.  You may stop your maniacal laughing and cheering, now.  You know who you are.

Now I just need to continue this trend now, through the year.  I need to start looking through my massive collection of t-shirts and start culling a few that I know can be either thrown away or downgraded to a sleep shirt.  Which means I need to start going through my sleep shirts as well.  Lord knows there are a few extraordinarily holey ones there that could be dumped.

Am I going to throw them all out?  Heck no.  I love these shirts.  Am I going to stop wearing them?  Again, no.  Just, maybe I won’t be wearing some of the more rattier/juvenile ones to certain places, like work.  And I need to start looking towards having some nicer, more grown-up pieces in my collection so I can maybe, as stated in the comic, stop dressing like I did in high school.  That’s all.

Here’s to 2016, and here’s to looking a bit more like a grown up.  Which is weird to think about.  Adulting, man.

Resolutions: Worrying

"Is...is that an otter tattoo?" "Oh yeah!  I just think they're so darn cute." "...well, okay then."
“Is…is that an otter tattoo?”
“Oh yeah! I just think they’re so darn cute.”
“…well, okay then.”

I feel like I have made it no secret here that I am a prolific worrywart.

I worry about everything.  My weight, my health, my family’s health, the inevitability of death, what’s going to happen at work today, what’s going to happen at work tomorrow, the end of the world, am I going to be alive next year, am I going to be alive 10 years from now, what do my friends think of me, what does that stranger think of me – fun stuff, really.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

It has gotten to the point where I have to go out of my way to avoid Facebook just because of the stupid news ticker thing on the side.  Otherwise, I’m going to read something about Donald Trump or North Korea or the fate of humanity in general and my mind will just begin to spiral into this black hole of worry.  Because, of course I have to Google this stuff now, due to lack of self control and I just gotta know more, and then spiral spiral spiral WORRY.  Isn’t anxiety just so much fun?  Especially in how it can control your life to the point where you really don’t want to even go outside anymore and just hide in your bed for the rest of your life?  But of course you can’t, because you’ve got adult responsibilities now like a job that you can’t blow off.

Hrgh.

This year, I’m going to try and make a conscious effort to try and get my anxiety under control.  Not sure how, but I’m definitely going to make the attempt.  I have to, or else be controlled by these stupid thoughts.  And I really don’t want that.  I need to remain calm, and focus on the present, something that I’m not good at.  I’m always thinking about the future, and that needs to stop.  Not completely, mind you, as one does need to think of their next step in life, but enough so that I can enjoy what’s going on around me instead of what will happen.

This might involve a bit of evasion – like I said, avoiding the news/Facebook for the time being so my brain doesn’t get clogged up with too many anxious thought.  And maybe some deep breathing.  Not sure – I’ve have Googled “how to stop worrying” so many times, but have really only scanned the articles only to find that none of the solutions were instantaneous, so what’s the point then?  But no no.  It is a process that takes time like everything else in life, so this is going to be the year where I will focus on being less worried.

Here’s to 2016, and here’s to me being more present in the present, and not such a bundle of anxious nerves.

Side note: this will not involve being body slammed.  I hope.

Resolutions: Losing Weight

"But Greek Yogurt's just not the same-"  "IT CAN BE IF YOU GAVE IT A CHANCE."
“But Greek Yogurt’s just not the same-” “IT CAN BE IF YOU GAVE IT A CHANCE.”

Is this one of the most cliche New Year’s Resolutions out there?  Yes.  Does it still ring very much true for me, though?  Absolutely.

Not gonna lie, I’ve always been a big guy.  Even as a child I was always the chunky one, the last one to finish up the mile run a good 5 minutes after everyone else, the one who, in 4th grade, was actually taken out of class by the gym teacher to get some extra help (only now do I realize how humiliating that is.  Ignorance is bliss, you know).

My weight didn’t actually start to bother until about high school, to be honest.  It was then that I started to think, “Wow, I don’t like being ‘the fat one'” – even though a grand total of nobody called me “the fat one,” at least to my face.  But even then, I didn’t really do much about it.  Maybe it’s my sheer lack of athleticism, or my lack of enthusiasm for all things sporty, or the fact that I can be incredibly lazy.  Or all three.  Point is, my weight bothered me, and I did nothing about it.  I’d always been the kid who hated Physical Education, who was annoyed by all the other kids actually being good at it and treating it like a freaking competition, and yet never did anything to improve myself in that category.

Then college came around, and suddenly, wham.  Instead of gaining that infamous Freshman 15, I lost about 40 pounds over the course of a year.  I blame the student meal plans and the fact that I had to walk everywhere for that startling feat.  Actually had to get new jeans because they were constantly sliding down (and were covered in paint).  Problem was, my weight kept yo-yoing all through college.  I’d go home, and gain about 10 pounds over the summer, then go back to school, and proceed to lose them again.

Since I graduated, I have managed to gain all that lovely weight back – and then some.  Trust me when I say that it’s not necessarily fun to hop on the scale and be like, oh, hello new pound.  Where did you come from?  Because it’s not like my self-esteem/confidence could be any lower, right?  Fun.

So, this year, one of the things that I hope to accomplish is to actually lose some weight, and hopefully keep it off for a period of time.  This means, though, that I need to start adding some physical activity to my life.  I thought that working at the library would be enough.  Apparently not.  I need to start running again (remember that comic?  Yeah, haven’t run since.  Oy).  Or even picking up a gym membership.  That, though, might have to wait a couple of months.  You know, until everyone else has given up and the gyms aren’t nearly as crowded.

This also means having to be careful about what I’m putting inside my body.  Which means having to cut a few things out of my diet.  No more chips.  No more soda.  And *SIIIIIIIIIGH* no more ice cream, perhaps my biggest vice of all.  Or at least cut back on it.  Currently don’t have any in my freezer at the moment, which has really helped thus far, in ridding me of temptation.  Have to carry this forth, so no more weekly trips to Giant to grab a couple of a pints of Ben and Jerry’s, and maybe a packet of combos, and some gummy worms, and so on and so forth, you get the gist.

I need to make this happen.  This has been a battle for a while now, and as I get into my mid-twenties it’s going to get harder, so I’m really going to have to make some kind of effort.  Is it going to happen all at once?  No, probably not.  That’d be extremely unhealthy and maybe a sign of some horrible disease.  But I’ve got all year to make this work.

So, let’s do this.  Here’s to 2016, and here’s to me attempting to make myself a lot healthier and feeling better about me in general.

Resolution: Writing

Can you even get typewriters anymore?
To be honest, the shirt and tie is probably the most unrealistic part of this whole scenario.

Welcome to Resolutions Week!  It’s a series where I discuss what I want to happen/hope will happen during the year of 2016.  And today’s topic: writing!

Yay…

So, back in college, when I was in the midst of discovering that art school was doing nothing more than crushing my soul, I took a mandatory writing class for the Honors college that reignited something in me that I hadn’t felt for a while: a love for writing.  A chance to express myself in a different means, to get out all that frustration concerning what I was going through at that time.  And damn, did it help/make people worry about my mental state/wonder about art school in general.  So, at the end of that semester, I decided to pick up writing as a minor, to counterbalance art school – which, side note, turned out to be a requirement for the Honors college.  Having a minor, I mean.  Didn’t even realize that until later.

Then, when I realized that art school was never going to get better, I switched over to English, which sort of allowed me to focus more on that writing skill that I had let atrophy in the meantime.  I was so focused on art for the longest time, that writing just fell by the wayside.  I had taken creative writing way back in Middle School and loved it.  But then art just took over, and I ignored writing.  To be honest, one regret that I do have is not taking a writing class in high school.  Who knows what would’ve happened had I focused on that instead of, I don’t know, taken photography or continued on with art?  Might’ve been one of the few guys there, but I was already one of the few guys in both photography and art, so, what would’ve been the difference, really.

Loved the writing classes I took in college for the most part.  I took one short story writing class for three semesters because the professor was awesome, and my writing really improved.  Took a few non-fiction writing courses, a poetry course (and discovered that I’m not exactly poet material, but eh) – overall, a rewarding experience.  Once I graduated, though, I stopped.  Like my art, I started to ignore it, or refused to do it completely.  Instead, I decided to indulge in my anxiety, letting all those thoughts and criticisms take over and obliterate any thought I had about continuing forward.  And I didn’t even know what I was supposed to be writing!  Should I have started on that novel?  More short stories?  What was the point?

Over the past year, my drawing, as you can see, has roared back full force.  It’s even improved a bit, considering I was so out of practice (yes, I do look back at some of the earlier comics here and cringe).  But yet, my writing has remained stagnant.  Yes, I write here on the blog, but I want to get back into what I really like: fiction writing.  Fantasy based, world building fiction.  I had a couple moments last year where I worked with a friend and actually got some stuff done…then got lazy.

So, that is one of the things I hope to accomplish this year: getting back into writing full force, and getting disciplined about it.  That’s something I think I lack in the writing department: discipline.  One of my professors, my creative non-fiction writing professor, said on the last day of class, “You have got to find some way to keep writing.  Because if you don’t, you’re going to not do it.”  Or something along those lines.  And he was right.  Man, was he right.

I’m going to try and start writing again, and this time, get a rhythm going, like I have with my drawing.  I want to balance those two things, so I can actually do them at the same time (WHAT a concept!).  And not give up.  Hopefully.  Because that’s not going to solve anything.  And it’s not like I don’t have the time.  I’ve got tons of free time.  Obviously, I need to start spending it a bit more wisely.

Here’s to 2016, and here’s to me getting back in the writer’s mindset.