It had come to her out of nowhere, a butterfly of a thought that drifts past you and lands on your nose, sprinkling some scales like pollen in its wake. Scales to seeds, taking root, under the current, slipping into your subconscious until it was so ubiquitous to be original.

I think my music taste is going stale. Not necessarily that the music I’m listening to is “worse”, but I’m listening to the same things over and over. I tend to get caught in a feedback loop of just listening to the same album or artist for weeks at a time, non-stop, before becoming burned out and moving on to the Next Thing™.

I love indie games. The idea that a small team, and sometimes even a single person, can tackle and create something so vast, so beautiful, is inspiring regardless of your field or disposition towards video games. Even more amazing is when the game itself turns out to be as charming and full of wonder as Celeste is. Truly, marvelous is the best word I’ve got for it; I haven’t felt this sense of wonder in a game since perhaps FEZ.

I’m in Chicago. It’s cold here. Real cold. The first two weeks of the year were so cold, it remained below 0F for most of it. To compare, last year was nearly 50F warmer. Only now is the temperature creeping back up to freezing. My skin is dry, and in the Winter it splits and cracks like the salt flats. I spend most Winters with hands that look like I narrowly escaped a bar fight.

My mind moves at a mile a minute. I sort of think I have some undiagnosed disorder, because of how quickly my brain jumps from topic to topic. Sometimes I jumble my words because my brain has already moved on to the next sentence before I’ve finished the one I’m on.

Never had I been struck me so forcefully that my way of doing things was so wrong. So inefficient. I was stumbling around with the default keyboard shortcuts, one hand on the mouse, like a drunk bear in the woods.

When it comes time to tie that all together, or flesh out my ideas into something more solid, I freeze. These ideas blossom, bumping into one another, loose stars in orbit, but haven’t nearly as often formed constellations. It’s simply because I haven’t put in the effort to.

It happened in the middle of the night. That’s how these things go; they always sneak up on you when you’re not prepared. By the time I woke up the next morning, it was already too late. Whether I had wanted to or not, I had turned 23.

I think we all have memories we store, some dear to us, which we can recall with vivid clarity at the slightest hint, and others more subdued, where even a conscious effort to remember might not bring forth the details you’re looking for.

Going into this new year, I feel like I really have an opportunity to make a difference, to change myself for the better. This can be the year we make our own, start to remake the world and ourselves in the image we want to see. Change has to come from somewhere.

We’ve made it once more around the Sun. Some years, this in itself feels like an accomplishment. I’d put 2017 in this category. It seemed like we’d never make it at the start of the year, but here we are. Breath in, breath out.

There’s this disturbing trend I see both online and in person that treats productivity as a goal in and of itself. Not only that, it supposes the year as already passed. That the year is over, and time has stopped, so the best we can do is to count our losses and try for more next time.

One cold Winter morning, I stood waiting for the bus. The Sun was low in the sky, having only just risen a half hour ago, and would set only a few hours from now. Stripes of clouds drifted in the air, stretching but never losing their shape. I was bundled up, but still felt the cold slip under the cuffs of my pants around my ankles and the chill on my back.

There are so many activities we do every day that are so integrated into our daily lives to the point of automation. We don’t often think about how often we sit down, we drink a glass of water, open a door, or tie our shoes. We perform these actions as if unconsciously.

From the top of any crane in the city, you can see another. Practically from every base, too, but certainly from every top. They have to be; the tech works best with line-of-sight.

As I looped back, I stopped at a grocery store, and bought a piece of salmon to make for dinner. By this point, I had been walking for over an hour. I put the fish in my bag, and went back outside. By now, night had fallen. I walked up the row of stopped cars, waiting for the light to change. High above me, the Moon is light gold as if reflecting the streetlights, diffused through the thin layer of clouds.

I’ve found my progress to be best generated by notation (taking notes), and application, by doing. There’s one more component to learning anything that I have found to be important. And beyond learning, it’s a great rule for life. That is repetition.

There’s more resources now than ever before when embarking on any journey of learning and personal discovery. Information is so widely available that the bigger issue is not where to get it, but what’s worth your time. A lot of this information is geared for the absolute beginner. While this is great, it can be a burden of its own making.

I have written plenty about the benefits of meditation. Since starting my own meditative practice a few years ago, I have felt more at ease, more clear-headed, and more productive, in almost ever aspect of my life. I find myself calmer and better prepared. I think meditation is something everyone should look into, as it could have a positive effect for basically everyone.