There are some mysteries that will never be solved. One, for example, is how the search engine term ‘woman puts boyfriend in headlock with her thighs’ led two people on two separate occasions to this blog. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t meet a moment of arrest and briefly reconsider my choices in content. Another celebrated  mystery is how Kim Kardashian ever became famous. As far as I can tell, she lacks any talent in its traditional sense but somehow commands the attention of millions just by looking hot, even though she can’t even do that right because she looks like a plastic extraterrestrial with a comically and disproportionately inflated ass. The last mystery mentioned will be how this stigma and inherent doubt ever became attached to New Years resolutions and general life goals alike. Sure, people don’t always do what they want to, but to dismiss a person’s goals and intentions right from the start is too pessimistic and depressing for me to accept. If it’s man’s destiny to be self-delusional and convince him/herself that they can actually complete what they set out to do, I’m the most delusional one of them all. I’m okay with this.

2012 will undoubtedly be a wonderful year, mostly because I’ve just decided that it will be. This year will be full of travel and wanderlusting, good food, good people, and there’ll be a handful of grade-A stories in there, too. I can feel it.

The following is a list of some things I have to do this year. I will obviously do more than just the following ten bullets, but it is my goal to try my hardest to complete all of these things. By the end of the year, an incomplete bucket list won’t automatically mean failure. Not putting forth my best effort or not trying altogether would constitute a failure of epic proportions. I limited the list to ten, in an effort to be realistic, in an attempt to reach for the stars while just assuring that I can get there if I try. So:

1) Visit my friends in Europe + hike the Alps again!

2) Return to the place of my childhood and my dreams: Morskie Oko

3) Euro Cup 2012!

4) Jog 16 miles in one session

5) Get my scuba certification

6) Learn how to make the perfect pierogi

7) Buy a vintage record player and find an Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Edith Piaf, and Carlos Gardel record

8) Learn basic french (my vocabulary as of now is pretty much limited to ‘putain’)

9) Read at least 52 books this year (one per week, on average), but these must include: Crime and Punishment, Catch-22, The Trial, Herzog, East of Eden, War and Peace, The First Circle, As I Lay Dying, On the Road, The World According to Garp, The Age of Reason, Salt, Lolita, Brothers Karamazov, And So It Goes, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, God is Not Great

10) See Chernobyl and Pripyat to show my friends that I transcend the effects of radioactivity

* * * * * * *

In the meantime, I have other plans/projects for this year, specifically two worthy of mentioning.

1) My daily project will be to take someone’s portrait every day so that I can compile 365 portraits at the end of the year and remember who I met. I would prefer them to be strangers, but people I know can work too – as long as a photo spurs a memory of a specific day. Take my beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous, pretty, sweet, funny, smart, beautiful Brooklynite friend Anayza. Documentation of said photos will adopt the following format:

Anayza. New York, NY.

1.14.2012

2) My second project isn’t daily; it’ll be weekly, monthly, or accomplished in irregular increments. Whenever I have time, really. It’ll be continuing the endeavors I describe here and here, to continue documenting DC life via photojournalistic pursuits. There really is no grander purpose or goal to this, I simply just feel like doing it. And if I’ve learned anything in the entirety of my short life, it’s that if I feel like doing something I should do it.

I’m putting the bucket list in my ‘About’ page (even though I just realized it’s not accessible) to document and cross-off items as I complete them. Also going there is a list of books I’ve completed this year to date.

Now I’m off to read Brothers Karamazov. It truly is a dismal book thus far and it manages to put me to sleep faster and more deeply than any other book, but if it’s on the Bucket List, I need to try.