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Some Aspirations

Colin Wright
Colin Wright
Current location: Milwaukee, WI, USA
Reading: The Bright Ages by Matthew Gabriel & David M. Perry
Listening: Feed Me Weird Things by Squarepusher
(if you have a moment, reply with your own 3-item status)
Note: more on this below, but my email service provider has had some issues recently, and several of my projects are ending up in spam folders. Check there if you’re missing any for the past week (sorry about that!).

Some Aspirations
Aspirations needn’t be dramatic or impressive to be valuable.
They needn’t be ultra-specific, nor overly broad.
They can be whatever we need them to be, as long as they set us on a path and serve as a north star we can follow.
I’m planning to continue investing in music-making and poetry-writing (and reading) in the new year, as both pursuits have been a lot of fun (and very rewarding) these past few months.
I’ll also continue to experiment with and revise and rebalance my business activities, as the pandemic continues to make doing some of what I typically do difficult or impossible, and I want to make sure my financial setup is resilient—whatever happens in the future.
I’ve had some health-related issues over the past year-plus, but I’m doing a lot better than I was, and I’m keen to continue making progress in that regard. I also (despite those issues) feel overall healthier than at any point in my life, and I’d like to maintain and build upon that feeling.
I’ve truly enjoyed connecting with folks via this newsletter and my other projects and platforms, and I’d like to explore that further, as well. I’m planning to experiment with some livestreaming in the near-future (more on this below) but I’ll be dabbling broadly, and am looking forward to figuring out ever-better ways to connect and learn and grow together.
Last week I asked you to share your ambitions—here are snippets from some of the responses I received:
My big personal intention for 2022 is to learn to play the piano. 
I’m soon to be 23, and one of the things I regret the most from my childhood and teen years is that I never took learning music seriously. I went to music school for a month or two, but at that age I just didn’t have the patience to practice, and I soon gave up.
Now that I’ve almost graduated with a Master degree in Computer Science, I find myself getting more and more upset at sitting in front of screens all day–only to relax in the evening by consuming more screen time…
As I’ve been looking for a good hobby away from the internet and digital screens, and inspired by your posts about life long learning, I’ve decided that it’s not too late to dedicate myself to learning an instrument. And now that I’m an adult, I have much more intent for learning than I did the previous time.
—Maxime, Ghent, Belgium
1. Have a Dr. appt already scheduled for a full physical and to get a few things checked out heading into the brand new year.
2. Lose weight.
3. Eliminate people who I always have to be the one to reach out to.
4. No soda or alcohol at least for the month of January.
—Jayson, Baltimore, Maryland
We’re finally in a position (near-zero debt (still that pesky student loan, tsk-tsk), my wife earning enough that I don’t need a J-O-B) where I can focus on writing full time. It’s a weird experience: something I’ve dreamed of for decades, now my daily reality. Creating my daily schedule has been a job in itself. Sticking to it even more so. But I’m on track to publish my first three books in March, April, and May 2022. 
We’ll see how it goes. But I’m jumping in with both feet, ready to live the second half of my life as a writer.
—Teague, Tampa, Florida
In a professional gig I picked up recently, the team is spread across the entire country, leading to the work itself taking place entirely online; video calls, email conversations and virtual sessions are the norm. As a result, I have been considering the possibility of moving abroad to a similar time zone and completing the work remotely. The risk of being called into a face-to-face meeting is perhaps the most fraught, but also on the list of considerations are the potential tax implications, availability of high-speed internet, as well as the company finding out and laying down the ultimatum of ‘come home or you’re gone’. 
In any case, I have settled on Mexico as my first preference, especially given the time zone. It would mean starting around 4 pm and finishing up around 11 pm, the day before, potentially earlier depending on the day. I would then be free the entire day to explore the city and practice speaking Spanish. No doubt other challenges will present themselves, like finding a suitable place to live, navigating new social circles, and traveling in a post-COVID world.
It’ll be fascinating to see how it all plays out. 
—Tom, Sydney, Australia
Since starting to read your blog about 5 years ago I have made so many changes to my life to find more joy and walk a path that is more in line with my values and aspirations. I am currently 12 weeks pregnant and my aspirations for 2022 are to slow down and be in the now more often. Before pregnancy, I was working full-time, starting my own business part-time, and signing up for other business adventures all while trying to get pregnant. I am a very ambitious person so this aspiration will be a challenge. I have already started digging into this aspiration in 2021 as pregnancy has made me slow down quite a bit. This slowing down has been interesting for my mental health and I have really had to dig into mindset work and being in the now to find peace. 
—Amanda
2022 will be a year of health.
Each month I’ll focus on a different aspect of my health, such as mental, emotional, nutritional, spiritual, relationship health, etc.
By focusing on each subset of my health for a month, I hope to build some new habits slowly and try some new things that work for me, rather than following the all-in jumping off point of new year resolutions.
2021 was my year of stability, and I did similar things with focusing on stabilizing my sleep, existing relationships, financials, and food intake, all things that were in flux for me as I graduated from college and started my first full time job. This approach ended up being great for me, so I’m excited to do another year with a new focus.
—Liam, Columbus, Ohio
So many aspirations for 2022. The obvious ones being continuing work on my house and learning the bongos and conga. The not so obvious ones being completing all the necessary testing to see if I’m a candidate for brain surgery, which is falling into place and happening much more rapidly than anticipated.
Also trying to get a business off the ground selling mixed media Christmas ornaments and aspiring to do more mountain biking, more sewing, more creative stuff in general while doing a better job of staying on top of the mundane stuff like cleaning and finishing up all the unfinished projects I‘ve got going.
—Eve, Tennessee
A huge thanks to everyone who shared their aspirations with me! I wasn’t able to share anywhere close to all of them (and I had to truncate some of the ones I did share for space) but I read and enjoyed all of them, and I’m truly excited for you and whatever it is you’ll be undertaking in the coming year.
Feel free to drop me a line with your own ambitions and aspirations if you haven’t already: I would love to know what you’re up to, and will gladly cheer you on :)
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Projects
Select, recent works from across my project portfolio.
Aspiring Generalist: How I Got Smart
Brain Lenses: Tool-Extended Perception
I Will Read To You: Rhythm of Rain
Let’s Know Things: Doomsday Glacier
Curiosity Weekly: Dec 21, 2021
One Sentence News: Dec 22, 2021 (podcast version)
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Interesting & Useful
Some things to click (I curate & share similar links weekly via Curiosity Weekly and daily on Twitter):
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Outro
I’ve not included photos today because of all the additional text.
Also (as mentioned above) I’ve been having some serious issues with the email service I use for this and a few of my other projects the past few days (spammers set up shop on their platform, so the service is now trying to clear their name with the entities that manage spam-warnings)—so if you haven’t been receiving One Sentence News, Curiosity Weekly, or Aspiring Generalist, that’s what’s going on, and why the missing issues are probably in your spam folder with “this email may be dangerous” warnings on them.
Sorry about that! Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon, but until it is I’ll send out a duplicate email from a backup platform when it looks like an issue has been spamified.
Regarding livestreaming: I received a lot of positive feedback and interest after mentioning the idea last week, so I’ll be trying a few things in the coming days.
Tomorrow (Thursday, Dec 23) at 3pm (Central Time) I’ll do a cozy-reading stream on Instagram (this is my account: @colinismyname).
My general plan is to set it up, answer some questions for a few minutes, then set a timer for 30 minutes and just read while streaming, before ending with a few Q&As.
It may be fun! It may be really bad and stupid. We’ll see!
I’m looking forward to trying it out, as I’ve never done a livestream on Insta before and I like the concept of being in the same space (even a virtual space) with other people without having to actively engage—and for that to still be a valuable connection (and an excuse to set aside 30 minutes for relaxing, chilled-out activities; reading, doodling, actively listening to music, etc).
I hope you can pop by, but if not I’ll be doing more of these in the coming days and weeks, and will experiment with Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and other platforms, alongside other types of streams (livestream-writing is something that appeals to me, so I’ll likely set up one of those next week) and other days of the week and times of day, to see what works and what doesn’t.
Happy all-the-many-wonderful-holidays to you and yours! Be safe and healthy and enjoy whatever plans you’re able to muster!
If you haven’t already, consider sending me a quick hello and telling me something about yourself. I respond to every message I receive and would love to hear from you :)
You can reach me by replying directly to this newsletter, or at colin@exilelifestyle.com.
You can also communicate via the typical methods: InstagramTwitterFacebook, or hot-type era nonsense phrase.
If you’re finding some value in what I’m doing here, consider supporting my work via one of these methods: Become an Understandary member / Buy me a coffee / Buy me a monthly coffee
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Colin Wright
Colin Wright @colinismyname

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