The NeoKnight Inquirer





CGP Grey has a lovely video about why New Years Resolutions fail, and why you should change yours a little. I suggest you watch it before reading this article, and perhaps think about it a little for yourself.

Anyway, if you have watched it, you'll know that CGP Grey recommends you choose a yearly or seasonal Theme, rather than saying 'I will do X per Y', or whatever. Fans of My Brother, My Brother, and Me with the Mcelroy brothers will also recognize this sort of thing, but as more of a joke. They have year themes like Twenty-Serpentine: Keep 'Em Guessin/Zag On 'Em, which was their year of... confusing people and being unpredictable. The point is, themes are cool! I wanted to choose one. My New Year's Resolutions do tend to fail pretty quickly, so, eh, why not, right?

I saw this video towards the end of January, and so that's when I made my decision. I'd already made two Resolutions so far - one was to write down all of the media I'd watch for a year (as seen in my Reviews section), and the other was to keep a journal and consistently write in it. While I did sort of succeed at both of these and probably will continue to do them, they were chosen because they're relatively minor changes that I could achieve anyway. I also needed a Theme, too! I considered that the last third of 2019 inadvertently became 'Year of Healing' for me, and forced me to not get anything done. I wanted this year to be something active - something creative.

Year of Action and Year of Creation didn't feel right. Neither did, uh, Year of 'Do It!'. I needed a big word, a broad word, a FUN word. I needed...

Year of


I promised myself I'd Excelsior. I'd get things done, and I'd have fun doing it. Hell, a few hours after making that decision, I was set to fly to San Diego with my dad on a business trip and... go off on my own all day, to see my friends from college. He offered to pay for me to come along two weeks earlier, and, despite it being a combined 12 hours flight that'd only give me one day in San Diego, I accepted. Normally, I'm the type to turn a thing like that down, but something in me just itched for... adventure. And so, Excelsior meant Adventure as much as it meant Getting Things Done. Talking to strangers, going to places, trying new things, being... a self-sufficient adult, out there having a good time, like I never normally would. That's what Excelsior meant.

A week later, I'd come to another addition for Excelsior's definition: Be Reasonable. For example, when you're on an adventure - let's say, bringing the ring to Mt Doom, or whatever - you have some options to consider.

A) You can walk there.

B) You can take a horse.

C) You can take a plane.

Plane seems like the obvious answer, right? You'll get there in record time, you won't have to deal with anything. You're practically going for a daytrip. The people on foot seem like *ants.*

The thing is, this is the goddamn Shire. You don't have a fuckin' plane. You have feet and a horse, sure, but not a plane. A reasonable person might say, 'alright, i've got a week to get this ring destroyed, a horse is the most practical option.' A masochist might say, 'i can walk! it'll make me stronger!' (The scary thing is when you see people who succeed doing that, and realize you are puny and powerless in comparison.) In my life, I've always endeavored to take option C, no matter how convoluted and out of my league it is. And, almost every single time, I have failed.

Then, with my plane blueprints trashed, I come down to my remaining options - horse or walking. I choose the horse, because, ah, fuck it, I don't have a week to spare anymore. But the first time I come across a river, I am SO PISSED. I'm sitting there, like, 'fuck, if I had a plane, I wouldn't have to deal with *any* of this shit. i hate this stupid adventure. i'm gonna go play minecraft.' And then Sauron destroys the world or something, I dunno.

The idea here is that I always go for the most ambitious garbage route that's way out of my scope and give up. A reasonable, Excelsior-ing adventurer wouldn't do that! You'd say, 'well, I have to be reasonable,' and choose the horse, and when you get to the river, you'd be fresh and ready to deal with it! Not frustrated because you don't know the first thing about aerospace engineering! So, Excelsior, for, me, became something entirely new.

Get It Done, Have An Adventure, and... Be Reasonable. Don't take on a project you have no chance in hell of actually finishing, just because it seems like 'the best' idea. And ask for help if you do need a plane.

I was so pumped for this for January and February. I had another trip planned, I rebuilt my whole site, I started going out more, I was feeling healthy...

And then, uh.


I'm sure you all know how March 2020 went.

Look, I could pull out the fuckin'... Hero's Journey crap, say this is the Abyss, and the virus is... Gollum, I dunno. At the end of the day, the world sort of fucked me over with this one. I made a resolution to adventure the one year everyone is stuck in their houses. Thanks, universe! And, also, I ran out of coffee months ago, and my unmedicated ADHD ass can't function without it. So... this one hasn't gone so well! It's May as of writing, and, frankly, I haven't adventured at all in quite a while. The best I can say is that I've been playing with Blender a lot, and, like, I broke self-isolation once to celebrate my best friend's birthday by just driving around together for two hours. Maybe I've been calling my Aunt and Grandma more than usual? It's not exactly Excelsior material.

So, as of right now, I can pretty conclusively say Excelsior got derailed for me. I'm gonna take another shot at it... like, as soon as the whole quarantine thing blows over. But, uh, given the number of cases in New York right now... I doubt that'll be soon. Anyway, if you've got a cool and much more achievable-in-our-current-geopolitcal-era theme, let me know! Or don't! Maybe your theme is Spite. If so, god fucking speed, because that's one that'll never run out of steam.

Onwards, to... next year?

Thanks for reading, and Excelsior!