The Year I Stopped Analyzing
It’s safe to say that 2020 has largely, for lack of a better word, sucked. But there was a few glorious moments when it seemed to be going well, and I’m clinging to those for dear life. One highlight was my New Year’s Resolution to stop analyzing media. While I’d be lying if I said I’ve done a perfect job of following it, I can’t dispute that it’s changed my life for the better.
I used to be a guy who prided himself on always having a take. I thought there was nothing cooler than offering shallow “analysis” of the movies and music I love. Anyone who reads this can certainly attest to that. I was basically living under the mindset of “if you can’t explain why you like it, you may as well have not watched it.” It was a stupid way to live. I was a complete poser, and if I kept doing that, I would have never had a chance to make something great on my own.
I realized late last year that this was getting me nowhere, so I just decided to stop. Every time I watch something now, every time I listen to a new album… I just say nothing! It’s that easy. Either I enjoy something, or I don’t. There’s no reason to add anything more. Realizing that your opinions don’t actually matter is the most liberating thing.
This serves two purposes. One, it lets me live in the moment and actually enjoy things without immediately thinking about what pseudo-smart thing I can say about them. More importantly though, it forces me to stop deﬁning myself by my opinions. Back in my young cringe years (which were far too recent and in many cases were documented by this publication), I equated appreciation with intelligence. I thought liking movies and music and talking about why I like them was some kind of personality. As if explaining a movie was as good as making one.
By not living through analysis, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that the only way to be creative is to make something yourself. So now I’m back to the drawing board.