Another Year Bites the Dust

It seems crazy, to be back here again – at the start of January, having welcomed the start of a new year at the beginning of the week. I’ve never really liked the atmosphere around January, something I discussed this time last year, with how we try so hard to cleanse ourselves of the year before that it makes us almost miserable. The constant dieting, the determined weeks of sticking to resolutions with the knowledge that it won’t last. I always felt a sense of defeat whenever I tried to set resolutions in the past, because I knew they wouldn’t come to fruition. I’ve thought of saying I’ll exercise more, that I’ll be healthier, that I won’t eat as much sugar, and every year I last a good month before binging in whatever way I had tried to restrict myself.

But what if I don’t want to cleanse myself of the year before? What if I don’t want a new start, and am happy that I’m in the middle of my journey? I don’t want to wash my hands of 2017, or the year before that, and the year before that, and so on. Each of those years has brought me to where I am now, and I can say with hand on heart that I couldn’t be happier with where I currently am.

Of course, it hasn’t always been like that, and I’m so incredibly lucky to be where I am now. Still, despite all of this talk of hating resolutions, I still like to set goals and markers – albeit, very vague ones that are more like a continuing goal that doesn’t really have an end goal.

Maybe I should stop this rambling, and get down to the nitty gritty of it.

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Last year I set myself three goals. They were to prioritise self care, to speak up and not sit quiet, and to ‘get out there’. The first was meant to be my take on the January Cleanse, but a more long-term effort. Like with all of these resolutions, I don’t have a plain ‘I succeeded’ or ‘I failed’ answer. I definitely improved on my self-care, that’s for certain, but there’s still a long way to go. I think I want to work even more on it, to set aside dedicated times of self-care instead of doing bits every now and then. I think it would be good to have one evening set aside to just pamper and relax, be that running a bath and luxuriating in bubbles or just climbing into bed and reading with a cup of tea and biscuits.

This leads to my first goal/resolution/whatever you want to call it, which is to be more self aware of my mental state. I’m so incredibly lucky and privileged not to suffer from a mental illness, but that doesn’t mean that I can mistreat my mental health like one would mistreat a body. I need to be more aware of when I’m in a low moment and feeling a lot of anxiety, and make an effort to combat that. Instead of feeling so low and depressed that it’s like I’m sinking, I need to get up and do something to help myself. The latter half of 2017 was filled with rejections for me, from jobs to love to plans that I had been looking forward to, and each rejection was like another blow to knock me down. I struggled a lot to stay positive and to pick myself up each time, but looking back I know that there were things I should have done. Instead of wallowing and wasting days to sadness, I should have tried some of that self care stuff I yammered on about. I should have gone out, tried to walk and breathe in fresh air, even go shopping for books or clothes or lush products (my current obsession). So that’s my first goal for this year: to look after my mental health.

For the second goal of to not sit quiet and speak up, I’m really not sure how to answer how I did. I definitely opened up more to my close friends about I felt, but I suppose a more accurate goal would be not to be so concerned with the thoughts of others. To just be, and not overthink how others see me – to not try to change myself to please someone else. I definitely learned how important that was in 2017; that it didn’t matter what other people thought, and really it’s down to me to decide how to act and live. Whether it’s on what other people think you should do with your career, or what they think about the people you surround yourself with – the important thing is to make sure that you’re happy, because the thoughts of strangers and of those you don’t care about really don’t matter.  So my second long goal of 2018 is to continue that – to work on what makes me happy.

The third goal was to ‘get out there’. I interpreted that vague cliche as pursuing my career-centred goals, from writing more to getting ahead in publishing. Well, I can say that this was successful. In terms of writing, I once more participated in NaNoWriMo and won, and in terms of publishing I not only made more contacts which led to some work experience in a large publishing house, but I also got a job in a large publishing house – and not just any job, but my dream job in my dream department. Yes, I’ve been successful, and the end of 2017 was like a dream come true for me.

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So my third goal for 2018 is less of a goal, and more of a mantra – and that is to keep going. Keep striving forwards, keep trying my best to be the best I can be, and don’t let that determination to move forwards settle. I want to maintain that drive and motivation to just keep going.

So that’s me for 2018. I don’t know exactly where I’ll be this time next year, but I definitely have some ideas and dreams of where I’d like to be next year. So, whether you’re the kind of person who loves those pesky resolutions or whether you’re more like me and prefer more open-ended goals (the vaguer the better), I wish you all the luck for 2018.

Let’s smash it.

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It’s a Resolution

Yep, it’s that time of year again. Time to look back at last years resolutions that I wrote down and to make some new ones.

2015 was an interesting year for me; survived first year, got a new job, met wonderful people, had surgery (again), moved to Vauxhall, also moved to Hove/Brighton area – and I wrapped it all up on New Year’s Eve watching the London fireworks from just outside my flat with my friends.

Right, let’s see what I wanted last year.

  1. Have a great first year – academically and socially.

Honestly? I did. I passed the year, made wonderful friends, and since starting second year have made even more. It goes to show that if you make an effort to get out there and are friendly, you’re bound to meet some fantastic people.

2. Do more writing and DO something about it.

Yes, past self, I done did. Now a consistent writer for The London Economic, more updated on now two blogs, and I’ve contacted agents left, right, and centre. Yes, I got rejected time and again, but I tried, and I’ll try again. I also participated in NaNoWriMo, and rekindled my love of writing.

3. Be more outgoing. 

Well, that depends on your definition (which I notice, past self, that you did not include – for shame). I’ve tried clubbing a few more times (still prefer a nice chat in a pub with food), but I have been able to be the first one to start conversations and go around chatting to as many people as possible like I’m collecting cards for something.

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…So, that was 2015. Moving onwards.

  1. Be happy, be positive, keep going

It’s hard to try and not regret anything, but that’s what I want to do. I don’t want to just pretend to be happy when I’m not for other people’s sake.

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2. As hard as it may be, write more and contact more agents. 

Rejections, here I come. If you don’t try, you can’t succeed and all that. 

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3. Now for a book challenge: read 50. 

One down, 49 to go.

There’s a theme this year and that’s to keep going. A piece of advice my Mum gave me this year: don’t put yourself down, everyone else will do that for you. Ignore the haters, future self, you’ve got this.

Good luck, you’re going to need it.

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New Year Revelations

So something I’ve done for the past 6 years or so is write myself a letter in my diary for my future self to read after two years. It’s pretty incredible how much can change in just a couple of years, but this year was a pretty good one (hence why I’m telling all of you – also it doesn’t help that I have more essays I should be doing right now).

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Anyhoo, so, this letter from 16 year old me is all about how I’m thinking of uni and how in two years I’ll know what my A level results are (pretty much just general 16-year-old freaking-out-edness). I also mention how I’m enjoying Classics and thinking about doing something with that – fast forward two years and, oh, hey, I’m doing Classics with English at university. Go figure.

(I feel the above gifs also fit how I feel whenever I submit an essay)

I also ask a few questions like ‘Are we any better at golf’ and, I hate to break it to myself, but I pretty much lost interest in golf after feeling so out of place as a girl and not liking my PE teacher ask every week ‘has your handicapped dropped yet’. Oh, not to mention that I got a hole in one – so I’d like to end on a high note.

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So you could say that a lot has changed for me. 2014 brought my last year at school and my first one at university. I’ve been clubbing, made new friends, experienced the craziness of freshers (and survived) – so, all in all, a pretty top notch year. My last year goals for myself were: get into kings (Boo-yah), do more journalism (cough The Sun work experience cough News Uk conference cough Fashion Soundtrack), read all of the classics (a work in progress) and write more (Job. Done).

SO for  next year, goals (potentially) are to write EVEN MORE, have a great first year at uni (Academically and socially) aaand…I don’t know, be happy? Is that too sappy? Eh, we’ll go with it.

SPNG Tags: I REGRET NOTHING / Castiel / Misha / Happy Dancing / Swan Song meets Black Swan / Tra la la la la

Anyway, happy new year to you all and good luck for 2015.