It’s just nearing a fortnight and already the new year has started to show its colour. The dark mornings make it harder to get out of the bed, steamy cups of coffee bring me back to life, and the prolonged hours at work make the days feel over before they even begin. Days have started to blend into one another again and that childlike cheer the holidays brought slowly disintegrated into thin air.
2022 is already echoing events of the past two years and whilst it’s familiar it continues to be less than ideal. After all, I’ve been having to draw lines aggressively over every date I write each time I get the year wrong on the top corner of every innocent page. In the same way, I sometimes refer to the infamous 2020 when I recall the months that just drifted away recently. I wonder what that says about how well I’ve processed the past few years… Shh, let’s not talk about that just yet!
Like many others did as the curtain closed on the ember months, I decided to make some much-needed changes this year.
I’ve never been one for making long lists of fancy resolutions. Admittedly, I used to proudly express why they were not for me nearly every year on this very blog without hesitation.
So, what made me change my tune you may wonder?
The answer is quite simple in addition to being a bit cliché too. Essentially, I would rather do anything else than relive the times I had last year.
I’m sure it came across in the few blog posts I shared with you last year just how lost I was. I felt lost and at a loss for words as a writer.
The entire year, I spent in a slump; a downward spiral of confusion and tangled up emotions that I couldn’t shake off no matter how hard I tried. I was stuck with my post-pandemic self reflected in the mirror, a stranger I couldn’t recognise getting swept off by change that was as uncomfortable as a new pair of shoes and dealing with failure and rejection that stung deeply to the core.
Sure, I lived through the drawn-out year that disappeared in a blink of an eye and I was amongst the lucky ones that did, but the truth is I wasn’t doing much living really. That had to change.
You don’t just wake up to a fixed life, nor do you just walk out of a slump unfazed. It’s not easy to rearrange your new bad habits or unhealthy lifestyle as you would a pile of messy clothes on a shelf but tidying up a life should not be left undone for too long – I know that much.
That’s the reason, I slipped under my duvet on a gloomy morning and began to write out my goals and intentions for 2022. I kept them straight to the point, realistic and purposeful.
As promised in my previous post, while I’ll be keeping some of my plans for the year locked up in my journal for my eyes and soul only, I thought I’d share some here with you. So, here is a little peek into my personal journal…
I guess I like to start with the pretty heavy stuff huh. Frankly, this could be an entire lengthy post of its own made up of all my confessions about the times I’ve single-handedly sabotaged myself. It’s like that feeling of betrayal you get when you accidentally bite your tongue or slam your finger in the door when you go to close it. Self-sabotage is like that; unexpected pain, but worse because it’s on purpose – for me at least.
I’ve stepped on my own foot so many times, stood in my own way and burned bridges that would take me right where I needed to be more times than I can count. Sometimes, it’s the fear of failure that grips me. Other times, it’s the idea of actually succeeding that freaks me out. At times, I overthink which way to go until the bridges laid before me collapse on their own.
My goal this year is to tackle this uncomfortable trait of mine throughout the year. It won’t be easy, nothing ever is. But I want to dive in headfirst and stop hindering myself from getting the things I want.
Practice Gratitude More Often.
Probably the easiest goal to achieve amongst the rest and that’s the very reason I did not hesitate to start.
It was impossible not to notice how much more negative and pessimistic I’ve been becoming over the years. My rosy outlook on life turned dark blue as days became weeks which turned into months and as seasons changed it was as though I got stuck in the coldest one.
I truly believe that when you stop being grateful for the little things in life, it gets harder to notice anything good at all.
I decided to practice gratitude intentionally in 2022. Every week I’ve begun writing down a gratitude list. It doesn’t matter if it will be made up of one thing that made me smile or a dozen. No matter how seemingly insignificant or tears-of-joy kind of special, I’ll be writing down the little big things that made me even an ounce of happy. As I shared with you a few days ago, I started a new Sunday series where I’ll be sharing my weekly Bitesize Wonders.
Go. Go. Get Out There.
I guess a global pandemic became a good excuse I used to stay hidden in my bubble. Am I avoiding a vicious virus? Or am I avoiding people? Maybe both.
The pandemic started the year after I graduated university, so I didn’t really get to meet new people much as a post-graduate. Working from home means I only get to meet my colleagues through chats and meetings had via Microsoft Teams. Yes, technology has advanced so much that it’s possible or even necessary to work from the comfort of one’s gaming chair, but really nothing beats the wholesomeness found in a face-to-face conversation.
I am still very close with my long-distance besties in Italy, and we still have a strong bond that has us talking almost every day and keeping up with each other’s lives. But part of adapting to life in a foreign country and feeling at home there is finding ‘your people’ in its people. I’m yet to find them here, but I’m not done searching.
Keep Up With Blogging.
To say I fell off the earth a few times last year would be absolutely accurate. I said sorry for ghosting you a few times, yet just as an unreliable ghost would, I disappeared some more, each time more apologetic than the last. I wasn’t keeping to a schedule or doing great with content planning either
In hindsight, I believe what I truly needed was a break from it all for a couple of months. Radio silence instead of attempting to do things I was not ready for. I should have fully accepted I was not in the right headspace to write. I wish I fully admitted to myself I was growing distant with my writing just as I was with myself.
It was rough but there were still many of you who showed up to every sporadic post and for that, I’m really always grateful. Plus we celebrated a whole three years together on this platform which was super special.
This year my goal is to publish a blog twice a week, every Thursday and Sunday, and on a bonus day whenever I’m more inspired. I’ve not been the best at scheduling content, but I’ll be working harder on that to deliver great honest pieces to you this year. It’s super early, but so far so good! Here’s to us meeting more often!
My relationship with reading is often either hot or freezing cold. When I get a hold of a book I can’t let go of, I escape into the world within until the last untouched paid. I get so attached it’s hard to come down from the high of a story well experienced and I then find myself in a limbo where I search for the next best book to follow. It’s in this stage I often struggle with finding another gem and I get lost on the hunt. If I don’t love my new pick immediately, I try to hold out for as long as I can rather than letting a boring book gather dust on the shelf.
I’ve been reading more since my sister got me a Kindle as a gift last year but there’s still so much room to grow.
It’s the perfect way to slow down and enjoy a moment for what it is. Candles lit, a cup of tea and a fun book is one way to relax after a busy day.
My goal is to read at the very least a book a month and five more as a bonus if I reach what I’ve initially set out to do. It would be more than I’ve read any year so I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ve started with The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood and that has been an easy read so far. Also, a few days ago I added over twenty others to my reading list to help with my selection process once I’m done. I’ll keep you posted through book reviews, so if it all goes well expect one every month!
Make Boss Moves Towards The Dream Career.
I’m certainly at that place in my life where I’m ready for the next career move. I’ve been working from home for nearly a year now which has been comfortable in many ways.
I get to roll out of bed and head into the toilet whilst my computer boots up. I get out of my pj’s to get into the ‘work mode’ I don’t feel and as I load up pages on the internet, I eat my breakfast at my desk. When 8 o’clock strikes, it’s officially go time; my voice gets more serious, eyes focused on the blue lights escaping my screen, and my fingers are ready to punch the keyboard endlessly in a familiar routine.
I need more now. I’m craving more. A bit more movement; perhaps, a trip to an office and unexpected scenarios to shake up my days. I’ve already begun the very long-winded process of LinkedIn opportunities, cover letter crafting and anxious hoping. Wish me luck!
Plans and intentions are just that though: plans and intentions. The scary and often hard part is the doing and putting intentions into practice. If not acted upon, they just stay goals forever and that’s why I disliked the idea of new year resolutions. They can either become an initial sketch of the things you achieve, or they can be a reflection of your setbacks and failures.
I don’t know what this year will look like or who I’ll be by the end of it – none of us do. With where I am now and the current state of the world still, I know better than to have unrealistic expectations of what the year will be, but I cannot wait to continue sharing my days with you here.
I hope you spend your year living and not merely existing.
Sending love your way!
Your restless romantic roamer