What good are goals if we don't revisit them to see how we measure up once in a while? I make a list every year, take my objectives to heart, then intentionally don't look at the list again until the end of the year. After taking a look at my list from last year, I thought long and hard about how I did. I did overwhelmingly "okay."
I think I did a pretty great job of this in 2015, especially with my phone. It really does sound silly but I've been intentional about the art I'm creating, even if it's just an Instagram. I've been teaching myself to look for the inspiration, creativity, and beauty around me instead of trying to curate the "perfect life." Taking more pictures has helped me appreciate this.
Appreciate moments without capturing them.
I said it when I first made the list, I'll say it again: yes, this goes against my last point. But hear me out: it doesn't. Once again, it comes down to intent. I've been a little more guarded about what I share online and that's help me curb the need to constantly be connected and sharing. Social media does that to us, I guess? I'm going to continue to find the perfect balance here. I personally think I was too trigger-happy (with my camera/iPhone/Instax) on my wedding and honeymoon. I'm glad I have pictures, but it would have been nice to disconnect just a little more.
I did a horrible job of this in the first half of the year. The second half was still filled with a lot of misanthropic tendencies but I'm feeling myself embrace my old ideals of compassion again. I've gotten really hardened. Out of everything on my list, this one was the biggest fail. I'm slowly coming back to center though. It's not easy but I feel a lot better when I'm feeling some loving vibes.
Advance in my career.
Ever heard of The Monkey's Paw? This was both an accomplishment and a failure. I did it, I got promoted (I think?) to writer but at the same time, I did not know what I was in for. I've been lucky enough to be kinda "naturally" good at everything I've tried my hand at. I'm not bragging, it could just have easily been because I've only picked the fights I knew I would win. (Get where I'm going here?) I was way over my head when I started my new job and I still doubt every single day if I'm really cut out for it. It's okay though. I know it's not forever and it's been such a humbling experience. It's also taught me a lot about things like working under intense deadlines, being flexible, and "killing my darlings." (A saying all writers should know, often misattributed but said by Arthur Quiller-Couch.) Lesson learned? Local TV news writing isn't my cup of tea but now I have cool experience to add to my resume.
Reading has helped me fall in love with writing when I feel kinda discouraged about or even kinda hate writing. (If you've ever watched local TV news, you'll understand why I say this.) I've read books I wouldn't normally think of reading, such as "Americanah" (I usually don't read such "new" books) and even a few graphic novels! ("Persepolis" being a favorite.)
I wish this one was as easy as "take more pictures" or "read" but it really is a work in progress. This year has been rough. I'm working almost exclusively overnights, which means this lingering sleep debt follows me everywhere. It was full of a lot of hardships: death, financial woes, the dissolution of a LOT of friendships... but I made it out. I'm stronger. I just need to find my "tenderness" again.
To be honest, this year really challenged me. It tore me down. It chewed me up. It spit me out. I had some high, highs but a lot of low, low, lows. I traveled, and that was wonderful. I had some moral dilemmas. That wasn't so wonderful. I grew. A LOT. I fell in love. I fell out of love. I made some stupid decisions, I made some brilliant moves. Overall, I don't think I'll hold 2015 in high regard. I'll remember how much most of it sucked but I'll cherish some shining moments. Some I hold very close to my heart. Others I wish I could forget. I'll force myself to stop romanticizing the things I don't need to and to try to remember fondly for people who have hurt me.
Here's to 2015 being OVER. I'll be thinking about my list for 2016. How about you guys? Did your resolutions make it past February?
*Photo by Danielle Conyers.