I have a few things to say about New Year’s Resolution because for the past two weeks from Facebook to Twitter to Tumblr that’s about half of what I’ve been hearing about (the other half relates mostly to the new season of Sherlock which is a whole other batch of opinions) and I’m slowly losing my mind. I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions- maybe I’m just cynical, maybe its because my birthday falls so close to the new year- I just don’t see the point. Goals rock but no matter how you look at it a year is a long time and any goal you set that can be accomplished during that time is going to need a bunch of smaller goals to accomplish anyway.
At the end of the day I’m a fan of short-term goals. Suffering from anxiety sometimes means those goals are getting out of bed in ten minutes and facing my e-mail, but a lot of the time I have my “I’m a functioning adult” goals. For me, long-term goals are too overwhelming to really be useful. “Become a paid writer.” doesn’t do anything for me besides make me wish I was small enough to fit under my bed. “Make 3 blog posts this week.” and “Pitch 2 articles before Thursday” is a lot more attainable and satisfying when I actually accomplish it.
Everyone has long-term goals but the accomplishment of those goals doesn’t just magically spring into existence. Therein lies my problem with New Year’s Resolutions. Everyone has them and most of the time they involve Big Life Changes they expect to happen and then they get overwhelmed a month later when its not happening and they realize they don’t know where to start. Its not about what goals you have or how big those goals are its about how you can achieve them.
What are some of your big goals for the year? The decade (I’m turning 2-0 tomorrow so there’s a whole new decade of time to think about goal wise). How do you see yourself accomplishing them- by breaking it into steps or setting mini-goals?
My life since May has been one series of eye opening discoveries after another and have led me to decide to make a set of Big Life Changes. The biggest of which has been deciding to drop out of college to pursue writing (and reopen my Etsy shop). It’s the sort of decision that should be difficult and that you spend weeks agonizing over, only to have the answer come to you in one moment of absolute clarity. I knew it was the right decision for me simply because it was- I was miserable where I was, and I knew either the situation had to give or I did. My mother was (and still is) furious, my father only slightly less so, but every one single one of my peers said I was making the right call.
The reality of it is the people of my generation who have spent the majority of their lives in a post 9/11 world and many of whom who struggle to get fast food jobs know the reality. According to the Huffington Post only 6 in 10 Millennials have a job, and half of those jobs are part-time (link). Those aren’t good numbers- those aren’t even okay numbers. I’ve spent the past two years searching fruitlessly for the elusive summer jobs only to realize I’m not just going up against the age bracket that traditionally has those jobs, but also our parents and grandparents who can’t afford to retire and lost most if not everything they had when the economy tanked.
I got frustrated, I got angry, I went back to school because that’s what I was supposed to do. Making the decision to freelance wasn’t easy, especially since I have virtually no technical knowledge. I once lost a file trying to crop it. My major (and what I continue to study in my free time) was history and anthropology. I have a keen interest in literature, art, and design jewelry and tote bags. I have nearly a decade of theatre experience. Basically what I can write about isn’t necessarily what most people want to read about. As I’ve dived into the freelancing market over the past couple months and started writing poetry again I’ve realized that my niche isn’t going to come to me- I’m going to have to go to it. Which as far as I can tell involves spending a lot of time on sites that make me glad I have anti-virus sometimes.
Finding what my niche even is has been hard, but I’ve also been working on something I actually do have experience in- running a business. My time at college wasn’t entirely wasted as I learned how to handle a budget, both for myself and for various organizations I’ve been involved in, and has allowed me to hone my skills as an artist. Although I don’t really produce enough to consider jewelry design much more than a hobby, it is one I’m incredibly passionate about. I’ve also started to design tote bags which is a lot less time consuming and in a lot of ways easier. It gives my brain (and wrists) the break they need from writing, while still working on a potential income source.
I know it sounds like I’m obsessed with money, which probably isn’t the best way to impress you. I’m not- the past several months have been about trying to figure out what makes me happy and how I can pursue that without living in an actual cardboard box. Thus far its been a challenge, but one I think I can meet, even if it does cause the occasional panic attack.