I must say, it was absolutely spectacular. The venue was gorgeous and decadent and the businesses there were fantastic. I’d never been to such a big PR event before so I didn’t quite know what to expect but…
Okay firstly, I’m coming up to a year of blogging and I can’t believe it. It’s been such a brilliant year for me and I have done more awesome things as a result. That kinda changed recently when I hit some kind of mental wall. Since that week, I’ve struggled to think. I’ve also cut myself off from the interesting things I do.
I am usually so driven. Anyone who knows me can tell I’m never happy unless I am productive and busy. So when I hit a bump in the road like this, it really knocks me about. So this week I’ll just be a little more honest; with myself, and with you…
Let me set the scene. I am a 20-something who hasn’t been able to hold down a vegetarian diet for more than a week in her whole life. I decided as part of my 30 Goals before I turn 30 that I would try out a vegan month.
Many people wondered why, and I honestly wasn’t sure… I guess I am so set in my ways that I hoped it would make me less scared of trying new things, and also prove to myself that I have willpower!
Here are a few tips on how to prepare for a Vegan month!
For some time now, I had been looking forward to being a bridesmaid for one of my best friends. We first got asked over a year ago, and since then the excitement has been growing towards her special day. With the hen do weekend over, we knew it was almost here! The wedding was to be held at the beautiful Saxon Mill, and we were all buzzing!
Last weekend I experienced my first ever Bristol Hen Weekend! One of my good friends is getting married in July (for which I have bridesmaid duties!) and this weekend was her send-off. It was an awesome experience and one I’ll never forget. It was completely different to anything I’ve ever done…
I decided as it’s my birthday, I should work out 30 goals to complete before I turn 30! It’s not actually that long before I turn 30 so this is going to be far from a bucket list for me – it will be more achievable things!
I have 2 years to complete this list and so there’s not likely to be any sky-diving or travelling around Africa on this list… So here goes!
1. Go to Iceland (and hopefully see the Northern Lights!)
2. Visit Disneyland
3. Eat at a Michelin star restaurant
4. Go on a road trip somewhere new (where I am the driver)
5. Visit a waxwork museum
6. Go camping in the middle of nowhere and watch the sunset and sunrise
7. Do a research project to find out about 30 cultures and countries I know nothing about
8. Meet someone I really admire in person – DONE
9. Be a bridesmaid – DONE
10. Try to get some zen trying out some mindfulness hobbies
11. Make a physical photo album of the best parts of my life all in one place!
12. Gain as much astronomical info as possible from stargazing
Capturing the Creative Spark
13. Photograph animals in the wild
14. Attend a class to learn a new skill
16. Complete 2 years of blogging!
17. Complete an art project (similar to those I did at A-Level)
18. Go to see a play at the RSC and review it – DONE
19. Go vegan for 1 month! – DONE!
20. Sell something I have created myself
21. Take steps to get over one of my (many) irrational fears – DONE
22. Spend a month as tech-free as possible (work time unavoidable!)
23. Volunteer somewhere for at least 30 days
24. Complete a huge jigsaw puzzle – DONE
Just for Fun!
25. Try at least 30 new foods (including some scary ones!)
27. See a play in London and stay overnight
29. Attend a festival (music, food or otherwise) – I’ve not done this for too long!
30. See in my 30th birthday in style!
So these are my 30 Goals!
I think these are do-able. They will make me push myself more but I don’t think they’ll stress me out too much trying to complete them!
What do you think? Can you recommend any ways to help me make sure I do this right?
Ready, set, GO!
I can’t believe how fast these 6 months have gone… This been a big success so far for me but I’ve still got a long way to go with it. So here are some of the reasons why I’d consider these blogging successes, why it was a great choice for me, and why I’d encourage you all to do the same!
Broadening my horizons
Starting this blog means I now look at everything with a bit more active thought. I plan better and somehow I see things more clearly than before. By actively trying my best to find content, I am also making sure I don’t waste a single opportunity. Sunrise Horizon Image above by the talented Mr Schild.
Finding my voice
We all use different voices when we speak to one another and I wrote a post previously about my online voice. I didn’t want to change myself based on my perceived readership and I am glad that I’ve been able to stick with my roots but also get more in tune with my writing style!
I can do Science, me!
I’ve had a love for Astronomy and Science in general for a long time, but since school, it’s been put on the back-burner to my other hobbies (mainly sleeping). Blogging means I have to research key concepts in order to blog about them. I also love English Lit/writing so… it’s an obvious choice!
I don’t have to compartmentalise or restructure my thoughts to fit into a Facebook post. I have a big mouth and a lot to say! With blogging, I can say exactly what I feel and not have to edit myself too much. (Although to be honest, I am at an awful disadvantage to Facebook in that I need it to get my posts to you!)
Learning to adapt
I am a little neurotic, very hectic and lack focus most of the time! Since I began to log my thoughts I’ve learnt to structure my life and I’ve never been more creative in such a short time! Now to take my creativity to new levels and adapting myself more to fill my time with learning new things!
Improving my Photography Skills
When I go anywhere now, I am always thinking of the best composition for the photos I take. No more “family photo” pictures on holidays and trips – I am trying to capture what’s interesting to the eye and it’s driving me to improve my skills!
Remembering the good times
I often don’t remember all the amazing things that I’ve done – I am always waiting for the next big thing. By blogging my thoughts and logging my experiences it means I get to look back on all the fun things I do and realise how lucky I am to have done them!
So here’s to another 6 months of blogging successes! I’ve got a lot of things to improve on but I am getting there. I’ll just continue to be open-minded, open-hearted and keep striving to achieve new things!
I am starting to notice a pattern between myself and some of my peers that I feel might be applicable to a lot of us in the 24-29-year-old bracket. We grew up during the dawn of daily internet connection becoming a household thing. (Insert nostalgic comment about the frustrations of dial-up here!) As our minds grew, so too did the ways we could connect with our friends and I wanted to explore this a little.
MINI DISCLAIMER: This is no way reflective of the people I met online and our internet friendships. Some of those are the closest I have and I hope it’s evident that it’s not the aim of my writing to discredit these friendships in any way. This may apply to other age groups too, however, I am writing from my experience.
So what does this mean?
Through text message, AOL, MSN messenger (RIP) and so many other mediums we could get a person to answer any message at any time. A fluid and consistent influx of messages from huge amounts of tenuously linked internet friendships. It made us feel safe in the knowledge that our ‘friends’ were always right there in our lives when we needed to call upon them.
We, in this age group, are now experiencing our first look at REAL adulthood. I’m not talking about University where you think you’re an adult because you don’t live in your parents’ house but you have a huge amount of hours to kill. I mean the ironed-shirt-wearing, thinking about the ‘next step’, “holy effing S this is scary!” beginning of adulthood.
We get less and less free time and yet we still feel we need to preserve those connections with others. Many of us try to maintain those ever-present online attachments we could always control to fill that gap. We reach out through meaningless likes and narcissistic “look what I am doing” posts to maintain those bitterly dying relationships.
What does this mean for me?
I didn’t realise this but I felt anxious following this need for a response. When people read and don’t reply there is sometimes a niggling feeling that there was something I’d done to cause it. I shared this feeling with a number of my peers who told me they felt almost a compulsion to keep these online connections going even when they were destructive to their “real-life” relationships.
This compulsion meant that I never really spent time concentrating on the people who were actually present. I was always trying to keep these ties with people that just couldn’t make the time to spend with me in person.
So what did I do about it?
In 2015/16, I got so low that I decided I had to do something about it. I cut myself off from tech and tried to refocus my energy on people and things that really mattered. It helped me to live a little more in the moment and sever those fragile ties between myself and the idea of extended ‘friendship’.
I kicked these feelings by having tech free days, having a phone/internet ban on nights out, and sometimes just taking a step back and questioning why I really feel this way and whether I’m being too sensitive. Now I feel I have a close few who deserve my full time and energy and my network of casual friends whom I have a history with.
It’s fine to not maintain closeness to everyone you used to be close to. It’s not even about changing as people don’t really change all that much, they just get different priorities. But that’s okay!
I’d love to know, Reader, if you also feel this way sometimes?
Does this affect you?
Further reading: The Challenge of Cyber Culture which, amongst other things discusses the psyches of children of the digital age.
We all see the same stories repeated on our news feeds and Facebook memories. We start out with the best intentions for our New Years Resolutions and then somewhere along the way it just slips and we end up in old habits.
Lose weight. Make more effort. Try not to cry over pictures of puppies. I gave myself 15 (!) resolutions in 2016 and so many I’ve not managed to do. I think it’s because they’re either really negative, they lack focus or they are just unrealistic! We need to express ourselves, we need to become hermits once in a while.
In January of 2016, I gave myself some goals, some of which I haven’t managed but, that’s life. So now I’m going to review them, revise them and add a few more… (maybe discard 10 of them too but shhh… it just wasn’t meant to be.)
1. Lose Weight
The very nature of this command is that it’s centred around weight loss and not around the ways to improve myself. So I’m going to change this one to “Be more conscious of myself, my body, the things I do to my body and general health.” I think this encompasses my new goals which include ensuring I look after my skin and hair (which has gone to total crap over the past year.)
2. Brush up on my German.
Okay… It lasted all of a month and then I gave up. I lacked focus on this one and although I visited Switzerland and there were many people who spoke German I relied on my bilingual friend a lot. I didn’t want to seem silly or say the wrong thing and that made me just recoil into the safety of English. I think what I should do is “Gain confidence in speaking in basic languages for countries I intend to visit.”
3. Pay off my credit card
This one I probably should do… But again it doesn’t address the root of the issue, which is that I am TERRIBLE with money. So perhaps this year I’ll focus on ensuring I “Set goals for money and be more conscious of myself as a consumer.” I am particularly wasteful and tend to buy cheap mass produced items which I don’t see value in. I hope by being more conscious as a consumer I will make the right choices – cruelty-free, handmade, pre-loved etc.
4. Progress to the next stage of my career
Who can say where they’re supposed to be and at what age? In terms of progression in work, I’ve come quite far this year – managing my own projects and taking on new things. With the prospect of trips abroad and learning how to drive I feel like this is going in the right direction so just more of the same!
5. Be more creative
Vague, much? I think this year it’ll have to be “Focus on enhancing my drawing skills, be more confident about posting artwork on my Instagram, and write regular reflective blog posts.” I decided last year to write a blog and it never happened. I lacked direction and drive but this year, I’m reading up on techniques and I’m hoping to write a lot more artwork/fiction/reviews/creative writings and not be afraid to publish them!
I hope that these are more positive goals for 2017!
What are your New Years Resolutions? Did you manage to keep any this year?
Until next time,