Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 | Looking Ahead

I am - and have always been - bad at updating people with changes in my life. Whether as the result of a mom who's more than happy to share my news for me or because I dislike pontificating on my own life, I tend to assume the people who want to know what's going on in my life will somehow magically find out on their own without needing to hear it from my own lips. The same is true of my online spaces. Aside from my monthly write-ups, I tend to zero in on the small moments and forget to include the big picture changes. And so, while my recent life changes have been at the forefront of my own mind the past month, I realised recently that I've never explicitly said what has happened.

So, to condense the last few weeks of my life into a single sentence: I accepted a job offer to work for a nonprofit in Washington D.C. and moved to D.C. (or just outside D.C. to be exact) again.

And as my professional life brings changes to my personal way of living, so also do recent life changes affect the way I use this online space. Having an online space to document life was such a comfort during 2017 when my life felt like it was in metaphorical shambles at any given moment, and it was helpful to have a consistent place available to put effort towards. And while having a full-time job will not change the fact that it's nice to have a space created for me by me, it also means I have something more important to focus my time and effort towards so this blog may, from time to time, fall by the wayside.

And more so than just how often I write is a change in how I want to write. Reading back through older posts, I've noticed that the majority of my writing feels structured rather than free-flowing; most of my posts fall into continuing categories rather than functioning as free-standing pieces, and very few of them read as casual verbosities despite very chatty types of posts being my favorites to read when written by others. So for 2018, I'm letting myself off the polished, gleaming hook. I'm giving myself the option of publishing posts with no overarching theme attached, be it a 1000 word storm or one photo with a few sentences underneath. I want it to feel more like a journal and less like a highlights roll, and with 2018 being the beginning of so many new ventures, it seems like the perfect place to start.

As always, I'm finishing this welcoming in of the year by including some goals for 2018 and how I will accomplish them:
  • consciously live in the presence of God // Make time daily to spend reading the Bible and keep prayer at the forefront of my mind.
  • settle into D.C. // It's unclear how this one will manifest, but I'm hoping to make D.C. feel like home by the end of the year.
  • be more mindful of my environmental impact // Continue using reusable bags when grocery shopping, ride public transportation whenever possible, use "for here" cups at coffee shops, buy clothing from secondhand stores.
  • eat more meat-free meals // I dislike cooking meat so this should be easy. If anyone has any good and easy vegetarian recipes, send them my way!
  • budget budget budget // I'm about to go Excel crazy on this one.
  • save for international travel // I spent 6 months in Europe but there are still plenty of places I haven't yet visited. I'm planning for 2019, so I can accrue some vacation days and save some money each month in the meantime.
  • finish Agatha Christie's Hercules Poirot series + start working through Terry Pratchett's Discworld series // self explanatory
  • stop buying books until I read more of the books that I own // For every one book I buy, I must read three of the unread ones on my shelf.
  • Dig deeper into the books I read, and stop reading books I'm not enjoying // I have a hard time putting down books I dislike, especially if I know it's one lots of people have read.
  • be more conscious of sugar consumption // Actively read the ingredients list to buy things that don't have added sugars (Even regular marinara sauce has sugar in it!).
  • continue expanding writing portfolio + pitch several freelance pieces // Though I have a fulltime job now, I still want to expand my writing horizons and take on different ideas. I already have three pitches / collabs in the works already!
  • finish Buffy the Vampire Slayer // Yes, it's on the list again. I'm halfway through season five though, so I'm nearly done!

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