I don’t necessarily believe in new year’s resolutions. The concept has developed a negative connotation in my head overtime. I find it’s often associated with a sense of shame in some way, whether it’s feeling shameful for a behavior you want to rectify or getting upset with yourself for failing to stick to your resolution. If it’s helpful for you to make a resolution, by all means, please do. I think I’m hard enough on myself without decisively saying I’m going to “firmly decide to do or not to do something” as is the definition of a resolution. I don’t want to kick off the year by disappointing or frustrating myself.
All this to say, I do have two goals I aim to be intentional about in 2020. They’re important to me on their own, but I also think that they’re intertwined in a subtle way, like two vines on the same lattice that just barely touch.
Intention #1: Do More Things
Going out in the world – attending events, exploring new places, even just trying different restaurants – can be hard for me sometimes. The last year has been very intense for me as it held a series of major transitions: working full time, graduating, moving and getting married. Although none of those things are particularly negative, experiencing them all in a short period of turned out to be too much (who let me plan my life that way?). I very often felt overwhelmed. When I wasn’t at work, I tended to hole up in my house among the comforts of video games and TV shows. Coping with these changes, compounded with the social anxiety I’ve dealt with for years, did not make for the most outgoing of behaviors.
In 2020, I aim to get out into the world more, for both my personal and professional well-being. I want to attend more events to build my skills as a marketing professional and expand my network overall. I also want to spend more time not at my house in order to develop a better sense of belonging to the Indianapolis community. I spent my college career getting to know a handful of individuals at IUPUI, and when I graduated, I lost that little bubble. It’s taken me some time to get used to the concept of being apart from that, but I am ready now to start cultivating new relationships as an adult and young professional in this city.
Intention #2: Write More Things
I want to use 2020 as a time to regroup and refocus regarding my creative writing. I have been writing fictional stories since I was in elementary school, and I’ve wanted to be an author almost as long. I wrote a ton throughout middle and high school, but largely stopped once I got to college. Not only was I already writing for classes all the time and thus draining my mental capacity to write creatively, but I’ve also found that my liberal arts classes made me overly critical of my writing.
It’s two very different things, to say you want to write more and then to know what you want to write about. That’s the biggest reason that I haven’t produced more content, because I’ve struggled to find a concept that felt worthy of an eventual novel.
Sometimes, I come across a really awful book and I think, “Well, that didn’t stop this guy and his book still got published.”
I realize, now, that these negative thoughts are just excuses to stall and not put anything down on (virtual) paper. So, in 2020 I plan to carve out time to write more creatively and let thoughts flow rather than trying to format everything into a perfect concept for a publishable book.
These two intentions are connected because it’s much easier to create characters, settings and plots as I discover new facets of the world to incorporate into these concepts. I also write best in spaces that feel peaceful, such as outdoor gardens or quiet coffee shops, and my explorations may help me discover additional spaces that spur my inner creative.
Those are my two biggest intentions as I go into the new year, and I am excited to see what becomes of them over the next twelve months. If you have any tips for me regarding either of above, I’m all ears!