Goals for the next year.
I'm a list maker. It's what I do, it's how I get things in order. So I am no stranger to lists of goals. I have hundreds of them around my room, all from different points in my life. Most of them not completed. I've stopped beating myself up about incomplete goals, because fortunately I seem to have enough life left to spend time figuring things out. So here's a new list, and if I don't do most of the things on this, that's okay.
1) Stop giving other people so much power over me.
I am terrible for this, while I openly admit I'm not a fan of people as a whole, I tend to give individuals as well as the collective society a great deal of power in regards to my emotions and how I view myself. I am not alone in this, it is the reason the cosmetics industry is so successful, it is in our nature as humans, more specifically people of the media age, to seek approval and try to resemble the characters who have been placed on pedestals by the media. I can't even begin to explain the nonsense I have put myself through trying to be "good enough." Fortunately, I am slowly coming to terms with the truth, the truth that those images are complete bullshit and no one is as one-sided as they seem. So my hope is that I can continue to remember that we are all complex characters, and as complex characters we are entitled to our faults and idiosyncrasies. I am no exception to this.
2) Fight anxiety before it becomes stress.
Anyone who knows me knows that I get overwhelmed quite easily. Lights, sounds, images and people all distract me and make concentrating almost impossible. As a result I usually procrastinate things that I have to get done because concentration takes so much effort on my part. This leads to last minute flurries of work and huge amounts of stress. I also get anxious when I don't know exactly what is happening, so while I do everything last minute, not knowing ahead of time what to expect during events and nights out makes me physically ill. All of this anxiety leads to one thing, tears. I'm not an emotional person in the conventional sense, but if I'm stressed or angry or uncomfortable, my first reaction is to hide and my second is to cry. So if you find me in a corner all red eyed and puffy faced, it's usually not because I'm sad, it's because I'm trying not to strangle someone.
3) Stop trying to figure everything out.
As I said above I hate not knowing what is going on. This means I spend hours making maps and plans for my life. Researching every detail, trying to prepare myself for every outcome, trying to know as much as I can about what I'm getting into. Every time I change career paths I become obsessed with knowing what I need to do and how to get there. This would probably seem like a good thing to others, but for me it has become a way to avoid anything in my present life that may not be the way I want it. For example, right now I am desperate to move out. It's nothing against my parents, they're lovely, but after living on my own last year I desperately miss the independence, however little it may have been. I crave silence and my own space, but financially (and logically) it makes more sense for me to live at home until I'm done this degree. Then comes the future. My new plan is to move to Vancouver, get a job at a publishing house and live in an apartment alone. I know where I want to live, how much it costs and what I need to do to make it possible. But I have done nothing to make it happen (saving money for example). Instead of just saving money to see what happens I fantasize and ignore the things I could do immediately to make life better. Drives me insane.
4) Stop giving power to the things that have ruined me.
Maybe it's the Demi Lovato I'm listening to (no judgement guys), but in the spirit of openness I can admit that I have spent the last 10 years fighting some not uncommon demons. The kind that convince a person that he/she is ridden with faults and unworthy of having certain basic needs fulfilled. It's messy and complicated and ruins everything that once seemed good. It sucks the life out of everything and everyone. I've been fortunate enough to have supportive people in my life who help the battle but I know I am the one who has to make things happen. I also know that others have had it way worse. But while I am thankful that I have been spared the full extent of what can happen, I have still given 10 years of my life to something that only makes life harder than it should be. In the last few years I've taken the time to better understand the complexities and although I am on a path to recovery, my relapses are still far too damaging. Summer is a scary time for me because history has shown me that summer is when things go down hill, but I need to take advantage of my resources and friends. I have a hell of a lot of life to live and handing it over to illness is no longer an option.
5) Accept it.
I am not good in social settings, I am not good at talking when I'm nervous, I am not good at giving myself enough credit. These are all things I need to accept before I can change. But I also need to accept the praise and compliments I receive from others. I need to accept that in some way things will work themselves out and while what I do may affect this outcome, there are some things I cannot control. I need to accept that I probably won't ever be a cool, calm and collected person, and the more pressure I put on myself to be someone I'm not, the further I am for being comfortable. I need to accept that I'm not always in control of how other people see me. More importantly I need to understand that if I don't do the things that scare me I won't get anywhere. I have to accept that I'm going to get hurt, but that resilience is a wonderful thing, and no one has died from a broken heart.
This feels like an appropriate time to say fuck the haters, but that's not really my style so instead I'll say; May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favour.