What is a more obnoxious and blasé way to kick off this shiny new variety blog than to talk about 2015 New Year’s Resolutions! Some people might argue that it’s a little stale to discuss new year’s resolutions, but I think it’s important to re-evaluate and re-form goals on a regular basis. What is a better time to re-assess goals than when a new year rolls around? Furthermore, I tend to feel super unproductive during the winter, so it’s especially helpful for me to formulate a plan of action during these damp and dreary months. It lights a fire under my ass and allows me to look forward to something besides oppressively cold and cloudy days.
I am proud of myself for considering my resolutions only nineteen days into the new year instead of holding off until March or April. That’s usually more my style–waiting to do something until after it is irrelevant and no one cares anymore.
Procrastinating is a way of life. I’m trying to break the habit. It’s harder than quitting nicotine. Which I’m still putting off. I continuously tell myself, “You’ll know when it’s time to quit.” What does that even mean? Wishful thinking? Ridiculous addict logic? Yeah. But anyway, I digress.
My New Year’s resolutions lists are usually long, maybe ten or more goals. Some are smaller ideas and simply meant to be a friendly tap on the shoulder to remind myself of little things. Some are more complicated and help me gauge hugely important ambitions and problems. This year, I’m keeping it short and sweet and manageable.
1. Save Money
This is one of the most difficult things I have ever tried to learn. Notice I said “tried.” This skill continues to elude me. I’m certainly not irresponsible with my money, and it’s been much easier to budget since leaving the city and living rent-free in my parents’ house. However, because I have maintained my full time employment status and no longer have that monthly rent payment, I have all this extra cash, which has opened a world of possibilities for spending said cash. All of a sudden, I can afford to buy a DSLR camera. And I did. I have extra money to fly out to Salt Lake City and visit my BFF in Wyoming. And I did. I can afford to buy tickets to a three-day music festival that I would have never dreamed of affording when I lived on my own. But I bought the tickets. You get the idea.
I eat out a lot less than when I lived on my own, but I went a little crazy buying luxury items that I’ve never been able to afford. Also, my car is getting older and needed several repairs. Owning a car is a blessing and a curse. One of the things I miss most about living in a city is that I don’t have to rely on a car.
But, I want and need to save money. Perhaps now that the novelty of living rent-free has worn off, it will be easier to focus on larger goals and putting money away. I have started to save more. Using my banking apps (especially mobile deposit and Venmo) and taking money out of my checking account immediately are two strategies that have been helpful so far. Now it’s just a matter of maintaining that pattern.
2. Quit My Job
This is the main driving forces behind bulking up my savings.
I have never desired to quit my job as intensely as I do now. I know we all have days in which we sulk around and grumble about our jobs. That’s life. But, I don’t know how much longer I can maintain. I am bored, miserable, unfulfilled, uninspired. I feel trapped. I pace around my office like a caged animal, frantically dreaming up ways to escape a fruitless 9-to-5 life in a town that has proven to be shockingly small-minded and racist.
I do get health insurance and the pay isn’t that bad considering how easy the job is. At the very least, I am grateful to have that. Unemployment can be awful.
I don’t know what exactly will happen when (and if) I do leave. All I know is that I am wildly unhappy most of the time. If I am responsible and formulate some kind of plan, I think it’s going to possible to move on.
When I consider the prospect of quitting my job and then inevitably recite the reasons I stay (fear, mostly), I try to remind myself of that poem by Shel Silverstein titled “Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda”
All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ in the sun,
Talkin’ ’bout the things
They woulda-coulda-shoulda done…
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little did.
Preach! I’m in my twenties and I have no major obligations (a spouse, children, a house). If I were to die a year from now, I do not want to have been here dying of boredom and twiddling my thumbs during these precious few moments on Earth.
3. Travel and Do Seasonal/Temporary Work
My plan is to use my savings (if I can manage it) to get from here to the next place. Hopefully when I get to this “next place,” my savings will remain steady because I want to get seasonal or temporary work wherever I end up. It doesn’t matter what kind of work, as long as it’s something.
I have two places in mind that I want to travel to and stay for an extended period:
New Orleans, LA
At the end of each excursion, I’ll come back to my home base. I am an East Coaster through and through, and always will be. I am so eternally grateful that I have the wonderful home base that I do. I love living with my parents, I love my friends and I love my hometown.
I don’t want to be a Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda. That is legitimately my greatest fear–making every decision to do or, more often, not do something based solely on fear and then grow old and full of regrets for all the things I decided not to do because “oh my god, what if?”
4. Write More
Hey look! I’m doing that now! I am writing and putting it out there!
I want to write editorials. I want to write fiction. I want to write and make film. Writing is the only thing I have ever known for sure that I wanted and needed. And, I like to think I have things to say.
I’ve finally managed to pull myself out of a hole of fear and depression that I was living in for the past couple years. The hole was so dark and oppressive, I couldn’t even fathom working on a writing project or any other creative endeavor. I lived in silence and stagnation. I feel as though I’m liberated from that oppression and frothing with ideas. Some of them are good, and a lot of them are definitely not good. But, regardless, it’s happening and that’s good enough.
The hard part now is to have the discipline to do it steadily. Discipline and consistency are fucking toilsome traits to learn.
5. Quit Smoking
I added this one last minute.
I don’t want to sound crazy, but I’m feeling pretty optimistic about 2015. Maybe it’s me getting high off the idea of quitting my job. I’ll take it!
What do your resolutions for 2015 look like? Do you have any resolutions that you’ve persistently had for several years that you can’t seem to accomplish or for which you need the frequent reminder?