Hello! It’s been a while. I’ve not been all that good at keeping up regular blogging the past year, have I? I thought I’d ring in the New Year with a post about what I want to achieve in 2016, and why. Happily the title of this blog, Amy’s Adventures, is ambiguous enough that I can write about whatever adventures I want, travel related or not, right? In fact it’s my blog, I can do whatever I want either way. Sue me!
I’ve been thinking recently, about a fairly universal truth for most of us mere mortals who don’t have the benefit of rich parents or lottery win style strokes of luck, and that is that nothing comes without hard work. If you want to truly achieve success in something, you have to put the hours in, so you sure as hell ought to love what you are doing. I seem to be strange in that I’ve thus far managed to put all of my time and energies into some pretty amazing achievements, which are frankly rather meaningless and dare I say useless to me. And yet, the things I really do feel passionate about, or that I know will be important in years to come, always seem to take a back burner.
I mean I’m pretty lazy, so maybe it’s just me needing more of a kick, but I’ve certainly ended up spending a large portion of my time, energy and emotional sanity over the past seven years on things I don’t enjoy, so why do I find it so hard to motivate myself to do the things I love?
When I set this blog up last year, I wanted to see what I could achieve when I really worked hard at something. I didn’t do that. I’m a bit of a collector of hobbies, I get awfully excited about something for a month or two then get bored when I don’t see quick progress, and this blog was no different. I posted regularly for all of a couple of months, then sporadically a handful of times since then.
2015 was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me too, to be honest. It was the year my stress and anxiety got so bad that I nearly had a total meltdown and for months I certainly forgot what it felt like to be happy or even close to relaxed. But it was also the year that I made the first genuine breakthrough I have made in several years, and was actually able to take control again. The past months have been so good, it’s felt like coming out of a fog. That’s not to say I don’t still have to battle those issues every day, which is unfortunately part and parcel with your worst enemy being your own brain, but it’s so much better now. I also began doing some really cool things, such as this blog and starting an Etsy shop with my friend Laura, and I finally started feeling like a twenty something Londoner, not just a stressed out wreck.
One of the mind-blowingly important things I realised over the past couple of months (and so stupidly obvious that you’ll probably laugh at me for what I’m about to say), is that you can’t spend years forcing all of your energies into something that is stressful, exhausting and a long term (seemingly never-ending) commitment, without balancing it out with down time and relaxation. Especially when you suffer with anxiety to begin with. You will burn out, you will make yourself ill with every stress induced ailment going, and as it goes on you will eventually start having panic attacks with increasing regularity. Just call me Sherlock, now where is my medal!?
I’m being vague, of course, but anyone reading this who knows me will know exactly what I’m referring to. For me, relaxation doesn’t come easy. I’m not very good at sitting down and watching TV, playing games or sadly even reading a book anymore. A long-term side effect of spending years constantly beating myself up for not being productive enough. I’m working on it. Luckily, I can still feel like I’m being productive and relax at the same time, and that’s when I’m being creative.
And so with my newfound wisdom, here are my 2016 resolutions:
- Post a blog post every two weeks, and learn a thing or two about social media along the way. Because I want to prove to myself that I can, frankly. And with more free time on my hands than I’ve had in years currently, I’m hoping that it’s actually achievable this time.
- Produce better writing that I’m actually proud of. Because I’m not sure I’ve done that so far. And it’s good to be ambitious!
- Relax! Realise when I’m pushing myself too hard, and respond to it. I guess that means playing the first two goals by ear, but let’s see how it goes.
- Exercise (more) regularly. This one is a cliché I know but last year for the first time in my life I actually did start exercising regularly, and it was a revelation and a bit of a saviour for me at times. I’m enjoying doing something once or twice a week, so if I could make it three or four times, then all the better. It doesn’t have to be much or for long, but I’m always glad afterwards that I pushed myself to do it.
- Improve my photography. This one is my pure indulgence for the year (and beyond). I have two new cameras and I want to learn how to take awesome pictures with them. I’m going to be doing a yearlong photography challenge (because I do have the audacity to say I need to put less pressure on myself and then make a massive commitment all in one post, yes). Plus, I’m really interested in astrophotography and I’m going to be going to Iceland for two weeks in April. So I’m ridiculously excited at the amazing opportunity to shoot some stars and (I don’t even want to hope) possibly the Northern Lights… Watch this space.
Aaaand I think that’s enough to be getting on with, don’t you!? I’ll see how I get on over the year and at least now I’ve publicly declared it, I’ll have a bit more motivation to actually stick to it. Or at least that’s the theory…
Happy New Year!