Authors Note: This is my third attempt at this post, Squarepace and Safari keep conspiring to eat it. However, in the spirit of this post, which I want to write, I'm persevering. So, if things don't make sense it's because I tried to recreate writing and I didn't have a backup. Also, this time I wrote it out in Pages and pasted it here, because fool me once ...
I’m not one who loves the “New Year’s Industrial Complex”. I don’t like crowds, champagne, loud parties or resolutions, which for me makes the whole December 31/January 1 transition not my favorite time of the year. However, I am human so despite my understanding of how a person sets good goals, I’m always pulled in by a good blogger, with a good handle on how to photoshop words onto a poster and a great selection of hand-drawn typefaces. So this year after having the idea rolling around for a while, I decided to identify a my word for the year.
I was first introduced to the concept from Cassie at Back to Her Roots. In 2015 she identified her word as “fearless” and the way she intended to use this idea in hear life was quite fearless and inspired. As I thought about what word would best encapsulate the way I wanted to conduct myself this year I kept coming back to two words, WANT and ACTION.
While ACTION is a typical inspirational word, WANT is a bit more out of left field, however for me it is an important in keeping me down the path I started down in 2015.
In order to understand my words, you need to know a little bit more about me. As a child my mother said, and still would probably agree, that I was one who got in trouble for inaction, rather than action. I didn’t get in trouble for drawing on the walls, I got in trouble for “forgetting” about a school report until the night before its was due and I needed to have spent my weekend observing birds at the feeder. In high school, the closest I got to getting in big, big trouble was not for sneaking out to a party, but when I didn’t check in when I took the car (with permission) to Girl Guide/Boy Scout camp and it was my first long, solo drive and the deal was I could do it as long as I let my mom know that I got there safe. In the years since then I’ve developed a habit of “forgetting” things until it was too late to make them happen, like application deadlines.
Hand in hand with that was a generally sense of apathy about the fact that I didn’t get what I wanted. This was likely due to my general inaction. Rather than realizing that I could get what I wanted if I advocated for myself and made it happen, I decided to not really WANT things, and accept what I was able to get.
Unhappiness happens when expectations don’t match reality, so in my case I generally decided to manage my expectations rather than trying to change my reality.
However, nearly two years ago I was working a dead end job. The details aren’t important, but my family helped me realize that I needed to do better for myself. I managed to fall into another not-right job and left that just before my 30th birthday. I decided that rather than managing my expectations down, I WANTED better and I was going to better. By last spring I was making things happen for me. I managed to get a job, still part time but in the field I did my Graduate Studies in, just by being persistent and making it happen.
When my current position was presented to me in May, I went for it. Finding meaningful work, that utilized in all the skills I’ve accumulated over the years, was something I WANTED, and while the opportunity could have slipped through my fingers by “forgetting” to send a resume, something I had done before. Instead I took ACTION, I sent the resume, and made the call, and went for the interview and somehow ended up having the most amazing summer and finding my way into a field that sometimes seems tailor-made for my interests and skills.
So the best thing to happen to me in years happened because I WANTED something better in my career and I took ACTION. So I want to carry these words formally into the new year and bring this positivity into the rest of my life.
So how I’m planning on brining these words to life are a follows:
- I am going to be honest with myself with what I WANT. After so many years of not wanting anything in order to protect myself from sadness I’m very out of touch about wanting. So I want to actively look into my wants and pour through them and admit them to myself and document them.
- I am going to be open about my WANTs and share them with the people in my life. Unless I’m able share my wants with those I love, and who love me, I am never going to make them happen. By sharing what I want they can help me make a plan to get there. Also, by sharing with them I make myself accountable to them to make it happen.
- I am going to take ACTION on the things I WANT. I know this seems obvious, but I know that without this step, I will be behaving like I did in my mid-20s, starting to WANT, not getting it, and then giving up.
- I am going to persevere when the ACTION is tough to get me to my WANT. As someone who “forgets” or readjusts my expectations when things get tough, I want to be the person who is able to get back on track and get to where I want to to go. So I am not going to let this be another thing I wanted to do, but couldn't quite get done.
I think this is the best approach I’ve ever made at the new year. The year ahead looks bright, I have a job I love, co-workers I adore, a nephew who makes me experience a new kind of love I haven't felt before, a family who supports me and is so excited for me. I’ve never had a better chance making me happy in a way that I know is possible.
Here's to 2016, may it be as good for you as I plan on it being for me.
I plan to make some images to go along with this post, however I didn't want to hold up saying these things for some magical images I don't really know how to make, so I'm putting this out there and I may come back and share some more later.