2018: Living Out Loud. On Paper and Off.

Looking back on 2017, this year is going down in history as the year I got fined for forgetting to place quarters in parking meters and other careless acts. Just kidding. In all honesty, though, now that the year is over, it’s time to let go and look forward to what’s ahead. So, without further adieu, here’s what I’m envisioning 2018 to be like if I continue on the path I’m already following right now:

JOB

I would love to find myself working at least 30-35 hours a week with solid pay that I am worth and added benefits. My goal is to be in a position that includes working alongside or with people relationally or on a sales-basis. I’d love for this to be in place by mid-February at the latest. I want to up my freelance writing and explore more options for added income outside of those solid work hours, hopefully landing in a place down the line where I can create my own schedule and make enough to pay my bills and put a dent in my college debt (*sigh*).

Realistically, I know I am a self starter once I have the courage to get going. I have been made aware lately of the fact that I love doing things just by my own accord without anyone telling me. I like making my own decisions and then just going with it. In a job-sense, this looks like having a solid schedule with room to take charge otherwise, that way money is still coming in, but I have more freedom to pursue the things I really want.

HOBBIES

1. I want to read, on average, one book a month this year. I have already ordered two off amazon with Christmas money and plan to receive a couple more from people within my community before the new year begins. I want to get into new genre’s to keep my mind fresh and inspired. My list includes authors like CS Lewis, Douglas Adams, Dan Brown, Bob Goff; and titles like The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and The Davinci Code.

2. I have been envisioning a new space on the internet for three months now and the idea has stuck in my mind and grown over time. It will include things like book and movie reviews, blogs, and devotionals. There is a lot to take into consideration when it comes to something like this, so the idea is still very new and fresh right now, but I have begun the process of building in my spare time. It will come when it does. I’m not rushing anymore. I am slow and I am going to go at my own pace with this, because it is literally a dream come true that’s sticking for the first time.

3. Writing has always been my first love. This year, I am going to get more serious about it and begin taking classes for my creative ideas and direction at Grub Street in Boston. This requires money, of course, but I am signing up for my first class on January 20th about Making Money through Writing. Honestly, that’s my dream. So why the heck have I not gone after learning how to get there yet? No more waiting. It’s time to just get courageous and going. On a related note, I definitely want to begin writing poetry again and try my hand at some personal spoken word at an open mic night at Riverwalk.

EXERCISE AND HEALTH

I have been so busy that taking a moment to think about my health and wellness in the past four months has taken a seat on the back burner. This has literally thrown me on a roller coaster I have been unable to jump off of until now. I am taking a stand on this and deciding that my personal health (mental and physical) needs to come first. This includes things like eating right, exercising to my capability, resting, and owning my stuff and knowing when to ask for help.

I really want to get into yoga this year. It’s a form of exercise that I believe could be beneficial for me at the end of a long day or week. I hold all the tension I’m feeling in my muscles. There is a yoga studio in Windham that I want to try very soon. I have contacted the owner and looked up the website with what types of classes they offer (and pricing). I’m going to try one of the easier grade classes on a weeknight and see if it’s something I could keep up with consistently.

Another form of exercise that I love is running. I’ve been looking for races to enter come the spring or summer, since I know signing up for one is likely the only way I will consistently do it. This takes a lot of discipline and I personally enjoy running outdoors much better than on a treadmill. This form of exercise may have to wait until the snow melts from the rail trail because of that, but a little physical discipline won’t hurt when the timing is right.

RELATIONAL

I’ve made a lot of great friends in the past year, but I feel like I’m at a crossroad where I need to begin choosing who I really want to be investing my time in. That requires looking at the people I have in front of me, making a choice, sticking to it, and physically making the time to do things together. You see, things like relationships and friendships take time, but they also require a mutual choice being made without expectation being placed on either side. I’m working on the expectation part on my end, but when it comes to moving forward with the people I have in front of me, I need to know that I’m choosing well, and that comes with a level of reciprocity. If that’s not being met, I need to respect myself enough to find the people who will choose me in the same way that I choose them, because any kind of relationship is work and relational work is a two-way street.

SPIRITUAL

Point blank, I think that pursuing Intimacy with Him first looks like pursuing the things He’s placed on my heart to do this year and stopping for an hour or two each day to be in the word and talk with Him. If doing these things includes inviting others in at any point, I will be attuned to that and obey… But for starters, I think it’s going to be a beautiful thing just to pursue these things with Him because before all else, He is God. He is mine, I am His, and He chooses the heck out of me. I am in a process right now of learning the depths of that truth, something that is both scary and hard for me to come to terms with.

I desire less distraction and more focus on Just Us. I believe focusing less on the things that ail my heart and pain me will surely unlock new pieces of reliance on Him in a way I haven’t experienced before, and I’m excited to see where that takes the both of us on this road we walk together.

These are all very small things, but attainable, and I think that’s the point of New Years. It takes a lot of looking at your life as it is and seeing where you can improve and grow. I personally need my life to be a little corrected in order to feel more balanced, and there is potential for growth in every single one of these areas for me.

I’m declaring now that 2018 is going to be about settling my roots further in a place I chose to stay and invest in during the year of 2017, recognizing on deeper levels what I have to offer, owning those things, and offering them confidently and without shame to everyone I encounter. 

2018: Living Out Loud. On Paper and Off.

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