Well sod the lot of ya with your January blues, it’s my goddamn birthday month, get it together will ya? Alright, I admit as much as I would love to ignore the downer of a month that January can be, I have to agree, it can indeed be a sucky old month, and you know what? It is okay to feel that way.
January is a month that comes with such promise; a new year, ambitions and general ideas of ‘newness’ and starting a-fresh, you know, the lot. As such, it also comes with a lot of pressure. The gym you signed up to once upon a time begging for you to come back, because you know, that Christmas dinner and NYE drinks aren’t going to get rid of themselves! Ha. I mean that is another sure fire way to kickstart the new year, drink far too many G+Ts so that the very first day of this ‘fresh start’ is spent trying not to throw up even more. Can’t imagine who could have spent their January 1st like this. Ahem.
The thing is, as much as we are confronted with ideas to start over or try something new, we could do without the pressure. It’s not a bad idea to try something new and for some people, the well known cliche of “new year new me xoxo” is in fact really useful. You just have to pace yourself and set reasonable goals and boundaries. Yes. Boundaries. It is all well and good to keep moving forward, but you’re probably better off not falling off the edge, right? I don’t mean we all need to be setting cold hard limits, but we certainly need to be understanding where or when to stop, or having that awareness for when the time comes. But then, isn’t it good to live in the now? Of course. A little foresight never hurt anybody though, eh?
I guess I’m heading to a point in which boundaries aren’t about limiting ourselves, but having a greater understanding of ourselves. It could be perfectly reasonable for one individual to say that they are going to read a set number of books this year, but for another it may be more reasonable to just say that they are simply just going to ‘read more’ – or even to make a conscious effort to do so. In a way, the more understanding you are of your own boundaries, the less limitations you will places on your life. You’ll allow yourself to be happier with reading 12 books rather than 80, because hey, you did that.
For example, I was all set to go full hog (ha) for Veganuary this year. I really wanted to give it a good go, however by the time I reached the end of December I decided I wasn’t quite ready for even just a month of it. I have however made the most of ALL the vegan options available almost everywhere this month and I am making more of an effort to eat less dairy. Plus someone has still got to eat all of her very much not vegan Christmas chocolate. Sue me. Again, it’s about understanding the boundaries and the unnecessary pressure we may put on ourself. It is never a bad thing to better yourself, but it is important that doing so makes you feel better, and definitely not limited.
Other than January being the longest most miserable month of the year (leading to very confusing feelings around birthdays, yes), I am feeling positive. Even in the wake of losing my job. I mean, I knew it was a temporary position, but I worked my butt off and it did get recognised and celebrated by my shop floor managers. However when it came to the crunch it was all down to back office staff who may not even know who I am – not giving me a job because I was silly enough to select ‘full time only’. It is what is. Businesses have needs, as do I, and unfortunately for me they did not align. The real kicker is now that I am unemployed, I am considering more part time roles in order to lend more time to building a career out of writing. Sometimes you just need a terrible push in the right direction I guess.
My days are up and down. On one hand I am feeling free to explore my options and revelling in what could be. On the other I’m freaking out about the financial side of things. At least a week of unemployment is enough to eat a big chunk out of savings, but I keep reminding myself that as much as my savings are there for the future, it is also for emergencies like this.
Either way, I am feeling rather content with the realisation that my career goals have always been in my mind, and they are relatively modest. I want to freelance from the comfort of my own home – or the cutesy lil cafe of my choosing – as well as be part of a community, either a book club, bloggers group or anything hobbie orientated. I may need a lil retail job on the side but that’s okay and probably a little refreshing but yes, I think I’ve finally recognised what it is I want to do in life. The thing with writing is that it isn’t just about the writing itself, but it’s about the opportunities; the shows to see, the places to go and so on.
You would have thought that I would have known this all along and in a way that is true, but I’ve been so fickle about it, even ignorant, and I think a lot of that has come down to not being forced to think about it too much. For a while I felt it was just kind of something to fall back on because you know, that’s what I did at uni etc. It’s true that I haven’t always been devoted to it but I have always come back to writing, so why not stay here a little longer and make a career out of it? Fingers crossed, because after all I know it’s not necessarily the easiest industry. In the meantime I’m applying for little retail jobs here and there to keep me going, definitely not in any rush to return to management.
As I write this I’m realising that the new year, new me cliche has almost made its own way to me. It’s January, I (sort of) know what I want in life and I’m ready to get it going, kind of funny really. Well, all I can say now is that I’m excited for the year ahead (if not a little stressed about the job situation), and can’t wait to see what happens!