A few weeks ago it was my 29th birthday. I’ve never held much regard for birthdays, never really focussing much on age, rather aiming to create many positive experiences throughout each year. That way when I look back at a year I can say I did this, this and that.
My 28th year was a busy one. I started a Masters degree (done), led a very journalistic life (running around with heavy camera gear included), interned at a place I never thought I would (I’m looking at you The Age) and commenced a 3 month cadetship. I went to Hong Kong, New York and made some very big and very adult decisions. 2017 was a year that I can truly say was progressive, powerful and a damn good one.
This year has been a little different. While I’m not entirely disappointed with it, I can’t help but feel that it hasn’t really matched the progress that I made last year. I’ve wondered if these goals I’ve set myself are actually realistic, or if they’re just causing more anxiety for me than life goals should? Lately I’ve been floating some ideas around for things that I’d like to achieve before my next birthday. These are things that I’ve had on my mind for a really long time, and the more they sit there not being attained, the more likely they will turn into regrets, I beleive. I’ve made a pretty big and a scary decision that will eventuate in May 2019 (more details to come) and I’m already pretty nervous about it. But I think it will be good to get it done, get it out my system and finally fall asleep at night knowing that I’ve ticked another thing off my ‘life list’.
Life goals are so personal and so customised. I see a lot of the people I went to high school with have families — so many babies — so many brides … and while neither of those things are of particular importance to me right now (sorry mum) I see that life really is what we make of it. We place our interests and value at the centre of it and work towards our goals to make ourselves happy. And it’s so short. This year has whizzed by (wtf July!) which just makes me realise even more so that we’ve got to make of this short time what we can.
Stop worrying about what person A and person B are doing, just worry about number one or life will whizz by you and you’ll be sitting there one day wondering where it all went and what’s left to do. And adding to that, don’t let other people’s negativity guide you. If we all have an inbuilt negative bias, then think how others are going to project that on you…we shouldn’t let that distract us — and yes, it’s hard, but we have to or we’ll be living our own life by someone else’s …. words … not even rules, just words and rudeness.
Later this year I’m going overseas, embarking on an extensive European trip (why or why are there so many forms to fill out) where I’m giving myself actual TIME (well I’ve scheduled 3 months) to think and reflect on everything while talking to some knowledgable people about it all. I’m keen to hear some different perspectives and eat some delicious food while I’m at it.
This post is a kind of reminder / dumping ground / reflection on things to remind me to stick to the story. In creative writing we have the protagonist who is set to reach their ending via obstacles, challenges and conflict along the way, and this in many ways is a paradigm for our own life. We’re the protagonist but, thankfully, most of us have some control over the story and how we meet our end. So let’s make it a good one.