Reevaluating the Resolutions

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[Image: February 2017 calendar with a large border of a multi-coloured flower graphic]. Source.
It’s been 2017 for a month-and-a-half now, and how am I doing with my very ambitious resolutions?

Well, they wouldn’t be New Year’s resolutions if you didn’t break them, after all.

I’d like to go over each one and be brutally honest about what’s working and what isn’t, as well as see if I need to tweak them at all.

1. Stop Watching TV

HA. Okay, to be fair to myself, I did do this successfully for a little while. And then I fell off the horse a little. And then I fell off 16 horses, a lot. Old habits die hard, they say, and this is certainly a habit that requires a hard death. I don’t think the expression works that way, and I’m sorry if that was confusing, but I’m sure you get the gist.

I want to keep this resolution the way it is because I think, for me personally, it is a positive thing to work towards. I know that I can do it – I just have to keep it up!

I think finding other things that relax me but don’t put me to sleep would help. Off the top of my head, I can think of podcasts, YouTube videos, and my dog. Yes, my dog! He’s actually so good at the therapy thing, especially when he tries to nip at my fingers or play chase around the house.

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[Image: Yorkshire terrier laying on a carpeted floor, on tum, head down. Part of a blue pillow next to them. Cloth and closet door behind them].
2. Read Two Books a Month

I think a more realistic goal would be one book a month, given the rate I’ve been going. So far, I’ve read Darling Days, part of The Secret Life of Bees, and part of Parable of the Sower. It was easy to motor through Darling Days because I loved it so much, but I’m a lot slower if I don’t really get into a book. I feel like making my goal more reasonable will mean that I’m less likely to give up on it, and I’d much rather read one book a month than none book a month.

 

Sorry for that wording. I swear I’m not a terrible writer. Actually, no, scratch that, I don’t swear anything.

3. Reach 1,000 Subscribers on YouTube

I only expect to do this over the course of the whole year, so the fact that I’m still sitting around the 300 mark is no big deal.

4. Finish My Degree

I did it!! It’s over!!

I wrote my final exam last week, and it’s super weird to no longer be a student, but also super great. I also made this masterpiece of a video after I finished:

[Video Thumbnail Description: Small fire lit by papers. Darkness all around. White text, which reads, “Goodbye, Sweet Homework” on top, in the centre].

5. Get on a Career Path

Obviously, I haven’t done this yet, but I’m working on it. I’ve already started creating a strong resume and cover letter, as well as applying to a few jobs.

This one is going to take some time still, but surely it will have happened before the year is out.

6. Move Out

This requires employment, which, as I said, I’m working on securing.

7. Finish Writing My Book

I have a different writing project on the go than the one I was referring to in this original resolution, but I’m pretty serious about it and am already a quarter of the way done the rough draft! I was right to think that finishing school would provide me with more writing time, as that’s exactly what it’s done. Looking at it now, this resolution still seems like a reasonable one.

Huh. I had the impression that I wasn’t doing so well with my resolutions, but this isn’t so bad. I’ve already completed one, and am working hard on three others. I only needed to tweak the second resolution, and I’ve only truly failed to follow through with the first. Okay, not bad! And as a plus, I feel re-motivated again.

Yay, resolutions, but more importantly, yay, lists!

Oh, and if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I committed myself to making two videos a week (Tuesdays and Fridays) on my channel at the beginning of January, which is what I’ve been pouring most of my creative energy into as of late.

When Things Don’t Go Your Way

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[Image: Sage, a white non-binary person with messy, short hair, looks at the camera with a serious expression. They are wearing a brown shirt. The whole image has yellow tones and is rather faded].

Let me tell you a story.

 

I came back from the woods yesterday feeling like I had a lot to do. I need to write my exams, polish off this round of courses, and sign up for new ones this month. I need to deal with many layers of bureaucracy to make sure all of this goes smoothly. I also need to finish papers and begin studying for exams. I came back from the woods and suddenly, August was upon me. The pace picked up and deadlines loomed.

I came back from the woods yesterday but my Mac charger did not. I came back with less than 55% battery power.

Did you know these chargers cost $100? I didn’t know that until today. Obviously, I did not buy one.

Instead, I had to wait for my mother to get home from work so I could drive us back out to the woods to get it. It was a two-hour round trip. Not too bad, but substantial.

And, of course, I couldn’t write e-mails, book exams, polish off essays, or review course materials for my online courses.

Last night, when I went to plug in my charger and realized it wasn’t there, I panicked a little bit. This threw a wrench in my plans for today. I was so worked up about it, and about how much I felt like I had to do, that I had difficulty sleeping. I’d drift off only to wake up twenty minutes later from stress dreams about buying knock-off chargers (which I think aren’t a thing for Macbooks) and calling my local college to arrange my exams, only to be told that they were all booked up for the next three months. Nights like these are hard. I manage to calm myself down while I’m awake, relax, and fall asleep, but then my unconscious brain goes right back to the anxiety. I half-wake up thinking that everything is the worst, that there’s no way I’ll figure a way out of this situation, and then have to do the work of calming back down again. It’s a vicious cycle.

Nights like these are hard. I manage to calm myself down while I’m awake, relax, and fall asleep, but then my unconscious brain goes right back to everything that’s making me anxious. I half-wake up thinking that everything is the worst, that there’s no way I’ll figure a way out of this situation, and then I have to do the work of calming back down all over again. It’s a vicious cycle.

Today, however, I just had to let go. In the morning, I walked over to the store to check the prices on chargers. That confirmed for me that I had to let go. What else could I do?

I showered. I filmed a video. I read. I watched Stranger Things. I cooked dinner. Then, I drove my mother and I out to the woodsland for the charger, which I have since given a strict talking to. It now understands that wherever my computer goes, it follows.

At least I got more driving practice in. Clearly, I was supposed to.

We can make all kinds of plans. We can feel comfortable and in control. Then, suddenly, something goes wrong and we feel betrayed by the universe somehow, like something is conspiring against us. At least, I know I feel that way whenever these kinds of things happen.

How could I have done that? I kept asking myself. How could I forget the charger for something that’s so essential for my work?

Well, I did, and it was fine. My plans had to change and I ended up having a far more relaxed day than I would have otherwise. And at the end of the day, maybe it was for the best.

I plan to sleep well tonight. I suppose we’ll see how that goes.

Whoops, It’s Tuesday!

 

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[Image: Sage, a white non-binary person in a blue-and-pink wig with bangs, presses their lips together and makes a face at the camera, tilting their head to the left. They are wearing a sleeveless shirt with a green-and-pink flower pattern. There is a paint-splattered painting, part of a wooden cabinet, and a purple wall behind them].
I completely blanked on the Monday post this week. I spent the weekend with my friend in York and ended up taking a mental health day Monday because of a panic attack in the morning. I have a video coming out on the NFi Collab Channel this Thursday which goes into more detail about that.

I’m so close to being finished with this round of courses, my friends! Unfortunately, however, at this point I’m having a lot of trouble focusing. The closer I get to being done, the less I feel inclined to put in the time.

I made the decision last week to focus on putting out a video every Thursday rather than have a more random schedule where I make videos every 3-4 days. It’s not that I want to be making fewer videos, it’s just that I’m more interested in making high-quality content without getting overwhelmed. Apparently, without a schedule, instead of never making videos, I make TOO MANY videos. I get ahead of myself and feel pressured into starting another video the moment I’ve finished working on one. I worry that this results in making more, lower quality content as I spend less time researching, writing, filming, and editing if I feel the pressure to have it all done in a few days.

There must be a happy medium!

So, at this point, I’m focusing on putting out one video every Thursday. That doesn’t mean there will not be extras, however, as this week I’m making a video for my own channel as well as another for NFi. It’s just to keep me on a more reasonable track.

In case you were wondering, yes, I am playing Pokemon Go. I am almost level 9 now. I hatched a Pikachu today.

I’m not working on my book as much as I’d like to be. It keeps falling to the bottom of my list of priorities, to the end of the day when I’m too tired. There are just so many other things! I’m also not too sure about the direction I’m going in with it. Books are hard, friends. Books are hard.

I just started writing a report on the history of my reading practices. It’s actually quite fun and interesting, given that it’s a school project. I want to share some of it here, but I’ll have to wait until it’s been graded and handed back so my tutor doesn’t think it’s been plagiarized. You’ve got to watch out for that kind of thing.

Filmed a video where I read from the journal I kept while backpacking through Europe yesterday. I have OVER AN HOUR of footage where I just read the entries from England. It may be a series. It was interesting to go back in time five years to that trip, as this is my first read-over. I think I tend to romanticize it, as we do with the past and with traveling, but reading the journal reminded me that not all was sunshine and roses. I struggled with a number of things, from growing up to stressing over booking trains to not feeling confident in social situations. I even wrote that I was hoping the trip would completely change me as a person, making me more confident and bold! Poor baby Sage…

In terms of the topic of friendship, I realized recently that it’s really important for friendships to unfold naturally. Also, that I can be happy with just a small handful of friends. I’ve been trying to make certain friendships happen within the past few years that just have not. And I’ve been really easily, naturally finding friendships through my YouTube pursuits. So, I’m learning, though it is important put in an effort, you also just have to let friends happen and not try to make anything into what it’s not. Having something to bond over helps too.

Okay, so this blog post was all over the place. I suppose this is a pretty good representative of where my brain is at this week. These are the things!

Have a wonderful week, catch ’em all, and I will see you all again very soon.

P.S. My wig came in the mail and it is everything I’ve ever wanted.

Driven and Tired, Passionate and Exhausted (Poem)

 

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Dandelion growing out of dry, cracked dirt. Source.

 

Trying to figure out the good life
is giving me messy hair.

Hours, days, months spent on something
which may come to naught.

I’m being consumed by my passion.

I can’t tell if that’s good or bad.

Is my luck really going to change on July 17th?
Is that the day to watch out for?
If so, that’s very soon and I don’t quite
know what to do.

I feel tired.

I may be in need of a break,
to find a pin that will reach
the reset button.

I feel driven sometimes,
and clouded by clutter others.

Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?

I’m on a path,
but to where and
at what cost?

Who is the being that I am becoming?

Shaping, reforming.
Passionate, driven, anxious, exhausted.

What kind of break am I looking for?

Long walks help to clear a cloudy mind.
The only thing which counteracts the clutter I put there.

Unfortunately, I am an artist.
These struggles will always be constant.
How I react may, however, be the thing to change.