Not another New Years Post

Psych! It is…well sort of. Ok, fine. It is.

Looking back over this “blog” there’s not been much activity recently, apart from a lot of New Year type posts over the years and some in the early part of 2014 discussing my creative exploits.

6th January 2015 will mark my 4 year anniversary of landing back in London. I remember it was grey and not half as cold as the weather I had left behind in Virginia, USA. The M25, as usual, was chaos and my parents had to turn back from their journey to Heathrow, leaving me to take a cab all the way “home”. I recall battling with what that word meant after living somewhere else for so long. Not that 2.5 years is that long in the grand scheme of things, but long enough to meddle with my concept of ‘home is where the heart is’. My heart was back in New York, but also in London and Virginia, and Guildford, (somewhere I’d only been once or twice before). So, as I watched the M4 turn into the A4 turn into Westminster and then the East End and onto the A13, and as the familiar sights of Romford appeared I knew I had to embrace the decisions that had been made.

But that’s not what this post is about. I’ve made my peace with New York. It’s there. An ocean away, a simple £500, 7 hour-flight from home, and I’m cool with it. I’m finally established here, in London, in my new flat with my not-so-new husband and I’m just so…content.

That word has the connotations of mediocrity, of settling. One says they are content when they’re not ecstatic, unfulfilled, when they’re holding out for that little bit more. Often we take it to mean that content is not enough, that it is a stepping stone to happiness. I’ve come to realise that happiness isn’t a state, it’s a sea. Sometimes the tide is out. So far out it appears unreachable and the more you run towards it, the further it moves away. And sometimes it’s just there, the waves crashing around you, enveloping and overwhelming. You can’t rely on happiness, because you can’t control it. Contentedness you can build. You can structure your life, implement ambition and develop a path that attracts what you want. I’m deep in metaphors here but the way I see it, instead of running after waves, I’ve learnt that the best way to appreciate happiness is to build a beach hut on the shore. When the tide is in, I enjoy wave hopping and when it’s out I settle for the luxurious feeling of the sand between my toes.

I’ve never known what I wanted to do. Career wise I’ve gone through jobs ticking off what I don’t want to do. It’s an arduous process, but it’s worked, sort of. 2014 I took a different approach. As previous blog posts have mentioned, I took a pessimistic stance to New Year Resolutions…why write down things you’re not going to stick to? Why suffer that humiliation in mid-May when you look back and realise you’re still smoking/drinking/eating rubbish/not going to the gym/not seeing as many friends or family members as you want to…? I always focused on what I wasn’t going to be able to do and thought I needed to change it. So in early January I took a chance. I wrote down a list of things I wanted to achieve instead. Completely realistic goals (mostly creative) and then I forgot about it. Mid-December I flicked back through my notebook and found the list. Surprisingly, I’d achieved everything on it apart from one financial goal, which I could have ticked off, but instead I went to New York and that helped me exceed one of my goals, which led to a massive creative and professional achievement, so I’m going to let that one slide.

A friend told me that you have to manifest the things you want. I’ve found this difficult because I’m always looking at “the bigger picture” and as I didn’t know what that was, I wasn’t accomplishing very much. When I broke the “bigger picture” down into smaller, achievable stepping stones I managed to manifest them. I lost my faith and a lot of my spiritual self over the years, I’m not at one with nature, and when this friend talks about meditating in order to vibrate at the same frequency as the Earth, I take it with a pinch of salt. I’ve never read a self-help book (unless you count He’s Just Not That In To You) and since my back injury I’ve given up yoga. I have no Zen, I barely have any hobbies, I just have the swirling vortex of thoughts inside my brain.

However, 2014 has taught me that amidst the chaos I am surrounded by, I am able to create an ordered, structured path to a goal. By breaking things down into small, wholly achievable steps, I can get to where I want to be, even if I’m not entirely sure of what that is. Most importantly I’ve learned to say out loud and to write down the things I want. Sure, I’m scared that by naming them I’m setting myself up for failure but everyone fails. Not everyone succeeds.  I’m working on ensuring I do the latter.

This isn’t a “look at me, look what I’ve done” post. It’s not about amassing comments, it’s about putting it out there. Recognising that 2014 mattered. (Although, of course I’ll share the link and refresh the stats page for the next hour…but who doesn’t). This is for my journey. I made a promise at D&D this year that I would choose myself and make more stuff and this is me acknowledging it.

I encourage you to do the same.

Happy New Year, may it bring you health, wealth and contentedness.

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