New Year, Old Goals

Trigger Warning: for discussion of suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and mental health in this post.

It’s that time of year again when resolutions are creeping round the corner. I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions because I find that I never stick to them, and then I just end up feeling like a failure – a feeling I certainly don’t need more of right now. That said, they say it takes 21 days to build a habit and today I’m attempting to kick off two. First, I want to start working out again. It’s been far too long, and I feel crappy in my body when I don’t. Second, I want to write for fifteen minutes a day. Just fifteen minutes, a completely reasonable, underachieving goal in my opinion. These are not New Year’s resolutions because I say they aren’t, and also, I’m determined to stick to them. I already worked out today, and now I’m finally writing.

On feeling like a failure: to be honest, I often feel like this these days. In regard to my career, my health, and my ambitions. I keep seeing people around me who appear to have their shit together, (whether that’s true or not is entirely up for debate, and comparison is perhaps one of the least helpful things we can do to ourselves, but still.) I want to be one of those people. The truth is, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I mean, I know I want to be a writer, but there’s this little nagging voice in the back of my head that says if I really wanted to be a writer, wouldn’t I be doing more writing? Now, that’s not to discount how difficult life has been lately. What with the pandemic and trying to find a new job (coming back to this) and mental health challenges, things have certainly not been easy. But I don’t really want to focus on that. What I really want is to figure out a way to move forwards and achieve my goals. What are my goals? To be a writer. To make enough money that I don’t have to worry about money. To go to therapy and sort myself out. To work out so I feel good in my body.

Back to jobs. My time as a seasonal employee at Lush is about to come to an end, and I need to find another job to fill my time and pay my bills. Ideally, I would love to work from home as a freelancer, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to get enough clients in time to make that work. On the flip side, I’ve been applying to a lot of full-time jobs in the hopes of gaining some stability in my life. Nothing has panned out as of yet, but I’m trying not to panic. I want to have a career that can sustain me without having to work six different jobs at once, and ideally, I want to not hate what I do.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about vulnerability. It’s something that’s always terrified me, and honestly, I don’t know why. I really resonate with that quote though – you know the one. 

“if we want the rewards of being loved we have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known.”

– Tim Kreider

Am I afraid that people won’t like what they see? Afraid that I’ll be judged? Or maybe afraid that I’m secretly a terrible person who isn’t deserving of love. Maybe it’s all three, maybe it’s something else, but for whatever reason I’ve always struggled with vulnerability and intimacy. 

On that note, I’m going to share something. Like many people, I struggle with depression and anxiety, as well as something called panic disorder. I don’t think it’s a secret that I have mental health challenges, because quite frankly, I’ve written and talked about them in the past. But as far as I know, I’ve never explicitly said that these are the disorders I’m dealing with (except to people close to me) and I’ve certainly never said outright that I used to self-harm, and I’ve considered suicide before, and still do sometimes.

The reason I’m sharing this now is threefold. One, I want to combat the stigma around mental health and make it clear that it’s ok to talk about this. Two, I hope to show others that they’re not alone in these feelings. And finally, I want to practise being more vulnerable. Am I afraid to post this? You bet. Am I going to anyways? You bet.

Anyways, I hope that this post is helpful to someone, or at least not unhelpful. I’m trying to figure out what I need to feel supported, and this is just one small step towards that goal.

Happy New Year!

All my love,

Jules ❤

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