Tag Archive: goals


I’ve been trying, desperately to do two things this year. One, develop a regular habit of going to the gym. Yeah, yeah I know. Typical New Year’s Resolution thing but the difference for me is that I’m actually training for something. I have an end goal and I’m serious about reaching it. And two, stop casually buying so much food. Bagel here, cinnamon bun there, dinner because I didn’t feel like packing it, breakfast sandwich because I felt like it, that kind of thing. So far, I have to say, I’ve been doing pretty well. I’ve only bought dinner once because I didn’t pack it and lunch once because I literally dropped the one I’d packed on the floor. I’ve only had one week where I didn’t make my goal of three times per week (2/3 isn’t the end of the world, right?). This may not sound impressive but to have kept up these habits for two whole months while working two jobs and rehearsing a show (and trying to keep my relationship afloat) is honestly a huge accomplishment for me. I am the QUEEN of giving up. One bad day, one bad week and I am the first person to throw in the towel and decide it’s all for naught. This is an impulse I have been battling my whole life and, so far, I’m losing the war. Sticking to it is hard. I don’t understand those people who work a lot but also eat healthy and have crazy muscles and also pursue dreams and volunteer and have hobbies and maintain successful relationships and… Sorry, I’m getting off-track. But, for real, it blows my mind. I admire those people and their self-discipline and self-control. Maybe they work just as hard at it as I do but they make it seem so effortless and sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair.

All of this is a long winded way to admit that the other day, I had a bad day. I felt really sick all day, I was exhausted from a long week (like almost-falling-asleep-at-my-desk exhausted) and I was absolutely dreading my post-work workout and then post-workout rehearsal. I wanted so badly to skip the workout to go home and take a nap and then to call in sick to rehearsal and go to bed. Like so bad. But. I didn’t do it. I dragged my feet into my car and used all my willpower for my arms to guide my car to my gym and not to my house. I dragged my feet and forced myself through my planned workout. Yes, I went a little easier than I might normally but I didn’t skimp on my cardio time and I only allowed myself to go five pounds lighter on the weights. Did I feel energized and chipper afterwards? Honestly? No. I still felt like total shit. I was still nauseous, I still had a headache and now I was even more tired than before and also sore. And, I still kind of wished I’d gone home for the nap but still, I’d done it. I’ve probably never walked so slowly and pathetically in my life but I dragged my butt into the car and away from home, towards rehearsal. Which led to my second predicament. All I wanted was a bagel. A double toasted bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese and a peppermint tea instead of the shepherd’s pie and slightly limp peppers waiting in my trunk; just some comfort food for a long and terrible day. Also, I was early and I have a bad habit of going to get food to kill time when I’m exorbitantly early, as I often am. I allowed myself the tea but skipped the bagel. I ate the shepherd’s pie. (I skipped the peppers.)

So what did I do yesterday? I went to the gym and I ate the dinner I’d packed for myself (sort of). It doesn’t seem like much but the point is that it’s important to acknowledge the little victories, whatever they may be. For someone else, this may be nothing. But for me, queen of giving up when I just don’t feel like trying anymore, this is a small victory of a day that will help me when I come up against bigger, more difficult challenges in my journey to be a better version of myself.  I’m going to win this war, one little victory at a time.

 

It’s been one year since I moved home after graduating university. One year of not being a student. One year of living with my parents. One year of being in the same city I grew up in. One year of being apart from a lot of the most important people in my life. And I’m still not okay with it. I’ve been struggling with what to say for a couple of weeks and I’ve still come up short. I want to be able to write about how this past year has enlightened me and I’ve grown into a happy, go-getting graduate but in reality, when I looked back at what I wrote six months ago, it still felt pretty accurate. On paper, my life still sounds great. Actually, even better than it did six months ago but I’m still not satisfied and I’ve spent a lot of time being very frustrated by this and trying, desperately, to figure out why. And then when all of this year’s grads were posting their pictures I saw one with a quote that really resonated with me. It said:

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place because you’ll never be this way ever again.”

And then I understood, at least in part, why I’ve been longing so desperately to go back to the school days since the second I left. There are many reasons but that quote explains something I was never able to put my finger on until I read it. While the student version of myself was deeply flawed and probably not the “best” one, there are many things I liked about that person that stayed there and didn’t come home with me. Student-me was carefree (my friends would scoff at this but I’m talking in relative terms here!), adventurous, an occasional party animal completely ready to let loose and willing to bend the rules sometimes. She always had time for friends and never turned down a beer and a chat at the local bar. She occasionally turned down work in favour of sleep or a fun time with fun people but still worked when it was necessary and remained a reliable, go-to employee. Student-me was passionate and driven and creating constantly. She was fit. She had goals and aspirations and real plans to get there.

Post-grad me isn’t any of those things and when I take the time to look at myself instead of at my circumstance I’m even more unhappy with who I’ve become. I never see my friends because I’m always working. I miss things that are important to me because I put work above all else. I’m not creating, I’m not excited about my current or upcoming projects because I don’t have any. I never turn down work so I’m always short on sleep and lacking fun. I’ve completely thrown health and fitness out the window and try as I might to get back on track, I never try hard enough. My goals and post-grad plans have fallen by the wayside in favour of “surviving” right now. I’m always stressed; about work, about money; about completely fictional scenarios I create in my head and believe to be real. This is not the person I want to be but I feel stuck in this panicky rut of having to work all the time because I don’t make enough to work normal hours and still get by. (Completely and utterly false because living with one’s parents is very cheap.) I don’t know how to get out of this rut but at least now, I know that I’m in it.

Don’t get me wrong, the year hasn’t been all bad. Despite the overwhelming feelings of being trapped and standing still I have enjoyed parts of it and I have certainly learned some things. Here are a couple of them, lest it seem as though I’ve been completely useless for an entire 12 months:

  • Sometimes you have to put yourself in highly uncomfortable situations for a short time to reap the rewards in the long term. I was really good at this in the first couple of months and it led to some wonderful experiences and opportunities but in recent months I’ve fallen back into complacency and become the excuse maker I once was but it remains a very true lesson.
  • Work is not everything. Saying no is okay. No matter how much you love your job it is not worth sacrificing other things that are important to you or that excite you. Don’t take on so many shifts don’t stay late out of obligation, stand up for your time because it is just as valuable as anyone else’s. That’s not to say never take on extra work or never stay late when they need it but just remember that doing those things is a choice not a job requirement and you are allowed to say no. (A lesson I am aware of but do not heed often and must continue to remind myself of in Year 2.

I’m trying very hard to be positive because that is something that My First Year lacked a great deal. I’ve spent a lot of time living in the past, wishing things were the way they were before and being overwhelmed by my nostalgic emotions. I hope that I can find it in myself to take back the parts of the person I was at school that I liked and discover parts of this self that I like as well. I hope that I can work less and play more and I hope that I can start to strengthen the friendships I have here in town rather than longing for the ones that are out of reach for now. I hope I can spend time learning new things and going after the things I want out of life rather than sitting complacently by. Here’s to creating, here’s to growing and here’s to the start of Year 2!

Thoughts on Being Here Now

Be here now.

I first came across this saying in the 11th grade. My drama teacher, whom I was fairly close with, was getting it tattooed on her wrist in Sanskrit. (It remains, to this day, one of the coolest tattoos I’ve ever seen) The saying has been stuck in my head pretty much ever since. Like a song lyric that won’t go away but it’s a constant reminder of something that I am not very good at. I don’t live in the moment, I plan and schedule everything to the point where I plan when and for how long I need to sleep in three to four day increments to make sure I’m getting at least six hours a day. It’s completely outrageous and probably unnecessary but it’s the way I’ve always operated.

But over time I’ve come to realize it’s not just about living in the moment. It’s about accepting where you are at any given time. That’s not to say you shouldn’t dream or make plans for the future, those things are fine. But those things are only productive and positive if you’ve accepted where you are first. As I was laying down to a pre-planned nap today this saying popped into my head again and I think that’s because it’s extremely apropos to where I am in my life right now.

If you had looked around my room in university you would see things everywhere. Show posters, quotes, calendars, schedules, pictures of friends and family covered the walls. I lived in that room. If you looked around my room now you’d see only two things on the wall: my calendar (colour coded, of course) and one, single poster that I got for my birthday and didn’t put up for a month. I don’t live in this room, I’m staying in it. Which is sort of silly and very sad because this has been my bedroom for my entire life but ever since I came back to it I haven’t committed to being here now. I’ve been so focused on how unhappy I am with my current situation and so determined to get out of it that I’ve made my home feel transitional and temporary. In a way, it is. I don’t plan to live with my parents forever (and I’m sure they don’t plan to let me stay forever) but this is where I am right now. There’s no shame in it, there’s nothing wrong about where I am it’s just not where I want to be. But until I can accept where I am now, I’m never going to be able to take productive steps to change anything because I’ll just remain depressed and unmotivated.

Be here now might be easy for a lot of people but nothing about it is easy for me. I always want something else, something better than what I have. Part of that is determination and drive to accomplish the things I want to accomplish in my life but the other, darker part is that I have trouble seeing how good things right now. I have a lot of dreams but avoiding acceptance of where I am currently, is my way of protecting myself from failing at those dreams. The problem is, if I never even try, I’ve already failed. If I do try, yeah, I might fail but I might succeed and get exactly what I want and things I never even dreamed of in the first place. The road to anything begins with acceptance.

 

भवात्राधुना

*I do not speak Sanskrit and this was found via Google, from what I understand this is a correct translation but it may not be