As a child, I loved Peter Pan. I loved the book, the play, the movies and I never for the life of me understood why Wendy refused to go back to Neverland with Peter. Staying a child forever sounded like the dream.
Then, unfortunately (as Peter would say), I grew up. Being a Peter Pan child forever meant forgetting experiences and people, never learning from them, and essentially recreating oneself from scratch every day. As alluring as the idea sounded then, and to be honest, it sounds pretty darn tempting even today, I’ve been discovering another part of adulthood recently: stasis.
I’ve always loved moving and discovering and creating new facets of myself. At the same time, I took comfort in the fact that some things remain constants. I always check out the local library almost immediately. I always find a good workout spot within a week. I always hunt down the nearest comfort area for when I need to be surrounded by pretty things. (these have ranged from museums to flower shops to second hand clothing stores. My own personal brand of Holly Golightly’s Tiffany’s, if you will.)
My most recent move however, has had me breaking most of these rules. I haven’t checked out the library yet. In fact, I’ve barely picked up a book. Instead of my usual yoga and running workouts, I’m trying a dance class to get fit. And while I’m lucky to have an arts center right up my street, I’m also trying to create art within my own room.
So, as the weather transitions and the leaves change color (also Halloween!), I want to think that it’s time for my own transformation. But change is scary sometimes. When I’m not the girl who goes to the library immediately, or who browses flower shops in her free time, who would I be?
In our twenties, we’re all changing. I have friends who’ve moved countries for work or those who have moved back home after years of staying away. Others are taking breaks from school to travel. And while change on its own is rarely terrifying, the loss of things we’ve always taken for granted can be. This includes possessions, our own personalities, and sometimes, friends.
Stasis is definitely comfortable. But as has been the case with me all my life, it’s also slightly stifling. And in the last two months, I’ve definitely grown tired of trying to stick to good habits that were the mainstay for someone who wasn’t living in the circumstances I am now. So while I’m trying my hardest to keep up with my reading and yoga, I’m also beginning to realize that the alternatives I’m following right now don’t necessarily make me less myself. Learning how to walk didn’t make the me-who-crawled any less of a being, she just picked up a new skill.
So as I grow out of my Peter Pan green leaves, I’ve compiled a list of goals for the Twenty-First Year of my life, as well as for October 2018.
Focus on my personal hallmarks
This one is probably my primary aim for the coming year. This year is about taking on the projects that come from my very excitable brain. I’ve been putting them off thinking they were too unrealistic, but this year, I want to see what they could turn into if I gave them the chance to grow. So this year, I want to take the first steps towards fleshing out a business idea I’ve been interested in and creating a website to record my progress in the projects I’m involved in.
2. Eat healthy
Moving into an apartment has meant that meal planning and creating a home is now part of my regular routine. While most my meals are healthy, I do get lazy at times and rely on quick fixes. My goal by October 2019 is to learn at least twelve more healthy recipes and use them on a regular basis.
3. Manage finances like a grown up.
While I have been on a budget before, I’m trying to explore more strategies for growth. This includes creating a portfolio, regularly assessing my credit score and by February, having enough saved up to cover my minimum expenses for the next two months.
4. Earn one new career certification
I believe my career will give back what I put into it. Therefore, outside of everything I am already learning, I want to take initiative and use my personal time to delve more deeply into a coding language that I began learning last summer.
5. Learn the art of throwing a dinner party
There’s a certain craft in successfully hosting a sit down dinner party. While I’ve learned a lot from seeing it done, I believe that nothing teaches better than the experience itself. My goal here is to host a dinner party sometime in the forthcoming year and allow people to mingle and feel comfortable.
6. Listen to new music
All too often, I’m stuck in a musical rut and play songs on a loop all too often, to the annoyance of myself and definitely those around me. This year, I want to explore more genres and listen to more music in live settings, since I’ve noticed that’s when my reaction to music is most visceral. So this year, I’m going all out and trying to see which works for me best and in which setting. Concrete goal? Attend at least three concerts in twelve months, out of which none are my usual genre.
Science says it’s good for you. Society says it’s good for them. So I’m going to take them up on their word again and this year, I want to spend at least an hour a week helping the growth of a cause I’m interested in.
I’m planning to check in again with my progress one month from now and see how much of this I can accomplish. Wish me luck!
If anybody has any suggestions on recipes I could try or music I could listen to, please tell me in the comments below or email me. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your goals for October or your year ahead. Are there areas you’re hoping to improve on in the coming weeks? Let me know!