A coworker mentioned to me the other day that I had basically spent most of my adult life in one place. Shockingly, I realized she was right. 2017 marked the tenth year at Saint Martin’s, first as an undergraduate student, then a full-time employee, and finally also as a graduate student. While I achieved so much during that time and had many great experiences, I’ve also felt for a while that it was time to move on.
Next week marks my last week working at the university, and my last week working in higher education. (At least at this point in my life. We’ll see if that whole Ph.D/faculty thing ever happens). I’m moving into a state job in communications, which excites me a lot. I love to write, and that will become a major portion of my job.
I actually set an intention a while ago to find a new job before 2018 with the following attributes: 8-5 workday with no weekends or evenings, annual pay increases and room for upward mobility, and more focused job responsibilities. I haven’t started so I am aware of my rose-tinted perception, however this job seems to meet all of those requirements. Oh yeah, and it’s also close to home so I don’t have to worry about relocating or impacting the boyfriend’s ability to get to work since we won’t be working together anymore.
The other intention I set for last year was to find a venue for performance and get back into theatre. I quickly became involved in a project with theatre alumni from Shelton, and performed in The Evergreen Playhouse’s production of Children of Eden. I will also be making an appearance later on in the season in their production of Urinetown, and And Then There Were None. Two intentions met.
I will always say this, but I have found in my life that when I truly open myself up to possibility, it often comes swiftly.
2017 ended strangely. Thanksgiving was spent in the hospital with my father recovering from a triple-bypass open heart surgery, where he also received a bionic valve. After complications, he also received an unexpected pacemaker. He’s recovering quickly now, but it was not easy seeing him weak, exposed, and scared for his life. I cannot imagine our family without him.
It was hard to feel festive for Christmas. I don’t know why, but this year the entire holiday season was overshadowed by exhaustion and stress.
Then, New Years left me injured, as I started out 2018 by falling down my cousin’s icy steps and spending New Years day immobile on the couch. I’m doing much better now, with some heinous fluorescent green bruises to mark the memory.
I feel ready for this fresh start, and am anxious to fully embrace my life, rather than pacing along and waiting for it start as I complete obligations. I’m tired of waiting.
The intentions I set for 2018 are:
- Regularly prepare meals at home
- Re-incorporate regular exercise into my weekly routine
- Play my flute and piano regularly
- Make time for creative writing
I know that four things is a lot, but if I learned nothing else from last four or so years it is that I have to balance my physical health with my artistic health otherwise it all falls apart. I recognize that I am not following “good goals” rules because these intentions are difficult to quantify, but that is by design. I need intentions to be vague enough that I can define my own success, without feeling beholden to an arbitrary designation I set up before knowing where life would take me. That’s why I despise New Year’s resolutions, they create a pass/fail pressure that is negative and is not motivating. Intentions, instead, create room for the vicissitudes of daily life and allow you to chart your progress even when there are (inevitably) ups and downs.
I’m in the final stretch of my twenties, and as I near thirty I want to make sure that I am honoring my needs and those of my relationship, without sacrificing happiness. I’ve done that trudging along thing for what feels like a decade now, and I’m ready to make the space needed to enjoy the journey.
Wishing you all the best in 2018.