This year, instead of writing down resolutions, I decided on a few words and expressions that I would like to carry with me throughout the next twelve months. Besides having specific, more tangible goals, sometimes we need a quote, some sort of mental guidance to see us through our days, both good and bad ones.
You do you.
This is a phrase that I’ve found myself repeating frequently during the last few months. What does it stand for? Nowadays, there’s a beautiful plethora of different voices, choices, mentalities and lifestyles. Whereas this should call for more understanding and acceptance, instead it leads to criticism. Sometimes, we internalise the prospect of criticism to such an extent that we do not allow ourselves to revel in our nature. I’ve lost count of the times when a friend has started a sentence with “It sounds odd/creepy/wrong/silly but I…” I wish people would stop labeling their actions, thoughts and feelings, and embrace the fact that both themselves and others think, behave, work, eat, socialise, love, learn, talk, etc. in different ways. Less judgement, more acceptance and kindness. Peanut butter mixed with avocado? Whatever floats your boat, mate.
This one’s closely connected with my goal to finally kick off my career as a freelance writer. At the same time, I’m curious about exploring different sides of my creativity that I’ve abandoned with the passage of time such as drawing, taking photos and attending dance classes. On top of that, I’ve bought myself the latest Ottolenghi book, Simple, and I’m planning to cook my way through it. As I’ve discussed on the blog before, I deeply believe that every single one of us is a creative spirit deep down. This element needs to be pursued and nurtured: not only because it is a pleasant outlet from our daily routine, but also because it enables us to develop skills that we do not get to use during our working hours. At the same time, it offers the opportunity to carve a new side to our identities that isn’t defined by our 9 to 5. For instance, you might be an accountant but you’re also a craftsman, a writer, a choir singer, a photographer, a programmer.
Anything’s possible if you have enough nerve.
OK, I might be quoting J.K. Rowling on this one. Can you blame me, though? This woman became a literary legend by diligently going after what she wanted to achieve. This is a close sibling of “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” Shall we agree to all be restless and fearless this year? To quote another favourite of mine, Tina Fey’s character in Mean Girls, “I am a pusher. I push people.” This year, I want to push myself outside my comfort zone professionally. Apply for stuff I might not be 100% qualified for but eager to learn about. Pitch writing or translation proposals. Take on new challenges. There’s no guarantee that they are going to work out but there is also no harm at trying. This mentality is doing wonders for my wing woman-ing game as well.