First of all, I freaking loved reading back over my post from last year about my New Year’s resolutions. For one, it’s actually pretty hilarious. I mean I laughed pretty damn hard at myself, especially the resolution to have less hangovers. (Ha. A ha ha. Sigh…….)
But I also loved reading it because I really did manage to accomplish everything on that list (except less hangovers, obviously.) I did seek out more adventure and combat complacency like a champ in 2015. I didn’t let boredom and routine take over my life. I did do more meaningful work, especially here on the blog. I wrote, I shared, you listened and responded.
Oh, and I definitely embraced a “Fuck it, let’s do it.” attitude in 2015.
The coolest part is, because of the action I took on those goals, I’m here a year later a completely changed person because of those resolutions. And life is better.
I mean, what more can you ask for in a new year’s resolution?
The problem is, my resolution game was so on point last year, I have to figure out how to top it this year. So I started with a detailed list, as I do, of the things I want to accomplish in 2016. I separated things into categories, etc. But just as my look back at 2015 went, I realized most of plans and goals all boiled down to one overarching desire:
In 2016, I want to figure out how to make this life of adventure sustainable.
This year, I left my old life behind (along with my comfort zone and the majority of my belongings) and started a new one on the open road, actively seeking out experiences that scare the shit out of me. It’s been glorious and rewarding but also challenging and at times, terrifying.
It’s terrifying because I took a huge leap, hoping the net will appear. It hasn’t yet.
Sure, I’ve had some fantastic adventures. I’ve met some great people. I’ve learned about myself. I’ve challenged my preconceptions. I’ve grown stronger and more resilient. I’ve learned about people and places. I’ve done things most people don’t.
But the truth is, I’m still living on my savings. Financially, I need to figure out a way to start making some money on the road. This means finally going after those freelance writing jobs I’ve been eyeing since September. It means committing to more work developing my social media and web development skills. It means networking and approaching potential sponsors. It means looking for a way to market my strengths in a way that adds value to others, enough that they’ll pay me for my effort.
It means figuring out the answers to a whole lot of freelancing and business-owning questions that I don’t even have yet.
And I’m not just talking about financial sustainability either. Emotionally and mentally, I need to make sure I’m prepared to live a life of full-time adventure, and all the travel that it entails. This means working on my communication with my friends and family back home, and choosing when and where to travel to help keep my relationships with loved ones strong.
I worry that I’m sacrificing good relationships in the name of traveling to far-away places just to cross something off a list. I worry that I’m stretching myself too thin, trying to see and do too much and not dedicating enough time to putting in work hours to start up a freelance writing career.
I worry that this is all a dream that isn’t sustainable and eventually, I’ll need to come home and go back to my old life of working for someone else. And I worry that would make me a failure.
There’s a voice in my head that keeps nudging me that way, reminding me I wasn’t miserable working in TV, the money is good and it’s not the worst thing I could do.
But then there is the other voice in my head that knows I’ve come too far, I’ve taken such a leap, that it would be all but impossible to go back.
And I don’t want to go back. Not yet, at least.
So all of these questions and worries I hope to address in the next year, and all the goals on my list support it:
2016 is the year of seeking sustainability.
It’s not a glamorous resolution, but it’s necessary if I want to continue to make my dream a reality. It’s time to get gritty and get down to work.
Because adventure is still calling, and it won’t ever stop!
What are you 2016 resolutions? Is this a year of taking a big leap? Or is it time for you to get down to work to make your dreams a reality?