The mercury may have only risen few degrees but I bet it’s just a matter of days before you witness some bizarre human stripping off their T-shirt, right down to just joggers and beat-up sneaks, swigging a can of red stripe at 11am on the high street celebrating the start (very very prematurely) of the Great British Summer. But whilst I most certainly cannot recommend that as a viable life choice, the fresh new start of the season gives the perfect opportunity to reassess and make some new goals. Sure, your expensive #newyearnewme gym/class pass membership may not have taken quite a hard core beating as the credit card that pays for it did, and perhaps you haven’t quite reigned in your impulse buying (don’t worry I’m guilty of that too) so why not hit refresh for the start of the new season with a little re-evaluation? Here’s my 5 life goals to kick things up a gear. The key theme running through them all? Independence.
I seem to have created this image that I’m an independent woman. But behind the freewheeling YOLO dowhatiwant streak, I’m actually somewhat useless. It’s not that I can’t do certain things for myself, it’s just that I’m lazy and there’s something weirdly fun about getting people to do things for you (I’m sure a therapist would have something to say about this…) When I get a weird email, letter or bill, the first thing I do is call my parents and ask for help. Open this jar please. Cancel this appointment. Tidy my room. Take this to the post office. In past relationships I’ve let boyfriends do way too much for me out of sheer laziness, totally exploiting the fact that they just want to look after me.
The real light bulb moment happened like this: a few weekends back, my chest of drawers fused shut entombing my clothes within and I sat there thinking (along with what am I going to wear now) “who can I call who can help me crack this thing open?” And then it hit me how dependent I had become on others and I thought fuck this damsel in distress bullshit, I need to stop leaning on and relying on others and do things for myself. There’s nothing more liberating than real life DYI’ing – it puts you in total control. BRB just going to go put up some shelves and open some tight jars of jam and stuff.
Decisions decisions decisions. I’m terrible at making them. Do I buy those jeans or that dress? Should I have burgers or steak? Documentary on serial killers or Made in Chelsea? Drinks on Thursday with Mark from Tinder or Anthony who I think I met in some bar downtown but can’t exactly remember… is Anthony even his name? It got to a point where I’d do anything I can to avoid making a decision. Buy the dress and the jeans. Order the steak but go halfsies with my friend who’s having the burger (tbh that’s a solid idea so you really can’t judge). Go for a drink with Mark on Wednesday then see Anthony Thursday. But overanalysing choices wastes so much time, and it’s far more refreshing simply being assertive and making a quick decision. So it’s time to stop looking too deeply, have a little more confidence in my instincts, and be more decisive.
When I was a child I used to get such smug delight in showing my parents my schoolwork knowing that it was way beyond their capabilities. Not because they lacked intelligence, of course, but because the curriculum had advanced so much from when they were children. I had this moment the other day when a child did this weird coding thing and it was fantastic and also terrifying all at once because I live my life on the internet and this child had way more advanced computer skills than me. It was like wow, outsmarted by a child. It felt weird – probably how my parents did when I sat shoving some algebra in their faces. So it’s time to get with the program and learn to code. Whilst I don’t plan on doing any actual software development, people say it’s great for improving problem solving skills (helping me out with life goal 2), plus it’ll enable me to make more advanced developments to my blog (oh, and that’s life goal 1 struck off too, as I won’t be relying on techy-savvy boyfriends or paying out the nose for developers…)
Nothing quite instils The Fear in me like checking my bank balance. So half of the time I ignore it. Health issue? No need for the doctors it’ll go away with time… Tricky email to reply to? I’ll do it next week. Deadline? That’s what late nights and strong coffees were made for. But not tackling the problems head on always leads to issues getting bigger. So this time round I’m taking charge and actually being a grown up about it.
Going to gigs, plays, films, exhibitions, museums, events – these are all things I’ve stopped myself from going to in the past by total default simply because I didn’t have anyone to go with. Earlier this week I wrote about how liberating me-time can be, but why doesn’t that apply to when you’re out and about? There’s still this stigma that you shouldn’t do certain things by yourself. The creepy person alone in the cinema or having a drink in the bar? Perhaps they’re not so creepy after all. Perhaps I’ll become one of them.