December 2014 – My December (and The New Year)

Dean Winchester meets Edward Cullen

The end of the year is here… Okay, so it is actually the New Year now and we’re one week in. But this is the post where I usually reflect on the year and look forward to the year ahead, and tell you, my dear reader, what my hopes and goals for the future are.

December in general was challenging. I’ve been feeling very lonely at university without having made any real friends and so I looked forward to going home for Christmas more than I thought I ever would, just to get a break from feeling so alone and to see people I love. Ironically, I realised once I got back home that my life is relatively lonely there too, the only difference is that at university I know I’m doing something with my life. What I realised is that I don’t have many true friends back home now. Only a handful actually saw me or even got in touch. The rest seem to have gone off on their own paths. And that is fine – people grow apart and have other things going on. But some people are just dicks, and I guess now I’m beginning to realise how many of my oldest friends have always been dicks.

Supernatural - Dean and Cas - Jesus Dies

But I’m not here to rag on these people, life moves on. I’m written before about how I believe some people come into your life to teach you things about yourself and leave just as quickly. It’s all about the experience that this person or persons provide and you have to learn to let go, but to also embrace new people. I’m at a stage where I’m struggling to embrace new people, but maybe someday soon this year I’ll be able to open up and let people back in.

So the break away from uni was great, I have returned feeling fresh and ready for the new semester. I got to see most of the people I wanted to see, spent a good amount of time with my family, and socialised more in 13 days than I did in the previous 3 months. Now I’m back on campus, 2 weeks before the official start of term I might add, I’m now looking at what my life at university needs. Or rather, I’m now looking at what my needs are at university to sustain my existence away from home.

Batman & Iron Man Throw Money at Each Other

As usual, sustaining my existence requires two things: money and accommodation. Luckily I’m doing well since my bursaries came through, but now I need to look at accommodation for June 2015, as that’s when my lease in halls runs out. Conceivably I could just go home for 3 months, but there is no fucking way I want to do that. 2 weeks back home was enough of a reminder for how bleak my hometown is. No prospects, no future. I also need to look now as a lot of good housing tends to go around this time of year… so yeah… I need to find somewhere to live beginning in June, maybe a one bedroom flat or something, but that requires money that I won’t have over that period from loans, grants, and bursaries. This means finding work. In the short term, this makes my goals for January focused on accommodation and work… and maybe studying…

But what about my long terms goals for 2015? Well firstly lets look at my long-term goals for 2014. As always, I don’t do New Years Resolutions, I set myself semi-realistic goals to achieve throughout a year. This is something I’ve done for the past few years, and it’s generally worked out well for me.

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 16.30.30

So as you can see there are 3 ticks on the list. I made a plan to get out of Coventry by succeeding at college and got into university. Woohoo! But what happened to the others? My writing took a back seat a lot in 2014. This was a mixture of lack of motivation, to burn out from overworking at college, to pure depression. Depression makes me lose interest, mostly in things I love and enjoy. The funny thing is I recently watched a film that touched on some of the themes of a film idea I’ve been developing (I usually come across one each year now) and it made me realise something; my story could be so much better than theirs if I just put my mind to it.

Sadly my “health programme” perhaps wasn’t a big winner either. Since leaving home I’ve not had a gym membership due to it being unaffordable, I’m not sure whether I am eating healthily (even though it appears I’ve dropped a jean size since leaving home in September), but it looks like I’ve managed to cut out beer almost entirely. I’ve barely drank whilst I’ve been at uni, When I have drank beer it’s not been more than a couple. Any other time I drink alcohol I’m drinking spirits… which may not be great, but I think it has helped me to drop the weight that I have. So why do I feel like I’ve not achieved my goals? Because I’m stupid, that’s why. I’m obviously dwelling on the negatives rather than the positives.

The Element of Surprise

The sad thing about this is that I purposefully promise myself each year to not allow anything to happen to stop me from achieving my goals, originally an idea that came about as a call to arms to not let life and depression prevent me from living my life. So maybe what I need is to change the wording, to remind me that I am allowed to fail, but not to let life get me down. So here are my goals for 2015:

 Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 22.58.20

Some of these are things that have been discussed. A part-time job will help out in the financial long run, but will also help to get me out to meet new people. This is also in the design to “Travel more”. I barely did anything new in last year aside from a couple of trips. I’ve not made the effort to get out and see the world. Some years I’d make the effort to go to London Film and Comic Con, but for the past few years I’ve not bothered. Sometimes it is to do with a lack of money, but mostly due to feeling shitty about myself. This year I want to make a conscious effort to save money and do things. Maybe even take a holiday somewhere different. Doing well at university is a given for me. I’ve spent a long time wasting time and now I want to make up for it academically to have something concrete to show that I did something with my life. The same goes for writing. Whilst setting myself a goal of writing a screenplay didn’t seem like a lofty notion, the task seems to have been one that has been daunting. Now, I just want to set myself the goal of using my free time effectively, and not squander it sleeping or playing Facebook games. As for achieving the goals – well you can see that it’s been reworded. I need to let myself know that as long as I try to do things this year then it is fine. I need to push myself, but if I fail then it’s okay. At least I tried.

Ron Swanson - Live your life how you want but don't confuse drama with happiness

I know this post has ran on a lot longer than it ought to, but I wanted to touch on something I have been thinking about this past week over New Year. A lot of people look back over a year and think about the bad stuff that has happened, and can’t wait to discard it. People then look at the New Year as being full of potential happiness, as if all 365 days will be good days. The problem, the honest truth of this, is that life isn’t like that. We all have our good days and bad days – mental health problem or no mental health problem. Life is risky, things beyond our control happening and fucking with us. Ultimately, we have to ride it out. Some people piss and moan about how bad their 2014 was, when really they only had some fallings out or minor problems at work and maybe missing their favourite TV programme. My 2014 was another year where I lost a loved one, but when I look back on it in the future I’ll remember it as being the year I spent with an amazing woman, no matter how complex that relationship was, where I got to see a meteor shower for the first time, and as the year I finally got to go to university and move away from home. Despite the stresses and the up and down nature of my life, 2014 is probably my first good year in a long while. 2014 was the year where I took a huge leap forward in my life, and didn’t look back.

I hope you are able to say the same. 🙂

Much love ❤

Please remember to recycle your metal