It might be just another day on the calendar, nevertheless, like many, I’ve always thought that the first day of the new year marked a turning point, or rather a fresh start. The first day of a bright new year, shining with promise. Couldn’t we just sweep anything we didn’t like, screwed up or had been avoiding from the closing year under the carpet and begin anew?
In my first book, I finished each chapter with a series of resolutions, most of which I inevitably broke soon thereafter. I eventually learnt that making declarations wasn’t enough to actually drive change. We have to at least set change into motion. And that’s exactly what I’ve now forced myself to do.
I quit my job.
Yes, you read correctly.
Upon hearing about my job, which took me all over the world, most people would say: “Wow, you’ve got the best job in the world!” My job did have many tremendous benefits and allowed me to travel and have countless fascinating cultural experiences. That said, I’ve been working approximately 60-80 hours a week for 7 years: with my day job, previous association work and my various writing projects. I was starting to feel like my life and dreams were passing me by.
Besides the basic fact of those resolutions and years were flipping by with lightning speed on the calendar and that I just simply don’t have the time to accomplish everything I wanted to, I was disregarding my health, was neglecting my friends and family… and rarely had time to even enjoy Paris when I was physically present. I felt like I had to work, work, work.
In addition to all of these woes, as I lamented in the recent post on dating, it was getting increasing difficult to meet any serious romantic interests with me always being here, there and everywhere. This struck a cord a couple of weeks ago when a guy friend off-handedly commented that all my travels probably scared potential suitors off, brandishing me as inaccessible. I’d generally thought of my cosmopolitan lifestyle as an attribute, I’m a huge multitasker and I thought I could juggle everything, but maybe that’s not the way everyone would see it… and actually maybe I didn’t have enough energy to keep those juggling balls in motion.
Fatigue, romantic disappointments and drifting dreams were piling and dusting up like all the clutter in my front closet (and that’s a very scary site! yikes!). This became even more poignant with the recent attacks in Paris. Life is precious and it can be lost to us in an instant. Something had to give.
So leading up to a real fresh start for 2016, I cut the cord, I’m daring to chase my dreams, and most importantly live life.
I’m going to take care of myself; my soul and my body.
I’m going be rediscover my creative spirit.
I’m not going to care what anyone thinks, I’m going to do what I want all the while respecting others.
I’m going to live and love in my city and share it with the world.
And I’m still going to travel, don’t worry.
Though, it’ll be at my own pace. Obviously so with the first thing I did to help turn this life page was book a flight to South Africa, a month with my sister has become an odd tradition for transitions in my life. But for the next trips… wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to travel with?
I’ll still be really busy and you’ll see a lot more of me; on my terms. Look out for more exciting news and new features on the blog as the year unfolds.
But before we get to any of that, I’d like to challenge you. When making your own new year’s resolutions (or not), dare to resolve to do something/s you really love, for yourself. It could be small like splurging on your favourite extra rich ice cream once a month, it could be taking a five-minute break from your kids every week, it could be signing up for those dance or piano lessons you’ve had aching at the back of your mind though haven’t dared attempt or it could be taking that trip to that destination you’ve dreamt of since you were a kid. You can do it if you set your mind on it and make it happen. Small or big those dreams are meant to be achieved, sometimes it’s less daunting to start with the small ones. It’s important to set goals to attain them and to keep on track but it’s more important to live and love life in the process.
Let’s make 2016 the year of LIFE.