Goodbye 2014, my good old friend!

With the new year already being four days old, it’s about time I wrote a proper farewell to twenty-fourteen. It was a year of searching and finding myself faced with the hard reality. I lost a friend but gained new ones and those who stayed have managed to nestle into my heart as they supported me when life spiraled downwards and went horribly bad, very quickly.

But twenty-fourteen, already shaping into a memory, wasn’t all black and cloudy.

There were months of sunshine and laughter as I reconnected online and found my passion to write again. It was a year of finding new authors and new genres. A year of traveling; of stretching my boundaries and jumping into the unknown. It was a year of hugs and tears, of courage and pushing, pushing, always pushing forwards and not looking over the shoulder to the past. It was a year of counting days, weeks and then months until it all slowed down again.

I finished the year in silence and comfort, spending time with my parents and some with my friends. I received amazing presents for Christmas and New Year (books about blogging, Wreck My Journal, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, etc) and after two weeks of being home, I’m quite relaxed and not too tired.

Having reached all those scary life-changing moments a twenty-something-year-old has to deal with (read: going to uni/finish uni, finding a job, figure out life), I don’t have any big plans for the new year (although meeting a significant other might be fun this year). I’m currently happy where I am but since I am where I am, there’s nothing HUGE lining up for me to ponder about or to fight for. I imagine it will be a quiet year, one that I need.

With only one resolution crossed out in 2014, it is time to set up a new list.

My reading goals:

1. Completing my reading challenge on Goodreads. Last year I aimed to read 40 books and managed to finish 48. I know there are at least ten books missing on that list (you know, some guilt-reading books) so I decided to take it up a notch and challenge myself to 52 books for 2015.

2. Challenge myself to read a few books (preferably 12) from the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list. Although the title sounds slightly arrogant and I question some of their choices, I believe it would be a good way to find new authors and explore different cultures while I indulge myself in some grown-up literature.

Change some of those nasty habits:

1. Organisation. I’m so terrible with organising my life. I forget birthdays (I’m so sorry if I forgot you last year and yes, it happened to almost everyone I know and I feel ashamed and bad about this), I have no idea what’s happening until it actually happens, resulting in me buying presents the day before Christmas. Or me writing this when the year is four days old. It was a hassle and I want to do better this year.

2. Keep calm and carry on. I lost my temper a lot last year. Usually, I ignore people when they annoy me but last year I got fed up on a regular basis, resulting in me saying things I didn’t mean (well, maybe I did mean them in the moment) and regret saying. I have to admit that this happened in relation to a particular person who has been so selfish I could have scratched this person’s eyes out and I did remain calm for two months before I exploded. However, this year, I’ll try not to fuel my own anger by poisonous thoughts. Now, I’ll meditate for ten long breaths, walk away and think: fuck you, you’re not worth being fed up about. Life’s too short for this anyway.

3. Wake up! I need to start setting my alarm and when I do set my alarm, not hit that snooze button ten times, then switching it off and turning around to continue my beauty sleep. It resulted in me waking up hours later than planned in the weekend and ruining my day. This might also help to get things done that I might plan better this year…hmm.

4. Declutter my life. You don’t want to see my room right now. Or any other day for that matter. Books are piling up in messy heaps, notebooks are literally everywhere. My laptop has no place to rest (it sleeps on the floor) and my sofa is home to the clothes I’ve worn for a few hours and aren’t dirty. My shoes are hidden behind the door in such a nice fashion that my door can only be opened half before hitting a pair. And that’s only the physical stuff. My laptop needs a thorough cleaning (yes, you documents that only contain a single sentence, you’re leaving!) AND my desk at work. Let’s just say no one is allowed to touch anything because I’ll never find it back then. Declutter it is!

Long-term Goals:

1. Taking the big step into the unknown. For two years I’ve been wanting to move out from my parental home but with rents being so high it’s difficult to find a proper place that fulfills my needs. Buying a house/apartment is near impossible when you’re alone (and still want to be able to buy food) and with the economical shift of not being able to add your mortgage to your taxes this year, I’m afraid this will be even harder to achieve. I don’t want to put this thought in a drawer and close it forever though. I’ll just have to be more creative in finding ways to get what I want. Plus, hopefully, this shift means that prices will drop. Cross those fingers!

Blog topics to expect:

1. Book reviews. They’ll be back every Sunday, starting from February. There will be one appearing next week and one half January while I adjust going back to work in combination with this blog. Finding the rhythm and all…

2. Book-to-Movie adaptations. I love books and I love films. It would be a great way to combine this love and share it with you. I’ll be keeping track which books are put into films and when they’re being released.

3. Book releases. I always want to know when something new is out for me to read. Whether this is a debut author, an author I haven’t discovered yet or a new book written by my favourite author, the hunger for knowledge is always present. However, the Internet can be overwhelming at most times. That’s why I’ve decided to highlight the ones that sound most promising, separated by genre.

4. Question Monday. I’ve been given a book named “Q&A a day” (published by the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House) that asks a question a day for the next five years. It’s structured in such a way that by the time you’ve answered questions all year long, you end up back at your first question. This is a fun way to see what you answered last time and what you think now. I want to use this idea (and the questions) to let you in in my personal life, answering only those questions that correspond with Mondays. Sort of like a diary but not quite. I also thought this could be an interactive way to get to know you, my readers, a bit better too. Maybe we can learn some unexpected and exciting things from each other!

5. Adventures. This could be anything. Although my blog is almost two years old, I’m still trying to figure out what works for me and what doesn’t. This is to let you know that I will experiment as I’ll go and sometimes something might stick and sometimes it might disappear. A true online, writing adventure and I love adventures. Don’t you?

I hope you enjoyed 2014 and began the new year with sparkling enthusiasm, bubbling ideas and a new book or two that you’re dying to read!

So buckle up and hold tight; We’re off to experience an exciting new year!

All my love,

Fien

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