I have to say, my transition into the new year has so far felt extremely refreshing. I feel energized and pretty optimistic about spring actually being a real thing even though the sun barely rises these days up here in the north. I’ve looked inwards and done a whole lot of self-reflection these last couple of weeks. From doing so I’ve realized I’m a mix of a person who enjoys spontaneity and one who wants everything structured. While I’m easy going, I want to have my shit together. I want to be able to book a trip and leave the day after, but I also want to know where my phone charger is at all times. You know what I mean? There’s this magical balance between the two, where one can't function without the other. The structure is in the foundation, which is vital; a home to start off at so that I then can go nuts from there. But a foundation like that isn’t built in a day, and I also think it needs to be checked in on once in a while. Because if it was to unravel, that's when I almost obsessively either let go of all routine or stick to everything like a crazy person. As I’ve mentioned before I want to live more mindful this year and I felt that in order to do that, I had to start fresh and hit the reset button. I talked about this with Nicole yesterday over a sweet potato coconut stew-dinner. And we came to the conclusion that in order to distinguish a year after it has passed, you need some sort of change to separate it from the year before. I think (hope), when I look back on 2018, it will be the year when I started doing things with intention.
Inspired by Rachel Nguyen I started to think about the different elements around which my life circles, what I can do to reset them and finally how to build off of that clean slate; how I will stimulate and nourish them.
The first element is my mind. In my journal, I wrote a longer messier version of this text. Word vomiting everything regarding 2017 on paper. Days that have stayed with me, work I’ve done, people I’ve met and drifted apart from, food I’ve eaten, trips I’ve done. Everything by significance ended up on those pages. Also a lot of insignificant stuff, because those things matter too. Being a person who turns to writing as soon as I need to process something, this was a very natural step for me.
The next thing I did was setting a goal for that element. So what do I do to stimulate my mind? I want to read more. I’ve been a terrible reader these past few years and I miss it so much. I want to try to instead of watching an episode of Friends before going to bed or scrolling through Instagram, read for half an hour. When I’ve done that in the past, I find I sleep so much better. It’s basically therapy for $14.99. I also want to write more. Both more produced texts for this site, but also in my journal. Even if it’s just a few lines every night, get it out there! When I do I feel like I make sense of everything and it’s also interesting to go back and see how you’ve been and how you’ve dealt with things in the past. The last goal is to continue with my own little version of bullet journaling. I find it so soothing. I write everything (literally everything) I have/want/need to do in a day either the night before or in the morning and check it off during the day. It’s basically a very thorough to-do list. This helps me focus and be in the moment. Not worrying about what I should do, if I’ve forgot something. It’s all there.
The second element is my body. I’ve never really had a complicated relationship to my body. I’ve always accepted it and kind of just gone with the flow. That meant not working out at all and eating whatever I want to eat. And while that is a very chill and carefree way of life, it’s not a very healthy one. So as of lately, I’ve started to get my shit together and I understand now that life is even more chill because of it. I suddenly feel fresh and clean and headaches are no more. I’m going to the gym like 2-3 times a week, I’ve stopped buying crap at the store (because if I have it at home, I’ll eat it) and I’ve (basically) stopped smoking.
The smoking thing is pretty fucking rad. I’m so proud of myself to go from smoking like 5 cigarettes a day to now having smoked like two cigarettes a month since August if you portion it out. But now even those occasional party cigs are a no-go. The last ones I’ve smoked haven’t been good or satisfying at all, but it’s like I'm on auto pilot. So stupid. Anyway, this year I want to really nourish and treat my body like it deserves. I want to do more yoga, continue with my daily meditation (download Headspace and go at it) and be thoughtful about what I put in and on my body. And that definitely means eating pizza once in a while and taking seconds of my Grandma’s homemade ice-cream. But it also means overall eating green, stop eating when I’m full (a very difficult thing for me) and really listening to what my body is telling me. Letting it drive and go along for the ride.
The third element is my space. I own an apartment! This is still so ridiculous to me. I love my place so much. It’s so small, so it takes only 30 minutes to clean. It’s light so even if it’s midwinter and there is no sun, my bright floors and light pink couch still light up my world. And it’s in the best location, in my opinion. I feel so at home and safe there which is amazing.
I look forward to finish up decorating (a shelf for the wall above the table, a bedside table and some art is on my list) this year and find a home for all my things. I think that is the most important thing for me. I absolutely hate living in a mess and some people would probably call me a neat freak, but whatever. If something does not have a home, but instead is just being dropped on a shelf or in a drawer without intention that’s how a mess starts to build up. I also want to take care of my plants and turn my small bathroom into a tiny spa with eucalyptus and scented candles and soft towels. And turn my balcony into a miniature rain forest!
The last element is my work. I’ve had a bit of a ride last year with changing work place, role and business all at once. Took a bit of a leap. I’ve also accomplished a lot with my “personal” work as I call it. I’ve launched a magazine, I’ve been published in Nuda Paper and Notion Magazine, I’ve started a podcast and a freaking ballin community, I’ve gotten to the point where this site is a place I look forward to visit and care for and not a place I dread to check in on.
To work-cleanse I first of all went on a Christmas-New Year break and burnt out all my work toxins and anxiety with the help of vodka shots in Moscow. Worked really well. Would recommend. I’ve also cleaned up both my computers and both my phones on files and images, placing everything on hard drives which I’ve marked by year. I followed that by creating folders on my Google Drive for everything. I love folders. Then I idea dumped on a piece of paper; wrote down everything I want to do with my personal work and my professional work. It’s a mix of everything, but so efficient to just dump it all on a paper and call it a day. Now I can always go back when I need inspiration.
Some work goals are what follows... I want to elevate this space more. I want to continue with the shop section (ultimate goal is to turn it into a web shop with a small selection of curated pieces - anyone down for that?) and try to take my interviews to a new level. I want to write more for different magazines and publications, I’d also love to try out more creative direction and styling. I want to continue with my podcast and hopefully activating our community more and really start something there. It’s so fulfilling and fun to share all of that with Linn, my soul sister and angel.
Most of all I’m going to focus on doing my best. And whatever that is, however far (or not) that takes me, will be good enough. Rather than this year being a year where I worry about where the hell I’m going to end up, I just want to feel relaxed, focused and have fun. I’m so tired of chasing that revelation of "oh this is what I want to do and that's where I want to be". I’d rather just let life take me along on its rollercoaster and with time I'm sure it will come to me. All is good.
Let me leave you with this: good things happen if you keep a positive attitude.