As the magic of Christmas and the shortest day sit behind us, the hazy fun of midnight on New Year’s and the crazy diet and exercise plans in the first weeks of January slow down we’re settling into a new year and a new decade. I’ve been spending about the whole of January trying to convince myself to post something on what the new decade means to me. So here goes, a personal post on my reflections on the new year.
I’ll start the post by doing what everyone always does at the end of something- looking back. Given it’s the start of a new decade it seems people are looking way back: considering our 2009 selves, cringing at that bad hairstyle and reminiscing that crazy holiday, thinking of the friends we’ve made, the ones we’ve lost and the ones we’ve kept with us.
As you can imagine, starting 2009 at just 13, the cusp of teenagehood, I have definitely changed. I couldn’t even possibly describe who I was back then. One post I did at the start of 2019 that will always be a favourite of mine was looking back at the books that made me, titled To all the Books I’ve Loved Before. I chose a book for every year of the decade that shaped that year or played some part, in some way.
Going into 2019 I’d just moved into a new flat with my boyfriend, started my first proper job and was a couple months into what I hoped would be my life. Or at least for a few years.
It wasn’t until September this year that the permanence began to stick. At university I’d moved house every year, at boarding school I’d moved rooms. Every year I tacked up the same snaps and posters, arranged slightly differently, printed off a few new ones and stepped back to admire my room and each year I’d stuff them into an envelope, throw them in a suitcase, scratch off and ball up the bluetack and put them away for a summer before using them again in September. This year I didn’t realise until October that I was half expecting to do that. I was surprised when we put our Christmas tree up, in the same place, again. I was surprised we still hadn’t gotten round to putting up those photos, stuffed in an envelope in my suitcase upstairs, still. I was surprised to still be there and honestly totally relieved.
Having come from education, through the sticky years of untucked shirts and being forced outside at lunchtime, to the scrappy binders and cursive pages of slightly more important school, to finally dragging on a hoodie and yawning my way through a 9am lecture with a professor I could hardly hear and a handful of bleary eyed strangers on my first day of uni. It was a decade of total change. I kept being told about the person I would be, planned this monotonous life for myself in the back of my head. I’d do the gruelling 9-5 office job, cook bacon and eggs on the weekend and probably do something dull like clean the house.oj Saturdays. My work changes everyday, my weekends are spent with friends, I’m borderline vegetarian and don’t tend to do fry ups and well, the house tidying does happen. Occasionally. It’s nothing like envisioned but in everyway better.
The year 2020 is going be big. I’ve been on the grad scheme since 2018 and I still have pictures on my phone of us all huddled outside work in thick winter coats up in Manchester proclaiming ‘Class of 2020’. And now I’m actually staring that straight in the face.
On the outside not much has changed: I’m still commuting into London, bleary mornings, lashes laden with sleep and too cheery train announces offering to sell me a five pound KitKats, to the hectic world of work to the calm evenings spent flopped on the sofa with my boyfriend that will no doubt dot our wild early twenties. Getting settled into a permanent team at work, rather than rotating around, is one thing 2020 will bring that I’m looking forward to. Starting to climb the greasy pole, seeing my work all the way through to production and getting really great friends and colleagues that I stay with for longer than six months.
The word balance is sort of what I’m desperate to achieve this year. I have sunken into that crazy exercise fad that, as a teenager, I’d roll my eyes at. I have started doing strength exercises every night before bed and am trying to go to indoor cycling classes at the gym once a week. I’m pushing to stay a tad healthier although I am still scoffing leftover Christmas chocolate.
I want to be more bold in my writing this year. Posting more personal and discussions posts to really push myself out of my comfort zone and to have some more unusual stories on the blog, hence this post. I also want to get my writing out there. I love writing fiction but I hate sharing it, showing it, discussing it. I actually think I’m sort of rubbish. But I can never improve if I don’t try, and being too afraid to start is probably not the best way about it. So c’mon 2020 me, I can do this!
The last thing I’m hoping 2020 will bring is a better balance with my friends. I’m hoping to build up lasting relationships and also hoping to reconnect with some of the ones I’m starting to feel I’m loosing. I still have crazy relations with people from uni who I occasionally talk to and meet up with to reminisce, which makes me feel like the friendship has sort of stagnated, but I would really like to reconnect properly. I want to make some really close friends at work, a trip to the cinema today being the first time I’ve done anything with work mates besides the pub. One day I’d love to invite them over to my flat but it still feels like we’re not at that point yet.
So there you have it. Let’s see what 2020 me can accomplish. I’m always overly ambitious at the beginning of the year, I’m 100% that person who throws their all in at January and, as my snarky friend pointed out when I said I’d practice French everyday, most resolutions don’t last to the end of January. I’m desperate not to burn out. But I’m also just looking forward to a new year in what has so far been a great build up.