So, the “official” FFF prompt for today was “My goals for 2017”. But as I already made a list of my new years resolutions earlier in the week, I thought I would skip back a week and write about the ways I evolved in 2016.
I became more confident about interacting with people.
I am notoriously shy around other people. Not so much people I’m really close to, but with people I don’t know well I tend to shrink into the background and never speak until spoken to. This year I started attending gigs with my boyfriend and I fell into the same trap of waiting for other people to interact with me. During one particularly awkward show, I was sitting in an armchair at a pub in a room full of people. I was lamenting at how boring I must be and generally beating myself up for being such a goober.
It was in that moment that I realised that nobody was talking to me because nobody knew me. By keeping my lips zipped until someone asked me a question, I wasn’t giving anyone a chance to get to know me. Even though it’s difficult for me, I’ve really tried to make an effort to open up, participate in conversations with new people and actively seek out interactions. It’s done wonders for my confidence and has helped me make some awesome friends.
Additionally, I have pushed myself to reach out to some of my friends whom I would like to know better. I always feel worried that I’m bugging people if I get in touch with them, or that they’ll be creeped out by me. But the reality is that if they don’t want to talk to me, they don’t have to respond to my messages. So I’ve really made an effort to check in with my friends more often and reach out to new friends who I’d like to be closer to. And so far, not one of them has responded negatively.
2. I switched to a vegan (ish) diet
In mid November I made the decision to try a vegan diet. I watched several documentaries about plant based diets, sustainability and health and they really had an impact on me. I was appalled by the way that animals are treated when they are farmed for food and I felt quite mad at myself for keeping my head in the sand about this issue.
Initially I thought I would just give veganism a go and see how I felt. I had a lot of concerns and I thought that taking a “let’s just try and see” approach would be best. And it worked well. I made lots of big changes to my diet and tried loads of new foods. I learned about adapting traditional recipes to make them vegan and I had a blast cooking.
At this stage, I’m eating what I call a vegan-ish diet. Because my family and my boyfriend aren’t vegan, I will occasionally eat a non-vegan meal with them because I’d rather enjoy their company than make a fuss over what food is served to me. I have also found that very few restaurants in town have any vegan options available, so when I eat out I just try to choose something as close to vegan as possible. I’m not aiming for 100% perfect veganism, I’m just trying to do the very best I can without stressing myself out.
3. I got serious about minimalism
Minimalism is kind of a buzz word at the moment, but I feel it accurately describes my current mindset. I have started to feel overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” in my life. My flat is full of clutter, my to-do list is overflowing and I have been spending so much time maintaining and acquiring more things that I don’t have time to enjoy myself. In October I began a serious overhaul of my belongings and habits. I’ve been systematically cleaning out my belonging. I’ve focused on developing better shopping habits and eliminating mindless spending. I’m attempting to spend my time doing things that bring me joy, things that are useful and productive and letting go of those things I feel I “should” do.
4.I settled into my job
I’ve been at my job for two years now, and it’s only in the last six months that I’ve realised that I’m feeling confident and settled in what I’m doing. I rarely have to ask for help, and I’m finding that my daily routine at work has a smoothness to it. I finally feel as though I know what I’m doing. I no longer feel like “The New Girl” and I’ve learned loads in the past two years.
5.I let go of some hang ups about sex.
2016 was the year I really got passionate about sex. I started to feel more comfortable talking and writing about sex. I wrote several blog posts about sex toys and BDsM. I attended Kink Fest and have made several kinky friends. I started asking for the sex I wanted and tried several new sexual experiences. I became passionate about learning about sex and sexuality from a variety of sources. I feel as though 2016 was an extremely sex positive year for me.
How did you evolve in 2016?