My opinion on goal-setting is always changing, especially when this time of year rolls around. For a long time I preached on my blog and to my friends about living in the moment and doing what makes you happy right here, right now. To an extent I still agree with that and absolutely aspire to be in a place one day where I can ‘live in the moment’… but right now I don’t think I can. Not in the way I meant it before. I’ve realised that maybe that’s OK.
When I was younger I had a very destructive mind-set and went on a lot of indecorous adventures, which was easy with having no responsibilities or consequences to face. I woke up every day with no idea what I was going to do with myself and went through some rather detrimental phases because of it. For a long period I would lock myself away in a dark room, driving myself stir-crazy with only my antagonistic thoughts for company and sleeping for countless hours. I then went to the other extreme and barely slept at all, filling my body with booze and drugs to try and prevent the inevitable come down, both physically and emotionally. There were times when I hated and wanted to hurt myself, times when I used other people to validate myself and times I was incapable of feeling anything. Throughout all of this I was ‘living in the moment’, taking each day as it came and never seeing a time where things could be different.
I am not ashamed to admit the places I have been in my life and I do not regret one moment of my past. Everything I experience is something to learn and grow from and has helped build the being that I am today. All in all I am happy with where I am now and know I will never sink to those lows again. Without them having happened already, I truly believe they would be inevitable. There’s a saying that goes: ‘sometimes it takes sadness to know happiness, noise to appreciate silence and absence to value presence’.
‘Living in the moment’ in the way I previously described it can actually be quite damaging for some people. Without structure in my life I found myself a wayward soul. I didn’t see the point in having aspirations, getting up in the morning or even being. I sometimes slip back in to periods of low mood but have enough in my life now to make me want to scramble back out of it. Although I may be years ‘behind’ my friends in terms of starting university, getting a degree, working towards a career and moving in to my own place, I’m getting there at my own pace and feel more comfortable doing it this way than I ever would have before.
Anyway, I didn’t intend for this post to get quite so deep. What I am trying to say is that my intense focus on living in the moment, living in the moment, always living in the moment contributed towards my emotional decline. I had some kind of hippy-ish romanticism for ‘living in the moment’ and always being happy and in retrospect it was simply a technique I used, a mask, to allow myself to move away from those negative experiences and become a completely different person.
I suppose we all feel that way sometimes, we all have our shit. It’s all relative isn’t it, and in remembering that I think I’ve experienced quite a lot. In terms of my own emotional capacity I’ve stretched it each and every way as far as it will go, and have finally settled somewhere comfortably in the middle. I don’t want to waste my time in the depths of depression when I have so much to be thankful for and look forward to, and yet I’m not a happy-go-lucky kind of girl in that corruption and injustice ignite a furious passion in me and drives me to constantly be fighting.
At the end of each year I sit and reflect on the things I think I know now despite realising that they will probably be different in 12 months’ time. I still don’t feel like I’m in a place where I truly know who I am and what I want out of life. We are all supposed to have that moment of self-discovery and understanding about ourselves and I am still looking for that. I deal with a lot of inner conflict, as do most of us. But fundamentally, I am who I am, I think I stand for the right shit, and I guess that’s ok. It’s a start.
As cliché as it sounds, I do believe in myself now. I believe that I can achieve things and have a positive impact on other people and be happy. And by happy I don’t mean ‘buzzing-off-my-tits’ happy or ‘feeling-validated-because-other-people-think-I’m-happy’ happy, I mean genuinely happy with what I’m doing. I’m not setting a goal that will direct or restrict me. Each day I want to wake up with one hope in mind: today, I’m going to be the best person I can be. That is my goal for 2016. It will feel amazing to have a purpose, something realistic to work towards, and one that I have created for myself. It is for these reasons that I do not want to live in the moment. I’ll save that for if, or when, I feel confident that every single moment is right.