a new year, a refresh

1 Jan 2024

 "A blank page, a rewrite
A black cat in the streetlights
An open door"   
- There It Goes, Maisie Peters 

Well hello. It's sure been a while since I've shown my face on here. I wish I could say that I had some fun and exciting reason as to why that is but truly I just have not felt like writing. Every time I would try to sit down and write a post, it would just end up unfinished and remain in the drafts until the end of time. I even bought a new camera at the start of the year with the hope of upgrading the content I was producing but what actually ended up happening is that I've done even less than usual. 2023 clearly was just one of those years. 

As the last year drew to a close I spent a lot of time reminiscing, not only on this year but also on all the others in recent memory and I was thinking about just how much things have changed, not necessarily even for the better so I'm starting 2024 with the best of intentions - that this is going to be my best year regardless of what it throws at me. I'm going to choose to be thankful and choose joy in circumstances. But I'm also going to put myself back out there, into the world both physically and creatively, starting with kickstarting this old blog again.

In order to hold myself accountable I thought the best thing to do would be to share some of my intentions for this year publically to give me the little kick up the rear I need to actually step up and pursue my goals.

1. Read 20 Books

Starting off easy - I didn't even read as much last year but I still managed to finish 26 books. I read 50 books in just six months in 2020 so since then I've always set my reading target to 40 but I've not been able to reach that any year thereafter. So in order to feel like I've actually accomplished something this year we're stripping it back to basics and reverting back to 20 which is a perfectly attainable target for my standards and maybe with a lower target it might even make me read more, who knows? I only read two five-star reads in 2023, (The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, and Begin Again by Emma Lord) so a few more of those would be nice for this year too.

2. Visit a New Country

I did a lot of travel this year - I visited seven different countries (including Italy where the photos in this post were taken) however I didn't actually visit any country that I hadn't already been to before so this year I think I'd like to tick off another one. Top of the list is somewhere in Eastern Europe like Poland, Czechia or Hungary I think but the actual top of the list is Iceland and Norway but I don't know how realistic that is for this year - maybe next year. I'm already heading back to Switzerland for work and I'll be heading to Munich in July for Taylor Swift so there's definitely room for another trip in there somewhere.

3. Go To A Concert Once A Month

I got really into live music in the past few years and I went to 11 different concerts last year and I had so much fun, it's definitely one of my preferred ways to spend an evening. This one isn't fully dependent on me though because I'm heavily reliant on the Belfast music scene which is notoriously not the best when it comes to attracting artists. I've already got seven planned for 2024 though (five in February alone) so hopefully I can fulfil this one and make more memories and find some new fun artists.

4. Take Up Some New Hobbies

I've become pretty stagnant in terms of things I do when I'm not working. To be honest I spend most of my time either at work, at home, or at church so I'm trying this year to do some more fun things that aren't just that. Maybe take up a new sport or just get out of my house more, be more intentional with meeting up with people, that kind of thing. Not fully sure what these will be yet because that's the thing with hobbies, you don't know what you like until you try a few but check back in at the end of the year and I'll keep you informed.

5. Content Creation

Lastly, I had such a fun time with content creation both on here and on Instagram when I was doing it more consistently back in 2020-2021 and I want to get back to that point again so I'm going to be putting effort into that again. Hey, the fact I got this up on the 1st of January is a good start right? I'm not going to force myself with it because that's how burnout occurs and I start to fall out of love with it but I think I'm in a good place to be back to my previous form. I'm not sure how it'll look because I've obviously grown and changed a  lot since then but I'm excited to find out!

If you've been here for a while thanks so much for bearing with me while I went on my unintentional sabbatical last year and if you're new, welcome I hope you stick around! Let me know some of your intentions for this year below and we can hold each other accountable! See you soon!

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