Welcome, 2018: Thoughts for the New Year

welcome 2018

Another new year. And 2018 is a pretty big one, for me. This year marks my 30th birthday, in April. It’s also going to mark ten years that my partner and I have been together. Big milestones! As for 2017, I’m glad to see it gone by. Wonderful things happened to me personally – my first two trips out of the country, an amazing summer of hiking, camping, and travel with my little family, growing and experimenting with my art. But outside of my little bubble, there was a lot of horror. Things that made the happiness of my personal life seem insignificant, even selfish to enjoy. So much that is absolutely out of my control, things that I cannot change even when I do as much as I can. Those things dampened the happy wonderful times.

The end of the year in particular, wasn’t great for me. I let myself get entirely overwhelmed with anxiety for nearly the full month of December. I hadn’t dealt with anxiety that bad in nearly two years; it was back to feeling like I couldn’t leave my house and I hardly ate or slept for days at a time. It was incredibly unhealthy. But it did lead to something good in the end. Due to the three solid weeks of anxiety I’d been living in, I took the entire last week of December off. I gave myself no responsibilities other than caring for my kid. No housecleaning I didn’t want to do. No cooking if I didn’t feel like it. Not worrying about keeping up online. More playtime with my daughter. And it was incredible.

It was a break I didn’t know I needed, but it turned out to be EXACTLY what I needed. Even better, my partner got time off from work so we got to spend five days together as a family. A perfect staycation to end a stressful month. I got my eating and sleeping back on track, and just allowed myself to BE, without constant worries of what the next day would bring. It felt so good, I plan to make that little staycation a yearly tradition. I will be taking the week after Christmas off from life every year from now on, and I really encourage you to do the same if you’re able.Β Overall, I’m happy to say goodbye to 2017. I’m happy to welcome in 2018, a fresh year full of hope for the future and positive changes.

In the past, I’ve liked to set goals for the year. But every year, I set the goals, and by March have usually forgotten them entirely. I much prefer to stick to small monthly goals, which I’ll be posting later in the week. But I do have a focus for 2018. I couldn’t narrow it down to One Little Word, a project I really like, but I’ll explain my focus as best I can.

At some point in 2017 I had a realization about myself. I haven’t lived on my own since I was 20 years old. I moved in with my partner the year I turned 20, and we’ve been together ever since. And while I love being alone, and having alone time, I realized that when it comes to being outside my comfort zone, I am terrified to be on my own. I think it first hit me when we went to Costa Rica last April. I was freaking out about having to fly without my partner. And I can’t really explain why. I’m a fully grown, smart, and capable woman yet the idea of being somewhere new by myself terrifies me. Having new experiences on my own scares me. Existing out of my comfort zone by myself scares me. Why? I don’t have a good answer.

Because of this I’m making it a point to rediscover how to be on my own in new situations. It seems such a silly thing, but it’s a fear that I truly want to conquer. I know myself, and I know my anxiety, and I can easily see this spiraling into something that ends up holding me back from things I want to do. I do not want that to happen.

I’m starting small. I have tickets to a concert in March with my brother and his girlfriend, and I’ll be driving to Boston and back by myself. I am sure this sounds like a relatively normal thing for basically any adult, but I’m nervous just thinking about it. May brings an upgraded challenge – I’m going out to visit my best friend! She moved across country two years ago, and I’m finally going to fly out and stay with her for a bit! It’ll be the first flight I’ve ever been entirely on my own for, so that’ll be a biggie.

Have you ever struggled with anxiety about doing things on your own? If so, let me know and we can strategize together! Or, if you’ve got any tips on overcoming this fear, please share. I could use the help! And of course, feel free to tell me about your goals for the year if you have any, or things you’re excited about for 2018!

  • I’ve written a similar post on my blog as well, I’m happy that 2017 is gone and I hope 2018 will be definitely better. Sometimes I feel so anxious about my future because I don’t know if I’ll ever get a job or if I’ll ever meet someone who actually interests me, I have the constant fear that I will live with my parents forever. When all these horrible thoughts come to my mind, I try to take a deep breath and think about the present. This is also why my word for the year is SLOW, I want to live in the moment rather than in the future.

    I took a 48h break from the internet on Christmas and it felt so good! But I noticed that I tend to check Instagram more now that the holidays are over because my routine as a student is pretty boring and I feel so lonely sometimes (I’m working at my thesis from home). However I still want to spend less time online, it makes me feel better and less anxious.

    I wish you all the best for 2018, Kay! I received your card today and it made my day, thank you!!! <3

    • Kay

      Love your word for the year! I couldn’t seem to narrow my concept down to just one word this time, but the intention is there! I’m trying to be more deliberate about my social media time this year. A bit of scrolling is fine, but I’m trying to keep it to only a certain amount per day in different chunks.

      Here’s to a fabulous 2018!

  • B.

    Luckily I’ve never been worried or anxious about doing things on my own. Being single, I kinda don’t really have a choice? If I want to do something, I just have to do it! I fly alone all the time, I’ve been to concerts and movies alone. I go shopping alone. I mean, I do have friends I do things with as well but they aren’t always available!

    I think it’s great you’re trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone. You’ll do great!

    • Kay

      I also go shopping alone so that’s something! It just kind of hit me last year than when it comes to having adventures, I am totally co-dependent and I definitely want to learn to be self sufficient in that regard! And thanks, I’ll definitely do my best!

  • YES COMPLETELY. I lived with my parents, then roommates and now my husband and a lot of the time, if we’re not doing something together, I can be bad about following through with plans because I’m used to traveling home with my husband on the train. I’ve been trying to be better about it and one of my 2018 goals is to try to go out at least 1x per week with friends or to a book event or something that will force me into a situation that I want to just be able to do normally and comfortably without feeling anxiety.

    • Kay

      YES! That is so great! I want to drive to new places and draw for awhile; it’ll get me more comfortable with driving solo to new areas AND do stuff on my own. But not in this ridiculous sub-arctic weather!! XD Here’s to us both conquering our anxiety this year!

  • Yes, I definitely deal with anxiety. Especially about going to new places or doing new things outside of our home alone. I’ve really come to rely on my husband in social situations. He is good at conversation. I am awkward with it. I also rely on him for seeing things that are far away because of my near sightedness. I also don’t like talking to people or grouping with people in the MMO we play unless he’s with me also. There’s probably a million other things too. I have times when I can get through situations without him and it is affirming that I can do this.

    I am thinking I will need to do a social media fast soon. I find it can be very draining and a source of anxiety. Especially when I post something.

    Got your card last week or so and really enjoyed receiving it. Thank you. πŸ™‚

    • Kay

      Social media is such a double edged sword. So great for connecting, but as you said, can so draining and anxiety causing too. I am much like you in that my partner is a social butterfly and I’m the awkward lady in the corner. Interacting with new people is hard for me – it’s one reason I love the internet. That barrier really helps with making connections and talking to people! But I would like to learn to be more self sufficient in new situations.

  • Aww poor you and anxiety πŸ™ I get you completely (I also have). My strategy depends on how bad it is. If I think I can mange alone, I’m all up for having my own time. So, I choose the most relaxing places I can think of. For some reason, the Universe then puts tons of people in those places…. Sigh. Basically, it’s a book, and a coffee somewhere nearby, so if I feel bad I can go back home quickly.

    • Kay

      I’m going to be doing much of the same thing! Driving to new places and drawing/working in public, mainly to get used to the idea of NOT being cooped up in my house all the time.

      • I understand you so much T_T I work online, so if I let anxiety win, I’ll be all the time in my batcave…

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  • You got this! There are some things I hate doing on my own, too πŸ™ Sounds kind of silly, but something I said I wanted to do more of this year is go to the movies. I love seeing movies (a fun and cheap escape, and only $5 on Tuesday, woohoo!) but I don’t go as often as I like because I can’t always get someone to go with me. When I think about it, that’s a stupid reason to not do something that I enjoy doing. So this year I will go to the movies more, even if I’m going alone!

    P.S. Thank you so much for the Christmas card! You are so talented. I showed my husband and he said so too, after saying “is her hair really purple like that?” Hahah!

    • Kay

      Aw, you’re so welcome! AND HECK YEAH PURPLE HAIR ahaha. πŸ˜€ I think that’s a great idea to do movies on your own! And who can say no to $5 tickets?! Amazing.

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