Notes from the previous year and planning the new year
Most people enter the year with lofty ambitions, projects and plans to tick off a to-do list. I’m no different. In addition, though, I hold a sweet spot for the pleasant surprises life can throw at me, of which there were several in the past year.
I was attempting to document my 2021 experience a few days ago, and two lessons kept shining through. They’re almost-philosophies through which I’ll be planning my year and making all the tough decisions.
Fear was my biggest struggle in 2021. For as long as I remember, I’ve been paralysed by fear. Paralysed is cliché. No. Fear has always spurred me to irrational, spontaneous movement. I was four or five when I ran from a friend’s house because their big dog started towards me from its cage. I ran all the way home, panting. Throughout my childhood and even into adulthood, I had several fears: too-furry teddy bears, Christmas trees (yes, you read that right), wall geckos and their specks of poop on the wall, dark rooms at night, locked doors, chickens, etc.
As an adult, my fears seem more rational and tangible, although they may only live in my head: fear of going broke, of failing, of the future. The list is endless. A combination of fear, anxiety and the constant feeling of being overwhelmed left a sour taste in my tongue last year and prevented me from enjoying the present.
I’m not sure yet how I plan to navigate it—it won’t be easy to always say, ‘Get thee behind me fear’ before every action or decision—but I’m determined to find answers and share my progress through the year.
Stretching vs. Overstretching
Rubber bands contain properties that make them elastic. Not that they need to stretch but they probably do more when they’re stretched. Can pack your hair, hold a bundle of scripts together, cover your disposable bowl, etc. Still, they’re useless when overstretched. They start to thin after a while and can snap. This is what I was close to last year: overworked, tired, overwhelmed, because I thought (said with confidence) that I could eat my cake and have it.
Now I’m thinking of creative ways to balance a work-life, a writing career and half a social life. I’m also thinking of how to carve out time for more meaningful breaks and periods of nothing, how to say no to lucrative opportunities because I’m super busy. I’m determined not to be stretched thin. Here for the soft life.
What important lessons did you (re)learn last year? Share with me ❤️
What to expect from the newsletter this year:
Write, rewrite, write. Rinse and repeat.
I know I was a ghost last year, but I’m working with an editorial assistant who’ll hold me accountable and help eliminate parts of the process that stress me or take too long. She’ll basically be managing the entire editorial process. Her name is Blessing. Say hi, Blessing.
Blessing Ekowho is a writer and digital marketer with years of experience in the communications field. She’s passionate about different forms of storytelling and enjoys snacking in bed, listening to music and watching Netflix.
Lessons about what it takes to create your content vertical.
Sometimes, I forget that I’ve run a literary publication, helped organise one of the largest literary festivals in Africa, and run the editorial team of a digital publication. There’s so much I know, and so very little I know. I’m learning and I’d like to share more to help you as you think of embarking on exciting projects.
Every month, I’ll recap a book or other content type (e.g. movie/series) I read and why you should or shouldn’t read or watch it.
Things I enjoyed this week:
Welcome to the other side. ♥️