Look Back (not) in Anger

Hi, Hey, Hello!

There was a reason that I didn’t post on Sunday. The first one is I actually forgot what day it was, in the way that only really happens when you reach the dates between Christmas and New Year’s. The other was that I figured I would just post on the final day of the year to finish the year out in blogging style…and by that I mean I am gonna ramble on in reflection for 2014 and then look to the future that is 2015.

First things first, I actually adhered to a resolution that I set myself at the beginning of the year. The resolution in question is I took a jar and vowed to myself (I mentioned to one person that I was even doing it because my track record is awful at sticking to things and I did not want to be asked about it should I fail) to fill that jar with a piece of paper every day with something good that happened on the day.


This picture is the product of all that. I don’t actually know when I am going to open this and read back over my year but it won’t be for a while I feel. Really build up the nostalgia for a fairly strange year. I committed to this resolution this year because it kinda forced me to focus on the positive more than I usually do and to try and stop being such a pessimist (I also did 100 Happy Days over on Instagram back in March through to June (and yes, there are also A LOT of pictures of my dog on there…)). I think maybe it worked a little bit, I am definitely less pessimistic than I was in January.

Moving on from my state of mind to more solid ground. I am talking about books in this instance. I randomly stumbled (although I didn’t really stumble on it was a conscious effort, I had just forgotten about it as a whole) on my Goodreads account yesterday when I remembered that I had finished a book (because yes I only just finished Gone Girl, this whole reading month thing didn’t go well, but I am always a reader and I will always a reading list that is too long so it’s nothing to really beat myself up about). And then I remembered that I set myself a reading challenge at the beginning of the year and then forgot about it entirely after May when I stopped reading 2 books a week, and I discovered that I wasn’t going to complete it, but I was close…so close.

Reading challenge stats

I also got the chance to look back at my year in books and it was very much a product of the fact that I was studying for an English degree at the beginning of the year, because it is pretty much made up of the books that I had to read for it (as is my ‘currently reading’ section, I am reading 9, yes nine, books and most of them are books that I was supposed to read in their entirety for my course but never quite got around to doing. Oh and Moby Dick which I started reading in the winter of 2012 and am still only half way through…oops). Looking back at it was a bit strange because the fact that at the beginning of the year I was still stressing (…I mean studying…(I really like my parentheses today)) and working stupidly hard and now I’m not. But it also reminded me that as a direct product of my course I have read some incredible books this year.

Year in books pt 1 Year in books pt 2

A Visit From The Goon Squad, is without a doubt one of the best books I have ever read, as were parts of Brief Interviews. I also remembered that I have read a lot of stuff that really stopped and made me think about things in a new way and in doing that also helped challenge the way I think. I have read stuff that made me incredibly angry and stuff that made me fall back in love with literature and reading (thank you Rainbow Rowell this time for kickstarting that again over the summer for a short while). I have over analysed books and looked at them from several different perspectives and continually reminded myself why I decided four or something years ago that English was what I wanted to study.  I really fudging love it. And my love of it is something that I thankfully keep carrying around with me because even though my degree is over my fingers still itch to underline things that interest me when I am reading a book still and I keep seeing the way certain sentences can be interpreted in several different ways.

And it’s great.

Sticking with talking about words, this year I also hit my stride with writing and found myself discovering that three of my favourite things right now is a blank page, black ink and a place to go with words. I’ve filled two notebooks with various things of differing lengths (including a fair amount of my Nano novel which I start editing soon actually) since September alone. That is something I never envisioned would happen last year because along with the fear of writing rubbish I also just didn’t have anything I wanted to write about. I got over that fear and soared. There is a lot of stuff I have written that won’t see the light of day for various reasons but I enjoyed writing them and at the end of the day spilling out onto a page with something that I am proud of is more important to me in some cases than whether or not people read it (or whether I let people read it).

So now that I’m done reminiscing and because I am a cliche (but they are cliches for a reason I guess) I am going to make a list of things that I am going to try and do over the course of 2015 (it is also totally not starting until Monday because the 1st is always a write off and who starts things on a Friday…always have been good at finding excuses I have, makes this first one a bit ironic…)

1) Stop procrastinating so damn much – I knew exactly what I was going to write for this and yet it still took me over an hour because the internet is both my best friend and my worst enemy (it also took me an age to edit it because, well Tumblr). And I cannot tell you how many times I have lost actual hours of my life just on my laptop doing nothing of importance but just putting something off until I either forget what I was going to do or I am too tired to give my full attention when I should. So I need to cut down on that, it’s time I guess.

2) Tone the hell up and stop eating so much sugar – I need to stop relying on my metabolism because I am not going to be 21 forever (in fact I am not gonna be 21 anymore in less than a month now) and actually do find some sort of exercise that doesn’t make me want to tear my hair out. I also need to stop living my life only eating only dinner on some days start eating more fruit and veg and cut down on the M&Ms consumption.

3) Stop worrying – I worry like you wouldn’t believe. I think worry was a bigger issue for me than stress when I was at uni. I am really good at seeing where everything can go wrong and thinking of all the ways that something could have gone better if I had done this or that and then worrying about what people think of me. I have made some progression in at the not worrying thing but progress is still needed. I just need to make like Elsa and let things go. It will probably/almost definitely do me a world of good.

4) Keep writing and reading  – self explanatory really, especially the second one. The book hangover is well and truly over.

5) Don’t be so afraid of things – the main reason I don’t do things is because I am scared to because I don’t what it entails and I am also really good at coming up with excuses as to why I can’t do something that has a question mark over it. Ultimately the unknown scares me. But hey, a lot of things are rooted in the unknown and I can’t spend all my time being scared of it because I gain nothing like that. So I need to stop thinking of all the reasons that I can’t and think of the reasons that I can.

So that’s it for my final post of 2014. Parentheses count : 15 (really went for it today and this makes the count 16).

See you on Sunday!

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Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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