Post-Grad and Goals for the New Year

I have officially completed the requirements and received my bachelor’s degree of English (Okay, full disclosure: I received my degree a month ago, and just never got around to writing about it until now). My college career is over, and now I can do whatever I want. I can start my life over and be whomever I want. That opens up several possibilities, and gives me so much freedom. I can stay in the States, I can travel abroad for a few years, I can move to Europe (or wherever else I deem appropriate). I can go into event coordinating, publishing, teaching ESL (if I get certification), or whatever else I decide to do. It is, however, also terrifying. In the next year, I will be creating myself. What if I make someone that I don’t like? What if I get stuck in a place or career that I can’t stand, but can’t seem to leave? What if I can never find a good job (no one has offered to hire me yet)? What if I’m too afraid to take any chances? I’ve never been known for my bravery (though, if I’m re-creating myself, perhaps someday I can be).

Let’s examine the options.

As far as geography is concerned, the possibilities are endless. Of one thing, I am certain: I am not staying where I am now. I’ve lived in the same state for twenty-one years (eighteen of them in one house), and I feel that is long enough for one place. While most of the people who currently surround me do not understand the idea of moving somewhere for the sole purpose of leaving where you grew up, I feel that there are too many opportunities away from my current residence for me to stay here. I want to go somewhere where no one (a few at the most) knows who I am, where I can start over. This, however, means that I am leaving my family (an offense for which many cannot seem to forgive me; in the southern United States, you don’t move away from family). This wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but my family currently has enough problems that I feel a twinge of guilt at the thought of leaving them to fend for themselves, despite the fact that these problems are none of my business, and there is nothing I can do but lend moral support and wisdom (which no one in my family will accept–I’m far too young to give wisdom). Option two: Stay in the States. I have a few vague contacts spread out in various places across the country. My best bet would be Missouri, since I know enough people there that networking for a job would be much easier. I’ll be going away, but not so far away that I’ll risk complete culture shock. I speak the language, I know how things work. This option is the minimal change required to still be a complete change. Option three: Europe (or some other continent, though I’m inclined to choose Europe). I’ve always wanted to travel abroad. I want to experience other cultures, examine life through a worldview other than my own. As much as I want this, though, it scares me. Going somewhere foreign where I am alone and can only speak pieces of the language is a daunting prospect. But perhaps that is why I need to do it–to branch out, take risks, be brave. Maybe it is the option that will make me the best person. This option also has the possibility of putting me closer to G. While I don’t want to follow him across the world, I wouldn’t mind being close to him, if the course of my life takes me there. That sums up geography. I won’t discuss career options here (this is already long enough).

Despite the uncertainty of the future, I do have goals that I want to accomplish this year. I hope that these will bring me closer to being someone of whom I am proud.

  • Become a better writer.

    I love writing. I would love to live by my pen, though that is far off, if it ever happens. Even if I never make enough money on which to live, I want to become a skilled writer who can make people think and feel. There are several things I need to do to improve my writing.

    • Write five hundred words a day.

      Thus far, this is going fairly well. While there have been a couple of days that have resulted in less than five hundred words, I have managed to meet my word count goals. Consistent writing will both help me unwind and make me a better writer. Also, I hope that this word count goal will allow me to finish the rough drafts of three novellas.

    • Read over one hundred books.

      This means two books a week, every week. I’ve had no problem with this; since I didn’t have much time to pleasure read in college, I’m devouring books now. I want at least seventy-five percent of these to be quality literature. Reading will help me to refine my tastes, to see what does and doesn’t work in novels.

  • Get in shape.

    I worked on this a bit while in college, but it came with a different set of difficulties than I have now. In college, it was easy to work out: I had a consistent schedule, free access to a gym, and friends who would occasionally work out with me. Eating right was another story. With no money, no time, and little knowledge of the subject, eating healthy was a real challenge. While I still have no money and little knowledge, I now have time to cook and to access the knowledge. I also have no regular schedule, which means that I am far less motivated to work out. I don’t even have classes to which I should walk. My fitness tasks are:

    • Work out (preferably four times a week).
    • Eat healthy.
      • Learn to cook

        This is something that I want to do anyway, and could probably be a goal on its own. To do this, I will try to cook at least one new meal a week.

  • Work on my relationship with God.

    This one is more vague. How does one quantify a relationship? I’ve set myself a couple of tasks for this one.

    • Pray unceasingly

      I’ve always has trouble with this one. I pray when I think of something that I think needs to be said, or whenever I think about it. This year, though, I will try to have more to say to God.

    • Read through the entire Bible.

      I’ve created a checklist of books to read, and clustered the smaller ones together so that if I read one cluster each week, I’ll be finished in fifty weeks, two weeks before the year is up. Thus far, I’m actually a bit ahead of schedule. I’m also discussing much of my readings with G, which helps me to examine more closely what I am reading. Also, G always has great insight and wisdom.

These are my resolutions. While they may not take me in a specific direction, they are helping me to move forward, which is important. I believe it is when my forward motion ceases that I should worry. This is a very long post (much longer than I had planned), and I’m grateful for those of you who have read the entirety of it. What are some of your goals for the year, or even further into the future, and how do you plan to achieve them?

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