2018 so far

The new year is exactly 21 days old today and I reckon it's time to reflect on what has happened in 2018 so far, hahaha. I'm not even joking, by the way. According to statistics, most people have already fallen off the wagon and forgotten about their New Year's resolutions by now. Good thing I haven't even made any resolutions for this year.

I used to be one of those people who believe that you need a new day, a new week, a new month or a new year to start something new. But I've slowly come to the realization that that's bullshit. If I want to change something about my life, I don't have to wait for Monday or for February or for 2019 to roll around, I can do it right away. And that's exactly why I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore. Besides, change happens over time, gradually, when I'm ready for it and not when I force something to happen. And the beginning of a new year doesn't automatically mean that I'm ready. To be completely honest, I haven't even made any plans for 2018. In previous years, I at least had a rough plan of what I wanted to happen: find a new job, go on vacation, move, et cetera, et cetera. But this year, I'm not ready to make such plans. I would however like to do certain things over the course of the year but my only real goal for 2018 is to find happiness in life again, whatever that may involve.

And here's
what I've done so far
and want to continue doing
to work towards that goal:

Over the past two years, I've generally tried to be pretty healthy. Back when I lived in Leipzig on my own, I used to ride my bike to work during the summer months and during the winter months, I did random workouts at home or went swimming at least once a week. When I moved in with Philipp about six or seven months ago, I started doing at-home workouts every single weekday morning and have been pretty consistent with them ever since. Over the past couple of months though, I felt like I didn't push myself enough. My depression made me feel very weak and for a while, I simply didn't have the energy to do harder exercises. Luckily, I have slowly been gaining my strength back over time and can finally actually work on my fitness again. At the beginning of this week, I also started using one of those handy-dandy apps to track my food/workouts/calories. It definitely was a spur-of-the-moment decision and I would not recommend doing it. I think I was just curious to see how much I actually eat. I had never paid attention to calories before and instantly realized that I probably overate for the majority of my life. (I guess that's the reason why I've never been skinny.) But that's fine with me because I just love food. I do however want to eat more consciously from now on and keep track of my calorie intake for a while. One thing I have already realized is, tracking food motivates me to do harder workouts. Because the more calories I burn, the more I can eat. Which is kind of dumb but as I said, I do love good food. It's also quite interesting to find out more about food and it makes me want to eat even healthier. Because damn, that serving of tortellini I had for dinner the other day had so many calories! I definitely don't want to become obsessed with calories and tracking my food, that's why I generally wouldn't recommend doing it. I don't do it too strictly myself and I don't follow any kind of diet. But as I said, I'm trying it out for a while until I know how much my body actually needs, so that I don't eat unnecessary stuff just because it tastes good.

Even though physical health is important (to me), my mental health is what I really need to focus on this year to actually reach my goal of finding happiness. I started going to therapy back in October and it's been helpful because I've already learnt quite a few very interesting things about myself. But over the past few weeks I've realized that seeing my therapist only once a week or every other week doesn't really seem to be enough for me. That's why I've decided I want to start going to a day hospital and spent even more time learning about myself and my mental health. I've actually already made an appointment with one of the psychiatrists working at a hospital and I'm kind of nervous to go there at the end of this month but I guess it'll be fine. (I just need to tell myself everything will be fine until I actually believe it.) Some of the things I've already learnt are the following: being sensitive is not a bad thing; I don't always (or ever) need to justify myself; life is hard sometimes but it's also amazing; it's about time I start being proud of myself; I still need to learn how to deal with pressure.

Last year, I spent more time than ever before doing two of the things I love the most - taking pictures and exploring new places. And although I don't have specific plans yet (as I mentioned), I know I want to spent even more time creating and exploring in 2018. I don't think I'll be able to travel a lot this year but I do want to go on smaller adventures and explore as many beautiful places as I can. They don't even have to be far away. There's so much beauty all around us and sometimes even I forget how amazing and eye-opening it can be just to take a walk through our own neighborhood. So far, Philipp and I used every single weekend this year to explore our beautiful state. We took our cameras on a nice hike in Saxon Switzerland, spent a day geocaching in Tharandt Forest and took a long walk through the wintery Ore Mountains. Apart from spending time outside and taking photographs, I also want to dedicate more of my time to being active on social media and being more creative in general. So far, so good. I've started filming videos again, decided I want to publish a new blogpost every Sunday in 2018, posted on Instagram every single day so far this year and did a bit of planning, drawing and painting and stuff. I want to create things I'm proud of but at the same time, I want to worry less about the end product having to be perfect. I want to enjoy the process of creating. And I need to realize that I will never improve if I don't even try. At the end of last year, I really enjoyed getting into hand lettering and painting with watercolors. I actually know that I've already made some progress and now I want to work on getting better and better at it. The things is, I'm one of those people who start something new and become obsessed with it for a while and then at some point, the excitement dies down and I somehow stop being as interested in it. So weird. I want to keep going, keep improving, just like I'm still doing with my photography skills.

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