Obligatory end of the year post (Part 1)

As you can see I have had a difficult time maintaining a steady stream of entries here. It’s really funny to me that I am experiencing this issue, because in the past I posted every day (sometimes multiple times) without effort. It’s funny to have to force yourself back into a habit which at one point came naturally. I’d guess it’s similar to someone who is gung-ho about working out/running/etc and suddenly loses the drive. It’s harder to get back after a long break than it is to continue with the habit while it’s still a routine in your life.

I’ve also been hesitant because I haven’t quite decided what kind of content I want to put here yet. I know the main goal of the blog is to write about organization, productivity etc, but I also want it to have a personal content component and I haven’t nailed down how much detail I want to provide. In my previous internet life I had a rule that I would never censor, and that I would tell it how it was regardless of how it reflected on me. As a slightly older adult, I recognize that censorship is important for a lot of reasons (privacy of others, etc), and I am extra sensitive to this because I am in the process of job hunting.

In the meantime, while I figure everything out, I know how awful (not to mention ironic) it looks to keep putting off a productivity blog, and part of the delay can be explained in this really fantastic article I’ve recently read: Self-Care for the Highly Sensitive Person. The following passage really resonated and I felt like someone had finally verbalized why I never seem to get anywhere despite having a lot of really big, great ideas:

“My efforts to accomplish big things in this life were often derailed by sudden feelings of overwhelm, where I would withdraw from the world and hide. I would shut down and abandon any project or job I had at the time.

Over time, as my dreams crumbled amidst another “highly sensitive” episode, my belief in myself plummeted and I came to believe that I was a failure.

I created a very strong story that I would never succeed at anything because I just couldn’t deal with life.”

This is exactly where I get stuck. I have a great idea and I even go so far as to plan it out ad nauseam, but then when it comes to launch time I panic and nitpick, I wonder if it’s good enough or if anyone would even care to read it. They say the first step to solving the problem is acknowledging it, so now that I am aware of the behavior that is leading me to self sabotage and continue to tread water in a sea of great unfulfilled ideas, it’s time to start working actively to achieve them. I’ve been doing a ton of reading, writing, and research for how to get things done, and I am excited to start sharing this information very soon and to finally continue to update things. My house is finally back in order, with brand new carpets (goodbye smelly, former roommie’s dog’s pee soaked grossness), brand new roommates, and a newly reorganized living and work space to provide for more structured work areas. I am really excited about this and think it will really help with keeping my life (and mind) on track.

I’ve compiled a few key photos from each month this year and will definitely do a cliche month by month recap, but for now let’s start with the easiest to remember: December.

December

PicFrame

Decembergram

December started out  pretty relieving, I finally found roommates and they are really awesome (see Jess in bottom right corner of December gram). With the arrival of new roommates I was finally able to replace the super gross carpet in my house (I rent but was willing to replace it for a better living environment) and put my house back together. I had a roommate disappear on me last minute and the house was stuck in disrepair while I waited to find out who would move in (I didn’t want to go moving things around just to do so again later), so it was nice to finally put things in order and go back to living in a home. Putting the house back together took a little longer than anticipated (three weeks and counting, though the big stuff is done now) because it’s been a busy month full of weddings, obligatory visits to see and help with my niece and nephew (don’t get me wrong, I love these visits), quasi-significant other quality time, Holiday parties, job application preparation, planning for blog posts and skillshare classes (more on this another day!), Instagram meetups, and Aerials classes.

A lot of this stuff has been great. In the process of putting the house back together (see my relaxing celebratory photo in the bottom left) I dived back into a collection of antique journals I own and have a new project about them brewing (See: The Journals of Eva and George Rudiger). I also have been embracing and thoroughly enjoying high sock weather (this will not be the last sock photo you see). I had to be up early on weekend to help with my nephew and my reward was the stellar sunrise photo in the bottom center. This past weekend I attended an instagram meetup #PortraitsOfPhillyPhotogs where I got to shoot with some of my favorite people, all while meeting new friends. The tree photo above is from the group’s trip to Winterfest, and the center photo is my favorite portrait from the meet of my friend Kristen. Last but not least, Phil (seen center right) and I had a lot of fun albeit low-key adventures this month consisting of many miles walked, countless burritos consumed, and an equal number of Pho noodles slurped. He has been super helpful throughout the last few month’s big life changes (And stresses), especially with putting the house back together and I am super appreciative. He was also kind enough to finally sit me down and give me a DSLR lesson and let me borrow his for a little while since I shoot 99% of my photos with my iPhone (previously 5, now 5S). Unfortunately, Phil decided last week that this isn’t what he wants and so we have gone our separate ways. It’s a major bummer and something I am still processing (and whining about) but such is life and it will work itself out. I will really miss our random adventures. (More on these as I recap the months before these later).

As for plans for the new year, I’ve been writing daily since May and it’s really helped me hammer down what my major goals are and the things I want to improve. I am trying to make baby steps towards these goals so I don’t do too much at once and totally overwhelm myself. I’ll go over that later. Broadly, I’d really like to focus more on art and start pumping out a ton of stuff. Some daily project ideas are floating around and I’ve reached out to some friends about forming a quasi-art support/inspiration group. I’m also excited to have finally signed up for my long time internet friend Tam (aka Willowing)’s yearly course Lifebook! It begins next week and should force me to create something new AT LEAST once a week. I’ve wanted to take part for years and have always found some dumb excuse not to, but this is the year dammit! As always, I am looking into as much self improvement as possible. I am attending an Introductory Transcendental Meditation talk (for free! Check it out!) the first week of January and strongly considering budgeting a full course into my life. The biggest goal for this year is to find a new job, one that I love going to and find inspiring. Preferably one that pays more so I can support myself more easily, though I’ll take happiness over cash at this point.

For now, to finish out the year. I still have to do my Christmas shopping because I was sick this weekend, and then I’m sure I’ll have photos and updates about the Holiday’s goings on.

Until then.

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About tamarahala

Tamara is currently living in Petaluma, CA as an intern at Green String Institute! She is a mixed media artist, student aerialist, and former neuroscientist.

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