Month In Review: March 2017

You know how some months fly by, and others drag by? March was just right. It didn’t pass quickly or slowly, but instead just… happened. There were some days and weeks that seemed to take forever to end, and others that ended faster than I thought possible. But everything balanced out, and here we are on the last day!

A celebration: Spring arrived and the weather is more enjoyable—which means my utility usage is slowly decreasing.

A change: No writing projects on the go this month.

A conflict: I had a manic episode for a week that ended up hurting me a lot.

A relief: My dad and I had some nice chats and he helped me keep my head on straight, and my anxiety levels were really, really low this month.

A regret: I didn’t create as much art as I wanted to.

A random memory: My friend and I finally saw Hidden Figures and it was an incredible film. We had a great discussion in her car afterward about civil rights, the changing views we’ve had as we’ve learned about our white privilege, and the different problematic perspectives of people we know.

April feels like it should be busy, since I’m moving; but I like packing and the move should go fine. I already have a “new” place to live—returning to my dad’s house—and my dad is supportive and helpful. (Insistently so.) I’m hoping my low anxiety continues through April. I’ll be happy to be back in my hometown by the start of May, since Windsor will get too hot and has too much pollution. Back home, I’ll be able to see the stars every night, and not be able to count them on my fingers and toes. Part of me wonders why I’m not sad to leave Windsor, but I know why I’m not sad to be leaving: I never intended to stay more than my allotted time here. I came for university. I finished university. It’s time to go.

2017: 2nd Quarter

We’re nearing the end of March, which means I’m preparing for the change in season and my goals. If we look back to my post starting the new year, I listed all my goals by quarter.

January, February, March
  • finish writing The Pilgrimage
  • edit The Pilgrimage and send it to beta readers
  • open an Etsy shop for my art
  • redesign my blog with a custom-coded theme
  • rebrand my personal identity online

I striked out are the goals I did not accomplish. Considering that I’m working on the fourth one (redesign my blog), and considering I’m going to start editing The Pilgrimage next week (FINALLY), I could very well get all these goals done!! Or at least in progress, which is better than not getting to them at all. I have plans for the Etsy shop still, so I’m not dashing that goal away just because I didn’t get to it when I planned to.

So now the seasons are changing, and for once I’m looking forward to spring. I prefer fall and winter over spring, but since I won’t be in Windsor for the spring months, I’ll be more comfortable. Is that weird? I’m moving farther north, so it won’t get as warm as quickly, and there might be a chance for snow still, but spring in my hometown is invigorating.

In the blog post opening the new year, I hesitantly planned goals for the second, third, and fourth quarters of the year. A lot of things were up in the air, so these goals were simply wonderings, rather than actual plans.

April, May, June
  • query The Pilgrimage to agents
  • start a second writing project
  • code WordPress themes for sale
  • consider freelance design, and a related portfolio

That first goal? I haven’t started editing, but I edit quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if I got to the querying phase during the spring! I already have my portfolio up, so that’s a bonus. However, these goals are definitely not enough for me to work on during the upcoming three months. When I have more to work on, I’m happier. I need to prioritise all my goals, but I have a lot that I want to do.

I will be moving in April. When I first made my plans and goals for the year, I didn’t know whether I’d be moving at the end of the semester or in the summer, but that was finalised in February. I might not have the time to code themes for sale until I’ve moved, but at least I don’t have to worry about finding a place to live. My dad is looking forward to having my home again. I’m a little on-the-fence about it, just because it’s hard to ignore the trauma I incurred in the house before my parents split. But, it’ll be nice to not pay rent and bills, to help him out around the house, and to hopefully get some driving practise in. My dad is planning on doing renovations soon, so I’m hoping to motivate him into getting that started, as well as cooking for him so he has less to worry about while he works his butt off to get the house refinanced! He also really wants to support me in my freelancing, which is such a godsend.

My updated goals for April, May, and June
  • move back in with my dad
  • send The Pilgrimage to beta readers
  • start outlining a new writing project
  • finish website design
  • code WordPress themes
  • design more

There are more details behind each of the goals, but I’m going to keep those to myself as I prioritise my goals and all the little tasks for them! For instance, I’m still planning on opening an Etsy shop, but I need to design more in order to get that underway. I’m thinking printables and other design resources, so I’m really, really excited! If I can get to that this quarter, that would be wonderful, but I’m not gunning for it.

I’ve realised I work better if I prioritise my projects, rather than working on everything all at once. I gotta get my head out of the “student” mindset—I’ve finished my degree. I can do my own thing now, whenever I want, and I don’t need to spread myself over different topics.

Month In Review: February 2017

An open book with a calendar and a text overlay reading Month In Review: February 2017

Ah, February. I’ve never really enjoyed this month—it’s too short for my tastes. If we can have so many months with 31 days, why can’t February get 30 as well? Only 5 months really need an extra day to get to 365. I’m sure there are reasons for why certain months in certain calendars have X number of days, but I digress. The month is gone and we’re going to March!

A celebration: I finished my draft of THE PILGRIMAGE!

A change: The weather changed a lot—it was very warm and spring-like on a few days, even including a thunderstorm.

A conflict: I felt a lot of guilt for being so isolated from my friends and family.

A relief: My graduation application was sorted out completely (fingers crossed)!

A regret: I didn’t spend as much time brushing up on my coding skills.

A random memory: I helped my room mate bleach and dye her hair. It took about 2 hours, and the bathroom was surprisingly clean afterward. Her hair no longer looks like a blue-and-yellow cheetah print.

I hope March doesn’t go by quickly. Once April hits, I’ll be gunning to get ready to move—which means packing, scheduling utility turn-offs, and negotiating with the landlord for viewings. Here we go!

Month In Review: January 2017

An open book with a calendar and a text overlay reading Month In Review: January 2017

The first month of 2017 is done already? I’ll be honest: this month was a blur. I don’t have much to write on January… It’s been a strange, hazy thirty-one days. I’ll make my Months In Review quick this year, with a few lines to sum up highlights and woes of each month—and maybe a few sentences to add some flavour.

A celebration: I reached my word goal of 70,000 for The Pilgrimage!

A change: I moved to new accounts for a fresher start to a new tome of my life.

A conflict: My PTSD and dissociation were incredibly prevalent this month, which might be why I was in a haze most of the month.

A relief: My application to graduate from university was accepted!

A regret: I didn’t make as much art this month as I planned or hoped to do.

A random memory: At the convenience store, I happened to look up as a girl left and her earbuds fell out of her pocket. It took me about 2 seconds to put down my things, tell my boyfriend I’d be right back, and pick up the earbuds to go return them to her. She was just walking out of the parking lot and looked incredibly relieved when I handed them back to her.

Onward to February!

2017: Beginning

This will be the first January I spend out of school. Not only university, which I just finished, but any type of school. I started kindergarten in the 90s and have been in some sort of education institution ever since.

In a way, I’m hopeful. My life has been defined by grades and schooling—the classes I took and excelled in; the grades I received, whether I worked for them or deserved them; the people I spent time with. The framing device of my life-long narrative, up until this point, has been broken.

In another way, I’m terrified. I don’t have the guiding restriction of primary school, high school, or university… and that’s odd.

But I’m taking this new freedom and running with it.

Each quarter this year (because I am not going to be able to hard-plan my entire year right now) has a few different goals I’d like to accomplish.

January, February, March
  • finish writing The Pilgrimage
  • edit The Pilgrimage and send it to beta readers
  • open an Etsy shop for my art
  • redesign my blog with a custom-coded theme
  • rebrand my personal identity online

Q1 of 2017 is really the only solid plan I have. Everything else is tentative until I see how I’m doing by the end of March. I’m new to having deadlines that aren’t set by school, so I see the first three months as a trial and training run.

I’m starting to hate my online alias (“coryldork” and “Coryl o’Reilly”) and I want to change them this quarter. My last name is not “o’Reilly” but I won’t be using my real last name when I change it. I’m still so unsure about how I want to present myself to the world, both personally and professionally.

April, May, June
  • query The Pilgrimage to agents
  • start a second writing project
  • code WordPress themes for sale
  • consider freelance design, and a related portfolio

Q2 of 2017 has looked like an artsy and lucrative space. I want to get back into front-end design and graphic design. Since last summer, I’ve realised that my skills in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are incredibly valuable and useful. I want to work on them.

However, this part of the year will be hectic. My lease ends on July 31, so I’ll need to consider if I’m staying in Windsor. But I have time to think on that.

July, August, September
  • finish draft 1 of the new writing project
  • possibly move

Q3 is the true grey area and where the shrugging begins. It’s also the time of the year where I feel the most anxiety right now. It’s what people have been asking me once I tell them I’m staying in Windsor until my lease ends. They ask, “And then what?” Boi, I don’t even know either, so stop asking.

October, November, December
  • apply to teach English in Japan

Because of how Q3 looks, I’m not sure what else I’m planning for Q4. My living space and my subsequent connections and resources will be affected by what I decide—and what’s available—for the end of the year. The program I’m considering for ESL in Japan holds their applications in November, but if I’m accepted, I wouldn’t be leaving until the middle of 2018. Of course, throughout the year I’ll be looking into learning Japanese. I recently found out that my grandfather still has some knowledge in it, and he lives in Alberta (along with my brother)… so I have options there.

That’s what I’m looking at for 2017. Throughout the year, I’ll check in and see how my goals are shaping for the future, and how well I’ve achieved the ones I’ve set here.

My resolution this year is to persevere. I’m prone to giving up, and I have no excuses for it. The only way for me to live, as well as achieve my dreams, is to keep going. No matter how much I want to end something, like my projects or my goals or my life, my desire to stop is not a good enough reason to stop. I will keep going. I will persevere.