Small Goals for Fall

Let’s start out by saying that this list will not include the words, “Get a job.” Obviously finding more work besides my current freelancing opportunities is something I would very much like to do, but it is also not a small goal.

I’m also comfortable that while some of these are easily quantifiable, some are not. In some areas, progress will be just as important as success, and in this transition time, progressive goals make more sense anyways.

  1. Go through all of my things and find order. I’ve just moved, and simultaneously have more and less space than before. By living with roommates again, I’ve gained more living space, more room to sort through my things, more chance to be organized. But at the same time, we have almost no linen-closet-type storage¬†space, so it’s a sort of forced chance to declutter the possessions I’ve mindlessly carried with me since leaving schoolv.
  2. Continue cooking, experimenting, and finding healthier eating habits. Like breakfast, fruits and veggies, less snacking, the usual. I’m already eating at home almost completely, so that helps a ton, but I’m still working on being sure my cooking is actually healthy once in awhile. This is, in some ways, a big goal because it emcompasses so much. But I’m already moving towards it, and maintaining that momentum is the small goal.
  3. Get out of this house more. It’s been easy to become even worse of a homebody than I already am. I’m happy just being around the house, for the moment, and going out further than walking distance requires either a much longer transit option or planning ahead of time to borrow a car. And going places in walking distance means, well, walking. But I want to know Logan Square better, so I’m going to have to suck it up and get out.
  4. Get used to reading more at home (instead of on public transit!) and finish some books. Self explantory.
  5. Sew.¬†I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I decided to move in with roommates, knowing I would likely have more space to set up my machine. I have a mental list of clothes to alter that’s almost embarrassingly long.

Theoretically, I’ll post when we get into winter with some new goals and happy/shamefaced/both update on how I did on these. So, theoretically, see you then!

When everything changes all at once

I’m learning a totally different life this month.

Three weeks ago, I left my job at Moody Publishers. I went from working 30 hours a week at a publishing house and freelancing on the side, to freelancing as much as I can with job hunting on the side.

Two days later, I moved from a studio apartment in Lincoln Park, where I’d lived alone for 15 months in walking distance of most non-work things, to a three bedroom in Logan Square with two others girls within walking distance of, well, quite a bit less.

I used to use public transit to get everywhere outside my neighborhood: work, friends, downtown, or social things in other neighborhoods. Now, while I’ll likely still use CTA at times, I’m doing a lot more driving (borrowing my roomate’s van or boyfriend’s car) or making plans *with* one of my roommates and them driving, when I used to go more places alone.

I used to be alone by default, and with people by choice (well, outside of the office). It was occasionally lonely, but I was mostly content. Now I live with two people. I’m still alone during the work day for the most part, but the evening default is easy coexisting or hanging out. And while it’s different, I’m still content.

I used to read around 6 books a month, and did most of that while traveling to and from work, to events, or on lunch break. Now that I’m home more, I’m relearning to make time at home to read.

I used to blog for a few minutes at lunchtime, getting thoughts out when my mind needed to do something personally productive before getting back to business. Now I have little routine (yet), and would need to set aside blogging time.

Come to think of it, there were a lot of little things I did or pondered while on busses and trains, all of which will either be reintegrated or let go.

Basically, everything changed.

A job to freelancing. Living in one room to having a living room and a dining room and a laundry/pantry nook and a porch. Living in a commercial, busy area to a residential, slower one.

Feeling stuck to feeling like I could go a lot of different directions now. And the latter being about as frightening as the first.

It’s been a really good shift. I’m sorting through things I’d been letting clutter up. I’m cooking more. I’m eating out signifcantly less (and spending money less in general, both naturally and out of neccessity). I’m looking into new freelance opportunities. I have more space to spread out, I love having a dishwasher and laundry for the first time in years, and there’s so much natural light.

The transition has downsides too, of course. I’m nervous for the future: I don’t quite know what I want to do or what I’m going to do or how I’m going to do any of it. As I look for jobs and work, I’m torn between finding something full-time, or finding a way to make it on less so I can consider school, or an internship, or more freelance opportunities. And in that uncertainty, there’s the worry of finding anything at all.

I have more freelance than I expected right here at the start of the transition, and that’s been a huge boon, both to my sense of self during this time and to my budget. But I’m struggling to find a routine that works to keep up with it and find my way internally at the same time.

I’m nervous but happy at the same time.
Anxious but content.
Scared but hopeful.

I don’t know where I’m going. And if a lot more time goes by without figuring something out, I might lose it a little.

But for right now, for these weeks, for a bit longer, not knowing is OK.