Unkept resolutions and big changes
My best Instagram moments of the year on video - thanks Statigram!
Every year, like so many of us, I make New Year's resolutions. They mostly tend to be about rather big life changes - I'm not a do-things-halfway kind of girl. Quite surprisingly, I do keep my resolutions most of the time. In 2011, I vowed to start volunteering at a dog and cat shelter. I did, not until October, but still.
2012 was a huge year: I promised to go vegan and move to London and I did both. After so many changes, calmer times were bound to come and indeed, 2013 was the first year that my resolutions were left unfulfilled.
In my defence, they were quite difficult resolutions to begin with. As I downed one too many vodka shots on 31st December 2012, I promised myself to celebrate the following New Year's Eve with a) a new job and b) a new flat.
Now, I don't know how many of you have tried living in a city like London. And I don't mean those that are born there (you lucky things), but those of us that arrive, starry-eyed, looking for twinkling and promising new opportunities. I spent the entire year fighting for something that wouldn't arrive. I kept fighting and documented it all here on the blog. Countless job interviews, several freelance contracts, a few Mean Girl encounters and very dubious flat hunting ventures.
Twelve months went by and nothing happened. No job, no flat, nothing.
I felt angry with myself: why couldn't I make this happen? It had been my only goal for an entire year and I hadn't been able to get it off the ground. Had I lost my touch? Deadlines have always been my thing: as a freelancer, I had never failed to meet them. The whole situation felt helpless, like there was nothing I could do except sit around and wait for the situation to magically solve itself. Not my cup of tea.
With time, my outlook on job interviews changed. At first, I had showed up nervous and full of hope. Most recently, I'd come in outwardly smiling, but with an inner attitude that said, "go ahead, ask me your questions, tell me whatever you want - I know you're not going to hire me anyway". The "no"'s, the "we're sorry"'s, the "unfortunately"'s became a daily occurrance. I started thinking that I wasn't getting hired because I wasn't British, and that really scared me as there was nothing I could do about that. I thought of giving up writing altogether, but there's nothing else out there that I'm this good at.
As you may or may not have guessed from some of my most recent posts, I felt tired of freelancing. It has been an amazing journey and I'd do it again if I had to go back, but I really feel like it has run its course. Don't get me wrong, the freelance life has some amazing perks, but it also comes with a few backsides that are just too much of a drawback for me personally. Learning to handle taxes isn't something I'm interested in or very apt to do, and even if I had an accountant help with my Swedish freelancing, you do have to learn how things work (much easier in the UK). The constant worrying that you won't be able to pay your rent and not knowing where your paycheck is coming from or how big (or small) it will be might be stimulating and motivating at 22, but at 30, I personally want to feel like I can afford things and can have a budget that's not a big mystery. But above all, it's the loneliness. The palpable, all-consuming loneliness that other, more glass-half-full freelancers view as "peacefulness" or "blissful silence" is sheer hell to a sociable chatterbox like me. There's nothing I hate so much as being alone. And I'm not at all interested in learning how to be alone. All I want is to not be alone.
So...it's with great excitement and bittersweet happiness that I bid farewell to my freelance life. A few days ago I got offered a contract as a copywriter for the e-commerce site of a TV fashion and beauty shopping channel and I've accepted it.
Of course Vilda, my 2013 wild card, will stay in my life and hopefully grow and become huge. But as of 2014, my writing in coffee shops days are over. It's back to the office, with all that it entails: coworkers, after-work drinks (hopefully), brainstorming, early meetings and an alarm going off every morning. And you know what? I truly welcome it. I can't wait.
So as we enter 2014, I was tempted to make the same resolution again: to move to a new flat. The dream of our very own London flat is one that won't leave me until I'm done decorating and can sit back on my sofa (oh, to have a sofa!) and enjoy my work. Note that when I say "our own flat" I don't mean for us to become homeowners. That's way down the line. All I want is a tiny little place to rent just for us. No flatmates. That's all I ask.
But as much as I hope this is our lucky year, my resolution this year is to just cherish it all. To take in as much of my gorgeous city as I can. To make many new friends. To enjoy life more. To remember, every day, how lucky I am.
And...this is the year I'm getting married!! 2014 will be amazing.
For more on resolutions, read my Editor's Notes in Vilda!