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© 2015 mo'adore | Content and design by Morag Lee | Powered by Blogger.

A ramble on goals, capitalism, a new decade, heteronormativity, and turning 30...the fun stuff.




In case you haven't heard, it's a new decade and it's time for a new start. What have you achieved in the past decade? What will you achieve in the next decade you underperforming failure of a human?!>!!

Meh. 

My little space on the internet was born as part of a New Year's resolution in 2011, and in a few days, my blog will celebrate its ninth birthday. If my blog was a person it would be halfway through primary school. 

Those of you who have been with me since the start of mo'adore will know that my attitude towards goals and resolutions has changed wildly. I used to be very goal orientated. I was a preachy goal-maker who would look down her nose at people who had no drive. These days, I still work hard and shit but I've shredded the internalised belief that a higher level of productivity automatically makes someone a more worthwhile human being.  

There's nothing wrong with having goals, as long as you aren't doing them out of societal obligation. I still like to sit down at the turn of every new year and stake stock of where I am, decide if I am happy with where I am, and what to do about the bits that aren't too peachy. 

That tradition has never changed. These days though, I like to check in with myself about why I want to achieve each thing, as well as focusing on working on myself to be a better human rather than a mo productive part of the capitalist machine.

--

At the start of 2019, several of my plans were a bit dull if I'm being honest. I decided I wanted to become more domesticated in 2019. This I achieved. I'm now a full-blown Zoflora wanker who irons her bedsheets. I even bought a plant that I've managed not to kill. 

I liked achieving this goal because it's nice to come home to a clean house after a day at work. It's good for the soul (and my nostrils). I also cooked a lot of food in 2019, and have several new recipes that I can turn to for particular situations. That's nice too. Though I totally did mutilate my attempt at steamed buns. 

I also said that I would continue to save money so that I could buy my own flat. I haven't bought my own flat yet and my savings are still about the same. This is something I've had to learn to be okay with. I could buy right now if I wanted to, as my savings are high enough. But I got very lucky with my rented flat and I'd have to massively downgrade (and move further out of the city) if I bought now. While there are pros to buying now, ultimately I think I'd be less happy if I bought now - even if I would receive some congratulations cards in the post. Originally I had a plan to buy before I'm 30 and unless I happen to win the lottery before November, I'm unlikely to achieve that. But recently I've had to ask myself why I set myself the goal of buying by 30. There's no logical reason as to why I need a mortgage by this age. I just randomly came up with it, due to societal pressure.

(Side note: it drives me nuts on Tinder when people brag about being homeowners on their profiles - don't get me wrong it is nice to own and I certainly wouldn't complain if someone I was dating had a nice pad, but it makes you sound like a snobby Tory)

Style-wise I wanted to upgrade myself. I haven't done this, largely because of money. I don't have any new tattoos and piercings. The one major change in my appearance is that I became a specky - and splashed out on a pair of Michael Kors glasses that look really nice on my face.

I also gave up drinking (aside from special occasions) which wasn't a goal I decided on at the start of the year, but something I decided on in September. I woke up after a friend's birthday feeling pretty shit and unable to do anything that day. I had a bit of a realisation that I hadn't been able to do much of what I really wanted to recently because I had been on one too many nights out and had lost several days to hangovers. My reasons for giving up drinking centred around productivity and being mindful of where my time went, but I've still had to deal with ignorant a******* who can't just let me live. 

I did achieve something quite big but I wanted to recap on these boring goals for a bit. None of the above goals are particularly brag-worthy and the house-cleaning one did get me a few eye-rolls. No one is congratulating me on developing a cleaning schedule that works for me (though I'd appreciate it if they did).  

That's the thing about goals though: they should concentrate on things that make you happy. Having a cleaner house has improved my emotional wellbeing. Even if it doesn't found as fancy as "completed a PhD" or "had a baby". 

I would say over the course of the past year I didn't really achieve that much. There is one stand out achievement that did earn me congratulations on Twitter (I'll get to it) but I wouldn't say it *means more* to me that getting on top of my chores. 

Okay, so my stand-out achievement that made my parents squee in delight? I was elected onto the Glasgow Green Party Committee as an Ordinary Member. This is something that I am obviously delighted about, and I am proud of myself for putting myself forward (which was a bit scary because it involved standing on a stage and selling myself to a room full of people). I am not in any way shape or form downplaying this achievement, but what I am saying is that it's not necessarily more important to me just because it looks a bit better on social media than my other achievements (like learning how to make vegan meringues from chickpeas). 

Honestly, if I was to wrap up my 2019: it would be the year of rejection and things not working out. In my 2019 goals post, I mentioned that I wanted to get the wheels in motion for a career change. I applied for a Masters and didn't get in, which obviously blew (especially since two of my friends did get onto their chosen masters). 

I also said that I wanted to take dating more seriously, which I did and I'm still partnerless. When I wrote my 2019 blog post I actually had a crush on someone I knew in real life. In the spring I decided to shoot my shot and....it didn't work (though we are still friends which I am very grateful for *woo maturity points*). I gave love a chance on a few other occasions this year, more than any other year. While it didn't work out for me with any of these people, I can safely say that it was never meant to be. I also paid for Tinder Pro and can see when people I know in life have swiped right on me (lol). 

Oh, and I went on a dating show! Which is a very bizarre sentence that I didn't exactly imagine myself writing at the start of the year. It's still in the editing phase and should be out on iPlayer in spring. It's called Hot Property and the picker (who was not me) picks a date based on their bedrooms. So you'll all get to see what my bedsheets look like. Maybe my vibrator too. 

I did say that I wanted to be more vulnerable in 2019, and appearing on a dating show where the person rummages through your drawers is high-stakes vulnerable. Yay for vulnerability and not being scared of what people might say about you on national TV! I'm still tempted to have a close friend watch the show for me and make the call on whether watching it myself would be good for my emotional health. 

The thing is: I put myself out there more this year than in previous years, which meant that I faced more rejection than in previous years. I think I'm okay with this...as it means I know certain things weren't for me and I won't wonder if things were meant to be? Something like that. I'm still working on being okay with my failed attempt at uni and love.

-- 

But when we talk about 2020 goals, we're not just talking about the upcoming year. No! We're talking about the decade. And as a 1990 baby, it will be a new decade for me personally. I find decade goals weird because who knows what the fuck I'm going to want in five years time. I might decide to uproot and move to France (unlikely). Or I might decide to become an engineer (also unlikely). Or global warming will finally catch us and we'll all be dead (likely). 

The only thing I do know that I want to achieve in the next decade is a career change. I never planned to end up in marketing; it sort of just happened because when you leave school you pick something and get on with it. I don't hate it, but I've always had a niggling suspicion that it's not the thing I was meant to do. In the past year, I've identified something that seems a lot more "me" but it's an industry that can be very difficult to succeed in and there are not a lot of positions available in Scotland (though remote working is possible). I applied for university and didn't get in, but I've been working on a plan to boost my chances of getting in next year.



I shared the above image on my Facebook in August. It spoke to me because of the career aspect. I graduated at 21 with a degree I was always a bit iffy about, tried to make it work, but as I approach 30 I have decided that I really need to have a re-think. But I was conscious of people thinking I might have been trying to gather sympathy for my long-term single status. 

If you've been around since the start of mo'adore, you'll know that I've been single the whole time. There are a handful of personal reasons for this: including being in the closet, having emotional issues in my early 20s that I had to work through first, and (the main one) I just never met someone. I am okay with this, but it feels weird to say it out in loud (in public) that if I don't mean someone by October then I will have been officially single for a decade. 

One of my favourite books of this year was The Unexpected Joy of Being Single by Catherin Gray. Like me, she is a long-term single and had a lot of baggage she needed to address before meeting someone. One of the most poignant parts of the book was where she explained that most of us could be married by now if we really wanted to be. I could have stayed with my first boyfriend even though he made me angry on a weekly basis, or I could have agreed to be the girlfriend of the multiple men who have tried to convince me. But I walked away from every offer because it would have been the wrong choice. If I had stayed, sure, I'd be married but I'd probably also be miserable. 

Just like owning a house, I could do it if I really wanted to because it would make me look more put together on social media, but it would actually be the wrong choice in terms of my personal happiness. 

--

Just before I turned 20 (in 2010) I went through both a romantic and platonic break-up (both on very bad terms), wasn't eating very well, was very skinny (some people complimented me on on this!), still pretending that cheerleading was a thing I was into, awkward as fuck and was wanting to leave university. I was fucking miserable. But it was this misery that led me to finally starting the slow journey of finding happiness. 

Finding that happiness wasn't a linear process. It was made up of lots of little projects and lifestyle changes. Going vegetarian, finding my own personal style, ditching shit friends, finding better friends, moving to Glasgow, and - of course - coming out as bisexual. All these things lifted me to a higher level of life satisfaction that passing my driving test first time never did (I also never drove again).

When people on Twitter were talking about what they achieved in the past decade, it was usually getting published in a newspaper, finishing their degree, getting married, having a baby, or buying their first house. While these are great things to have achieved (if these things are right for you), they are very capitalist and heteronormative goals. They are not right for everyone and no one should feel bad for not having achieved those things.

I have people in my life who struggle with health problems, some of who are legally recognised as disabled. They haven't achieved a lot of the things above as they have to battle their own mind and body on a daily basis, let alone finish a degree or hold down a job. As much as I am proud of the people in my life who have received pay rises or bought a house this year, I will always be more proud of my loved ones whose biggest success this year was just staying alive, holding down a job, or attending all their therapy appointments.

My proudest achievement in the past decade? If you've read everything I've written in the past two years you'll already know: it was coming out as bisexual. In an ideal world, learning to love myself would have never been my proudest achievement because I should have never been to feel like I had to the fact that I can fall in love with women. 

I'm closing the decade as a happy human, who is largely content with her life, who has grown to love herself and accept that she likes girls (along with boys and non-binary people). 

My goals for the next decade, and my thirties when November hits, is to continue pursuing happiness and striving towards things that feel right in my gut. Not goals that society places on me.

Isn't that what we should all be aiming towards? 
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