The New Year: I’m Continuing What I’ve Started

When the clock struck midnight, I found myself in the middle of a crowd at Pjazza Tokk in Victoria, Gozo.

It’s surprising that I wanted to be in Gozo for the new year, I know.

I’m trying to be more present in Gozo rather than stick to my town of Nadur or Qala.

And I wasn’t impressed that it was midnight.

This might sound bad but my first thought was: “I have so much work to do.” I’ve got big things to prepare for in 2023 so I’m anxious about them but also pumped to give my 100%. It’s not that I didn’t want to celebrate the new year. Rather, my general feeling was: ok, let’s get to work.

So, it’s 2023.

There aren’t things that I want to start but rather, continue.

I think I’m doing a lot of good for myself right now. I’m sensing a constant improvement in myself, therefore, I want to continue with that momentum.

So, here’s a few things which I started in 2022 that I want to continue in 2023:

  • Take things slow and do things in my own time

I realized a while ago that it’s easy to stress about life situations and panic. There are phases in our lives in which one bad thing happens after the other and it feels like you can’t get a break. That’s a feeling of stagnation. I’ve been through that and the way I got out of that was to just stop.

I stopped waitressing (I had 2 jobs and only got 2 days off a month). I stopped doing some freelance jobs which had become too much work. I stopped giving importance to things which were not on the top of my priority list. And I stopped stressing about problems and instead, decided to find solutions.

This change in mindset meant that I wanted to be slow. I didn’t want to hassle and rush anymore. I wanted to have free weekends. I wanted to take my time to do my tasks for the day. And I feel so much better because I’m doing things my way.

Giving out this energy into the world means that the world provides this back. When bad things happen, I take them with ease because I can. When I need to get something done, I do it in my own time. This doesn’t mean I procrastinate, it means that I don’t stress to get something done.

  • To do things my way

This might sound unrealistic but let me explain.

I have a clearer picture of what I want in life. I don’t know how I will get there but I’m working towards it while also living. It’s important to have vision rather than a plan.

It’s easy for life to get in the way. There are situations, people, systems which can hold you back from getting to where you want to get. My friend once told me that life is full of obstacles but the meaning is in the word – obstacles are meant to be overcome.

It’s easy to overcome them the expected way to keep moving forward. But I don’t want to just overcome and move forward for the sake of survival. I want to be in control and find ways to overcome but on my own terms.

Life will always be difficult but we can make choices on how to handle situations. All it requires is the right mindset. Know what you want, what you are capable of doing (not comfortable because comfort is dangerous) and figure out how to overcome your way.

  • Save up and travel

I went to 9 places in 2022.

This year was the most I’ve ever traveled in the span of 7 months.

Sidenote: my travels are a big FUCK YOU to the governments who prohibited me (and discriminated because I’m unvaccinated) from traveling for 2 years.

I’m really good at budgeting. I make enough money and I save up about half my wage.

I’ve learned to spend my money on what I need and not on what I want.

I don’t need to buy a haul of clothes from ASOS which cost €200. I don’t need AirPods and expensive shoes or big brands. I don’t need to buy new things in general; I thrift 90% of my clothes, I’ve been wearing the same clothes for years and I don’t need a million shoes – I have 2 boots and 2 sneakers and that’s enough.

I don’t need a lot and I’m happy with very little.

I’d rather save up and travel. I’ve already got a trip booked for next February/March in which I’ll be visiting 3 cities. Guess where 😉

  • Try to be around nature as much as possible

Sometimes, I wish I could travel to visit forests, waterfalls or mountains in Africa or South America to immerse myself in nature more. But I don’t have enough money saved up for that right now and I also have a full-time job which means I’ve got responsibilities.

Instead of comparing myself to others who travel to such natural places, I might as well explore as much of my island as possible – Gozo is a natural beauty.

When I think of nature, I think of the sea. I love to swim.

Yet, I can’t swim in the winter. The sea is either too cold or the weather is really bad. When it’s a warm day and I’m Gozo, I head to the beach and swim yet that’s not always possible.

So, I’ve decided to find alternatives. I don’t want to just go for a walk – I want something more adventurous. I want to climb and hike.

I don’t think I’m fit enough or mentally strong enough to climb mountains (climbing Red Rock Canyon this summer made me realize my limits) but I do like climbing and there are so many rocky seashore areas that I can climb such as San Filep, tas-Simar, San Blas, Dahlet Qorrot and Ras il-Qala.

We sometimes need that recharge. During the summer, after a long day at work, I used to recharge by swimming. So, I want to get that recharge – to breathe, to get my mind off life and to be grounded. Nature has that effect.

  • To just be a kid

A friend of mine once told me that as we grow older, we find ourselves set in certain ways and it’s hard to unlearn them. When you’re a kid, you’re innocent in the world. You don’t care what people think about you or what they think about your clothes or care what others are doing.

When you’re a kid, you’re goofy and silly and just having fun. You’re free. I’ve started to think this way lately – to just let myself just have fun. To be calm and relaxed. To not worry about things that don’t affect me or don’t affect me right now.

To go to the park if I feel like it. To go out to the store in my pyjamas and crocs. To go swimming in December. To talk to my cats like they’re human beings. To be random – but not to ‘oppose the mainstream trends’ but to be myself. To be my kid-self again. I miss her sometimes.

And above all, to laugh. Laugh as much as I can and whole-heartedly. To find things funny even in bad situations. (Vienna taught me how to laugh!)

So, here’s to 2023. I don’t know what it will bring. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. But what’s for sure is that I’m on the right track.

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