I know I'm not a lifestyle blogger - especially since I'm still in high school and continually worry about things such as my quarter grades and my college plans for the future. But I know that I'm a photographer, and I know (or the very least I tell myself) that I have a pretty solid outlook on life.
Some things are important. And some things are very, very not important. And I think 2017 should be the year that we should separate those things very far from one another, and try and focus on the things that are important.
So what are you doing to make 2017 an important, memorable, and successful year? Maybe you've been keeping up with those resolutions - good for you! Consistency is so important. Maybe you think it's too late to start. But it never is. And for that reason, I've decided to share my ideas on how to make 2017 a year of success, happiness, and, yes, importance.
1. Find Some(Thing)s That Make You, You
People talk down on this step a lot, because sometimes it can get a bit cheesy. But it's so important - what are your true interests? Your favorite hobbies? What are you looking forward to this year that involves those interests, hobbies, or skills? Write it all down.
Still stuck on the whole 'finding' part? That's kind of what the internet is for. The world is a beautiful resource. Even the most bored of the bored, the most restless of the restless can find and achieve something. For one person it might take just picking up a paint brush, and for another it might be taking a flight halfway around the world, just to be somewhere that means something. (I never promised this would be free - but there's no shame in trying to keep it that way.)
Again, if you're still stuck, here's just a couple ideas of things to try:
Photography (tried and tested here, folks)
Sewing or Knitting
Diving into Antique Stores
Writing (books, poetry, anything! check out nanowrimo.org...)
Playing an Instrument (the ukulele is a cheap, fun, easy option!)
And those are just a few of the thousands of things out there to try. The world is a growth of opportunity - seize it, and run with it.
2. Set Yourself Apart From the Rest
I understand - we're not all trying to brand ourselves. There might be some of you with a brand, product, service, business, or dream that needs some fine tuning. Some of that fine tuning might be setting yourself apart from the rest of the crowd, the rest of the people running around with their dreams.
So what makes you different from the rest? Are you a reckless optimist who dives into every bad situation with vigor and excitement? Are you a communicator, a mediator between people? Maybe you have a style of art that is breathtakingly, annoyingly unique - use that! Anything that makes you an individual, anything that sets you apart, use it.
Once again, not everybody is looking to brand themselves, nor is everything trying to start something out of nothing. But setting yourself apart can help you find those interests you're always looking for. Setting yourself apart can open your life up to new people, new experiences, and new dreams. There is nothing more important in this world than change - be open to it, accept it, and move with it.
3. Be Stupid (Sometimes)
I want you to take this as literally as you can. Just - be stupid sometimes. Maybe you think that you have this idea, this notion, this thought, but you couldn't make it work. Not ever. You think, it would be stupid of me to pursue something this big - it would take time, money, and responsibility. Be a little stupid. Maybe just go for it, even if you just go halfway.
Maybe there's a dozen opportunities knocking, but common sense tells you to stay back. Your comfort zone is a comforting thing. I don't deny I enjoy my comfort zone - sometimes compared to the task at hand, my comfort zone feels as good as a warm bed on a cold, winter morning.
But we don't always have a warm bed, or sometimes we realize that it's not what we need anymore. So get up, and get out. Talk to people. Communicate with just one of the million people that reside on the planet with you. Go somewhere you've never been before - a different street, a different town, a different continent. Say things you were afraid of saying, and stop biting your tongue before speaking your mind.
Be kind. But also be very brave. Because the world - despite its beauty, mass, and depth - will not always be kind back. Sometimes the smart thing to do is step back inside your comfort zone, and just watch the world from there.
That's why I think that, even the smartest of the smart, should do something a little stupid.
Stop. Evaluate. Reassess where you are and compare it to where you want to be. With any luck, it's a terribly, long, arduous trek, that is far outside your comfort zone.
I might still be in high school, but I know that those treks are the greatest.