New Year, Tempered Ambitions

Happy New Year!

2021, in all honesty, felt like the sequel to 2020 that no one asked for. It was hard to persevere through with all the positives and many many negatives. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been affected in some adverse way. I know for myself I became even more of a hermit than I was before. The thought of leaving my house feels more daunting than it should. But I think it’s also easy to overlook the good things that happened in 2021. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I was still able to accomplish some things during the year. While it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, it was still progress towards my overall life goals.

I think for 2022, the most important lesson we can learn is to be cautious with our expectations. I know for myself and many others, we all had a sense of optimism believing that the pandemic would be over or in it’s final stages. Unfortunately life had some other plans in mind and we are now facing another year of uncertainty. Does that mean 2022 is going to be as rough as 2021? Not necessarily, though I do think there is cause to be weary of what’s around the corner.

But where does this leave us starting the year? Should we still be making such lofty goals and expectations? I think it’s still very possible to achieve our goals and dreams, but maybe in a more tempered and cautious approach. Using myself as an example, I’m still aiming to try and publish my third book this year, but I’m setting the expectation that it would be closer to the end of the year if not early 2023. Is that disappointing? Honestly kind of yeah. My goal was originally to publish one book in my series every year but with how rough 2021 was I don’t think it’s safe to put so much pressure on myself. If I am able to do it, fantastic! If I don’t accomplish it, I’ll aim for early 2023. Part of this, I suppose, is learning to be easier on myself than I usually am.

One goal that I’m keeping rather nebulous but still focused is my goal of becoming a better artist. When it comes to writing, part of what really helps my creative process is being able to draw my characters and have a sense of what they look like. I also used to really enjoy creating artwork but 2021 made that exceedingly difficult for me. I’m not 100% sure why as I initially thought that being stuck inside would have helped me focus more yet I just kept getting more and more lost. I’m hoping I can use 2022 to focus more on completing artwork faster and to a higher quality than I could before.

Goals that aren’t too solid feel like a safe bet during this tumultuous time. They allow for more flexibility and we can always adapt as the situation evolves. I know it’s not quite the best for completing goals in a timely manner, but with everything that’s going on I think we can afford to go a bit easier on ourselves. Our mental health is critical and we have to take care of it more than ever.

2021 was rough, but hopefully we can make 2022 a much better year.

Good luck everyone!

– Raphael

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