The New Years Reflection

Hey Everyone!

I hope you all had a good holiday break and new years.

I know we are already into the second week of the year but I have wanted to write something here as a reflection since the turn of 2018. This week was the start of my ‘working’ month, but something I read today in some assignment feedback pushed me to want to write something here.

I have done a lot of more expressive stuff this year, which honestly has been difficult for me. I started trying to maintain this blog, I have done a lot more public speaking at university, recorded a podcast and for the past few weeks, I have been streaming on Twitch.

I have always struggled when it comes to self-confidence. It is less about my appearance nowadays than it was when I was younger, I have mostly hit “sod it” in that department. But the thing for me is how I speak. I fall over my words a fair bit when I am nervous, then I lose my train of thought when I try to correct the mistake. I realised how often it happens when I was recording the podcast I mentioned. It was for an essay at university where we could use any form of media to present a topic. It did not need to a be overly polished product, but I am a perfectionist in small bursts.

The podcast only ran for 10 minutes, roughly 2000 spoken words. I spent around 3 to 4 hours recording, simply because I would record a sentence or short paragraph, listen to it back, and then re-do it because I stuttered or tripped up somewhere. And this would happen for about 95% of the whole thing. After several attempts at a section, I would be happy with it. I have a similar issue when public speaking, although I can’t rewind and re-record public speaking sadly. Not after the last time *evil cackle*.

I suppose it is all something you just get used to. I have been a Scout leader for nearly 6 years now, and talking to the troop and sections doesn’t phase me any more, not like it used to at least. If I stick to pushing myself out of my comfort zone, it should get easier.

2017, much like 2016 was a bit of a dull year for me. I am just floating through university at the minute. Not pushing myself to do well, but not motivated to do anything more. It has just been a mental drain on me, much more than I thought it could have been. I was so excited to become a student but the further I go, the more I regret the decision. I just want to graduate and get into work and focus more on myself, as selfish as that sounds.

I have always been worried that I have never really found myself yet, not found that one thing that makes me, me. I am trying to be more creative at the minute, to talk and write more. It has always been one of those areas where I have shut out of my life. Worrying that I was not good enough to produce something worth sharing, or to be proud enough to make whatever I make public. But I want to change that this year.

In the short term, I want to graduate from university. I don’t think it will be much of a stretch, I just need to be careful I don’t fail anything otherwise I will be trouble. I have 2 essays this month, and then my dissertation and a final module before I am done. So not a stressful next few months hopefully. Although the philosophy essay I have coming up is going to be a problem, I just know it.

Past Uni, I want to finally get my Wood Beads at Scouts. For those unfamiliar with how Scouts works, when a leader finishes their training, they are presented with their wood badge and wood beads, and join the 1st Gillwell Scout Troop. The beads that we wear with our neckers are supposed to be a tradition Badel-Powell started over 100 years ago. If I am remembering properly, he was presented with a wooden beaded necklace from an African tribe during his time there. He used the beads from this gift to welcome new leaders into Scouting, and this has been carried on until present day. Although I have been a leader for nearly 6 years, I still haven’t finished my training. Although this is in part to me being lazy, and unable to drive to the validation meetings, I was kinda screwed over by some changes within Scouting and a bit of human error. Much fun.

Ignoring the things I usually say I will do every new years, loose weight, find a girlfriend, all that jazz, I want to put some new things down as my goals for 2018:

  1. I would like to become a Twitch Affiliate. As strange as it sounds it isn’t too hard to do. You only really need 3 concurrent viewers and the rest kinda helps itself. I have been streaming around 4 to 5 days a week for between 3 and 6 hours. I need to sort out a schedule and upgrade some of my hardware, but I am enjoying it. I do find it a little draining, talking for so long, but I am working on it.
  2. I want to start creative writing. I am not sure what just yet, but I feel I need to just get into it. I am thinking about doing NaNoWriMo this year (or however that abbreviation goes). As I will be done with university around May and I am not doing a post-grad, I feel it will be easier to do around work with a more reliable schedule.
  3. I want to sort some other training for Scouts. I should be getting my camping permit this year, which will allow me to run camps on campsites without needing someone watching over me, but I would like to get something else. I had talked about a kayaking license  in the past, but I have wanted to loose some weight before attempting that, but that could be the incentive I need to actually get it done.

Well, I think that will do it for one year. I hope you all had a good holiday season, and I wish you all the best for 2018!

Much love,

Alex

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