Fun, fun, fun: how my New Years Resolution's panning out
Aside from an exhaustive list of ways I wanted to improve my life this year including cutting down on social media, practicing more yoga and attending more cultural events. The main over-arching theme of 2018 was to have more fun. Now, if you're like my dad, you might be thinking how sad is it that a 22 year old is so fun deprived that she has to prioritise it? And you would be pretty much right. It's real sad that over the past few years I've got into a rut of taking life too seriously. I think the cut off point was when I'd screwed a purchase up with my debit card and went into my unplanned overdraft. Sobbing down the phone to my mom I threw in what I thought was the final nail in the coffin - and what about my credit score?! Needless to say she told me to shut up about my stupid credit score, goddammit I was in my early twenties not my forties.
I've put off writing this post for a while now and I'm starting to think it's because of a level of shame I have linked to admitting how boring my life has become. Don't believe me, I conducted an independent study of my close friends and family and even my grandma was relieved I was taking action. Now, it's easy to set an intention to have more fun but what does that look like in practice. Basically, try to think of anything deemed 'irresponsible' or 'unnecessary' and that's where I've leant into wholeheartedly this year. From draining my savings account to fly across the world to Bali to climbing a pole at a music festival. None of these things were planned but when I'm in the moment and fears start to creep in about why I shouldn't do these things that's when my heart leaps forward to support my resolution.
Why fun? A lot of people could argue that unlike drinking, eating and sleeping fun isn't an essential to human life. Whilst drinking, eating and sleeping is all important when it goes beyond just survival towards human flourishing this requires happiness. For the past few years I was more likely to cry than laugh, more likely to sleep than seize the day and most importantly I lost the bubbly spark of who I was. Even my first year of university is full of photos and iPhone videos of spontaneous nights out and pranks in hall. Yet somewhere before the start of second year I determined that life was hard and the best I could do was to scrape by. Not having fun impacts every part of your life. Let's start with relationships. Nobody wants to be around someone who is a fun sponge - I'd find friends silently getting fed up of how negative I was. Turning down nights out is all well in good every once in a while, but when your default setting is to wallow in self pity it's time to make some changes.
Things went from bad to worse around the end of second year when I endured the pain of a break up. I remember one of my exes parting words were "I love it when you laugh" which shouldn't have sent pangs of resentment up through my spine. But the reality was that I couldn't remember the last time I'd had a deep belly laugh or even a little giggle. The irony is that of course if you'd asked me at the time what kind of people I'd want to attract into my life top of the list would be a level of goofiness and a great sense of humour. So, why wasn't I letting myself let loose and have a bit of fun?
When I was a kid I was super cheeky and I was always getting into trouble for pranking my friends and family. Even as late as sixth form my friend Savannah and I were renown for hiding in people's cupboards and sneaking into their rooms late at night. Typing that down it sounds a bit creepy and maybe it was, but we would always have the kind of laughs where tears start rolling down your face. I loved nothing more than watching comedy sketches or shows like New Girl where the dead-pan humour would remind me life is worth living. I now believe that there's nothing in life more important than having a laugh.
I'm sure you know that feeling when you're having a bad day and something unexpected takes you back to reality and you can't help but laugh. That's the kind of life that I want. I want to surround myself with people who aren't living through fear or seriousness. I want to spend time doing things that make great stories or at the very least bring a smile to my face. I don't subscribe to this idea of putting up with misery 9-5 and living for the weekend to get absolutely wasted. Fun can be sober. Fun can be spontaneous. But most of all fun is necessary for me to live a happy life. One thing's for sure my friends and family have stopped worrying about me so much since I've shifted my mentality!
So, I challenge you what can you do today not because it's important for your future, or because you should be doing it, or because it's the sensible thing to do. Do something, anything today just for the sake of it and bring some of that childlike excitement back into your life. One of the easiest ways to incorporate this into your life is celebrating the small victories. For me that will always be cuuuute doggos on the street and getting pumped up by what's for dinner. Get excited about life again and watch how your world opens up. We shouldn't need a reminder, but just in case you do don't let this moment slip you by. At the end of the day, how you spend your days is how you spend your life and my bet is you want to fill your life with love and laughs.
All my love, Sam