I am responsible. I think about things before I act. A lot. Being responsible and thoughtful has kept me out of trouble and has brought some great things into my life, like a pair of theses, a savings account, and I've never had to pay a library fine. But there is a part of me that is overly responsible too. Being a thinker can mean being an over-thinker, being a worrier. And always trying to do the smart thing or the next logical thing doesn't leave a whole lot of room for risk or experimentation. Around the end of 2015 I started to feel a desire to shake things up, to think and worry a little bit less and to do more. Enter fun, my guiding word for 2015 and all the words that go along with it, like spontaneity, relaxation, freedom, and joy.
I don't want to put too many rules or restrictions on how I implement this word, because that would kind of defeat the point, but I can't not include a few thoughts and goals. Here are some of my hopes and intentions for having more fun in 2016:
Creatively - I want to have more fun with art and making things. I always find fulfillment and enjoyment in creating art, but I want to think and worry less about what I'm making. I want to free myself from the feeling that something needs to be serious or deep to be "real art" or that an idea is dumb. I want more of my own voice and perspective to come through in my work. The art that I like the best is usually fun and bright and whimsical. This year, I want to create with reckless abandon and worry later (or never) about whether something is good or not.
Socially - Friends are fun! The only problem is that I'm a hardcore introvert and incredibly shy. It is really easy for me to spend all of my time holed up my myself making art, reading, and generally doing alone-things. Those things are great (and so is alone time), but this year, I would like to make new friends, which will involve putting myself out there more. It will be uncomfortable for me, but I'm excited. I want to go out of my way to make plans with friends and actually leave my house. I want to go to brunch more. I want to have more photos with people in them. I also want to strengthen my relationships with friends that I already have. I want to keep in better touch with the ones who are far away and make all of my friends feel like magical, spectacular rays of brilliant sunshine because they are.
Aesthetically - I'm a visual person and my mood is incredibly impacted by color and design. In other words, seeing pretty things makes me happy. I want to make my surroundings beautiful and reflective of my personality and I think that will have a huge impact on how I feel this year. I want to hang up art (both mine and other people's) I want to put effort into making my apartment look nice, instead of living in a plain box because it doesn't seem worth the time and money to decorate a space that I'll be moving out of within the year. A year is a long time! I want to make sure my wardrobe is bright and reflective of my personality as well. I want to tackle the never ending battle of work clothes (things that seem "work-appropriate" are so boring and nothing ever fits). I want to buy fewer things that "go with everything" and buy more things that make me smile.
Travel - I want to go more places and see more things in 2016. I had amazing trips in 2015, especially my visit to Portland, but when it comes to travel my practical side tends to come up with any reason to not go on or plan the trip and I want to stop that. I want to go on more short, weekend trips. I want to visit my friends all over the country and learn what they love about where they live. I want to explore new cities and find new things in places that I've been to before. I already have some travel planned for 2016 and I cannot wait. And if you're a friend of mine, invite me to visit you! I'll come.
Because we're already over a month into the year, here are some ways that I've been implementing my word and really enjoying it.
Buying fun things - It sounds materialistic, but I bought myself a neon, hot pink wallet and it has been a game changer. It is BRIGHT and very time I take it out of my bag I am so happy. I realize that money can't buy happiness, but I have been thinking lately about the power of certain, special objects (maybe this is a whole other post). I think that there is something magic to having the wallet (or headphones, or key chain, or reusable shopping bag, or mug) that is going to make your day that much better every time you use it. I highly recommend searching high and low for the object of your dreams instead of just getting the first one you find or the cheapest or the most utilitarian (plus, you probably won't have to search high and low, you will probably just have to Google it).
Listening to music- I used to be music obsessed. Then, I started listening to podcasts and eventually completely stopped listening to music. Recently, I've started listening to music again and it is so much fun to dance around my bedroom while getting ready or sing before bed. I am still podcast-obsessed (ask me about my favorites), but I'm remembering the effect that music can have on my mood and it is great. Any fun artist or song recommendations are definitely welcome because I am so out of touch with music these days.
Decorating - Partly because of the winter, partly because of the start of the year, and partially because of this word I am on a decorating, reorganizing, and nesting kick. My roommate and I put up a gallery wall using removable painters tape in the huge space above our couch. In my bedroom hung up a bunch of framed art (I can worry about those holes in the wall later), reorganized my workspace, and made my shelves look pretty. I made and hung the most amazing banner above my bed and displayed a bright new abstract painting that I love. I'm not stressed out about making sure that everything matches and I'm not leaving everything piled in a corner because I'll just be moving in a few moths anyway. I'm keeping the mess to a minimum, and even though cleaning isn't always the most fun, having a clean space means that I'm much less stressed and can do fun things like get dressed or create much more easily because I'm not endlessly searching for something or having to move a bunch of piles around to clear off space on my desk.
Saying yes and doing things - This is really the crux of my word right now. I want to do things instead of just thinking about them. I've tried to say yes when asked to do something, like fly to Boston with one day's notice, or trek out into a blizzard, or meet for dinner next Tuesday. When someone says (or I think to myself) that we (or I) "should" do something, like host a party, start a podcast, take a pottery class, or keep in touch, I'm trying to actually take steps to make it happen. This is a constant struggle, but I think I am doing better at it than ever before.
A few fun links to check out:
Gala Darling's style tips - this series is from a while ago (I loved it in high school), but includes so many wonderful tips and ideas for bringing a bit more fun and sparkle into everyday life. (I also love Gala's daily periscopes, her website, and pretty much everything she does)
Africa video by Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard - very fun to watch
Aidy Bryant photographed by LeCoveteur - so much decor, style, and life inspiration