Cate YoungPersonal Essays

Rambling: I Got Some Shit Done and I'm Proud of It

Cate YoungPersonal Essays
It's been a while. In the last few weeks, I've been thinking about what resolutions I want to make for 2013. I've sat and thought about the new stage I'm at in my life, where I'd like my life to go from here, and all the things that would be required of me to get there. Heavy stuff.

Just thinking it through started to overwhelm me. There are so many things I'd like to accomplish in the next few years, that it all seems so daunting. How am I supposed to organize my life into some semblance of cohesion? How am I supposed to do it now? How long will it take me to get all the different tangents of my life in order? You can see how easily this turned into a worry spiral...

However, in a rare moment of lucidity, I remembered a blog post I read back in October that really resonated with me. The post was about taking the time to recognize and congratulate yourself for your achievements, and appreciating how far you've come in achieving your goals, even the little ones.


It's a simple concept that not enough people take the time to consider. I know that I certainly never have. 
I really like the idea of acknowledging your small victories. Things can get very heavy very fast, and it can be really easy to forget that although you haven't reached your goal, you've made progress, and you're much further along than you were yesterday, or the day before that, or the week before that, or the month before that.

So that's what I'm going to do. It doesn't seem like much, but in the last few months I have accomplished a lot of what I wanted to accomplish. I am further along that I thought I'd be. And I think that it's good for my sanity to reassure myself that I'm moving forward with my life and that this rut I think I'm stuck in is all in my head. 

Here's what I've accomplished this year:

THE BIG
  • I graduated from university, and now I have a degree in Photojournalism from Boston University.
  • I got hired as a copywriter at an advertising agency in Trinidad, and now I work with amazing people, and I get to see ads I've worked on pop up all over Trinidad.
THE SMALL
  • I applied to the Graduate program of my dreams. I didn't get in, but I did shoot an entire portfolio for the application, and that's more that I would have done a year ago.
  • I creative directed an entire magazine.
  • I built an entire website from scratch. (Never mind that it's slow and I plan to abandon it. No one cares. I built a motherfucking website!)
  • I learnt how to use Final Cut Pro, and I made three halfway decent multimedia clips that I'm pretty proud of.
  • I had two of my photographs in a small photo-exhibit at Boston University in the spring.
  • I renamed and refocused my blog to align more with the things I'm interested in.
  • I asked a guy out for the first time! He was really sweet too, but the whole moving to different country thing....
  • I started saving money. As in, properly, in a bank that pays interest and everything.
I'm sure there were other little victories along the way that I've since forgotten. But the point is, writing it all down, I can see that even though I think I haven't accomplished anything, and that my life is pointless, I've actually gotten quite a bit of shit done! I'm also learning that life doesn't turn on a dime. It takes time and dedication to get to where you want to be. Even though it feels like I'm only taking baby steps, those baby steps add up, and after awhile, you realize you're much further along than you thought you were.  

It's so important not to undervalue your achievements. So often we're our own worst critics. It's time we were also our own best cheerleaders.

What about you? What have you accomplished this year that you're proud of?