3 Things: January 2018

I can’t decide if January was the longest or the shortest month on record. Some days it felt as though time had just stopped, but the next thing you knew it was the end of the week. I am verging on deciding it was the longest though. There were too many days between December and the January payday. Way too many.

On a more positive note, I achieved my monthly goal; as of Wednesday, January is the first month in Wandering Scotland’s history that I published a post every single week at the same time. One post a week! It may not seem like much to most seasoned bloggers, but it’s a hell of a lot to me. I’ve never managed it before. It makes me feel like I can actually hack it at this blogging thing.

January has indeed been an enlightening month. I’ve discovered some newfound sense of inner confidence, which has meant that for the first time ever I’ve been communicating with other bloggers through social media, without the irrational terror of inadequacy that usually accompanies such interactions.

This strange new confidence isn’t just helping me online. I’ve been feeling more comfortable taking charge at work. I’m more at home in myself as a person. I’m quite comfortable now being myself, by myself and with others, not full of the usual anxiety and cares about other people’s opinions.

Where this new Lauren came from I’ve no idea, but I quite like her.

1. Good Friends

As many of you know, I am actually quite an introvert. Yes, I’m loud and brash and annoying, but I really like spending time on my own, inside my own head. It’s how I recharge.

Now, any introvert will tell you that once you realise that there’s nothing wrong with you and you just need to spend time alone to recharge just as extroverts need to be with people to do the same, you can get really bad at becoming a bit of a hermit and just never go out and spend time with people. Your own company is just so much easier to deal with.

But January 2018 has seen me spend probably more time than ever with other people, and you know what? I’ve loved it.

I’d been struggling with finding my place at uni and amongst my friends, but somehow I returned to uni with a clearer view of where that was. It was as me, not belonging to any clique, just being me.

And with that, I’m valuing people’s company more.

I feel comfortable and free being around the girls in my best friend’s flat (I practically live there myself I’m there that often). I’m happy with my friends at uni. I see their foibles and their flaws and I don’t care anymore. They’re being them, and I’m being me, and we fit in our funky mish mash of people.

I have so much to say about my feelings regarding my friends and relationships this year, so I think maybe I’ll put them in their own post rather than hash it out here.

2. Good Books

I have always been an avid reader, but over the past few years, the number of books I’ve been reading has declined. Nothing has been able to grab my attention enough for me to cut out time in my busy schedule to read, and I can’t be bothered adding a heavy novel to my already weighty backpack.

But before Christmas, I picked up A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness from my Gran’s mini-library after being intrigued by the title, and shortly after finished it and bought the rest of the series.

Reading, especially good, really well-written books, fires up my imagination so much and makes me want to get back to writing my own stuff.

So, thanks to Deborah Harkness, and following Rhianne from Little Novelist on Instagram and Twitter to keep my motivation up, I now have a novel (possibly a series) in the works. Watch this space!

3. Honest Teachers

Everyone knows that performers are bitchy. Well, at least the archetypal performers you see on TV and in Films. And spending so much time around musicians and performers, at least in a Conservatoire setting, has a tendency to breed low self-esteem and a feeling of inadequacy. It can actually make you a little scared to take risks and ‘show-off’ as it were, in case something goes wrong or people start asking “who does she think she is?”.

This is something that we all know but rarely admit, much to the point that you don’t realise that it’s actually what’s holding you back. Until your teacher tells you in class. And forces you to take that risk and show off. And you find that nothing bad happens.

It feels great.

Turns out all I really needed to light a fire under my bum with regards to my singing was a really good public pep talk from a teacher.

Anyway, that was January, the long-short start to 2018. I have to say, if that’s how this year is going to continue, then I am in fact definitely look forward to 2018!

How about You?