2014: The Year of Authenticity

authentic. adjective. accurate in representation of the facts; trustworthy; reliable; genuine. 

That is my watchword for 2014. It is time that I started doing things that really reflect who I am, what I value, and what I want out of life. It is time that I started doing what is right for me, despite what other people might think. By nature, I care a lot about other people’s needs, opinions, and thoughts. This is not a bad thing. But it is not a good thing when they end up superseding my own needs, opinions, and thoughts. I need to take care of myself before I can take care of other people. I forget that sometimes.

So here is to a 2014 that comes from the heart. Here is to finally crafting a life that feels like it fits.

I hope yours is amazing too.

Make money writing.

At the end of 2013, I launched my freelance business. I am excited to get down to the nitty gritty of it, to start pitching articles, etc. This is the year that I will turn a long-held dream into a reality.

Focus on travel.

I want to get out of the city once a month. It doesn’t have to be far. The mountains are deliriously close, and I would love to spend more time exploring them. I have a trip to Florida planned in the spring. I am hoping to go somewhere in the fall too. Maybe New York? Those details haven’t been ironed out yet. I just know that I want to fuel this wanderlust in my heart, not try to tamp it down.

Focus on creativity every day & learn a new skill.

I hide from my creativity a lot. It is not something that I am proud of. For 2014, I commit to being creative every single day, to no longer hiding from the things that I love the most for fear that my art will not be good enough. As for learning a new skill, I would like to try my hand at drawing, as well as learn some new things about photography. Maybe Bryan will even let me shoot with his DSLR. Or perhaps that’s photography blasphemy? :)

Only read books that I want to read.

I did a reading challenge in 2013. My goal was 150 books. I ended up with 158. I am damn proud of that. But I also ended up reading books that I didn’t really want to at the time just to pad out the number a little bit. Books that were on my list but didn’t feel right at the moment. And this year, though I am challenging myself to read 100 books, I want them to be books that I really want to read. Books that I am excited to plunge into. And if it turns out that I don’t like them? I am not going to force myself to finish them. It has long been a rule of mine that I won’t read books I am not enjoying, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside in past years as I have focused more and more on how many books I was reading rather than which books I was reading. No more.

Take a class just for fun.

I am taking a history class this year (starting next week, yikes!) that is a prerequisite for the education program that I want to apply to. The class doesn’t sound that interesting to me. I was going to take another one just for fun (English 399 Detective Fiction) but couldn’t afford it. Sometime in the next year I want to make room in my budget for taking a class that is for sheer enjoyment. Maybe a papercutting class at one of the art schools or an English class. Something that isn’t about getting somewhere, but just about the experience.

Run in 3 races.

I am a fair weather runner. As soon as things get cold and snowy, I become a non-runner. But I love it. There are times when I am running in the summer and all I can hear is the pounding of my heart, and all I can feel is the scraping of my breath in my throat, and all I can think is, “This is what living really feels like.” Last year, I ran in the Mud Hero event, and this year, I want to take it further. I want to run in three events. Mud Hero again. A half-marathon. And something else. Maybe a 5K or a 10K. I haven’t decided yet. Anyone know of any fun events in Alberta that I could do?


Those are my major goals for 2014. Not so much resolutions as guidelines. A map for how I want the year to turn out.

What’s your watchword for 2014?

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Jessica can most often be found with her nose in a book, or writing her newest short story/screenplay/novel, but she also has a passion for travel, child-care & development, psychology, feminism (and other forms of equality), and making the world a better place in general. Email Me