Looking back and looking forwards

Although the start of a new year is just an arbitrary date on the calendar; it’s hard not to spend some time reflecting on your life and where you want it to go. I never think of myself as making ‘resolutions’, but I’m prone to writing lists of goals/plans/ideals, which are pretty much the same thing. One of my goals for this year is to blog more about general life, so this is the start of that. I’m aiming for 1 post a month, so nothing overly ambitious – I wanted it to be a realistic and achievable target. This has stemmed from my realisation that I miss the days of LiveJournal and how cathartic it was to have that outlet. I’ll aim for less angst on here though (but am not promising anything).

Looking back

I’ve got a couple of old school books where I wrote about my plans/dreams/random-ideas for what my life would be like when I was ‘grown up’. They were only written a year apart, as one was near the start of Year 6 and the other at the start of Year 7. There’s not too much overlap with them though, so I’m going to share both of them, along with my reflections as to their accuracy. This first one was written on 13th December 1991 (so I was 11) and I clearly hadn’t yet fully grasped writing in sentences. This is written verbatim. It had the vague and open title of ‘When I Grow Up’:

When I grow up and get a job I want to be an author and write childrens books and in my spare time sing to my records and listen to them and relax. I like doing these things because I am like my dad. He has written a few books and is trying to get them published he also sings songs and is trying to be famous like that. Me and my sister and my step mum have sung on some of his songs.

Well, I definitely spend a decent amount of my spare time listening to music, singing along and also relaxing, so a big tick there (not that that was difficult to achieve, or ever likely to not happen). I do also still have dreams of being an author, albeit for a more adult audience (I don’t mean in an erotica way, though never say never…). And although my Dad never achieved the level of success and fame he desired, I’m incredibly pleased that he managed to get a couple of novels published.

Also I would love to go around the world on a ferry and buy something from every place I go to.

Yes, a ferry!! Not a cruise ship – a ferry. This can’t have been long after we’d been to France on a ferry, so I’d clearly been quite taken by the experience. Although I haven’t specifically achieved this ambition, I have done a decent amount of travelling. I also hope to do lots more, of course, plus am not against the notion of a cruise at some point.

I would also like to live in Wales some of my family live in Wales and I have visited them there and it is lovely.

Big tick there.

I do not want to get married.

I’m fairly sure that I did actually want to get married, but it was at the age where you’re still meant to find boys a bit gross, so I wasn’t admitting to that.

I want to stay friends and visit Anna like my Mum Hilary and Pamela they visit each other once a year and they have been friends since they were 5.

Anna was my best friend at the time. We drifted apart during Secondary school, though are Facebook friends if that counts? Strangely I didn’t predict the invention of social media.

If I decided I wanted children I would go to an orphanage and get a 1 year old baby or there abouts.

Ha ha ha ha, I love the specification of age. I was also clearly (and accurately) unsure as to whether I would ever want kids, but definite about the aversion to actually giving birth.

I would live in a reasonable sized new house so I wouldn’t have to decorate it.

I love how my ambitions are generally quite rational and achievable (ignoring the current property market, obviously).

I would have a Male and a Female Hamster then I would sell the babies.

Hamsters are still appealing pets to me, but I don’t still harbour breeding desires.

I will learn to drive a car.

No, I really won’t.

I am not going to smoke.

Accurate.

I would like to be very rich.

Note that I don’t say ‘I will be very rich’! I would still like to be very rich. Or just moderately rich. Hell, any kind of rich/wealthy/vaguely-well-off is sufficient.

Moving on to the version I wrote about a year later. This one was written on 8th September 1992 (so I was still 11, though almost 12). It had the more specific title of ‘Ten years on…’, so I was meant to be imagining my life at the grand old age of 21. However, as I clearly saw anyone over the age of about 16 as being ‘old’, I basically wrote it in the same way as the previous piece (though with better formed sentences).

I will let my hair grow naturally so it is very long.

I’m not sure how I could have let my hair grow any way other than naturally… Anyway, this was written when I’d never really had my hair cut, other than the ends being trimmed, and I had dreams of growing it so long I could sit on it. However, I actually ended up having quite a lot cut off of it towards the end of that academic year and it was soooo much better.

I will not wear any make-up except lipstick. I will only put on other make-up if it is a special occasion.

Lipstick’s actually the only make-up I don’t wear!! It never sits on my lips right, as they’re generally quite dry and a bit cracked. Plus it tends to make me feel a bit self-conscious. Not that I wear huge amounts of make-up anyway, but I do like to have a bit of foundation on at least.

I will be a librarian, and in the spare time I have, I will write childrens stories.

Yes, in the 9 months since writing the previous piece, I’d clearly decided / been told that I needed some form of more stable career to rely on, rather than just aiming for the author thing. Librarian was my potential career choice for quite a few years.

I will not be married. I will not have children either. I will not smoke.

All currently accurate.

I will live in the south of Wales in a biggish house by myself.

The house has gone from ‘reasonable sized’ to ‘biggish’! I do live in South Wales, in a reasonably sized / biggish flat, by myself, so calling this a win.

I will be slightly rich by being a librarian.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

I will have a car. My car will be a Rolls Royce.

Note that I don’t say I’ll drive the car! A Rolls Royce is surely more of a car to be chauffeur driven in, right? Plus I’m rich from the famously-high salary of being a librarian, so it all makes sense.

I will try to make friends with people and be friendly.

Awwww.

I will go on a world cruise on a big ferry.

Still with the ferry. At this point I start getting weirdly specific about how often I’ll do certain things…

I will go to the cinema at least once a month. I will visit the rest of my family at least every 2 months.

I don’t manage either of those things that often, though also don’t have the librarian salary, so…

I will have 2 kittens.

I have progressed from hamsters to cats! But still want them in pairs, like Noah (ok, yes, I’ve seen QI, I know they didn’t actually go in 2 by 2, shut up).

I will have a big garden with a greenhouse.

I’ve never particularly seen the appeal of gardening, so no idea what this was about. I think I just liked the aesthetic of a greenhouse. Maybe I was going to hire a gardener, to go with my chauffeur.

I will stay in touch with my friends from school.

Less specific about which friends this time! And I am still in touch with some friends from school, so yay.

I will sell the Beanos I have collected since I was 6 or 7 and they will be worth quite a bit of money.

I’m fairly sure my Mum chucked these away years ago. For a long time they were ‘up in the attic somewhere’. I doubt they’d actually be worth much if I did still have them though.

I will go to pop concerts.

Not sure I’d describe any of the gigs I go to as ‘pop concerts’, but close enough.

I will try to be healthy, fit and slim. I will do exercises every day.

I appreciate my inclusion of the word ‘try’. I still try to do such things. Well, ok, I never really try to do exercises every day – I know myself too well for that.

I will visit museums etc at least once every two months.

Back to the weirdly specific timeframes. Nice notion though.

I will go to either my Mum or Dads house every Christmas. I will visit my sister every Easter.

Ha ha, I clearly felt like my sister should have some form of equitable arrangement to my parents, but at the lack of a Christmas-equivalent, she got Easter. I’m not sure I’ve ever visited my sister at Easter.

After my world cruise I will go abroad once a year on either a ferry or an aeroplane.

Good that I specified how I’d get abroad…

I will wear high heeled shoes.

I very rarely wear high heeled shoes.

All-in-all I don’t think I’ve done too badly so far. Largely because I didn’t really set the bar that high for myself (income aside), but still – I kinda like that I haven’t drastically changed since I was 11!

Looking forwards

I have some plans/goals/ambitions/not-resolutions for 2018, plus also beyond, that I’m going to share here now – mostly because it’ll increase the chance of me actually achieving them if other people are aware they exist. This was my main reason for creating this website and blog in the first place. I’ve never been good at the self-motivation thing anyway, but it’s even harder when you live on your own. If no-one’s around to judge me for spending all day in my pyjamas, rather than spending time writing, then why make the effort? I mean that rhetorically, as of course I know why it’s actually worth the effort, but my pyjamas are oh so comfy. And yes, I could technically spend all day writing, whilst also being in my pyjamas, so it’s not a great example, but you hopefully get what I mean. And yes I am in my pyjamas right now… Anyway, the plans…

2018 plans

Most of my plans/goals are either quite generic ongoing things (read more, play more computer games, do more regular housework, exercise more, keep learning Welsh) or they’re the continuation of projects that have been ongoing for a while (scanning all my photos, copying home videos to digital format, uploading all of my Dad’s music to Bandcamp so it can live on). One of my bigger projects had been to re-create my Catatonia fansite as an ultimate archive of information about the band, scanning all of the magazine clippings I’ve got, etc. This had been an aim for a good few years, though I’d never made much progress. Within the last year or so, I did start scanning things, though this largely made me realise just how time consuming this was going to be. I’ve also never gotten far with the actual web design, plus have lost a lot of the love I had for web design and development in general. It was therefore a slightly mad idea to pay for web hosting and a domain name a few months ago! I thought it would help motivate me, but instead I’ve ground to a halt. I’ve rebelled against myself! I’m just not sure it’d be worth the amount of time and effort it would take. Plus if I’m not really going to enjoy the process, what’s the point? I wouldn’t rule it out as a future endeavour, but I’ve decided not to pursue it in 2018. There are a few specific projects that I will be pursuing though:

  • I’m planning to create my own text adventure game. Quite likely an X-Files themed one (because obviously). This is something I just decided upon today, but am quite excited about.
  • I’m going to start a new novel. I’ll write more about this in a future post.
  • I’ve set myself a film-watching challenge for the year. I’ve got a lot of films I’ve never watched (both on DVD and downloaded), plus have a tendency to re-watch films I’ve seen lots of times, rather than watch new ones, so thought that a list of films to watch this year, as a specific goal, would be good. To help make it more interesting and motivating, I’ll also be blogging about the films afterwards. Not a full-on review, just any general thoughts I have – it can be pretty brief (and probably will be). I perceived it as a weekly thing, so wanted about 51 films on the list (as we’re already in the 2nd week of the year). I wondered if I could watch every film I’ve got on DVD/Blu-ray, but then counted them and realised I’ve got 160 films, so quickly changed my mind on that. Counting up the films I’ve got downloaded, or on DVD/Blu-ray, and have never watched, there are 38. Not quite as many as I was hoping for… However, if I add in any films I’ve got on DVD/Blu-ray that I’ve only watched once before (prior to owning them on DVD/Blu-ray), I get a total of 49 films! Perfect. My plan is to watch a film every weekend (where possible) and then blog about it on Monday evening. I’ve set the watching order via a random number generator (which was quite fun) and have put the list at the end of this blog post.

Future plans

I’m actually going to save these for a future post too (fittingly), as writing this has taken a lot longer than I’d anticipated!

So, as promised, I’ll end with the list of films I’m planning to watch this year, in the order I’ll be watching them. They also say whether I’ve got them on DVD/Blu-ray/sat on my HDD, though this was mostly for my own reference, so I know where to locate them!:

1. Enter The Void (HDD)
2. Blue Is The Warmest Colour (HDD)
3. I Heart Huckabees (DVD)
4. The Handmaiden (HDD)
5. The Fountain (HDD)
6. MicMacs (DVD)
7. Fast Food Nation (HDD)
8. Fargo (DVD)
9. Transcendence (HDD)
10. Memories Of Murder (HDD)
11. Interstellar (HDD)
12. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (HDD)
13. Secretary (DVD)
14. Stuck In Love (HDD)
15. 9 Songs (DVD)
16. God Help The Girl (DVD)
17. 45 Years (HDD)
18. Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down (DVD)
19. Dogville (HDD)
20. The Graduate (DVD)
21. Dancer In The Dark (DVD)
22. Cabaret (DVD)
23. Mr Morgan’s Last Love (DVD)
24. Talk To Her (DVD)
25. Zodiac (HDD)
26. Anomalisa (HDD)
27. Wild At Heart (Blu-ray)
28. Burn After Reading (DVD)
29. What We Do In The Shadows (HDD)
30. Y Tu Mama Tambien (HDD)
31. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith (HDD)
32. Pi (HDD)
33. Paterson (HDD)
34. Man In An Orange Shirt (DVD)
35. Bad Education (DVD)
36. Patagonia (HDD)
37. Magnolia (DVD)
38. 10 Cloverfield Lane (HDD)
39. The Skin I Live In (Blu-ray)
40. Live Flesh (DVD)
41. Mao’s Last Dancer (HDD)
42. The Rules Of Attraction (DVD)
43. Nocturnal Animals (HDD)
44. All About My Mother (DVD)
45. Ex Machina (HDD)
46. Strictly Ballroom (HDD)
47. Breaking The Waves (HDD)
48. Human Traffic (DVD)
49. Cashback (HDD)

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One Response to Looking back and looking forwards

  1. Crashing Elliptical says:

    I laughed so much reading some of those ‘When I grow up’ dreams. I love the thought of hamster breeding librarian Chantal driving her Rolls Royce to visit her sister at Easter, then heading off for a ferry trip around the world!
    Interesting list of films too, I have fair few of them (just checked and it’s actually 12) on DVD/Blu-ray, most of which I’ve similarly never seen (or have only seen once), so I may try to watch them around the same time as you for the added context, plus to work my way through the ridiculous heap of unwatched media I own – must stop buying stuff and then never watching it!

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