From the title, you may assume this is a list of new year’s resolutions. That is very much not the case. I do think wanting to better ourselves and having the means and motivation to do so is inherently part of what makes us human. But stubbornness and resistance are part of that too. Personally, I’ve never been very good at abiding by resolutions. I try not to set them because when I look back at the end of the year, it just makes me depressed and angry with myself. This here is merely a list of things I’d like to do. Some are potentially life-altering, whilst others are trivial. Some will definitely happen and some of them most likely won’t. But I figured putting “fingers to keyboard” and solidifying these aspirations would lead to a higher chance of completion.
At first, coming up with 23 things I want to do was harder than I thought it would be. But once I took a step back and just let it brew in my mind the ideas started to flow endlessly. I started asking myself, what could I do this year? And then despite my wanting to make this a light-hearted, obligation-free list, it began to feel like a self-help exercise. Maybe it is, after all, there’s nothing wrong with opening up our minds and expectations and pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones. Isn’t that what new years and new beginnings are all about? So here’s the list of 23 things I want to do in 2023.
The list of 23 things
This is in no particular order other than when the idea came to me. I’ve not really edited at all.
- Write my PhD proposal
- Build my Zoom65 keyboard
- Watch all of Star Wars
- Do agility training with my dog
- Visit Dundee
- See Arsenal men’s team play at the Emirates
- Celebrate Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary
- Finish writing my first academic paper
- Write more regular blogs
- Start boxing again
- Finish knitting my sweater before summer
- Successfully complete an escape room
- Walk more
- Improve my body clock
- Try pottery
- Visit Florence
- See a live comedy show
- Start clarinet lessons again
- Watch all Pixar movies in chronological order according to the Pixar theory
- See a theatrical play
- Get a 100-day streak on wordle
- Spend a week in Brighton
- Draw more digitally and on paper
Expanding on the 23 things
So, now that I’ve given you a list, I’m going to expand a bit on specifically why I want to do some of these things. In order to do this, I’m going to split them into categories.
The first thing on my list that relates to entertainment is watching all of Star Wars. Now, this is something I have meant to do for a long time and as someone who claims to be a sci-fi fan, I’m rather ashamed about how little of this franchise I’ve actually seen. I started watching the original trilogy a few years back when I was in uni but fell asleep halfway through the third film and then misplaced my DVDs. By the time I’d found them, discs has essentially become obsolete. But seeing as my family has a Disney Plus account I no longer have an excuse not to watch the entire series.
I think Star Wars leads quite nicely into the next entertainment aim which is celebrating Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary. I worded this aim quite specifically because I don’t just want to watch the three special episodes, I want to do more than that. Whether that’s an online binge with some of my friends, a face-to-face get-together or just finally putting together a cosplay outfit of my favourite doctor, I want to do more than simply watch. I don’t think I’ve ever written specifically about Doctor Who on this site (aside from my recent review) but the show has done an awful lot for me over the past 18 years. And I want to pay tribute to that somehow.
I also said I want to watch all Pixar movies in chronological order according to the Pixar theory. If you’re not aware of what the Pixar theory is, here is a link to the original article. The idea that all Pixar films take place in the same universe was first conjured back in 2013 and since then fans have continued to add each new release to the timeline. I want to do this because there are a few Pixar films I’ve still not seen and if I’m going to catch up, why not watch them all and see if I agree with the general consensus on how they all fit together?
The final two aspirations that I would put in the entertainment category are seeing a live comedy show and seeing a play. I was lucky enough that my best friend and his girlfriend had a spare ticket to see Joe Lycett a few months back and it was a fabulous experience. I’d love to do something similar again. And although I tend to go to the theatre at least once a year, I want to see something that isn’t a musical. Aside from school trips, I’ve only ever seen two actual plays live and I’d like to increase that number.
You will see that there are three cities I have put on this list. One I have spent a reasonable amount of time in and the other two I’ve never been to. So let’s talk about them first.
I’ve put Dundee on this list as it is a place I have wanted to visit and explore for a long time. As I mentioned in my hobbies blog, growing up I was a massive Beano fan. And ever since I discovered that Dundee is where the Beano and Dandy originate from, I’ve wanted to go. They have both Desperate Dan and Minnie Minx statues in the city and I want to get a selfie with each of them. Admittedly I’m more of an Ivy the Terrible fan but Minnie is pretty cool nonetheless. In general, I want to travel Britain more and take advantage of my disability rail discount so Dundee seems like a pretty good place to start.
The second city is Florence. Now again, just like with Britain I want to see a lot more of Italy. I identify as being ‘Italian’ yet my experience of the country is minimal. Florence is where I want to go first because I want to see where Leonardo did his work and of course see Michaelangelo’s David too. I want to learn more about the culture I call my own and maybe get some creative inspiration. Whenever I mention my intense desire to visit Florence my mum always has to remind me that have been there before when I was a baby. I want to go as an adult and create actual memories in what I know is a beautiful city.
And last on the list is Brighton. I visited back in the autumn with my sister and our friends but I want to go for longer without other people. I want to be able to go back and visit my campus. See how it has changed in the past 4 years and mentally throw eggs at the bar that replaced my common room in my final year. And I want to meet up with my friends who are still in the area. But this is more than just a travel aim, this is a hidden health aim. I need to be well enough to actually justify going away alone. And although that isn’t necessarily in my control, I am going to work towards it in every way I can.
There are a few things on this list that are physical aims. I want to want to walk more, start boxing again and improve my body clock. All of which are pretty self-explanatory targets. We got Hugo so I had a reason to get out of the house and exercise. I am going to work on making that part of my routine. Just like I’m going to focus on going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Admittedly, this is something I’ve been saying for over a decade now but this year I’m going to try my best to actually make it happen. And then I’m going to find a gym. One where I feel comfortable, that isn’t crazy expensive, where I can do short sessions and work up to longer sessions, working on my boxing.
Now, this is the longest part of the list as ‘hobbies’ is an interpretive term. Why I have written all these explanations in this order I do not know, it’s just as random as the list itself. But the first aim that I would put into this category is building my Zoom65 keyboard. I mentioned that I’d just got into building custom keyboards in my hobbies post, which I’ve already linked to above, and I have actually now built three. This post was written using two different boards as each of them is different and has its own benefits. I purchased the Zoom65 several months ago on a group buy and it should be arriving by the end of January. So hopefully I’ll be able to tick it off my list pretty quickly.
The second objective I’m going to add to this category is doing agility training with Hugo. This arguably could have gone in the previous section, but it’s him learning how to run up and around obstacles, not me so I’ve slotted it in here. Before we even collected Hugo from the breeder I looked up what kind of training was good for MIniature Schnauzers and agility was mentioned. We call him the parkour puppy as he loves jumping and running. So once he turns a year in February I am very eager to find an agility class with the hope of nurturing his skills and maybe meeting some other dog owners.
Next up is seeing Arsenal men play live at the Emirates. I am a season ticket holder for Arsenal women so I have visited the stadium a few times this season. But it has been over 10 years since I last saw the men’s squad play live. I just want to do it. There’s not really much more to add, so dad, when are you free?
I think finishing knitting my jumper before summer is a very self-explanatory aim. I’m currently working on a blog about knitting which I will post in the new year. Hopefully, I’ll have got a little further with my jumper by then too.
The fifth item in this section of the list is successfully completing an escape room. I attempted my first escape room back in September as a delayed birthday celebration. I loved every minute of it but left feeling extremely frustrated. This year we will get out within the 60-minute time limit. I’m determined.
Now, trying pottery is something that has actually been on my list of things to do for several years now. This year I’m putting aside all of my anxieties and giving it a go. Even if I don’t like it, or make a total mess, I will give it a try in 2023.
This next one is probably the most trivial thing out of all 23. Getting a 100-day success streak on Wordle. This popular word game has become a daily competition between my parents and me. My current highest streak is 45 so I don’t think it’s preposterous to aim for 100.
The penultimate thing on my list is drawing more both digitally and on paper. I want to rediscover my love for digital illustration. Back in uni, it was my ultimate escapism. I really want to organise my desk area in a way that I can permanently set up my drawing screen and maybe if I do enough art I can justify opening up my Adobe CC account again. I miss animation but I just don’t do enough to justify spending the annual fees. I’ve hopefully got some paid design work happening this year so maybe that’ll trigger something in me. I don’t know. I just want to use the equipment and supplies I have rather than leave them in a box constantly whilst I stare at screens.
And the final thing both on the original list and in this section is starting clarinet lessons again. I played the clarinet from the age of 10 to 15. I was never great. But now have my great-grandpa’s clarinet and I want to use it. My grandma wants it to be used too, so I’m going to. And hopefully, with the right teacher, I can make both of them proud. Back in the day I really enjoyed playing swing music but seeing as the Proms were something my grandma and I used to go to together. I’m looking forward to exploring more classical music and maybe one day, I’ll join an orchestra.
Now, this last part is the most potentially life-altering as you can tell from the first thing in this category: writing my PhD proposal.
Doing a PhD has always been my long-term goal and this year I got closer to it than I ever would have imagined. Unfortunately, despite some very kind people doing their best to help me, things just didn’t work out. I want to continue the work I’ve been doing these last two years, however, autism research is considered to be a psychology topic and my qualifications are all in media. As I’ve already got an MA doing another one would cost me £10,000. So I realised I needed to rethink my plans. I now believe I have the foundation to build a pretty interesting proposal. So I just need to knuckle down and write it and when I have, send it out to important people. I know this’ll really push my self-confidence to its limits. But a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.
On a slightly less significant level, is completing my first academic paper. I am working on this at the moment with my awesome colleagues at the Alan Turing Institute and the aim is to have the paper finished by March. I’m hoping this’ll be a stepping stone towards the PhD. Having my name on a published paper and potentially presenting it will help make people aware of who I am. And as everyone always says, it’s not what you know but who you know.
And last but not least, is writing more blogs. I promise they won’t all be this long and self-indulgent. I don’t really have a plan for what I want to write about so if any of the topics mentioned in this post interest you let me know in the comments below. In general, I just want to get back into writing and for this site to be an all-around good representation of who I am. I also have some updates I’ve been working on like adding all of my presentations to the site. So if you’re not already subscribed/part of my mailing list go ahead and fill out the form at the bottom so you don’t miss out on anything. And if you’ve made it this far, thank you so much.
Coming up with 23 things I wanted to do was a more eye-opening experience than I thought it would be. But I think this was something important for me to do. Just before lockdown hit, I wrote a post focused on some of my social anxieties. Because of COVID and the effect it had on the world, I never had to actually deal with those anxieties and in a way, I’m kind of stuck. Although I dealt with a lot of my internal struggles during those months, socialising was one I was able to completely avoid. It’s time for me to catch up with the world and start pushing my boundaries. I need to get out more. Stop overthinking and just do. I need to start living again rather than hiding away in my bedroom 24/7. Hopefully this list will act as a trigger for that.
Something else I want to point out, is that I intentionally avoided anything that isn’t in my control. Yes, I’d love to get a boyfriend and of course, I want my seizures to improve. But putting those down as aspirations is as stupid as hoping it snows in August. I have very little control over those things and just I mentioned in my mental health blog, focusing on what I can control is what keeps me sane.
So as always, if you made it this far, thank you very much. If you want to leave a comment please do so on this post rather than where you see it shared. And if you want to keep up to date with what happens in 2023 then make sure you subscribe, the form is just down below (slightly off to the side). And I hope all you of you have a happy and healthy new year!