Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2312832-Resolution-of-Reconsideration
Rated: 13+ · Letter/Memo · Personal · #2312832
Let's be honest about the unhappy truth you must face in 2024. (A Dear Me entry/sequel)
Dear Me,

         I realize that 2023 ended up being rather strange. You actually accomplished some of the goals stated in the last letter, but your moods were a mess. Sure, you had fewer nightmares, but you still got startled at little things on a regular basis. There was so much time spent out of your comfort zone that you’re not even sure if you have one anymore. That’s a problem, as it means you really dropped the ball on assessing your relationship with self-care. If anything you ran away from that concept, breaking the sound barrier along the way. You are going into 2024 in a major bind thanks to that. As a result, the resolution for this year is going to be a pretty big step back. It’s gonna suck. We have no choice.

         What is this resolution? Well, you need to go back to your roots, focus on the skills and traits that are foundational to you. You know what they are. Heck, you even indulged in them last year! This year, it’s time to really lean into them. Refocus on your career. Plan your photography growth. Take a moment to scale back on your civic work so you can catch your breath. After doing a ton of new-to-you things in 2023, you’re kind of freaking out. Reassessing and doing things you’ve done for years can help you feel a bit less unmoored. Of course, even with scaling back you need specific actions and guardrails in place. That will keep you from getting distracted by some new temptation that will only wreck your emotional state because you overextended yourself. After all, overextending yourself can make your long term work to heal your trauma stall or even regress. Your trauma is still there and still bubbles up from time to time (in spite of some people’s best efforts to invalidate your experiences). Taking time to go back to your roots can help you feel a bit closer to safe, a feeling you weren’t expecting to end up being in doubt as you make the leap into middle age.

         Perhaps we should talk about civic involvement first. This took up a large chunk of 2023, and it contributed a lot to your moods being all over the place. You headed up subcommittee meetings that tested your patience thanks to incessant buzzword use among other committee members. You attended two street festivals and even engaged in conversations at both of them. Doors Open Minneapolis came back, and that got you to explore new places. It was a lot of being out and about in the city after a few years of not being on public transit and not leaving the neighborhood much. It took a lot out of you. You spent a lot of time being nervous about logistics and handling all the stimuli. At the same time, community involvement is crucial for your long-term healing. How do we reconcile these things? You’ll need to adjust the type of community involvement you take on. There are things you have done in the past that are less uncomfortable, like volunteering at the arboretum. Likewise, revisiting places in Minneapolis that you haven’t seen in a while can help you get more comfortable with being on transit, as you won’t have to split your mental energy between a new-to-you place and getting to said place. The biggest question mark right now is your city advisory work. The impending restructuring of the boards and commissions is stressful and uncertain. You won’t know exactly what will happen until June or July at the latest. Until then, you’ll want to focus on your subcommittee chair responsibilities and discussing your jargon-related concerns in counseling. You will likely need to revisit this aspect of community involvement once the restructuring news becomes more apparent. By making these adjustments, you can pay more attention to what you’re doing and how you feel when you are out and about in the community.

         With likely changes and reductions to your civic commitments, you should have a bit more space to work on other things. For the last several months, photography has been calling to you with an insistence that’s kind of surreal. You have a new (and very ambitious) project idea for men’s portraiture, but you aren’t quite ready for that yet. Still, you want to keep growing as a photographer. This is one of the few things that actually went well for you in 2023. You got an honorable mention in a photo contest with stiff competition. Now your name is out there as a photographer (at least in some respects). This is the year to work on your technique and get organized. If nothing else, sorting and posting your international trip photos should be completed this year. Likewise, adding at least four entries to the blog on your photo site will be useful. Do make an effort to make them somewhat timely, such as covering your efforts to photograph the eclipse in April. The other big thing you will want to do is take classes to build your technique. More practice with flashes, diffusers, and reflectors will be beneficial for your future projects. You have felt for a long time now that photography may offer you more growth and flexibility from a creative standpoint compared to writing. It’s time to see if your hypothesis is correct.

         That said, neither civic service nor photography pay the bills. Last year you opted to not make any drastic career moves. Such a decision made sense in 2023, but that is not the case in 2024. Your polymath tendencies need a day job in order to flourish, and being solid in your day job is essential. You have talked about going into cybersecurity for years and even took some courses in 2020. This will need to resume. Yes, you have kept up with cybersecurity news, but your skill development has fallen behind. You will need to finish the IT technician program you started in 2020, if nothing else. After that, take a closer look at programs offered by SANS and see if you can get reimbursement for them. Along with building your skills, you do have a responsibility to build up the skills of your co-workers. You need to actively schedule blocks of time for updating documentation and logging observed errors. You are already working on bolstering your fellow support specialists’ troubleshooting skills. It will take some more time to see the end result, but you are making headway. It can be tough growing in your day job, as this is an area where your time feels the most stretched. Once you get your cohorts up to speed, this will be less difficult. This may take longer than you’d like, so be aware of your work frustrations and be prepared to talk more openly about them for at least the next few months.

         As time has gone by, you have faced some perplexing social dynamics. These things have confused and worried you as you’ve tried new things and attempted to reconnect emotionally to where you live. This journey has been difficult and is unlikely to ease up any time soon. It may be time to take a bit of a break and focus on the things that allow your mind to settle down for a little while. After all, the last couple of years put your heart and mind through the ringer! I know focusing on your emotional health is anathema to you, especially when you lead what’s truly a mission driven life. It’s even more complicated when you feel like you have no back-up in your missions. Take the time off. Otherwise, you may not be around to do your life’s work in 2025. That is too big of a risk for you to take.


Word count: ~1303
© Copyright 2024 Elisa: Middle Aged Stik (soledad_moon at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2312832-Resolution-of-Reconsideration