Goals for the rest of my life (or the next six months)

Hey, Internet. I’m official now:

photoIt continues to be pretty crazy to think this is actually the second ID badge I have from this place. It’s still kind of crazy to be in Los Angeles. As one of my favorite people in the world (follow him on Instagram!) put it, today was the first day of my life. So it seems appropriate to set both professional and personal goals to keep in mind during the next few months or so.

1. In the words of Sheryl Sandberg, lean in.
I know a lot of people took issue with Sandberg’s book for a number of legitimate reasons, but when I read it, I recognized parts of myself in it: a habit of second-guessing, of maintaining silence for longer than I need to because I want to be sure of my own ideas, etc., etc. Not that I ever imagine myself being the kind of person who can blurt things out without thinking, but I do know people sometimes mistake this habit as timidity and an unwillingness to participate. It’s always been something I have to consciously work at, in every leadership role I’ve ever held. So here it is in writing: I will stop rehashing my own thoughts over and over. No one said you have to be 100 percent sure 100 percent of the time, and sharing my thought process can sometimes be just as valuable as the thought itself.

2. Walk into a bar by myself.
OK, this one might be a little silly. But seriously. I don’t know if men have this problem and I know some women who don’t, but a lot of the ones I know do not go into bars alone because it’s weird and you never know what sort of sketchy character you may encounter and even if you don’t, people are looking at you for being that weird girl by herself at a bar. Except that it’s not weird and you never know who you might encounter anywhere and no one is actually thinking that about you. So really, not being comfortable walking into a bar alone is even sillier.

3. Learn something new and useful to take to my next job, wherever that may be.
This will be easy enough to accomplish through my Metpro training, of course, so maybe it’s kind of a cheat goal. But whatever. I’ve been an intern enough and known enough interns to know that these sorts of things are what you make of them. If you decide from the get-go you’ll get nothing out of an experience, of course you’ll get nothing. The opposite happens too.

4. Don’t lose touch with old friends.
It’s probably more normal for people to worry about new friends when they move, but I’ve always had much more of a problem staying in touch with old friends. I’m just not good at picking up the phone and calling or writing long emails or however else people stay in touch. So I lost track of childhood friends, friends from high school, people I’ve interned with before. It seems even easier to lose touch when you live in a whole new state, so I’m going to work really hard to not do that.

5. Find something I love to do that isn’t journalism.
I haven’t decided what this will be yet. Maybe this is the year I finally learn how to cook things that require more skills than boiling water or pushing buttons on the microwave. Maybe I’ll find an organization to volunteer with. Maybe, in my quest to accomplish that second goal, I’ll become an expert of beers. Or something. Something that isn’t my job. As much as I love journalism, I’m aware I need other interests. Because you know, I am not a news robot. I’m a real human being, and human beings do things like care about lots of things.


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