SMALL VICTORIES – SEPTEMBER

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And with a whizz, whoosh, and a wham-bam-thank you-mam, August was gone.

I did listen to my dad when he told me on my 21st birthday that life would fly by from thereon in, but this summer has been something else, don’t you think?

Although I’m sad to say goodbye to warm nights and bare legs, I’m glad that it’s time to head back to reality. There’s something about this time of year – as holidays come to an end and leaves fall to the ground – that fills me with ambition and drive. September always feels like a second chance at a new year and a fresh start as the heat dissipates from the city. A transitional season that welcomes change and calm. 

But let’s look back for a second. Because my August Small Victories weren’t victories at all and I feel I should acknowledge that.

Although I stuck to number 1 (to write more) and number 4 (to work on working out), I didn’t travel anywhere new – aside from Beckenham – and I didn’t surround myself with beauty or explore the art world, although I blame the rain for that one. Instead, I took the time to not try for once. After a year or so of rushing things, I decided to relax, treat my soul to some chicken soup, stop forcing things and instead just enjoy life for what it was. Or is. I actively chose to embrace each day as it came. To let things go. To enjoy my friends. My family. The summer. To just be.

But now that it’s September and I am well rested from a lazy August, it’s time to start fighting for the dreams that I sometimes (regretfully) neglect. People would kill to be 26 again or get the chance to live in London, so it’s my plan to make sure I don’t take these things for granted. The regret of wasting time is not on my agenda.

So, September, what are we waiting for? Let’s have a look at our plans, shall we?

1. Graft.

I pressed the reset (panic) button this summer after a busy – and quite frightful year – with a plan to come back fighting. And I have. With a very clear goal in mind for my future and a determination to work my butt off until I get there. (As they say, ‘Dreams won’t work unless you do’.) So, although it might sound like a nightmare to some, I’ll be using every hour that I’m not at work to focus on my own projects. I might be a little tired though, so bear with me.

2. Save.

I used to be so great with money; spending a fiver a week on food and never really buying new clothes meant that I probably had more money as a student than I do now. So I’m going to save what I can for grown up things. And Topshop dresses. And grown up things.

Ahem.

3. Focus.

I knew months ago that my August calendar would be bursting with things to do. And, although I don’t regret a single house party, dinner or evening with friends, I was hoping for a quieter September.

As it happens, it’s just as busy.

But I will focus. I just need to channel a ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ mentality, which can’t be that hard, right?

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I don’t wish to tell you about my big plans, dreams or ambitions because I see them as a little bit like wishes: if you even whisper them into someone’s ear, they won’t come true. And I can’t risk that.

One of my favourite quotes goes something like, ‘If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs’. It’s my favourite because it’s something that is so easy to forget to do. So I want you to think of it as you head into work in the morning. I understand that we all have to put the hours in to survive, but make sure you fight to keep your own dreams alive beyond the 9-5. I might be exhausted as I attempt this and it might take me a while to get there, but I am confident I will achieve what I want to- with a lot of hard work and heaps of determination, of course.

And so can you.

September is a time to reach for the stars. So what are you trying to achieve this month?

Whatever it is, give it all you’ve got. Good Luck!

The Month

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September. The academic benchmark of a new year.

A time which used to signify the prospect of a crisp, new uniform, an unreasonable level of concern over pencil cases and the feeling of dread surrounding homework.

This September, I’ve realised (like most), that there’ll be no more school ties to keep me looking smart, no new pens to improve my writing and no fresh teachers to do the job of inspiring me. All that I have leftover this month is a yearning for carnivals gone by and the summer holiday that I never had.

I feel like it’s time for change, or at the very most, a new year’s resolution. This is probably because I’ve somehow fallen out of sync with the rest of the post-education, adult, population and have refused to let go of this month as the beginning of a new year. I feel like it’s a time to be honest, to start learning again and to make promises; much like I’ve felt every Michaelmas since nursery school.

So, with the changing of seasons, as the leaves begin to drop, so does the tempo in the capital and the slog to save for Christmas begins. And moreso than ever, I have realised that hard work really does pay off. I’m not sure why after seventeen years of education, it has taken me one year of not being educated to realise this, but the penny has finally dropped. I have achieved what I have thus far by learning and that doesn’t have to change because I am no longer a student. I’ve rediscovered the importance of surrounding myself with people who I can learn from, finding books that entertain me and learning a language despite the slog.

So seeing as our parents have forever banged on about our schooldays being the best of our lives, we should probably head back to them and start a new year all of our own instead of dwelling over our post-summer slumps.

And why wait until January?

Happy New Year.