April is here, and with it comes the life-affirming feeling of rebirth and renewal. In our tiny yard here in Brooklyn, everything is still brown and grey—cement, dirt, and trees without leaves—but even that bland palette is an exciting reminder of the impending explosion of flowers, leaves, and grass.
This spring feels especially potent after such a heavy winter. While I fought for optimism and festivity, my mind went to some dark places. Contracting and recovering from coronavirus was scary as hell and dramatically flipped a few switches in my brain.
I’m grateful for each morning I wake up, but there’s always fresh anxiety looming as I go about my day.
(Some stills from my in-progress April vlog)
Spring will have that balance, I guess, of trepidation and bliss. Celebration and mourning. Nature blooming around us while bad news comes in each day. The same week I got my negative test result, my best friend left NYC for Florida. The same week my grandmother received her second vaccine dose, I lost my Great Aunt.
There are always ups and downs to navigate, but the current of seasons continues, and we can’t swim against it. We have to embrace it, and there’s comfort in that. It’s the natural way of things.
Yesterday we sat outside under the snow-damaged patio umbrella and soaked it all in. I sipped some rosé and sketched while we listened to Poly-Ritmo. E made me laugh like he always does. It was the calmest I’ve felt in ages, secure in our little enclosure of faux-ivy fencing.
…but while hoping for more days like that, I realized they don’t occur randomly. We have to design our days, and those days add up to our lives. I say this all the time, but lately, my own autonomy has been slipping my mind.
Today I thought it would be good to capture some hopes, wishes, and goals for the new season—to celebrate it and officially welcome it in—and ensure I create more of those moments I crave in my life.
So, in the spirit of blooming and shedding my winter skin, I’ve recorded some of mine below. Without thinking too much, without judging myself, and without editing out the silly ones…
Hopes, goals & dreams for spring 2021
That I can make creative decisions with confidence and make/publish more of my work. I’ve waited for years on some endeavors because I’m stuck on one little piece of the puzzle. This is, of course, a form of resistance! And I want to get better at defeating it when it pops up.
That I can rewire my mornings to focus on self-care and appreciation. I tend to wake up with some trepidation, as I mentioned, about work, the world, my health, etc. But I would like to take advantage of those quiet hours to begin the day in a positive way. Before decision fatigue sets in, before the world wakes up, before my mind begins to spin.
That I can listen to more podcasts and absorb new ideas. I don’t listen to podcasts, except for a select few that really light my brain up (like Alex Wolf’s). I want to discover some new ones.
That I can just be more open to witnessing what other people are working on—and cheering them on—without using that as a measure to judge myself.
That I can sketch, daydream, and laugh more outdoors. I want to expose myself to more natural light after a long, dark winter. The outdoors and natural light have begun to give me anxiety (maybe from a year of quarantine life) which is not a path I want to go down.
That I can be the reason someone else cheers up. I focus so much on “how can I find joy?” and “how can I live passionately?”, but I feel more at ease when I ask myself, “How can I make someone else’s life easier today?”
That I accept I’ll always be someone who makes a million lists and has more ideas than I’ll ever execute on. I want to crawl out from under the weight of my ideas. As they stack up in piles, untouched, I feel guilty. Like a failure or a fake creative.
But I’m always going to have more ideas than I can do anything with. And when the time is right, I always pick up my sketchbook or sewing needle. There’s no reason to feel all of this pressure.
That I can turn my new studio into an inspiring space where the muse is always waiting. We recently moved rooms around in the apartment, and now I have my very own corner to create in. My own office/studio. I don’t want to waste a moment of this precious space.
That I can brew my tea slowly and mindfully, without thinking about what I’m going to do next. These anxious, shallow breathing, clenched jaw vibes are certainly not serving me.
That I can be a better friend and make sure my beloved friends know how much they mean to me on a regular basis. And maybe even make some new friends this year.
That I can stop letting everything anger and upset me so much, from the inconsiderate neighbors to the misplaced mail. I want to sigh, smile, and move on. I don’t want to feel everything so heavily.
That I can finally go home and see my family. The last time I hugged them was in November.
That I can bloom right here, on my blog. I love this corner of the internet. It’s one I’ve made my own. And if only a few people see the photos or read the text, that’s fine. I have faith that the things I say will reach the right people at the right time. And for now, it’s a nice form of free therapy.
If this resonates, I invite you to do the same. Maybe share your spring list on social media instead of sharing a negative meme (imagine if seasonal hopes & dreams check-in were a normal thing to see?).
Or just write it in a private journal to reflect on later.
Whatever you decide to do, I’m sending you good vibes and a digital hug. I hope spring is off to a great start for you, and that it only gets better.