Where am I at? | A look on my 2018 goals so far

Photo of me smiling, looking off to the left

So we’re halfway through the year, eh? It took me way too long to realise this, though while it seems to have surprised most people, it sounds about right to me. So much has happened and changed since the beginning of the year that I couldn’t even predict, so the months seem like a full year to me already.

That being said, 6 months ago I unintentionally made myself some goals for this year. By now they’re usually long forgotten, brushed into the attic of my mind only to be tentatively brought out again next year with a guilt shrug of “I tried” when we all know I really, really didn’t. And as I said before when so much has already changed this year…well, I’m intrigued to see how things have gone. So let’s have a little look.

• Expand on my love for history •

So I guess this one is a success, though it’s hard to measure really. I basically wanted to read more history and note it down, in the hopes that the stories would actually stay with me rather than disappearing from my head in that annoying habit they have. I adore history, but will never say I have a decent knowledge of it. I can tell you the stories, but ask me when it happened? I’m likely to say yesterday.

ok I’m not that dumb.

But I’ve just recently started picking up nonfiction books about ancient civilisations again, and have been absolutely loving feeling my interest peaked once again. I gave nonfiction a hard pass for a long time while at uni, wanting something easier to read when I had time off from anything. But now summer has returned, and I’m ready to inhale all the real-life stories from centuries past. There’s always more ways to “expand” that love, so I suppose this goal was a mixed bag to begin with anyway.

Stack of nonfiction history books - Black Tudors by Miranda Kaufman, The Ancient Guide to Modern Life by Natalie Haynes, Amazons by John Man, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby Wilkinson, The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan, and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
Read: An Ancient Guide to Modern Life and Amazons. | TBR: Black Tudors, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, The Silk Roads and Sapiens

• Explore a little more and create a journal •

Now this is the goal I expected to fail at. I just kind of hoped for the best, putting this cliche goal on the list. But…it worked. I’ve actually been travelling consistently, going on day trips whenever possible. And my journal? It actually looks like the beginnings of a wanderer’s journal, a fair few pages crinkled with stuck in photographs and doodlings. Surprisingly, I’ve visited somewhere outside of my city at least once every month. I really didn’t anticipate travelling quite *that* much, and even though the majority were only short train rides and day trips hopping around cities close by, I’ve adored each and every day. The breakdown:

January – Edinburgh | February – Haworth | March – Nottingham | April – Nottingham | May – Stratford upon Avon and London | June – Lincoln, Leicester and Nottingham | July – Bulgaria and Leicester

I’m hoping I can keep the pattern in tact and visit somewhere each month for the rest of the year. It’d be SO satisfying if I could!

Inside my travel journal - double page spread showing my journal pages from my trip to Edinburgh at New Year

• Make my bookshelves my own •

Again, this is one of those goals that you can’t really measure. But I said at the beginning of the year that I’d been wanting to do a bookshelf tour for months, but had resisted because I owned a lot of books that I wouldn’t read nowadays, and so I felt like my bookshelves didn’t reflect who I really am. I invoked a system where every time I buy a book, I take one off my shelves to be unhauled, which actually works really well for me. Then I got impatient and just unhauled a whole load at once – or rather, I put them aside to be unhauled, since they’re still in my bedroom. So more than ever, my bookshelves feel like my own.

But still more could be done. I think I’ve reached the point where I know I won’t read a lot of the ones I own, and yet I don’t quite want to get rid of them yet. Lord knows why. But I’m thinking of reviving the “buy one book = get rid of one book” rule again once I finally get rid of the 40+ books waiting to be unhauled in my room at the moment. It’s a system that works for me, so doing it until I don’t have any books I want to unhaul anymore could be a good way of regularly cleaning out my shelves.

Close up of book spines - Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby Wilkinson, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Odyssey by Homer
Read: Uprooted, The Book Thief and The Odyssey | TBR: Sapiens, A Great and Terrible Beauty and The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt

• Slaying that literature degree •

Having just finished my first year, I obviously don’t have a definite answer about slaying the overall degree. But I like to think I work as hard as possible – some would say too hard most of the time – and my grades seem to have shown worth it. It’s not definite yet as they still need to go through the final invigilator people, but my essay grades have all be good and I passed my exam, so…not too bad, to say the least! I think we can class this one as a success in progress.

green watercolour line

I couldn’t be more surprised with how well my goals have gone so far this year, especially considering I’ve not actively forced myself to stick to them. In fact, I basically forgot about them and just did the entire thing naturally, so props to me for subconsciously slayin’ it. They’ve all been goals that were a long time coming, and 2018 just happened to be the right time for them I think. I’ve never been one to set ridiculously hopeful goals that will ultimately flop, but knowing these small (and in terms of travelling – huge!) changes I’ve made this year are *actually* working is giving me a sense of comfort that perhaps I’m becoming my own person after all, and I’m not just an overgrown child flailing about trying to adult.

Though that too.

Until next time…

sign off handle saying "Ashleigh" for A Frolic Through Fiction blog




27 thoughts on “Where am I at? | A look on my 2018 goals so far

  1. Proud of you! ❤
    Travelling more is definitely something I want to do more, hopefully a trip or two abroad in this second half of the year or early next.
    Your shelves look amazing 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely need red to do more abroad – though I should probably save that statement for for after I've been to Bulgaria later this month 😆 might end up hating flights with a passion for all we know

      And thank you! Now you've seen the real deal ahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! I loved reading about your achievements. I really want to explore more and start a journal as well. Also, I am in love with Greek mythology but I kinda just have basic knowledge around that. You inspired me to try a bit harder in working for my goals too. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!
      I feel like exploring and starting journals always ends up on everyone’s lists ahaha. But it’s understandable why – just have to see everything possible! And to be honest I’m the same – I adore adore ADORE Greek Myth but would still say my knowledge is basic, even after reading a decent amount. Just gotta read all the more!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like you’re doing super well Ashleigh! This inspired me to look back at my goals and see how I’ve done. I might also steal this blog post idea and write a post later in the week! But it’s so great to see you doing so well – congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh really?! It’s a beach holiday rather than the exploring type because my entire family is going, so we’ll be going to Sunny Beach!
      And thank you so much! I need to get better at actually finishing the spreads I start in it ahaha 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sunny beach is a very popular place so expect lots of people everywhere! But definitely visit the old town of Nessebar. It’s right next to Sunny beach and it’s ancient and historical with amazing restaurants! ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I totally feel you on the bookshelf issue. I have so many books that I either regret buying, or I don’t regret it but I also know I wouldn’t buy/read them now. Over time you’ll clear them out – and hopefully, I will too!
    For history reads, namely about ancient Greece and Rome, I recommend Mary Beard’s books. I read SPQR for an essay and it was delightful. It’s not superficial or mocking, but it’s also not too serious if you know what I mean.
    Good luck for the second half of the year! 😊👍🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like every reader owns books they aren’t too bothered about somehow 😆 it’s just so easy to get carried away buying/accepting them!
      I’ve read SPQR! I really enjoyed it! I’ve been eyeing up her other books too but don’t really know where to go next (I’ve read her Women & Power one too)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Besides those two, I’m very interested in her book about laughter. I haven’t read it, but it seems like a very interesting subject 😋 And now I’ve run out of suggestions because everything else I’ve read is by Portuguese authors and has not been translated 😅
        Hope you find some interesting books, I’ll be on the lookout for your recommendations 😄


  5. Congrats, Ashleigh! It’s amazing you’re doing so great! And your travellings seem like real fun. I wish you the best of luck and memories for the next half of the year 😀


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