I’ve called my journey of self-exploration, change and learning Project Renaissance.
Project, because I want to approach this in a concerted, organised fashion, complete with planning and reviews (there could even be spreadsheets!)
Renaissance, for two reasons: first, because of its association with the term Renaissance Man. This is a fairly common term which Wikipedia seems to define as equivalent to polymath, i.e. a person who is talented or skilled in several different areas. However, I’ve seen Renaissance Man used a little bit more broadly, to mean someone who is interested in many different things, and pursues knowledge in several areas. It is the opposite of being very specialised. This project is going to cover pretty much every area of my life, so a broad term seemed appropriate.
The second reason goes back to the original French meaning of renaissance – rebirth. As I mentioned here, I have a lot of change coming my way over the next few months. Recently I’ve felt that, for a variety of reasons, I’ve forgotten who I truly am. I’ve lost a sense of what I enjoy and what I like, amidst all the stress and duties and responsibilities. I’ve lost the ability to stretch myself, and I feel as if I’m not growing as a person. These are all things I want to change.
I’ll be tackling three main areas, and you can expect to see posts from me on each area every week.
1. Habits of mind, habits of life (Mondays)
My first priority is to get some of my routines back in order. My life has become very disordered, everything from the time I get up to the time I go to bed has no set structure. I want to experiment with some more defined routines, and add things into my daily or weekly routine to see if that helps me settle into a better pattern. I want to look at some of my bad habits and how I can eliminate them. I’ll be researching other people’s routines and what I can learn from them, and I’ll be doing several 30-day trials to test out new habits.
2. WorkRemix (Wednesdays)
This is where I’ll be putting all my explorations of work and career change. I’ll explore the reasons why academia no longer works for me, and the associated, and very confused, emotions I’m experiencing as a result. I’ll be chronicling how I look for new work, reading books on the topic of work in the modern world, and all things related to work-life balance.
3. Renaissance Woman (Fridays)
This is where everything about the myriad of interests I’d like to explore goes. A non-exhaustive list: I’d like to embark on a course of autodidacticism (self-learning), particularly around history, literature, and languages. I’m fascinated by old buildings and architectural history, gardening, and all things related to heritage (this, incidentally, is my academic area too, but I’ll be branching out widely). I’m considering starting a reading project based on Susan Wise Bauer’s Well-Educated Mind. I’d like to pursue a self-study of mathematics which I started a while ago and dropped, and learn a new language. I’ll be discussing what it even means to be an educated or accomplished woman in the 21st century. I’m a knitter, so there may be occasional posts about that and other crafting and home-related issues. My goal is to give myself free rein to explore anything and everything that interests me, but to try and use the time well, to really find areas that I love and pursue them. I’ll be considering carefully how much I can fit into my life that enriches it, without feeling too stressed and overwhelmed. And, of course, the blog itself is part of this journey of growth and stretching into new areas.