Words by Madisen Quick
Editor's Note: As part of an ongoing series where a member of the Holl & Lane team reflects on the theme of the latest issue, this post is in response to the Holl & Lane Volume I, 2017 Collection issue themed around "The Beginning".
Even before I got my hands on Volume I of Holl and Lane 2017 Collection, themed around "The Beginning", I knew it was going to be one of my favorites because I love beginnings.
Let me clarify, I love the part right before beginnings: the first fizzy feelings of January 1st, not the next morning when the reality of tackling those New Year's Resolutions sets in. Because sometimes beginnings mean change and sometimes change means feelings of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. Will I actually be able to make the kinds of changes I need to in order to accomplish these ambitious goals?
I don't know if it's because I am an avid overpacker or if it's residue from back-to-school shopping, but somewhere along the way, I began to reason, "As long as I'm equipped with all the physical things I need to accomplish this goal, I'll easily be able to do it."
If you're also guilty of buying your 8th journal in 2 years and thinking, "It will be this pale pink, leather bound Moleskin with gold embossing and detachable pages that will finally motivate me to start journaling," you'll know what I mean.
And this is exactly what I thought as I was confronted with the fear of beginning my sophomore year of college and falling into the old habits I had developed.
So what, you may ask, did I do to cope will all the uncertainty of this new beginning?
I bought a gigantic chair.
I am both a terrible procrastinator and an English major which means that I have spent many a night up reading Dickens for 8+ hours at a time. So naturally I thought that a certain minimalistic POÄNG chair from IKEA with a faux sheepskin thrown effortlessly over it would be so inviting that I'd have all my books read before they were even assigned, right?
Wrong. Fast-forward to move-in day with my whole family stuffed into my tiny dorm room, playing furniture Tetris to try and stuff my bulky solution chair somewhere that wouldn't be facing a wall. Needless to say, the end product looked significantly less "hygge" than the IKEA ad. Fast-forward to move-out day: I had tripped on the chair more times than I had sat in it and was still a well-known resident, if not mayor, of procrastination nation.
I've since moved home for winter break and miraculously managed to get this solve-all chair into my room. On any given day, I move it at least 4 times just to get it around so, as you can imagine, I've had ample time to ponder this chair.
See, I thought surrounding myself with the right kinds of things would be the key to accomplishing my resolutions and never actually addressed the behavior pattern behind my procrastination; I hadn't started setting a consistent reading schedule, gotten myself an accountability partner, or designated a specific reading time– I bought a chair and laid my hopes and dreams on its Swedish-chic seat cushions.
This isn't to say physical things can't help accomplish goals – maybe, for you, stylish workout clothes are the first motivation to hit the weight room, an e-reader has already kickstarted your 2017 reading goal, or that floral Erin Condren planner with the rose gold details sets the tone for a more organized lifestyle. The issue came for me when I thought all I had to do to prepare for these new beginnings was to obtain all of the physical things I thought I needed to accomplish my goals.
So my new New Year's Resolution is to spend less time online shopping to prepare for new beginnings and more time actually strategizing the kinds of behavior alterations I want to be making. (New New Year's Resolution #2: Putting that chair on Craigslist.)
Madisen Quick is the Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief at Holl & Lane Magazine. She is currently a junior at Wellesley College where she studies English and mathematics.