Around this time of the year, I start getting sentimental. I’ve always loved New Years, because they felt like fresh starts. I have always been the type of person to make overly optimistic resolutions, and bail on them by February.
Loss weight. Find a relationship. Get better grades. Save more money.
I was always pushing myself to be more and more, as if staying still would kill me. I was trying to prove something, not to myself, but to everyone around me. I wanted to change not because I was unhappy with myself, but because I was unhappy with how my life looked from the outside. I wasn’t thin enough, I didn’t go out enough, and I’ve been single for almost 2 years. These self-deprecating thoughts were, and are, toxic.
I get so caught up with looking forward to changing and throwing away the year I’d just left, as if it was a bad taste in my mouth that would be rinsed out on January 1st.
But I think we all know that really isn’t true. Mistakes we made in 2018 will still effect life in 2019. Our hopes and desires will remain the same. Our passions will be unchanged. There is no monumental shift in energy that will suddenly transform you into the person you think is ideal.
This sounds pessimistic, but I don’t see this as a bad thing. I feel that it’s actually quite refreshing. We work so hard on trying to fundamentally change ourselves that we forget the amazing things we’ve accomplished, the relationships we’ve built, and the impact we’ve made.
This doesn’t mean that we couldn’t benefit from a few small changes – like going to the gym an extra day a week, or doing less online shopping – but trying to change ourselves into ideals so far out of reach that it makes us crazy is unhealthy. And, as anyone who has every tried and failed to keep a big resolution, it usually doesn’t work, and we revert back in often unhealthier ways. It’s the same as starting a new diet, and messing up. That “oh, what the hell” moment when you say that since you’ve already messed up, you might as well quit the diet. I think we should all strive for some change, but not to the point that it breaks us.
So, this time around I’m taking a slightly different approach to New Years. I am not going to punish myself for who I am, and try to become someone I’m not. I’m not going to fall prey to the fad diets and unrealistic beauty standards set by TV and Instagram. I’m not going to punish myself every time I slip up on a goal, or make a mistake.
To 2018, I’d like to say, Thank u, next. It’s been a year of emotional stress, family health issues, and a handful of other tests that life throws at you from time to time. But it was also a year of laughing so hard I cried, a year of meeting new people, and experiencing things I’d been afraid to try. I grew, but not so much that I didn’t recognize myself. It’s easy to write off a whole year with a “2018 sucked, bring on 2019 attitude”, and up until now I’d usually said the same thing. It’s important to remember though, that you probably, at some point this year, felt truly happy. You met one new person. You did one new thing. You are better, stronger, and wiser than you were the year before. Remember this, and start 2019 off on the right foot – seek to make more memories, and appreciate the little moments.
For Updates, find me on instagram @its_emily_anne
And coming soon to a YOUTUBE channel near you!
- NEW YEAR, SAME ME |2018, thank u, next.
- SAY SOMETHING| why we can’t always speak up…
- FINALS SEASON | tips for college finals
- WHAT I READ | in 2018
- SENIOR YEAR | so far
Note: Photos are not mine, credits to their creators!