So, about halfway through writing this, my computer completely froze out of nowhere, and I had to do a force-restart... naturally causing me to lose all my work. You would think after 16+ years of school, I would've learned to save my work?! But, APPARENTLY! NOT! The reason I am opening with this is because a year ago, this would've caused me to completely freak out and probably get a migraine. Now, I'm a little disappointed, because I was really happy with the way I structered everything (and probably forgot half of it by now), but life goes on and the post will be completed, regardless.
I had originally began my post with, "Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by 2016!!!" because I think it's safe to say that almost all of us are ready to chuck this year far into the past and run into the arms of 2017. While this year was full of extreme challenges and serious hardships, it forced me to grow existentially as a person. That being said, I am ready to go into 2017 with a clear vision - as well as an open mind and heart.
In my 'Lessons from 2015' post, I talked about how I planned on eliminating negativity from my upcoming year. Though I wish I had brushed up on that post more often than I did, I think it still leads into a lot of the personal development I have experienced this past year. This year, I want to talk about how I plan on putting my best foot forward in 2017 toward my individual evolvement and inner success. Because I am aware that resolutions can be a bit cliché, I'm going to structure this post as more of a general discussion. I will bold my actual resolutions, however, so you are able to see what I am aiming for specifically.
I am really lucky and excited to be able to say I am starting 2017 with a real, adult job! Because I still have to have my background check completed (not that I feel I have anything to worry about), I'm going to hold off on making any official announcements. I will say that I am going to be the marketing coordinator for a French pharmaceutical company. I now have actual, adult goals to work toward! I want to save money! I want to track my finances! I want to contribute to my 401K! I am also excited to spend so much less time with my phone and social media, because of this opportunity. Texting, Snapchatting, and checking Instagram while you're on the clock just doesn't fly in the real world, and I'm very ready to have a real excuse to detach myself.
A huge part of my general frustration and unhappiness in 2016 was the fact that I allowed myself to be too available to the people in my life. Everyone knew what I was doing at all times, where I was, when exactly to reach me - and I know this entirely my own fault. I pretty much classically conditioned people to have me in the palm of their hands - and they responded very negatively if there were instances in which I was not. For example, if I don't respond to someone's text within 15 minutes, I will get a follow up text questioning why I have not responded. My time is my time, and I have taught people that my time is theirs and not my own - and I want to change this.
I have been saying for years that I want to work toward making more time for myself, and I truthfully think I am finally getting better at achieving this. I have learned to say no to doing things I do not want to do. There are times I would so much rather go to sleep than go out with my friends - and that's okay! I! am! my! first! priority! Most importantly, I've realized that saying this does not make me selfish.
If there is anything I learned from my experience at Monmouth, it was the importance of sleep. I will never deprive myself of sleep the way I did the last two years, and that means getting my full 8 hours. If this means disappointing some people because I would rather go to bed on time than stay out doing something, so be it. My self-care is and will be first from now on.
Something I did differently this year was start the "healthy" resolution the month before the new year. At the beginning of December, I made the promise to myself to seriously work toward being healthy. I got a gym membership, I did my own grocery shopping, and I was actively aware of how I was treating my body. I unfortunately got sick three weeks ago and have been since, but that won't stop me from picking up from where I left off once I feel better.
I think the most important thing about a fitness/diet resolution is to start solely for the reason of improving yourself. NOT to look better in "x" amount of time. This puts a (usually) unrealistic deadline on your improvement (which is so different for every person), which always ends with you being disappointed in yourself - even if you are truly making progress!! I am eating healthy and working out to feel better. That is it. Looking better is just a positive side effect.
Speaking of "positive", I want to make a serious change toward my attitude and mentality. I am absolutely a positive thinker, but I'm also a realistic person, and sometimes these two parts of me can clash. Despite being positive, I complain a lot. I'm not sure why or when this began, but it's something that's very addictive and also contagious. You see people complaining all over social media or hear it in person and the next thing you know, you're complaining all over social media or doing it in person. It's so counter-productive and has such a detrimental impact on not only yourself but others. I want to break this cycle.
In an effort to be more positive, I also want to stop holding onto the anger I've been harboring. I have definitely become a more hostile person in the last two years, and I think the source of that is just being plain tired of dealing with people who have a blatant disregard for others. I stopped allowing myself to be hurt and instead turned to anger, which has hurt me so much more in the end. I want to acknowledge when people wrong me, let myself mourn, and then move on. There is no sense in holding on to negativity, and I have a sick habit of reopening wounds by turning back to things that have hurt me, instead of just keeping my eyes on the road ahead.
The word "road" reminded me of my traveling goal. The happiest times in my life were when I was traveling with the people I love, discovering somewhere new. My Greece trip was the most amazing, enlightening experience of my life, and I want to continue to feel that freeing sensation over and over again. Whether it's a small day trip to Philadelphia, a plane across the country to San Diego, or living on a ship for 10 days in the Caribbean, I jump at take any opportunity to self-expand and see the world in more ways than one. Nothing compares to living a day in the life of another person - somewhere you have never been before.
Now that I'll actually have a steady income (resulting in less financial worry), this is something I am making a priority in my next year. I'm going to start that by opening a bank account solely dedicated to my funds for traveling. There's this song by one of my favorite bands (The Front Bottoms) that goes, "There is a map in my room, in the wall of my room, and I've got big, big plans." It's such a simple line, but it really inspired me and continues to every time I play it (which is often). I want to take every opportunity to explore - using my weekends for road trips and my vacation days for international adventures.
Something I am really looking forward to, this upcoming year, is time with myself. For the first time since being 17, I am not emotionally/romantically invested or even interested in another person. I am done denying myself the self-respect I deserve, I am done settling, and I am done being taken for granted. This is both terrifying and relieving. You don't experience true loneliness until you are truly alone, but at the same time you also do not know yourself fully until you are either. Some days this is easy, and some days this is hard.
My biggest problem in my past relationships is that I have expected people to be who I want them to be rather than accepting that they are who they are - which just has not been the person for me. You wouldn't blame the sky for being blue or water for being wet, so why have I blamed people for being people? For the first time in a very long time, I can say I am honestly content with being single. I want and need the time to work on myself, for myself, and to just hope I can find someone along the way who has been doing the same.
I want to go into 2017 free of any expectations, but full of hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations. I want to accept things for what they are and let people come and go as they please. I want to be the best version of myself and to allow the best in me to flow into the lives of others. Despite this post being very self-focused, the good that came out of 2016 was mostly due to the incredible people I would not have gotten through 2016 without.
I hope you all have some resolutions to work toward - but remember not to be harsh on yourself if they don't go as planned. Take every opportunity to celebrate the little successes, along with the big. Forgive, love yourself (and others!), and don't forget that you can always stand back up after being knocked down.
Truly wishing you the best,