UGH the dreaded
new year, new me post. BUT I promise you it is going to be less of a resolution list (because what are those even?) and more of a mind dump list.
So, what even is a resolution and why do most people talk about their resolutions, set them, write them down, memorize them, blah, blah, blah? I can tell you that resolutions are bullshit. COMPLETE bullshit. I sound so cynical (duh, I am a writer) talking about this, but hear me out for a second.
A resolution is defined loosely as: the act of resolving something; something that has been resolved. So, lemme ask why do we set ourselves up for failure by creating a long (or small) list of things we need to resolve – or even furthermore, things that, according to the dictionary, have *already* been resolved? It makes no sense but yet, here we all are hash tagging #newyearnewme (GUILTY).
Resolutions are just an ultimate, and sometimes intimate, list of failures because we are so focused on what we want to fix within ourselves we end up not really listening to ourselves (GUILTY x2).
In 2017, I took some pretty big hits from the universe – some amazing and beautiful and life changing, but some were totally terrible, and let me tell you it was hard. It was demanding. It tested my mind, body and soul in more ways than I thought possible. I lost an important person to cancer, I lost friends, but even more so I lost myself at times. I let my anxiety and depression take a hold of my head and my heart. I regretted a lot of things I did, said, and thought. I judged others, and judged myself even harder. But, I also gained a fiancé, met amazing new friends while also strengthening my relationship with others, started graduate school, celebrated life, actually focused on my writing and reading, and even let myself enjoy mindless things rather than steaming inside of my head telling myself how dare I enjoy this because I have this laundry list of things to do.
Letting myself live was hard and I still struggle. My inner, angry, anxious, sad, hyped, person sometimes shut the hell up and things were okay; the world did not explode. Those things were things that I “resolved” and will continue to “resolve.” But they are also things that will take hold of me again, and again, and again, and I will fight back over, and over and over.
Those were things that I celebrated and worked on and focused on. And THAT is what a resolution should be. It won’t be the same for my mom, my dad. fiance, or best friend. It won’t be the same for you, either. But resolutions are just check boxes waiting to be checked. So why does it matter if you create something now, five days from now, months from now or years from now – why limit listening to yourself for just the first of the new year? It can be those cliche (go to the gym, drink more water, read more books) items; we all have them. But I really challenge you to take a second and actually listen to your mind, your body, and your heart and really see what it is about – and then nourish that.
If you haven’t talked to a friend from years ago, call them. If you hold ill feelings form someone, meditate, write it down and accept that you are you and they are them. If your health needs a boosting, listen to your body because it isn’t just telling you what it needs – it is screaming it.
I really worked on myself the last few months of 2017 and I saw changes in me I never really thought possible. I have lived inside of my own head for a disgusting amount of time. I let it rule me. I would set goals, timed ones at that (double yikes) and if I didn’t hit them, I punished myself. I deprived myself of what I truly needed and it was a freaking mind dump. I needed to get the hell out of my head and not let my anxiety attack me on all corners of the street. That is what was happening. On the outside, it may not have looked like that, but on the inside it was like ninth circle of hell inside some mind altering labyrinth that had dead ends and no exit. Do you know how stressful that was? To appear like things are a-okay, when inside, things were burning? Hard. But then I found my mind dump.
That is all I needed. I got it from so many different things – but it was something I never knew I needed. I got it from writing more, from setting routines for myself, from stepping so far out of my comfort zone that I didn’t remember parts of it because my fear blurred it out but I knew it was good because I felt good. I found it with spending more quality time with people even though my social anxiety, that I never knew I had, was holding my hand tugging me back into my comfortable place. I found it from saying NO because I knew it was right for me, and not because I was anxious about it. I found it from saying YES to situations that I was afraid of. I found it in SO many different shapes and forms and it FELT GOOD.
I think, as humans, we are all so goal oriented and we set these resolutions to start the year off right – to be our best selves. But you can’t do that if you aren’t listening. Giving ourselves these checklists are great for an outwardly, expressive confidence, quick fix, but sometimes you need that mind dump.
I am choosing not to set a resolution because there is no sense or need to try to map out my year for some self gratifying second once I mark that check box. Instead I am listening to me.
So for 2018 and beyond – I challenge you to find your mind dump moments and embrace them.