I'm well-aware that these "New Years Resolutions" blog posts are kind of dumb (like, who cares what I want in the New Year? I'm pretty sure no one does) BUT I've decided to write one anyway - at the risk of looking stupid or vapid, or whatever else some people may or may not think about me.
2016, in hindsight, was a year of decent strides - professionally and personally. I think that I really learned the value of my time and my efforts, the power of standing up for what I wanted, and the good things that come if one cultivates focus and open-mindedness. I hope to continue these trends into the new year, and tackle these new goals while I'm at it:
Do all things with intent
Kind of a weird one, but I think putting a premium on intent will promote thinking before acting (which I sometimes do), as well as discourage purely reactive action (something I do quite often). From reactive retweeting to knee-jerk emotional reactions, I often let my emotions rule the day and control me in certain scenarios. I've learned that I'm a very passionate person with incredibly potent feelings, but letting those feelings pull and twist me around isn't a sign of strength, and it certainly never ends well. So I'll be cleaning up my Twitter feed and asking What do I want to accomplish? before I start lashing out at some poor soul.
Persistence, force will not always yield
This one will be a work-in-progress for a while and a tough pill to swallow. I’ve previously learned, from my upbringing and many experiences in my life, that the sheer force of will can get you what you want and where you want to go. This does not work in relationships. This also does not work in many other life scenarios. Putting in the effort and being willing to roll up my sleeves is something that I’ve always taken pride in - it’s just too bad that all that effort sometimes yields absolutely nothing. For life in general, I’ll be working on shrugging off disappointment and keep pressing onto other matters. For relationships, I’ll be working on making sure the other person is just as willing to put in elbow grease as I am when circumstances call for it.
The journey to self-acceptance is something that is lifelong for a lot of people - it certainly will be for me. But I’m happy to say that I’ve never felt more comfortable in my own skin than I do right now. I no longer resent how I look, I quite like the way I dress, and I’ve surrounded myself with really strong, loving, and accepting people that have promoted self-love within myself. I hope to continue this, and work on further accepting who I am.
The bottom line is I’m loud. I get needy and annoying. I don’t do well with emotional self-containment - I need some sort of outlet or release. I need to communicate with people, and people to communicate with me. I get very suspicious and jealous. One day I’m overtly extroverted, and the next I’m a recluse. These are not traits that I like about myself, but they are there. I can’t work on them if I don’t recognize them and accept them as a part of who I am. Only then can I work on how they manifest, affect others, and affect me.
I'd also like to work on the acceptance of others, their wants, and motivations. If someone doesn't want to hang with me, they don't want to hang with me. If someone no longer wants me in their life, then that's just it! I can't change their wants to fit mine, and wanting to do so isn't right. They've got every right to say no, to boot me out. I can't control the actions of others, and others doing what they please is not a betrayal or insult to me - they are simply living their lives. Seems stupid, but it's a notion I struggle with and will fiercely work on.
Be more open
I was living with one of my best friends last year, and this one random day, we had the most striking conversation that I’ll never forget. I made a comment about how my emotions were so easy to read, and how I felt I was “like an open book” most of the time. She then told me: “Julia, you’re not an open book at all. You never talk about anything with me.”
I thought about that comment a lot, and I still do. I’ve figured out that while my face will often reveal my emotions, I never will open up about why they’re there - even to my best friends. I also have an incredibly bad habit of wanting people to completely make themselves open and vulnerable to me, while I seldom take the same actions for them.
So I hope to bring down some of my walls that have provided me a great level of emotional protection, and be more open to the world. I hope that I will say “yes” to more experiences even if I'm nervous, that I’ll start to keep an open door for people to enter (and exit) my life, and that I’ll communicate with people as much as I want them to communicate with me. I hope to give everyone and everything a warm welcome, a wholesome goodbye, and to loosen up my Resting Bitch Face when I’m strolling around the city. I hope that I find the power in vulnerability in 2017, and that I’ll start to soften my hard edges.