I was never one to set many goals for the new year, realistic ones or not. I mean, sometimes I’d say I would stop swearing or stop eating so much chocolate but I love to emphasize things with curse words and I’m finally learning to handle the pain of getting a filling.
But this time in particular, it felt like a new beginning when the new year started.
It was December 31 and I was celebrating in the most magical city I have ever lived in (sorry, Disney). Everyday here is beginning to feel like a poetic day dream, strolling the streets, knowing that possibilities are endless and it’s not just a cheesy Pinterest quote. I honestly Googled “acting in commercials” last week because it sounds like it could be a fun weekend job. This city does things to you like make you look up commercial acting auditions. If that doesn’t say anything, then I don’t know how else to put it.
Last year, and many years before that, my New Year’s resolution was to be present. I lived most of my life planning moments and thinking them through before they would even happen. I was too worried about the future to even think about what was currently happening. I had that resolution for so many years because it wasn’t something I could flick the switch on when the ball dropped. Now that I finally feel like I am in a place where I can live in the moment, it’s time to take advantage of the moments I have.
Living in the city gives you this ants-in-your-pants feeling and being in my twenties makes me feel like anything is possible. This year I want to take full advantage of both feelings and hey, maybe even cancel my Netflix subscription. MAYBE. Beyonce wasn’t built in a day … or whatever T-shirts say these days.
Since I can’t predict what’s ahead, I like to use what already happened in 2014 to guide my list of resolutions, which happens to be more like a giant checklist to cross off before 2016.
2014 was a a year of growth.
When I was home in Michigan for Christmas break, I talked with my high school friends a lot about old classmates who are getting engaged, married or having children. And they are 22 to 25 years old. And while I would never judge someone’s decision or happiness, there’s a part of me that wants to bring every person to New York who is worried about their future and jumping into things quickly just to do it and settle down, and I want to show them the possibilities and the courage of putting yourself first. There is so much life to live and so many things to learn by yourself before you call it quits and just settle in.
If you’re entering a relationship, you’re going to know when it feels right. Too many of my friends have wasted hours and days thinking about someone who made them feel like crap. I did it, too. And then when I met someone who talked about me like I put the stars in the sky, I never for a minute have questioned his feelings. That’s the type of person you need to hold out for. Someone who makes you feel like a queen when you’re lying in bed snoring and farting, even during the third week of knowing them. Someone who assures you every time you talk to them that they’re choosing you. Not someone you think will stop talking to you if you text the wrong thing. Wait for a relationship that’s simple. It’s easy. And it consumes your soul entirely for all the right reasons.
But the greatest thing I’ve learned isn’t how to love someone else, but how to love myself. Your fallback being yourself is the greatest assurance in life. When I say “by yourself” I don’t mean alone in my room texting a guy in his room by himself. I mean not being attached to anyone emotionally or physically for months. Knowing that you don’t need to text a guy to feel loved and not needing the attention of another person to be happy. Finding happiness on my own and within myself is something I started to learn when I lived in Wisconsin alone for a summer. And it’s grown so much that now in New York, I sometimes cancel dates or plans just to do things alone because I know at the end of the day, the love for myself needs to be the highest, as selfish as it might feel. But being selfish in a good way is, in my mind, the healthiest experience you can have on this Earth. The only way to do it is to detach and put so much attention on yourself and believe that the initial pain will be worth it long term.
Now for this year, I’m sharing my resolutions in hopes to spark a fire in you, too:
Have lunch with one person every week who you haven’t seen in months
Wake up earlier and make more use of morning time
Call one person every week who you can’t see in person regularly
Travel to a new place but don’t tell anyone and don’t take any photos
Spend more time in the beautiful places you already know and love
Only let people you love sleep next to you in your bed
Love your body by feeding it right and exercising on a regular basis
Don’t eat somewhere twice unless it’s the “best ever”
Write the damn book
Happy 2 0 1 5. Let’s do this one right.