Let’s stop thinking about all the ways we can change ourselves in the New Year, and instead, focus on all the ways we’ve changed in the previous one.
Life is about progression, and perhaps realizing all the progress you’ve made in the previous twelve months will inspire us to be the change we want to see in ourselves. And not because it’s January, and a new year, but because we can identify how we wanted to better ourselves, and the realization that we’ve actually done it can inspire us to keep bettering ourselves.
Realizations I’ve made about myself in 2014:
I’m superficial. Not so much with other people, but I care (too much) about my own appearance. I think everyone is like that to an extent, but I think it played too large of a role in my life. I tried to care less, and that started with going to school without make up on, wearing my hair naturally curly instead of straightening it at every possible opportunity. I tried to give my appearance less of a thought, because being too into looks is such a slippery slope of anxiety and narcissism. Be yourself, and people will love you all the same. And not caring so much about your looks makes you realize that people – especially those that already know you – regard you the same whether you’re wearing eyeliner and mascara or nothing at all.
I love to write. I always have ten thousand thoughts flowing through my brain, and this year I’ve realized that maybe (perhaps not very often, who knows), it’s worth listening to at times. I’m still self-conscious about my writing, but I’ve really tried to get my writing out there, and put more of an effort into expressing myself. In my first blog post I mentioned how I’m the proverbial tree in the forest. Can I call myself a writer if there’s no one there to read it? So here I am.
There’s more to life than money. This is probably the biggest way that I’ve changed. I realized this year how consistently I bring up the cost of things. This may go with being a student, but it’s something I’ve realized nonetheless. Money is not everything. And above that, it is fleeting. If you don’t spend it on one thing, you’re bound to spend it on another. I won’t buy a fifteen dollar lipstick because that seems absurd to me, but I’ll indulge in some shitty appetizer at a franchise restaurant. I’ll refrain from buying yarn to knit a sweater, and then spend eighty dollars on a knitted wool sweater. I constantly heard myself making comments like, “How much was it?”, “How much is that going to cost?”, “That’s too much money,” “That wasn’t worth ______ dollars”. I have to chill out. Yes you spend money, but yes you make money too. And as much as it is important to be aware of your money, it’s also important to realize that you can’t equate your life experiences to the amount of money that you put into it.
And these are just some realizations that I had made in the course of 2014. None of these were my New Years Resolution. I didn’t decide that on January 1st I’d stop caring so much about money, and my appearances, and put a real effort into exposing my writing. Instead, my life experiences during the year altered me in a more profound way than a promise to change in the New Year ever could.