Foggy Day Studio

"This year, I resolve to..." (Happy New Year!)

personal + thoughtsMaddy

tassels

{ via }

[This is going to be one of those medium-length, reflection posts that started out way more quippy and relaxed than it turned out - so if you're in a TL;DR mood, just skip ahead to the bolded points at the bottom!]

This year has been full of changes. Many, many changes. What can I say? I'm 27 and my life is in a constant state of flux. The fact that there are changes is nothing new - the fact that I can point to each one and state how that change has positively affected my current state of being is most definitely new. Change is hard, life is hard, growing up is hard. Learning to be authentic in a world that wants you to be everyone else is hard. Figuring out who you are in the first place is hard. But I deeply, truly, sincerely believe the meaning of life is just to live it - to go through each experience, each day, appreciating the smallest moments and the greatest joys, the worst tragedies and the most minute difficulties.

I'm sure I've said all that before, but as I reflect on the lessons from this past year, those are the most prominent. Even at 27, figuring out who you are and being that person are two of the hardest tasks each day.

In 2013, I...

- Got a new roommate (and new friend) - Rekindled a relationship - Took job #1 - Started selling my knit goods in a brick & mortar store - Left job #1 for job #2 - Ended the relationship - Witnessed the marriage of one of my best friends - Sold ESD pieces at holiday markets and craft shows throughout December - Met my cousin's first baby and, I grew my hair out.

It has been, as I said, a year of change. That part cannot be understated. But I also learned how strong I can be, how much energy I put in to the things that matter to me, how passionate and dedicated and loyal and caring I can be. (It feels strange to compliment yourself, but you can't rely on everyone else to do it for you.) I am all of these things. I am also headstrong, and apologetic, and a worrier - these all coexist. These all have come out this year, and been dealt with, and been tucked away again like old blankets put away in a mountain cabin you only use once each season; these pieces still exist but this year has taught me how to properly manage them.

Sometimes it is necessary to be headstrong, or apologetic, or to worry. These qualities don't exist in the world for nothing. But they should not overtake the parts of you that comprise your deepest self. If you are more love than worry, if you are more happiness than jealousy, if you are more creativity and risk and adventure than you are fear, you will find out who you are meant to be. Your experiences will reveal this person to you. It is inevitable and it is wonderful.

This year has shown me that simple fact more than anything else: let the deepest part of yourself come out. Let it envelop you, let it wash over you, let it take over your actions and your thoughts and your words. We are who we are, and trying to be anything else only does us a disservice. Be who you are, and be that as much as you can. The world needs that; others need that. Be that shining example of someone who has found in herself a true companion and everyone will love you all the more for it.

This is something I, and most people I think, will constantly struggle with. The world has been formulated to create social and personal and physical expectations,  and to encourage you to meet them, and you are expected to stay on the path. Getting on your own path is not simple. But it is the greatest gift you can give yourself, and struggling with it is the only way to get there. I thank each day of 2013 for showing me that.

And now, here comes the part that you probably really cared about - the resolutions. The intentions. The goals. The things that will hopefully -- god willing and with some effort on my part -- come to pass in 2014:

In 2014 I want to...

- Write every day. Even if it's a tweet that took little more than a minute to compose, a blog post, a journal entry, an especially wordy email - I want to bring back my love of language and put it into daily practice. Ideally this would turn into something larger, something requiring more discipline, but I'm willing to start small. - Take care of my health. I've always been healthy enough (no major illnesses, I'm not morbidly obese, I work out at decently regular intervals) but I really want to prepare myself for the fact that I'm getting older and the time to get these habits down is now, not later. I don't want to wake up at 45 and wish I had taken better care of myself in my twenties. This includes eating better, trying to be active more often, and taking care of doctor's appointments and annual checkups on time. Including teeth cleaning. - Drink more water. I never do enough of this. - Drink less coffee. This never works. - Figure out my career goals. This is somewhat of a nebulous resolution, especially considering my current position might last for over a year and I wouldn't have to worry about the next job yet - but I want to start thinking about it. I don't want to be taken by surprise as I was last year when I got laid off and spend several months floundering around about which field in which to work. - Travel. Even just within the United States. I want to go places and see things, friends and family and vast lands. I want to see the Grand Canyon. - Read 50 books. You can follow me on my Goodreads account to see if I'm keeping up with this! - Be caring. Be kind. Be generous with my time and energy. - Don't do things half-heartedly. If it's not something I'm excited about, and it's not a necessity (like paying bills or exercising), then I should re-evaluate whether I should spend time doing it. Time is precious. - Learn to play the ukulele. I only have half a song down right now. - Be inspired by others. I want to get out in the world and see what other creative people are doing - musical shows, art gallery exhibits, days in the park, an especially delicious meal. I want to take it all in. - Don't be afraid to be judged. Put yourself out there. Most likely, it will work out just fine. And, finally, be happy. Everyday. Maybe not all day everyday, but at least one moment out of everyday, I want to be happy. I think most times happiness is a perspective, a choice, and I am choosing happiness this year. Even if that means something as small as writing with a purple pen or putting extra cream in my coffee in the morning. Happiness is not an end result, it is a decision in every action you take.

This year, I resolve to put my energies towards these things.

What are your resolutions this year? What, dare I ask, do you think of mine?