It’s strange seeing the “1” of January illuminate on my desktop screen. 2019 came so quickly but there was a time I remember it not arriving fast enough, praying for the feeling of a clean slate and a fresh start. Funny how the new year is one of the few times we grant ourselves permission to start over. 

The new year isn’t really about starting over, is it? It’s more about filtering out the bad and a continuation of all the good. Some of our biggest challenges come from finding the lessons in situations, in experiences and in people where it seems difficult to find these elements of positivity. It’s especially harder when moving forward and on and when it comes to forgiveness whether we ask it of ourselves, it is asked of us or we give it. 

There’s no shortage of lists and declarations of self care and resolutions online and offline. My friend who Facetimed me from Bali drunkenly yesterday during Indonesia’s January 1st ended the call with her “year in review” that I thought was truly beautiful. She didn’t list anything about herself or her life that she wanted to change, I think because it’s obvious what we want like a higher pay check (money is always nice) or more PTO, a gym membership and a committed mind to match, more time to travel and to spend with loved ones, etc. But we don’t need to list those things. What I loved was her “year in review” weren’t at all inanimate objects she purchased, although there’s nothing wrong with celebrating those too because we work hard!! 

Hers were simple but major: quitting cigarettes, meeting her love, her gratitude for her friends, traveling to four countries in one year and spending time getting close to her dad before he passed. And within her year in review, I saw her strengths and her growth and after we hung up, I made myself a “year in review” feeling my own strength and evolution. In these moments, it doesn’t matter where we fell short and if life is not “perfect”. Later that night, another friend of mine had us write keywords that we would like to demonstrate more of or that we would like to apply to 2019. 

I don’t know why all these resolutions activities felt different this year. I noticed that when things feel different it usually means I’ve changed since last. I won’t share my year in review but one of my keywords is ~inner peace~ which heavily relies on feeling comfortable in my own skin and not caring what others think which I definitely did not have last night when I swallowed what I thought was rice but was actually salt and was too embarrassed to spit it out or acknowledge what I did at the fancy 5 course New Years dinner I attended. Technically it was still 2018 though so fuck it. It’s allowing myself to laugh more even when it’s at my own expense. Inner peace is all about a mental stillness and calmness that lives in me even when the world is turning rapidly around. This is why taking an Instagram break has been really really crucial for my head. I feel as if I’m recalibrating. 

Another keyword was “listen”. I have a tendency to be self involved. I’m a Leo. But I’m also a Cancer and it’s important to me that people know I’m invested in our conversations and in their life. I have a co worker that makes you feel insanely special with his unique questions and way of remembering details, his genuine care of the people around him that I know lives in me but gets lost on the day to day grind of life. Texts get delayed or missed, calls get postponed or shortened or turn into an endless game of phone tag. We speak without thinking and misinterpret causing hurt feelings because we didn’t take the time to process our thoughts and emotions. I say I’ll write letters and then I don’t stay consistent. I spend money more on myself than towards my future and on the people I love and a lot of times it’s because I’m listening to myself more than others. 

What I like about the year in review and keywords is that they are not promises to self. No one is making you do anything and they are just words and memories to remember as you start 2019. I have found these promises to be dangerous (at least for me) because if we don’t meet our set goals, we tend to beat ourselves up or we make so many promises that their value and quality seem less and less each time. We also have a tendency to post a lot of our plans online and sometimes I don’t know whether I’m posting to keep myself in check or to show other people I’m trying to be better. Either way, no promises just continuing the journey I’ve been on. 

Well it’s time to clean my room and get ready for tomorrow because it may be January now but we all know time. I hope you had a safe, healthy, happy new year and I hope you are loving on yourself and others today. I truly believe how you spent your new year is a reflection of what’s to come because it’s a reflection of where you are with the humans in your life and where your head is but I also don’t believe in it that strongly. Change and development is always possible. Always. 

Images from my visual “year in review”.

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