The first few days of the new year are a really confusing time for me. I feel this freedom from the year before, but also this really terrifying sense of confusion for the year ahead. The year is LONG, and the possibility is eerie.
I think about 2017, and how my grandfather passed away unexpectedly within the first few months of the year. I didn’t know that in January, when I kissed my boyfriend at midnight. I had just come back from an amazing semester interning in London. My boyfriend and I were back in the same country. We were in love. The year was supposed to be good and bright and free from the fights and the sadness of our eight months of long distance.
And then I lost half the year in the deepest depression I’ve ever known. I fell asleep in February and woke up in May. Even now, the memories don’t really come back. But it wasn’t all bad: That summer, I interned at Victoria’s Secret and started my senior year of college and my last year in Los Angeles. I interned at The Zoe Report and fell back in love with fashion and writing. I got better. I stayed busy. And by the time 2018 came around, I was ready for it.
Now, looking at 2019 as a college graduate about to move into her first apartment (!!), I’m trying to turn that fear into hope.
I’m not one for resolutions because I never stick to them and end up feeling horrible about it all year long. But, over the course of the past few days, I’ve drummed up a loose list of things I would like to see myself do over the next twelve months. I’m writing them here so that they manifest and so that I can look back to them when I feel lost.
- WRITE MORE, WITH OR WITHOUT A PROMPT: I used to drown myself in my writing prompts in college. I would sit and think about all the different ways to attack the question. I would edit and re-edit and outline and re-outline until I had a near perfect ten pages. I loved being given pitches to cover at work. I loved sharing my perspective on a topic. But I feel lost when I’m left to my own devices. My #1 goal this year is to train my brain to see the stories in the world, rather than wait for them to be handed to me.
- STOP GETTING LOST ONLINE: This post has taken me over an hour to write. Every time I answer a text, I get sucked into Instagram or Facebook for twenty minutes at a time. And then I remember that this is exactly why I have such a hard time writing in my free time. Without an end goal, I fall victim to the pull of the Endless Scroll. I cannot explain to you how many times I log into my computer to look for jobs on LinkedIn and end up watching a HOW TO PERFECTLY POACH AN EGG video on Youtube. This year I want to be more focused on my channeling my free time so that I’m more productive.
- USE AND WEAR WHAT I HAVE: Shopping is a thrill for me, and it’s often my go-to on a sad or low day for a quick high. But, as much as I would like to doubt myself, my financial situation is one where I can order Seamless three times a week or try every new concealer at Sephora. I would love for this year to be the year where I curb my own personal spending and put my money into things that will make me happy in the long term, like flights to see my friends in Los Angeles or the all important self care regimens my body and skin need.
- CUT MY DAIRY INTAKE: This one is simple. I love pizza, but pizza does not love my skin.
- READ MORE: Another simple one to round out the list. Good writers are good readers. Send me your book recommendations.
I can’t end this post without telling myself that I need to be more positive. I could sit here and recount all the hard things about 2018: the fights and the panic attacks and the fear. But I could also sit here and talk about how my last semester of college was incredible because I finally gave up on trying to please people I didn’t care about. I could tell you about how my best friend and I got to being best friends. I could tell you about my three-year anniversary, where I got so sick that I was bedridden the entire time, but still managed to have an amazing time with Gatsby. I could tell you about all the times my family gave me the hope to pursue my dreams to be a writer, even if it meant leaving Los Angeles — and the comfort of the last four years — behind. But I don’t. And I should. And I will.
Here’s to being better than we were three days ago. Happy New Year.