As the end of the year comes to a close, it’s essential to look around at your life. Take the time to reflect on all the incredible moments, new friends, new relationships, and new memories with those who have stuck by us for another 365 days. Life doesn’t make us promises- we end up with wonderful things we never could’ve hoped for, and devastation beyond our comprehension. With the new year looming around the corner, it makes sense to reflect on what has happened, and prepare for what’s next.
Yet, despite the constant push towards creating new goals, making new promises, and swearing to get around to the things we need to start, it’s easy to fall into the same patterns we have previously. It makes sense- we all like our comfort, even if we claim to not. We stay within the confines of what we think we should do, what we believe we can achieve, and we accept it.
But next year, I think you owe it to yourself to do more.
I don’t necessarily mean to keep yourself so busy that you exhaust yourself. I don’t mean to try to live up to some litmus test that puts you on a timeline with everyone else. I’m not saying to add 35 additional tasks to prove to yourself that you can. I mean that you should step outside of the idea of what you think you’re supposed to become, and become the person you’ve been dying to be.
It makes sense to add new goals to increase our experience by doing more things. But part of becoming who you want to be is recognizing what you have to let go- what you need to let go.
Maybe you’re sitting in your current job, and it feels as if it smothering you from the inside out- not because you aren’t grateful to have a job, but it’s just not where your heart it. Maybe you’ve been hanging out with a group of people that tend to bring out the worst in you rather than the best. Perhaps you’re staying in a relationship because it’s comfortable and familiar- even though you aren’t thrilled there anymore.
For some people, they don’t have much choice in their situations- and if you have to stay in those circumstances for a while until you can walk away, that’s okay. But if you’re sitting these constraints because you’re sure that it is the best thing you will ever have, if it’s all you’ll ever be capable of- you need to let it go.
It would be best if you let go of the things that hold you back because you hold so much potential in you that you’ve yet to discover. You allow fear and worry consume any hope that you might have to grow- you act as though you’ve become as much as you ever can be, and that you should settle for that. That, despite this, isn’t the life you want, the life you crave, you should accept what’s comfortable and what makes sense on paper.
But there is something inside you that stirs up every time you come into contact with anything related to your passions. For a brief moment, you feel alive in ways you never have before. There is a voice in your mind that is clamoring for your attention- begging you to take the risk. Not because it wants you to set fire to good things, but because it knows just how capable you are. Just as quickly as it appears, you snuff it out with doubts and concerns. You swear it’s just you being impulsive or unreasonable.
But you know what’s unreasonable? Playing a part in your life just because it’s simple and doesn’t ask much of you. You think you’re doing yourself a favor by playing it safe, but you’re not benefiting yourself by tearing yourself apart. You aren’t helping anyone else, either. A job doesn’t want someone who is only half invested, secretly pining for something else. A group of friends who choose to engage in certain behaviors isn’t gaining anything from you if you act like the person you don’t want to be. The person you’re dating doesn’t deserve someone who is there to go through the motions and pretend it be happy when they aren’t.
And you. You deserve to step outside of the life you pretend to love and learn what it honestly means to become. To embrace the parts of you that you know have always existed, but you were scared to release. To practice and learn new ways of going about your existence. Taking on new challenges that genuinely forces you to open up. And to let go of all the things that you’ve held close, the walls you put up to keep yourself “safe.”
So next year, please let go of all the things that are holding you back. Don’t let another year pass as the persona that you think will make everyone else happy. The idea that you swear you can learn to love. Become who you truly want to be. Understand that not everything in your life will lead you there- nor will it want to.
But you should take a chance on yourself, and all that you know you truly are inside. You might be surprised at how amazing it will be to release yourself from everything you swore was meant to protect you. The world can benefit from someone being their authentic self. And you can benefit from letting the world see who that person is.
Let 2020 be the year you finally release everything holding you back so that you can embrace every new thing with open arms.