2018 was a great year. It was also turbulent, vulnerable, and lonely. And it was in that discomfort that I manifested a truer version of myself: I learned that comfort zones are overrated, that pain is short-lived, and that looking like a fool is inevitable, but if it gets you closure, it’s worth it. I learned that rose-colored glasses aren’t always your friend – ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is freedom. Yet somehow, despite all these discoveries and tales of personal growth, I’m still writing this from a place of insecurity.
2018 brutally annihilated me. Quite frankly, I experienced emotions I never knew existed, often simultaneously. There was the hollow, cold desolation of a broken heart. The light, hopeful blossom of a new love. The proud, boastful sense of accomplishment. The naked, empty drought of rejection. The jubilant, genuine gratitude of true friendship. But most importantly, the loud, echoing voice of self-love in the back of my head saying, “It’s all going to be okay.”
So, 2019, I ask this of you: come at me full force. Give me your hardships. Challenge me. Drown me in humility and choke me with emotion. Chink my armor and pillage my pride. Throw punches that knock me off my feet, just so I can prove to myself that I can stand back up again. Let me look back on you with scars of wisdom and stitches of courage that I will wear like badges.
2019, I am not ready. I am underprepared. I am scared. I might get bangs. I will make poor choices – the bangs being one of them – and I will take wrong turns, but I still trust you will lead me to where I am meant to go.
In 2019, I’ve decided to choose myself more. They say that all good things take time, but great things are never truly perfected. If you want to find something truly great, you must grow it and nourish it from its seed. In the battleground of life, nothing is ever foolproof, but this method is: start with good soil, water yourself daily with care, and give yourself good light. You may outgrow people, insecurity, and phases with time, as you should. Don’t confine yourself to the container in which you began; as you grow your roots, let them spread. Bloom in your spring, and prune yourself of negativity, self-doubt, and fear in your winter. Let all that you’ve clipped fertilize your ground and strengthen you.
In 2018, I did a lot of leaving. I left people, relationships, and activities that did not speak to my soul. I chose myself by being selective with what I consumed, whether that meant what I read, what I watched, or who I hung around.
In 2019, I hope I do a lot of staying. Staying positive, staying humble, staying true to my feelings. I hope I’m not afraid to be open and that I recognize the nobility that stems from being vulnerable. Most of all, I hope I take life one day at a time. I will no longer shackle myself to my past or my expectations of a future. I will accept what flows easily and rid myself of what does not. As I evaluate how I spend my time, I will ask myself, “Does this bring me joy?” If it does not and instead brings negative energy, uncertainty, or confusion, I will remove it from my life. Life is complicated enough as it is.
I guess I’ve never been one to think that you need new year to make a change; I know that change can happen the moment you want it to. I do think, though, that there’s something poetically beautiful in a new year and its symbolism — a clean slate. But I’m not leaving everything behind. As I let go of 2018, I will keep what it has taught me. And as I enter into 2019, I will embrace what it teaches me. I hope you’ll do the same.