2018 Things

“Last year I abstained, this year I devour

Without guilt, which is also an art.   – Margaret Atwood

I’ve never had a particularly good New Year’s Eve. Nothing bad has ever really happened, but in the past my night usually consisted of obligatorily watching a live-stream of the ball dropping in NYC and feeling the weight of the year’s regrets, hollowing me out, while the crowd cheers at midnight. There are a few good times I remember, like New Years I get to spend in the Bronx with family I don’t get to see often. Those don’t feel as feigned. And it’s not as if I dread spending the holiday with my immediate family! It just has always felt like a forced, mandatory joy, even when I’ve felt closed off from them. My mind is flooded with all I’ve lost and all the ways I  maybe could’ve ended up happier if things had turned out differently. Really, I think the retrospective atmosphere of this particular time of year always just triggers already present symptoms that I was trying to suppress before I started feeling comfortable engaging with my mental health as it was is.

I don’t want to feel that way this year. And I don’t mean that in the neurotypical, faux-positive “you can choose happiness!!!!” sort of way. It’s not like I actively try to feel shitty every January 31st, you know?? What I mean is that I want to become more active in what I’ve been thinking about more this year: taking steps towards growth and healing and happiness and connection that will better my life. I’m choosing to think of my resolutions as “I will”s, instead “I hope”s. So, here are some of the things I’m doing in 2018:

I will stop punishing myself and my body. Forgive myself for not always being strong. Listen to my body when it needs to rest. Start taking my compulsive overeating seriously. Stop eating in my car. Take better car of my skin. Wash my face more consistently. Stop watching so much Netflix. Do my makeup more. Stretch more often. Listen to more full albums. Skip less songs. Compile better playlists. Be more patient with the people I love. Focus more on the people I love. Stop letting strangers intimidate me. Put my love on the line. Be okay with rejection. Nurture the relationships that I have. Stand up for myself, not just others. Respect my own boundaries. Explore showing people I care about them in ways besides gift-giving and self-sacrifice. Explore love more. Communicate with my friends and family when I’m proud of them, and when something is wrong. Show the people I’m used to the same attention I’d show anyone new. Stop valuing relationships that hurt me out of internal obligation. Learn how to budget myself. Read more. Always read more. Write more. Review more. Turn my phone off more. Talk with people about things that make them happy. Talk with people about things that hurt. Support people who I believe in. Find more to believe in. Explore my spirituality. Accept criticism. Do more things for myself. Do more things alone. Be more present. Take more risks. Feel the fullness of life.

I hope this year is kind to you.

What are some things you’re doing for the better in 2018?