If you’re anything like me, every year when the first day of January rolls around, you dread the idea of “New Years Resolutions” or despise anyone that is all gung-ho and seems to have formulated these ideas weeks or months ahead of time. The media and our society that reinforces this annual pressure doesn’t help either, making it seem like we all have to strive or think about striving to be better people only on the 365th day of the year. I apologize if this makes me sound like a grinch, but it always seems like a gimmick. I’ve always been in the camp where if you’re motivated enough to really want change, you make it happen regardless of what day it happens to be on the calendar. New Years day never really excites me. And any time there is a collective societal pressure around an idea, I tend to want to run the opposite direction.
Or maybe I’m just annoyed that it’s always harder to find a parking spot in the gym’s parking garage for the entire month of January (or until Spring).
Or maybe I need to make a few resolutions myself about how I feel about New Years resolutions (aka. becoming less bitter).
Either which way, since setting intentions at the beginning of the year always seems like it’s on everyone’s minds, I can’t help but inquire within and assess/re-assess my personal growth. It’s hard to be immune to the chatter. My answer to it all is usually just striving to do my best every day of the year, but not beating myself up about it if I don’t feel “up to par”, especially as I have tendencies to be hard on myself (definitely have gotten better with that, though). That having the best intentions, being in the moment, and making decisions in the best possible way in that moment, that I will eventually be lead to where I am supposed to be. Besides, that’s how I ended up where I am today, taking it one step at a time, and I don’t regret any of it.
Here are a few thoughts I’ve had lately about what I want to strive for in general, and what has been on my mind off and on for awhile now, so I figured I may as well share and open up about them, as this is my main journaling outlet (although yes, 90% of the time it’s focused on baked goods). Sometimes I feel uncomfortable and anxious about sharing some personal thoughts, afraid of being too TMI, of feeling judged, but part of me also wants to show that I’m human and vulnerable too. Because I believe vulnerability allows a bridge of connection to be built. There is more to me than just baking and pretty pictures and kitties and talking about cool stuff I find on the internet. Although I do love all of those things. So I just wanted to take a moment to jot down a few life intentions, (NOT RESOLUTIONS, haha) as I did last year, in light that it may inspire others to do the same.
- Embrace my inner rock-n-roll. It may sound silly, but that is the best way to sum it up. This has many different meanings to me, literally and figuratively: Becoming more carefree. Confidence. Strength. Possessing a positive mental attitude. Enjoying myself more. Not taking myself too seriously. Holding my ground. Not allowing others take advantage of me. Not worrying about what others may think of me. Standing up for what I believe in. Listening to what my gut and heart desire. And literally, having a deeper appreciation for rock-n-roll music. Years ago, I would never have imagined in a million years I would ever enjoy listening to bands like Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, or Judas Priest. But over the past few months, I have become more open and receptive and find myself actually really enjoying and loving British heavy metal/new wave rock. Sometimes music you have yet to discover or take in has a funny way of presenting itself to you in a new light or in times you’d least expect. And maybe there is a reason for that. Either which way, I’ve been enjoying my rock-n-roll high especially paired with a cup of coffee, and then going for a run or cleaning the apartment like crazy or baking my life away. It’s incredibly energizing. And for some reason, it gets me into a mode of contemplation. I get what the fuss is all about now. Totally get it.
- Continue my Yin/Yang balance. One of the things I really like about myself is that I don’t feel like I, or anyone else, can label me as a certain type of person or put me in a box. We are all complex human beings, each having a tendency or attraction to many different interests or activities. Assumptions, labels and stereotypes are so outdated. None of us have to be any “certain type of way”. I’ve always been the girl who blazes her own path, and really doesn’t give a crap if some of the things I enjoy are the complete polar opposite of what someone expects me to like or be like. And I feel like this brings balance and stability to my life in some manner. I enjoy surprising others that expect(ed) me to be a certain way, and I honestly really love it when someone else surprises me and changes my preconceptions of who they are too. Life doesn’t have to be black or white. You don’t have to either be all of “this” or all of “that”. There is always a happy medium, an in-between. I love Beach House and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, but also appreciate Taylor Swift and Dwight Yoakam. I love drinking green smoothies, but also equally love donuts (if not more). I enjoy fine dining and checking out the latest greatest restaurant in Portland, but am also cool with eating at Red Lobster or Burgerville. I love Seinfeld and Twin Peaks, but also enjoy my guilty pleasure/trash TV nights of The Bachelor watching. I love my baking cookbooks, but also enjoy nerding out over Astronomy textbooks. I love rom-com’s, but also enjoy World War II documentaries. You get the picture. Bottom line, who cares? I could come up with a million examples, but the basic idea is that the second we start living life by someone else’s standards is the second we stop living our own. Do what makes you happy. Dare to listen to what brings you joy. Because, as EE Cummings says, it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
- Less resistance, more flow. Sometimes I can be really stubborn. Or have an idea in my mind, something I’d like to do for the day, a place I’d like to travel to, a restaurant I want to try, etc, and I’m not open to any other suggestions. I like structure. I looove planning. But almost too much so. Over the years, I have been aware how this affects my relationships with others, especially my intimate ones, and every time I take a step back and look at my behavior, I’m never enchanted by it. It’s definitely a control defense mechanism of sorts, and I want to break it down. Bottom line, I want to stop and check in with myself every time I try to push an idea or become adamant without really hearing or allowing the other person to voice their desires also.
- When in doubt, shake it off. “But I keep cruisin, can’t stop, won’t stop groovin, it’s like I got this music in my mind, saying it’s gonna be alright…The player’s gonna play, the hater’s gonna hate, baby I’m just gonna shake it off, shake it off…” Yes, maybe Tay Sway has gotten under my skin a bit, and I don’t hate her at all for it. She’s got a point, and I love her sassiness and how matter of fact she is. Sometimes I take the little things to heart too often, like something someone said to me irk me a bit too much, or not being able to control a situation at work, but the truth of the matter is none of us can control anyone or anything else. We can only change our own reaction and response. By allowing it to take over, I’ve realized that this contributes to a great amount of stress in my life. Lately, I’ve literally been saying to myself, “SHAKE IT OFF, KYLIE… JUST SHAKE IT OFF”. And it really works. Try it sometime.
- Getting more sleep. Striving for an earlier bedtime, especially on nights before work. Because this allows me to accomplish all of the above in a more attainable manner. Enough said.
Happy 2015, friends.