be better 2016: wrapping it up

Look, I know we’ve still got a couple weeks of December left, but I’m going ahead and reflecting on how my resolutions for this year went, because it’s time to start thinking about what I want for myself out of 2017. And honestly, 2016 has been such a fantastic shit show that I’m ready to just be done with it, you know? 2017 promises me some permanence, which I haven’t had in a very long time; you can’t blame me for running toward it with open arms. So let’s talk about 2016 for the last time, shall we?

I will stop being sorry for existing. In June, I’d made very little progress towards this. It was still my instinct to be invisible, to take up as little space as I could, to pretend like I don’t love being the center of attention. But I’m sitting here in December realizing that I’m actually killing it on this one. I don’t know what happened, but somewhere between now and then I have embraced my role as a kick-ass woman and I’m demanding that everyone see me. I am not going to hide in the shadows any longer; it’s time for my blaze of glory.

I will stop making excuses. This one has changed with time. At the beginning of the year, this was all about not letting my fear prevent me from doing external things–tattoos, traveling, nose rings. I wanted to live boldly, and that was what I thought that meant. I still want to live boldly, but it’s more internalized. I’m not letting my fear of other’s opinions affect the way I use my voice or if I even use it at all. I still need to reflect on what I want this to mean now; I want to stop holding myself back on the big decisions rather than just the small ones. I want to live boldly, and I want to be fearless, but I’m still not exactly sure what that means to me anymore. Maybe next year.

I will prioritize my education. Whatever, we all knew this one wasn’t going to work out. I still hate school and will probably never return to higher education after I finally get this degree. I somehow have resisted the urge to drop out, though, so that has to count for something.

I will treat my body better. I’m starting to realize this will be a life-long struggle with me. The thing about being mentally ill is that sometimes I see my body more as a prison than a miracle; I doubt this will ever completely go away. I’m making progress on still taking care of myself, even when I feel trapped in my flesh prison, but there’s still a lot of progress to be made. I’m taking this one day at a time, because that’s really all I can handle right now. I’m the closest to being a “normal, functional human being,” than I’ve been since high school, and I’m making some serious progress on the nail-biting thing (though they will always be much shorter than everyone else’s because long nails are disgusting and this is a fact). That’s enough for me this year. I’m doing better, and I’ll continue to do better.

I will keep growing. Another life-long process, though I wouldn’t really call it a struggle. I love being able to expand and lengthen my reach; this is a culmination of all my other resolutions. This is about finding my voice and channeling it for good. I’ve got a lot of things in the works that I’m really excited about, and I feel like I’m where I need to be in order to make the impact I want to. Helping people has always been my top priority; I am not going to limit myself to just helping them through athletic training anymore. As bad as 2016 has been, it’s gotten me here, and here is a pretty good place to be. I’m ready to be the light in 2017.

I will be kinder to myself. I am. Of course I still beat myself up when I do stupid things, because I know better by now, but I am overwhelmingly, unceasingly, amazingly more gentle with myself than I was in January. There are still things about my life that I dislike, but I just have to keep reminding myself that this is all temporary. 2017 will bring me permanence, and with permanence comes serenity. I’ve been stuck in this transition phase for almost three years now, and I’ve just got to figure out what I want to do with myself after I finish my grad assistantship in May. I have no idea what that is, but I’ve got time to figure it out, and of course it’s only a stepping stone to my true dream: to get to write and make art for a living. I still have faith that I’ll get everything I want, and that makes it so much easier to forgive myself for the decisions that have gotten me here. Here is a pretty good place to be; I’m okay with the way my life has turned out thus far.

I’m ready to say goodbye to 2016. I’m ready to move forward, to leave this chapter of my life behind and see what the future has in store for me. I wouldn’t want any other life than the one I’m living right now, bad times and all. 2016 has brought me so much growth, self-awareness, and ambition; 2017 will be about putting it into action. Here is a pretty good place to be, but I can’t wait to discover where I’m going to next.


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