With 2014 fast-approaching, we all often reflect and review our year. We think of all it has brought and taught us. We pick and choose what will be kept and what will be left behind as we enter the new year full of hope. This is my first year in which I've really, really reflected on all that has happened in not just this current year, but the ones which preceded it. This is the first year I am making a list of the things I will be kissing goodbye. The list will serve as a reminder in the years to come. In 2013, I made mistakes and know I'll make plenty more in 2014, but it's okay. The lessons learned are invaluable and ones I cannot regret despite the hardships.
I am not a perfect person. None of us ever are. We are ever-learning and ever-changing. In life we make a constant effort to improve ourselves and move forward. It is all we can do sometimes. But life is and will always be about finding ourselves, creating ourselves and loving ourselves. We cannot be who we are without first learning exactly who it is we are. Each ending of one year brings on the self-discovery of another and it is a continuous, brave and heroic journey. This adventure is an extraordinary, beautiful one.
Here is what I will be kissing goodbye:
* AN UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLE -- Toodles to over 20 pounds and about 3 percent of body fat and may we never meet again.
* NEGATIVITY of any kind whether it is toxic people, bad habits or as self-sabotaging as doubt -- I will no longer tolerate or entertain it.
* DRAMA -- that belongs in a tv series, not in a beautiful, healthy and happy life.
* FEAR -- if there is anything 2013 (and previous years) taught me, it's that I am strong enough to overcome anything. I will boldly go where I have never gone before, and I will show the world 'how big my brave is.'
* THE IDEA OF CHANGING SOMEONE to fit my schema of a self-actualized person. Because each person's journey is unique, unparalleled and different, someone must change out of a desire to, not because I want them to. I will either love someone for who they are or not at all.
* CHANGING FOR SOMEONE ELSE -- I will never allow someone to strip away my identity until I can almost no longer recognize the beautiful and strong person I am. I will not let someone belittle me. And just because someone else cannot recognize my self-worth, doesn't make me less worth it. Who cares if someone disagrees with the way you are as if the way you are is something to be ashamed of? Who are they to dictate who you should be? I will love myself the way I would want others to love me, and I will love myself more each and every day.
* REGRET -- We all have had regrets, but some of us tend to beat ourselves up over them and it turns into self-loathing. For a long time, I regretted my past actions and held them over my own head. I was ashamed of myself until the day I realized that without those mistakes, I would not be the improved human being I am today. I wear those mistakes like a badge of honor because it is an honor that I made them, accepted them and was able to determinedly march onward.
* SETTLING -- This goes for anything. I will not settle in love or in life for anything less than what I want and what I deserve.
* UGLINESS/PETTINESS -- I will not waste time in responding to ugly criticism, pointless arguments or petty people. Who has that kind of time or patience? I know I don't. And I would much rather enjoy this beautiful and wonderful world as positively as I can.
* COULD-HAVE, WOULD-HAVE, SHOULD-HAVE -- those are all meaningless thoughts because what would-have or should-have been could have very well been totally disastrous. I will respect and accept the choices I have made, let go of what is out of my control and focus on what is in my control, and I will not look back.
* CHASING -- I will not chase anyone around. Ain't nobody got time for that. And very simply, why should I have to exert such an effort to catch someone? If someone wants to be with me, be friends with me, or anything with me, then I shouldn't ever have to chase them down. We should be able to meet halfway.
* COMPARING & CONTRASTING -- Everyone's walk in life is different. We are individual. We are unique. We are special. No one's walk is the same and because of that fact, we cannot compare and contrast ourselves to others. Life isn't a competition. It is a journey, and each person must be the hero of his or her own.
* WORTHLESSNESS -- This year was a huge test of where I stood in terms of self-worth. I began the exam shaky, hesitant and with extreme uncertainty. It was like being bombarded by all these questions I didn't know the answers to, and I knew I was going to fail. Then, as if I was struck by lightning, realization set in, and I went back to the beginning of the exam and started bubbling in the answers with new found knowledge and confidence. I am enough, and I am worth it.
* 'THE NOTION THAT I NEED TO BE RESCUED OR SAVED' -- I don't need Prince Charming to gallantly stride up on his white horse (clearly and fashionably late) so that he can slay the dragon for me. Firstly, the numskull should have arrived on time -- I mean seriously. Secondly, the buffoon should have also realized that I have my own sword and shield to fight back with. I slay my own monsters because I am my own hero.
* THE IDEA THAT SOMEONE CAN OR WILL COMPLETE ME -- Forget that. I do not need anyone to be my other-half. That insinuates that I am only half a body. I am not a piece or a fragment with parts missing. I am a whole, fulfilled and completed masterpiece. That doesn't mean I want to live my life forever alone, but it does mean that I am okay in doing so if I have to because I will not settle. No person should ever "complete" you, but instead should complement you.
* LOOKING AT BEING SINGLE IN A NEGATIVE LIGHT -- Society dictates to us that a self-fulfilled life is being married with children, but that's not always the case for every person. A self-fulfilled life is a life you are in love with. Being single doesn't define you as someone who failed in romance or in life. It defines you as someone who didn't settle and as someone who is brave and bold. Single people may walk the world alone, but that doesn't mean we walk the world lonely. Because we are alone in our walk, we are absurdly courageous. It is something to be admired and not looked down upon because single people are strong and remarkable.
That is what I leave behind and keep in 2014. 'This is more than New Year resolutions. This is a Revolution.'
What will you kiss goodbye this year?
P.S. Thank you to Mandy Hale for penning "." Everything I ever thought to myself (and I'm sure many other women/people have) but was too scared to share or admit, you bravely became the voice of and passed the torch for others to do the same.