Right around this time last year, I read an excerpt entitled "I Hope You Live Life A Little Louder From This Moment On." This poem was by Marisa Donnelly from her book Somewhere on the Highway. At that time, the poem spoke to me. I thought it was everything that I needed in that moment. However, thinking back to it now, it has taken me an entire year to truly bring the idea of living life louder into my life. 2017 was a year of change. It was a year of emotional progression, and it was a year of rediscovering myself. With an ode to that article, 2018 is the year I hope to learn how to live.
2018 is the year to bring on new challenges. It is the time to do things that frighten you. It is the year to send that risky text. It is the year to make the first move. It is the year to kiss the person that you have had your eye on. It is the year to let go of toxic relationships. It is the year to make room for new friends and to reach out to the old. It is the year to take risks. Your body can withstand almost anything, it is the mind that needs the convincing. So accept the challenge, and conquer it.
2018 is the year of saying yes. Say yes to the slice of chocolate cake and have absolutely zero regrets about it. Say yes to the date and do not worry about whether or not the relationship will work out. Say yes to dropping everything on a Sunday and going for a drive with your best friend. Say yes to a new project or opportunity even if it scares you. Even if what you say yes to ends up going terribly, take that experience as an opportunity to learn. Say yes, instead of leaving yourself wondering what if?
2018 is also the year to let go and say no. Say no to poor relationships. Say no to people that bring you negative experiences. Say no to individuals who think they can determine your worth, and never allow yourself to be defined by someone else's opinion of you. You determine your worth, know that no one else determines your value except for you.
2018 is the year to go after what you want. 2018 is not the year of regrets or wondering what could have been, it is the year of possibility. If it is a job you want, fight for it. If it is a person you are in love with, tell them. If it is your passion, go after it completely and with full vigor. Seek out these moments with confidence. Take steps forward without hesitation. 2018 is the year of not holding back.
2018 is the year to stop borrowing trouble from the future. It is the year to stop second-guessing. It is the year to spend less time caught up in your own thoughts. It is the year to stop overanalyzing and overthinking everything. You are taking up too much of your life worrying about the potential consequences of a situation that has not even occurred yet. 2018 is the year to follow your heart instead of your head. It is the year to let the fear go.
2018 is the year of joy. It is the year to release the negativity that has been clouding your life. The beginning of the year allows for a fresh start. It allows you to realize that you cannot please everyone. You cannot control everyone else's actions. But you can determine your own happiness. You can determine how you influence others. You can choose how you spread joy and passion in the world.
Reflecting as the new year begins, I now understand what it means to live life a little louder. I sum up this article with the final paragraph from Marisa's poem. I thank her for allowing me this year of reflection and the chance to find myself and find what this poem meant to me. I hope whoever reads this article chooses to live life a little louder in 2018 because we are only given one chance, one shot at life...
I hope you live louder.
I hope you laugh more. I hope you sing at the top of your lungs. I hope you drive with the windows down and let the wind rustle through your hair. I hope you hug. I hope you kiss. I hope you surround yourself with people who make you feel alive. I hope you become the type of person that brings good energy wherever you go, and the type of person people want to be around. I hope you speak what’s on your mind, that you raise your voice for injustice, that you tell others that you love them, instead of waiting until it’s too late. I hope you live louder, shine brighter. From this moment on.