The start of the new decade is right around the corner. I am one of those "self-improvement" types, so even though I believe anyone can begin a new resolution at anytime, the beginning of a new decade it much more tempting to set lofty goals. Additionally, as someone who is 20, making a resolution (or resolutions) for my twenties is an easy way to track my progress.
I have made many resolutions in my life, but this year (and hopefully something I maintain for the next ten or twenty years), I want to start to take what I say more seriously once again. This can mean many things: to stop joking around so much, to not make empty promises, or to not lie. In my case, this statement means to decrease and/or stop saying things I don't really mean. For example, throwing around "love yous" and "we should definitely hang out" when I have no intention of either of those statements.
When I was younger, I used to be very conservative with my words. I would reserve sentences laden with emotions for close friends and family. I was not afraid to tell someone I did not feel the same way about them or something. I did not want to give the false impression I valued the same things the same way when I did not. I felt that everytime I said the words I saved for the people I meant them for, the meaning would chip away and become so light, I would not know what the words felt like anymore when I would say them.
As someone who treasures having a small circle of good, close friends, having this mindset made sense. There was no need to tell everyone I would love to spend more time with them when I didn't want to or say I liked someone. That changed when I started college. In a new place away from my established friends, I was forced to make new ones. I shed my reserved persona, in an attempt to appear more bubbly and friendly. Of course I would love to spend time with these strangers, how else would I get to know them?
Eventually, I would casually say "Oh, I love her; she's so fun!" I was able to make new friends. Especially since many of those friends are ones I cherish today. However, I now noticed the fear I had about my words losing there meaning has become real. I don't want to feel fake emotions to seem friendly. That shouldn't be necessary. I want the meaning I attribute to certain words to stay. When I do say them, they will mean something to me and hopefully, to the other person. I want everything I say to be intentional.
So 2020, and the decade ahead of me, I want to maintain the weight of my words; to keep myself honest to myself and the people around me that I care about.