How Embracing 'New Year, New Me' Set Me Free

How Embracing 'New Year, New Me' Set Me Free

Because I am so over New Year's Resolutions.
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New Year's resolutions rarely hold any true weight. They come and go, but it's rare for anything to truly come of them. I never cared much for them and rarely made them. Many people, though, take “New Year, New Me” to an extreme… or so they say they do.

You’ll see it plastered on social media: “New Year, New Me”. It becomes everyone's mantra for about a week or two and then inevitably dies away. This year, however, I thought, “what if it didn’t?”

It started out as a joke, mostly. My friends and I would take turns mocking the resolutions and “new year” vibes. However, I kept it going a little longer than what was anticipated. “New Year, New Me” I proclaimed on January 1st when the ball dropped and then again in January when I tried a kale smoothie even though I hate Kale.

I said it again when I considered moving to California to college instead of the place I had always dreamed of. “New Year, New Me”, I even said when it was July 5th and I was in the middle of a line for an Ed Sheeran concert and I realized it was time to let go of all the negativity.

I guess it sort of dawned on me that I didn’t need to wait for a clock to strike midnight for me to reevaluate myself. Every day has been a year since something and that meant I could try new things whenever. So, that’s how I found myself living the most freeing year of my life.

The best part was that I could make mistakes. I gave myself permission to make mistakes because every day I could find a “new me” to resolve it. I had some obvious reasons to change (graduation, moving to New York City, getting my first internship, etc), but ultimately I could be a new person whenever I wanted and I took advantage of it.

I managed to learn a lot about myself. Plus, I stopped being afraid to put myself out there. Going to places alone once terrified me, but since I decided upon a “new me” I stopped finding it difficult to walk alone for a bit. And guess what?

This gave me some amazing experiences like going to pop up shops or concerts that I would have avoided otherwise. It’s even how I got to meet new people.

Plus, this “new me” didn’t have to be my every day. If I suddenly felt overwhelmed, there was nothing stopping me from taking a step back.

“New Year, New Me,” I said as I purchased the concert tickets to a band I wasn’t sure about.

“New Year, New Me,” I said as I bought a yoga mat and actually committed to using it.

“New Year, New Me,” I said as I stopped caring that I was spending Valentine’s Day alone.

“New Year, New Me,” I said as I stopped associating with the people who brought me down.

“New Year, New Me,” I said as I committed to my mental health treatment.

“New Year, New Me,” I said as I finally sent my poetry book into a publisher.

“New Year, New Me,” I said as I moved into the college that wasn’t my first choice but ended up being the right choice.

Because New Year’s Resolutions are rarely things that you actually need in your life. If anything, resolutions confine you. Dieting, intense workout schedules, crazy money-saving schemes, new skincare routines… eventually, you’ll realize those constraints weren’t the purpose of the New Year. It’s a reminder, not the jumping off point.

When it hit November and I said “New Year, New Me” people would look at me and reply: “Oh, you’re already thinking about your New Year’s resolution, then?” Instead, though, I had made it through the entire year by being the exact person I wanted to be-- someone that wasn’t tied down to one specific trait and instead could do anything.

It worked. New Year, New Me. Here’s to 2017, the year that taught me to try anything and be anyone… especially myself.

Cover Image Credit: Ally Neville

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Go Confidently In The Direction Of Your Dreams

Confidence is contagious. Catch it. Spread it.
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Being confident is the best thing you can be. Having confidence in yourself brings you so much happiness and takes you closer to accomplishing your dreams because believing "you can" is half of the battle.

"How I feel about myself is more important than how I look. Feeling confident, being comfortable in your skin, that's what really makes you beautiful." - Bobbi Brown

Remember that life is too short to do anything other than what you love. Don't waste your time comparing yourself to others, or even worse, tearing them down. Love and appreciate yourself as the gift that you are, because nothing would be the same if you didn't exist. Reflect on all of the people that love you and take the time to show them some love in return. Count your blessings and say thank you. Stop stressing the little things and relax.

So, what is confidence?

Confidence is...

believing in yourself and your abilities.

saying I can and I will.

self-love and self-respect.

speaking up when you have something to say.

feeling beautiful without needing someone to tell you.

standing up for what you believe in.

being a friend.

forgiveness.

putting yourself out there.

helping others see their own worth.

knowing you deserve the success you achieve.

spreading positivity.

never giving up.

inspiring others.

being proud of yourself and where you came from.

being a leader.

smiling.

having fears and facing them anyway.

Confidence is something worth spreading.

Be so confident that when others look at you they become confident too. You have the power to change your life at any time, be that person you've always wanted to be.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Beltran

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The Scars That Are Left Behind: Part 2

Words hurt more than you could ever imagine.
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It blows my mind that people think two words can make everything okay. They think that just because they apologize, everything will be magically changed. Well, NEWS FLASH, "I'm sorry," doesn't change what you did. It never has and it never will.

See also: The Scars That Are Left Behind

I have sat on this for weeks. Thinking that maybe I would be okay with it. That maybe I was over reacting. That maybe what he said wasn't too bad. Well, it was bad, it was beyond hurtful, and I am not over it.

It was on Instagram, the social media of the angels and demons. A picture that was posted MONTHS before he even saw it. He also never followed me. He sought me out to post something so hurtful that nobody could ever say to another person's face, unless they are the most disgusting person alive.

Let's set the mood of the picture first. It was the last day of my summer beach trip with one of my best friends. We were having a great time, had a few drinks, and wanted to make sure that we documented how much fun we had that week. Honestly, we spent a good 20 minutes trying to get the perfect picture that we both loved. It was finally approved by both of us and it was good to go (cover photo is said picture).

Now fast forward roughly six months and somebody posted this comment: "amazing how you stomach fits in that even though it stretching it out." Thirteen words that changed me. I have spent a good portion of my life hating the way I looked until a couple of years ago. I finally accepted who I was and learned to be okay with it. Those words he typed from behind his phone screen absolutely ruined me. I look in the mirror and hate who I see, what I see. I don't see somebody who is confident in her looks, I don't see a 22 year-old woman who has gone through so much to get to where she is today, all I see is some disgusting human being. For days after his comment, I didn't eat, and if I did, I would excuse myself to expel every last bit of it from my body. I spent my nights crying myself to sleep. I made myself believe I didn't have a boyfriend and guys don't show interest in me because of the way that I look. I convinced myself that because he said it, it was true and everybody believed it. I still think people believe it and in all honesty, I still believe it.

Body image is a huge thing. It takes one person to ruin everything that somebody works for. The moment I read that comment, I was ruined. Sure I joked about it with my friends so they wouldn't see how bad it hurt me, but it did, it does, and I think it always will.

The next day, I mustered up enough courage to send him a message and this was our conversation:

Me: The fact that you think what you said was any kind of okay is a testament to who you are and how you were raised.You think that what you say will never matter and never hurt anybody, but your words have power. A young woman these days could spend days telling herself she is beautiful and it takes one person to ruin everything she has worked for. I don't know who you are, your gender, or anything at all except for the fact that you have ZERO regard for others.
Orlandofanpage44: sorry God bless you <3
Me: I sincerely hope you learn from this and NEVER think it is okay to treat a woman the way you treated me. Next time think how you would feel if somebody said those things about you, or better yet, your children. It may not make a difference if they were said to you, but imagine how your child would feel is somebody said those exact words about them. Think before you act. Watch what you say.

Since this conversation the person has since changed their username or just blocked me completely, but this isn't for them. It's for me to finally be free. Hoping and praying that maybe letting all of this out, will somehow free me of all doubt and hatred towards myself.

Cover Image Credit: Leah Alfaro

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