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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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things. If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity towards this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you, if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Don't Rely On Others For Happiness

It's so cliche but happiness does come from within.

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My fatal flaw is that I tend to rely on my friends and family a lot for mental and emotional support and that's not fair to anyone.

I was really unhappy for the longest time. I mean, I was in a relationship, going to work, hanging out with my friends; I did everything a young twenty-something-year-old should be doing but for some reason, I was never happy.

Every quiet moment alone was hard. I avoided 'alone time' at all costs and the best way to do that was to be with other people constantly.

I worked almost 50 hours a week like a maniac. By the time I got home, I was so exhausted that my alone time was just the 7 hours of sleep in my bed. It was easy to keep up the routine when I was motivated to stay busy. I love being busy, it gives me purpose. I didn't realize at the time that I was keeping busy to avoid bigger issues at hand. I thought that by surrounding myself with people I love would help bring my mental health and spirits up -- I ended up dragging others down.

This may sound really crappy and I'm only saying this out of personal experience but being around someone who is constantly sad, unhappy and unmotivated can be very draining and it gets emotionally tiring. Eventually, you just can't handle being around that person anymore.

I was that person.

Sure I was at work doing my duties but my co-workers were less and less enjoying my company and I started seeing my friends fewer times in the week. I came to realize that it wasn't anyone else's responsibility to make me feel better other than my own.
Of course, my friends tried to help. They did the best way they could, by just being there but it is not their responsibility to take care of me. Putting pressure on those who aren't actually trained professionals of mental health is unfair. My friends didn't know how to handle me and when they started distancing, I couldn't blame them because I probably would have done the same.

Self-love comes from within. Learning how to love yourself starts with YOU. You have to motivate yourself to do something different, to go outside, to read a book to learn something new. I realized that my energy and how I carried myself affected the people surrounding me and I wasn't ok with how the situation was unfolding.

I understand that change is hard. Since I am a very routine person, it was extra hard for me to come out of my comfort zone. Once I did, everything started looking up.

Reaching out for help is one thing but relying on others to fix you and your problems is another. It's ok to ask for support, to ask for help when you're lost but be considerate of those you're pulling into your situation. Everyone has problems and dumping yours on someone else's is never ok.

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