I hate New Year’s resolutions. I really, really do. I think that many people use them as temporary fixes to make themselves better, but often don’t follow through on. I make them any way. Usually, I follow them. Here are some resolutions from days of yore:
2013: Document life more frequently…
A series of Facebook albums from that year show all the photos I took. So does a private journal with notes from every day.
2014: Take risks.
A lot of risks were taken that year… I have some regrets, but more happy memories.
2015: Be less self-conscious.
This led to me placing a ban on makeup during Lent, forcing myself to attend events where I needed to speak up, and finding what made me comfortable, but not too comfortable.
Now it’s 2016, which will be, undoubtedly, one of the scariest years of my life. I’m graduating, moving to Arizona for the summer, and then heading to the real world. At some level I want to say that my resolution is “Don’t screw up,” or “Don’t be a colossal failure.” However, I’ve learned so much from my mistakes this past year. Every triumph came after doing something that others might call regrettable.
This year, I’ve decided to be more authentic. I’m going to do what I want, but I’m not going to change who I am. In a year full of change, I don’t want to change for the worse. No matter where I go, I still want to be the same person sneaking candy canes into the newsroom weeks after Christmas. I still want to be passionate about what I do, even on bad days. And most of all, I still want to be ME, and not a journalism robot.
That’s why I’m writing this post today, so I can confess some things to the internet -
Those are sweet, cute confessions… But being authentic is more than that. So let’s be honest -
I’m a nervous wreck some days. I had my first anxiety attack in about a year this morning while I was getting ready for work. This morning, I sat in bed fully clothed, my hands shaking like crazy as I attempted to put on lipstick. I ended up missing work this morning, as I laid in bed in a dress and dressy flats while I listened to the church service above me.
I promise, I’m okay. I’m not asking for pity in any way, either. Hours after the fact, I’m thinking about how lucky I am to have gone without one of these episodes for so long. This blog isn’t a statement on mental health. If you’re living with mental illness however, I’ll link this column from the Tampa Bay Times by Ayana Stewart, a former classmate of mine at UF. It’s powerful, brave, and incredibly important.
I just want to clarify - I am not always brave, I am not always powerful. Authenticity isn’t always beautiful and bright. But then again, I’m not always beautiful and bright.
But some days - I sparkle.