A Measure of Time

Sigh.

I don’t know what’s happened to me lately, Dear Readers. As always, I’ve really meant to post sooner but to be honest, I just haven’t known what to say.

Last year I wrote a post with my New Year’s resolutions, and I had every intention of doing that again. But the problem was, I just couldn’t think of any.

A year is a perfect measure of time to reflect on the changes in life. It’s long enough for so many things to happen, and yet it’s so short as to be bewildering when we realize that another one has gone by. Throughout my life, the difference of one year was always staggering to me. Every single year, I would look back on the person I was at the same time a year previous and marvel at how far I’d come, how much I’d changed and (hopefully) improved. Every single year of college I came SO far, and after college was such a period of upheaval in my life that I almost couldn’t recognize the person I’d been when I graduated.

I accomplished every single resolution I made last year, and they were BIG ones. I found a job after a year and a half of desperate unemployment; I got a tattoo; I moved out; I went on dates (MULTIPLE dates, may I add); I published my book. For me, 2014 was a year of checking off some of the biggest changes you can make in your life, and I expected to enter 2015 even wiser, and feeling–FINALLY–like an adult. 2014 was the year where I grew up, for all intents and purposes. I mean, I PAY BILLS now.

But 2015 rolled around, and you know, I realized the weirdest thing. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I didn’t feel like I had changed all that much. I suppose if I really do look back on myself a year ago, in January of 2014, I was very different. I was unemployed, depressed, and I was still a couple months from taking the first steps to getting help and medication for my anxiety and panic. I was also still a month away from even finishing the first draft of my novel, much less the editing and the self-publishing.

One thing I did in 2014 that I never really ACTUALLY dreamed I’d do was dating. If you’d asked me in January 2014, the thought of going on a date would probably send me into a slight panic attack. But last year I went on multiple dates with multiples guys (okay, only three guys, but still THAT’S THREE TIMES AS MANY AS I HAD) and I handled them pretty much without problem. This was strange to me, and it took me a while to figure out what was suddenly different.

But then it hit me–I was finally comfortable in my own skin. I was actually HAPPY with myself and my life. I liked who I was, and it gave me the confidence to believe that plenty of guys would feel lucky to get to know who I was, too. It’s such a simple thing, but I have struggled with self-esteem issues my whole life. It was so bizarre to suddenly find that, with the exception of the people I respect and love, I didn’t really care what someone thought of me, or if they liked me. I mean, of course I prefer for people to like me, but it was totally fine with me if they didn’t. I had finally, through all the turmoil and darkness and stress and upset in my life, found self-acceptance.

So when I really look at myself in the measure of time from one year ago to now, I have made some of the most drastic changes I will probably ever make. I have learned to love myself and I feel like it has liberated me–that is has opened up life to me in all its glory.

I think the reason that it doesn’t feel like I’ve changed since a year ago, is that the person I was one year ago–sad, lonely, lost, and struggling–is so far away that it seems impossible that it’s who I was a year ago. In some ways, I’ve come farther in the last year than in any year before.

So I decided that I wasn’t going into this year with a list of specific things I wanted to accomplish. I thought about resolving to get my second tattoo; to at least finish the first draft of my second novel; to submit my first novel to more publishers. There’s always some other goal you can set for yourself, some other elusive thing to strive constantly towards. But the thing is, once you find happiness with yourself, all those other things just come as they’re meant to. I don’t feel a need to resolve to do any specific list of activities or accomplishments. Instead, the only thing I feel resolved to do is to keep loving myself, to try to become a better person every day, and to do things that make me happy, whatever they may be.

One year from now, in January 2016, I have no idea what the previous year will have brought, and I’m fine with that. Life for me now feels full of possibilities, and I’m ready to find them out–and the best part is I get to make it up as I go.

So instead of a resolution, I’m going to make a New Year’s wish. I hope that every single person that reads this finds the same acceptance and happiness with themselves that I have found with myself. I hope you accomplish all your resolutions, and a couple more beyond that. I hope you fall in love; get that dream job; learn a new language; make a new friend; travel somewhere you’ve always wanted; win that championship; and maybe, just maybe, even make it to the gym.

But above all, I hope you really fall in love with yourself, even if you don’t accomplish a single resolution. Because I truly believe that happiness is the most important resolution of all.