If someone had sat me down on January 1, 2012 and told me that on December 31, 2012 I would be without the job that I had been living and breathing, I probably would have laughed in his or her face. Not in a cocky way (that’s not my style, y’all), but just in disbelief that something that had been so perfect could, or would, ever be capable of changing. Ah, to be young. But really, so much changed, and that’s not a bad thing.
Reflecting on the year behind us is just one of the post-Christmas rituals we all must deal with. It goes hand in hand with stepping on the scale for the first time after a ten-day eggnog binge, standing in long lines to return things that “don’t fit,” and scrambling to figure out NYE plans without any drama. Don’t get me wrong — I’m in no way mopey about my life right now, I’m actually quite happy because I see extreme value in this time that I have for myself. That being said, it’s hard not to look back without being dogged by the mind’s worst pastime, a memory marathon of “what ifs.” I just think we’d all prefer Law and Order: SVU marathons instead.
Because I believe in the power of positivity (thank god for those Daily Affirmation posts, AMIRITE?), I’ll look back on the most major things from my year and pull out the lessons I learned from each.
I watched my kick-ass mom work incredibly hard to achieve one of her goals (and become a part of a team that’s breaking barriers for women across this country), all with my wonderful father standing right by her side. This, more than anything, has been a lesson on the importance of perseverance and love. Perseverance because she had been told over and over again that she couldn’t do it, and love because you can be strong on your own, but stronger when you embrace the support system that comes to you with open arms.
Speaking of love and mushy stuff, I got engaged to the most wonderful human and began planning a wedding that is “so us.” (Vom. But actually, I’m supah excited. THERE WILL BE PIZZA!) It’s funny, things like marriage and stuff that have always seemed so adult can actually make you feel and act quite childish. I had one cringe-worthy meltdown in the car after trying to find a venue, simply because of all the stress of wanting to please everyone. So, here’s the lesson I learned: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be happy. It’ll come most naturally once you’ve stopped giving a you-know-what about the small stuff. (Note to my future employers: This doesn’t mean I’m not details oriented, okay? Cool.)
Push your mind to keep learning. If you’ve reached the end of the interwebz and it seems as if there isn’t a single Wikipedia page you haven’t read, maybe it’s time to go back to school. I started going to grad school part-time this year and it was like reigniting a part of myself I had completely forgotten about. Guess what? I am a huge nerd. And, even though I complain about being broke, having to read dry text books, and writing papers again after god knows how long, I genuinely adore academia. Perhaps opportunity will stem from that.
And now, the most important lesson of the year. This one does come from the whole job thing. Don’t sit in the passenger seat when it comes to your work life. Me truly loving my day-to-day tasks isn’t one of the job requirements for my boss, my boss’s boss, or my boss’s boss’s boss. That’s all on me. I took an opportunity to leave over a demotion because I am confident enough in myself to go out there and find something that makes me happier. So, when I feel frustrated, I try to recognize that it’s me who took control and that absolves everyone else of blame for the things that didn’t work out. No blame, no bitterness. Does that make sense?
So, we come to 2013. Let’s look forward. I’m going to put some of my resolutions here, just so I can be held accountable.
1. Drink more water. Easy, right? Welp, I hate the way it tastes. If only I felt that way about wine…
2. Get back into running. Actually, I’m going to go ahead and already congratulate myself right now because I signed up to run a 10K in April.
3. Land a job. Yeah… Or, have a hilarious one-note Tumblr that turns into a book, which will be sold at your nearest Urban Outfitters.
4. Send more handwritten notes. I love y’all so much that I’m going to separate myself from my precious iPhone and let you know how much you’re appreciated the old-school way.
5. Take more pictures… and try not to Instagram them. What if we decided we wanted to remember moments just as they were? No X-Pro II, Sierra, or Toaster filters — just you and you friends. Or your home-cooked #humblebrag meal. Or the artsy, foamy latté from the independent coffee shop. Whatever.
Sorry for the ridiculously long post. And cheers, everyone. Here’s to an amazing 2013! (And a drama-free NYE!)