i turned 19 yesterday!!
so, because my birthday is so close to new years, i’ll take today to reflect on the past year and use new year’s to look forward to the next.
i think this is how i’ll do it from now on— on my birthday, the 27th, i’ll look back on how the past year went, in terms of my resolution last year. then, i’ll take those few days between then and new year’s to think about where i want to focus my energy for both the next calendar year and the next year of life.
my new year’s resolution for 2017 is to love. to love where i am. to love who i am. to love who i am with. to love the process. to love the idea that i don’t know where i am going. to love others. to love the ups and the downs and the in-betweens. to love every monotonous moment. to love uncertainty. to love growing up. to love the idea of knowing less as i experience more, rather than be afraid of it. to love it all
that was my resolution for 2017— and i think i carried that out in the most beautiful way i could have possibly imagined. to be frank, when i wrote that, i didn’t exactly know what that would look like. i knew i would be more conscientious, i knew i would be even more optimistic than i already was. i knew i would be more intentional with my love and my feelings. however, in committing myself to every word in that paragraph to the fullest, to not only writing it down but also embodying this idea of choosing to love— i found one of the most radiant and fulfilling years of my life. it was hard. it was so hard. but i’ve arrived at the end, feeling good about how i handled it. and that’s all i can really hope for.
“to love where i am. to love who i am.”
i have fallen in love with the present. at one point, this year, this manifested itself to a fault. to where i valued the present and valued simply existing and seeking fulfillment in every day, that i feared making plans. i feared putting things in the future. however, it turns out that, the future doesn’t have to be scary. it doesn’t have to be this ultimate goal, or something that binds you. i used to believe that I had to have goals for the future grounded in professional or career-based endeavors, but it turns out, i’m lucky enough to be in a position where i just have to figure out what is actually important to me. values to guide my life! i can’t commit myself to the present, meaningfully, without figuring out what my present is leading towards. i care about empathy! i care about love. i care about communication. i care about finding the balance between acting upon my own volition and leaving space for serendipity to find me. i care about where i am, right now, because today that is all that i have. i care about who i am, because i am all that i am. to explore where i am and who i am, right now, is to give myself the energy to propel myself forward with love, intention, and care.
“to love who i am with”
this goes without saying— i am inspired everyday by the people i am surrounded by. to work hard, to be more myself, to be more conscientious, to forgive, to speak my truth, to unapologetically be myself, to choose love. all of these ideals were given to me, in one way or another, by the people i love.
“to love the process. to love the idea that i don’t know where i am going. to love others. to love the ups and the downs and the in-betweens. to love every monotonous moment. to love uncertainty.”
i love not knowing where i am going! as i said earlier, that’s where all the fun is. lean into uncertainty, lean into complexity, lean into discomfort. why should i ever pretend, even for a moment, that anything is certain or guaranteed? i love learning, i love watching my relationship with people, ideas, and places grow. i love finding new life in my university. i love the process of fine-tuning what my ~life thesis~ is. i love learning about austin and how to express my love for him. i love seeing my friends become more complex versions of themselves. i love the sense of muted urgency that accompanies the fact that everything is always changing, and how the implications of that affect decisions, actions, and feelings in different ways. embracing it.
“to love growing up. to love the idea of knowing less as i experience more, rather than be afraid of it.”
in this past year, i’ve learned that love is not necessarily only a good feeling. love is terribly difficult. love can be unconditional, complicated, compromise. love is tears, love is courage, love is trying again. love is, beyond anything, communication. love is a choice. this is not limited to romantic love, but self-love, friend love, all love. push, forgive, challenge, talk to, listen to. yourself, your friends, your family, and your significant others. i know less and less about all of this as i immerse myself into it more, as i’ve found in this past year— but that just makes it more beautiful.
“to love it all”
this year, i explored art, i realized i don’t have to do things, i connected with more music, i asked people on dates, i kissed lots, i danced a lot, i mothered 60?? children for a summer, i made so many new friends, i came to terms with my anxiety, i found the strict necessity of vulnerability and its impacts on emotional health, i became more and more in tune with myself and where my (pretty volatile) emotions come from, i’ve reignited my belief in myself, i tried on a thousand different kinds of heartbreaks in various sizes, i’ve danced and sang on the tops of hills and mountains, i’ve learned how to not be afraid of the space i take up, i cried a lot, i’ve liberated myself from at least 57 different toxic ideals, i have learned and unlearned, i’ve written 598 angsty journal entries, i’ve written 999 floaty dreamy journal entries, i ran for class president, i auditioned, i joined a sorority, i learned how to longboard, i wrote songs, i wrote poems, i went out, i failed exams, i yelled from cliffsides, i fell in love with a place, i fell in love with a person, i fell in love with a feeling, a language, a river, a time of day. how dare i ever take a day for granted? there is so much to do.
my 19th year was unbelievable, looking back. i look forward to what the 20th brings.
will write soon. thank you for all the birthday wishes and for all of YOUR love
with all of my love–