There’s something about the collective celebratory energy that’s sucking me into the New Year. It’s an ordinary night, an arbitrary man-made event, imbued by the intention of the multitudes to create meaning. I think I needed this specifically this year. I don’t usually use the traditional new year to make resolutions as is common. They come up throughout the year and they won’t wait until the beginning of a new year to be put on the list of personal improvements and attempt to accomplish all at once.
This December however, I’ve found myself in an appropriately meditative mood. I’ve spent the last year in Oakland, completely outside of my comfort zone and away from my family and friends in search of adventure, myself, and a better understanding of the world in which I belong. I’ve lost a couple family members in this time and have struggled otherwise to create a circle around myself here that feels as supportive as the one I left. Having thrown myself into the unknown last year, I’ve found myself in new situations that test me, make me aware of my weaknesses and what I want to accomplish for myself however abstract.
So what are my resolutions? I don’t care about losing weight or finding a better job or making a pact with myself to go to yoga every other day. I’m not making wishes here or physical alterations to make myself more socially attractive. Even if I do hope to go to yoga more often than I do, I need something more than that. A contract or a statement of purpose of sorts.
- My first step was identifying what I found empowering, and choosing to cultivate these things: make myself available to help respectful and grateful friends, construct creatively, write from my heart and mind in hopes of connecting to others
- The most important element for my life turns out to be other people: learning new things and experiencing new cultures, meeting open people and making new connections, deepening present connections with people and having a loving circle of people to share life with
- Obvious areas for improvement: better communication of boundaries so I can be open to new people but still keep myself safe and honest, live louder without timidity or shame or fear of judgment including self-judgment
These also all happen to be the reasons I left home in the first place. I’ve created my own life’s meaning as self-improvement and connection. Oddly enough, in order to seek new connections sometimes you have to alter the ones you have into something that can sustain a bit more distance. It doesn’t mean that the process isn’t difficult. This year I have stretched myself in what I consider a noble but often times painful way.
And for 2013, I expect to continue doing that. I will learn to accept that I am worthy of love and intimacy and in turn I will be more open and loving. I love a man three time zones ahead of me; and out of fear of disappointing him and of course of being hurt, I have held myself back from my own feelings. In any aspect of your life, this kind of timidity gets you nowhere but stunted and anxious, which is where I sit upon stating these things publicly. I will learn to be brave enough to open up to my own feelings regardless of the consequences. Ultimately, I will learn to act with greater authenticity and life will be fuller.