*Warning: Naughty language ahead!
My mind is bursting at the seams with confetti-like ideas of becoming someone better this year—someone new.
Do you wish for that, too?
To be someone more fabulous, and less insecure. Less vulnerable. Someone who says all the right things. Someone who never f*cks up in the worst ways. Someone who isn’t scared of life. Someone bold. Someone who can handle everything with a strong smile that says with unbreakable assurance “I’ve got this.” Someone who never falls apart or breaks down or sobs violently and asks for help.
Someone, who apparently—isn’t human.
This whole “new year, new you” idea is lovely, but it reeks of bullshit. As much as I’m all for constant growth and change and shedding our skin—I do wonder something:
When will we ever get tired of improving ourselves?
When will we ever get tired of picking ourselves apart in the golden name of becoming “better?”
Because we can hide in self-improvement, too. We can hide in constantly trying to become a more delicious version of ourselves. We can hide in wishing to be someone else. I know this because I do it all the time.
But as I sit quietly this afternoon, in a lone sunbeam while taking a generous gulp of ginger green tea, I stop trying so hard, for just a second. I let my hair down. I breathe. Tears of relief find me—they wash me, violently; they hollow me out, deliciously.
Each teardrop waters a seed that I planted in my heart long, long ago—a seed of being courageous enough to love myself.
I have failed at this, time and time again.
But in this particular moment, there’s such softness in the air that each slow-passing second becomes something magical. And sure enough, this sacred seed of self-love begins—slowly—ever so slowly, to bloom and bud, to expand and unfurl in the lap of the lemony afternoon sunlight. With the sensual subtlety of a stranger’s sexy smile, my whole perspective shifts, my world tilts and swirls into something new, like a watercolor sunset fading into a velvety plume of charcoal and star-speckled twilight.
I realize something so profound it makes my knees shaky.
Maybe the New Year is not beautiful because of its sparkly, rose-scented promises of possibility and hope.
Maybe it’s beautiful because of what it lacks, what it isn’t, what it can’t be.
And maybe, just maybe, we’re beautiful—not because of all the amazing things we can become, but because of who we are, right now.
Right now—imperfect, messy, fearful, broken, vulnerable, shaky, struggling, laughing, striving, dreaming, loving, crying.
Without losing the weight. Without the job we wish for. Without the delicious success we dream about. Without the relationship we yearn for.
And hell yes, all of our goals and wishes are downright succulent and wonderful and absolutely worth striving for—but they’re really just the icing on top, aren’t they?
We can’t have have any of that unless we know our worth, right now.
We can’t truly succeed until we learn to love the dark, naked, raw depths of our beings.
So let’s do it!
Let’s become curious about our present reality, rather than lusting after a strawberry-flavored future fantasy.
Let’s sit in the gory, glittering cusp of the gritty present moment.
Let’s stop allowing the future to define us.
It doesn’t have to.
We are defined by something much deeper—we are divinity, walking through this world on two legs, with a sacred spark inside us that instinctually knows we’re so much more than failure or success or relationships or money or a fabulous career.
If only we could honor that inner magic, and soften towards our own hearts and offer compassion to our own souls—we would become unstoppable.
But it has to start right here. It has to start by loving ourselves now.
So let’s get to it!
Close your eyes.
Let go of who you think you should be. Of the things you think you should want. Let go of the pressure, of trying and pushing and forcing and pulling. Let go of needing to be better and smarter and more self-aware and more attractive.
Just be here.
Here. As you are, right now.
Hold your heart softly. Embrace yourself. Embrace every messy mistake and feisty flaw and scabbing scar and fear and pain and brutal, bad memory. Embrace it all—it’s all a part of the juicy journey you’re on.
Feel electricity pulse inside your veins, blooming into your bloodstream like a thousand white roses. Feel your fire. Feel your strength. Feel your soft tenderness.
You’re pretty badass, right?
So light up. Light in the way that only you can.
Breathe in the crisp, wintry air and remember who you are.
Yes, you’re flawed and chipped and a little bit broken, you’re stamped with mistakes, you’re full of uncertainty and you smell of juicy vulnerablity—but you’re fucking awesome.
You are imperfectly whole.
And yes, this applies even if you’re struggling—it applies especially, then.
Let go a little bit, just a little bit, and let life inside. Stop trying to become a fantasy version of you—and steep yourself in the brutally beautiful waters of reality instead.
Be who you are right now. Right here, in this painful, scary, confusing, sweet, joyous fleeting moment in time.
And even though you’re not perfect, you are so unbelievably breathtaking.
Because you’re you.
And that’s enough. Hell, it’s more than enough—it’s a goddamn blessing.
So this new year, let’s honor the gigantic blessing of who we really are. Let’s get ahead by being present. Let’s move forward by loving ourselves now.
It’s the only way.
And please, please—let us not hope to wake up tomorrow morning, and be someone new.
Let us wake tomorrow as we always do—as our imperfect, struggling, sad, happy, beautiful, confused, messy, vulnerable, delicious selves.
Let us face ourselves with gentle eyes, and know that we not need to become someone new.
We need only to remember the unshakeable truth of who we already are, of who we’ve always been.
We need only to sit down in the present moment and let it unfold, gently.
Ever so gently.
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Image: Flickr/Moyan Brenn