I don’t know about anyone else, but in my life, 2018 was one hell of a year.
Those 365 days were filled with an incredible combination of wonderful and devastating events. And while I cherish the wonders of 2018, I’m feeling ready to learn my lessons from the devastation.
As I ease into the 19th year of the 21st century, I’m trying to be as real with myself as I can about what I hope to feel, how I hope to act, and what I hope to accomplish this year. This means no “I’m going to go for a run every single day” or “I’m going to meditate for an hour every morning”—because let’s be honest, 99.999999 percent of us will not achieve either of these.
Instead, I’m ready to set guidelines for myself that acknowledge the challenging, complicated, often confusion-filled reality of existing as a human being.
So, here they are, my gentle-yet-determined reminders to myself:
- If you wake up some days and feel inspired to go for a 10-mile run, just go. And on other days, if instead you feel inspired to stay in bed with your favorite author or TV show, just stay. It’ll all balance out in the end.
- Your family will never be perfect. It’s time to accept that. They will always be there and they will always support you. But when they mess up, just forgive them—that’s what family’s for.
- Your first priority is always you. Let me repeat that: Your first priority is always you. That’s not an excuse to be selfish, but it is an excuse to sleep when you need to, to be alone when you need to, to leave when you need to, and to stick around when you need to.
- Stop convincing yourself that other people are judging you or are bored with your company or think you’re not worth their time. Chances are, they’re not judging, they’re not bored, and they don’t think that. And it’s time to start loving yourself better, anyways.
- Work is important, but work is not everything. Work is important, but work is not everything. Work is important, but work is not everything.
- Love ain’t pretty. Well, sometimes it is. But most of the time it’s messy and it’s brutal and it’s a hurricane. Dive in anyways. Do it anyways. The hurricane will be worth it. Every. Damn. Time.
- You will always carry your past with you. You will always have gone through those traumas and those depressions and those breakups. But you don’t need to drag your past along behind you through every step you take. Bundle all that hurt and all that joy up inside of you, take what you can from it, then move on forward.
- I know you’ve been bruised by trusting people in the past. I know it’s knocked you over and left you feeling like someone stole your oxygen. And there’s no saying that won’t happen again, but the alternative is shutting down, shutting everyone out, and ending up suicidal and hospitalized. So trust. Let people see your everything. It just might save your life.