My New Years Resolution
My New Years resolution: Stop being afraid of being happy.
I’ve spent so much of my life worrying about where I am, what I’m doing, and where I’m going. Ive lived almost every day obsessing over the future and picking myself apart, focusing on shortcomings and the paths I didn’t take. But not anymore. This is the year I’ll let myself enjoy where I am and be proud of the decisions I’ve made. I’ll take joy in the little things and appreciate my life for the wonderful adventure that it is. Ill work hard to get where I want to go, without compromising where I am. I’ll keep writing cheesy blog posts and stop worrying about how many people read them. This is the year I’ll be happy, because life’s too short to be anything but happy.
These resolutions aren’t tangible. I can’t measure my progress on a scale or in a bank account. I just have to commit to working, every day, to achieve the seemingly simple goal of being happy. It sounds easy, because there’s so many moments of happiness throughout every day. But in between these moments, I have a bad habit of worrying. I worry about literally everything, from the color of my bridesmaids dresses (I’m not even engaged), to the trajectory of my career (or seemingly lack there of). I compare myself to friends, family, celebrities, other travelers... The differences between us stare me in the face every time I get online or catch up with loved ones over the phone. Even though everyone’s been very supportive and interested in my life, I’ve always mistaken these differences for weaknesses in my own story. I always feel like I’m falling short or falling behind because my experiences aren’t comparable to my peers. But towards the end of last year, I started realizing that comparison is the thief of joy. I’ve chosen the path less traveled and that inherently means I’ll come across rough patches. I’ll struggle and feel lonely at times because I’ll be forging my own way. And that’s okay. I’ve realized that it’s normal to question yourself and second guess your decisions. That’s something we all have in common. But I’ve also realized that those feelings of regret and confusion can stunt your happiness and ultimately your potential for success. So now I’m choosing to second guess less, and enjoy more. As anyone who’s ever made a New Years resolution knows, it won’t be easy. There will be days when I falter and go back to feeling less than. There will be days when I look at other people and wish I was living their lives. But the goal is to have more days when I look at myself, and be happy that I’m living my life. The goal is to stop being afraid of being happy.
I feel alone in this endeavor. I look at everyone else’s life and think how happy they look, how confident, how successful... but in reality I think we all do that. We all have insecurities and we’re all a little terrified we’re doing things completely wrong. Sometimes I feel like I’m so different, but I think we’re all a lot more alike than it appears on the surface. And that’s why I’m sharing my New Years resolution. It kind of feels like a bit of an overshare, and I’m feeling a little vulnerable, but I think it might resonate with people. I think we’re all a little afraid to let ourselves be completely happy with our decisions, when there are so many paths to choose from. And writing this all down, and sharing it with the 5-10 people who will read it, is how I want to kick off 2018: proud, vulnerable, creative, and optimistic.