To be or not to be: the ideal self and the problem with New Year's resolutions

Monday, January 7, 2013

(This is where I spent my New Year's celebration. FYI, don't light sparklers indoors.)

Ok, so this post is kind of a week late. Whatever.

I have mixed feelings regarding New Year's Resolutions. I think it can be a burden and disheartening (when you inevitable fail to lose 20 lbs in two months!) to hold yourself up to crazy expectations with the change of the calendar. But I also believe that growth and change should be a constant journey and stagnation the enemy.

I knew someone who once not-very-humblug bragged about how much better he was than those of us struggling to get our lives together, simply because he had a spouse and had figured out what he wanted to do with his life ages ago. Inevitably, life plays cruel tricks on us all as we learn that growth is a lifelong process with no real destination in sight.

I guess more than anything these "resolutions" are aspirations of what I want to see come about in 2013, as there are a lot of changes occurring.

So these are my New Year's Desires, Aspirations, Hopes, and Dreams. (Ok, they're just resolutions.)

1. Go Big or Go Home
Twenty-thirteen seems to be the year full of lasts, and as a result should be chalk-full of lasting memories. This is the year that my best friend after marvelously being accepted to Humboldt will be moving 12 hours away to Arcata to work on her Bachelor's sometime around Summer. My closest and dearest friends from High School will be moving up to Sacramento (what is that, 9 hour away? Come on, people!) to room together during the upcoming year as well. This is the year of last birthdays spent together but this is also the year of fun Firsts. Like the inevitably road trip to Arcata to help my friend get acquainted with her new hometown. This just means everything is going to have to be that much more amazing and memorable. 
2. Photograph. A lot.
Having grown tired of  not following my ambitions I decided on a whim to sign up for UCLA's Photography Program. That's right, I'll finally be taking time out of my not-so-busy schedule to learn a few new tips and tricks for my favorite pastime. March will mark my last days as a Highlander at UC Riverside and with it comes my degree in Psychology. But also in March I will become a Bruin, and that's pretty damn cool.
3. Travel
My fondest memories of my youth are of my summer's spent in the pueblo's of Mexico exploring the landscapes on horseback with my Father or laying beachside the absolutely mind-blowingly warmth (seriously, I'm talking bath water warm) of the waters in the playas Lo De Marcos in Rincon de Guayabitos. So stunningly perfect was it all that I committed every bit of it to memory. I saw that beach again two years ago, since then having become privatized much to my mother's annoyance and chagrin, but the water's remained every bit as glorious as my memory recalled. The point is as an adult it's time to make my own lasting memories of travel in marvelous places. This is my year.
4. Work Out
As much as I joke about what a pain and burden it is to work out, I really need to get back into it again. I realized that 2012 was the year of the slob. I can't possibly let that happen again. Twenty-thirteen is my year! Literally, the Chinese Zodiac dictates that it is once again the Year of the Snake so it's my time to reign supreme. But yeah, I'll be training for a 5k and joining in on Cardio Kickboxing and Total Body Toning classes at the gym once more (or just jump onto an elliptical somedays, whatever). See also: hiking.
5. Meditate
My mental health took one hell of a beating last year leaving me diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and suffering from occasional Panic Attacks. Yes, occasional, as in it's that bad. It's really not anything I ever feel comfortable sharing with anyone besides family and my therapist. Because it sucks and to some extent the Average Joe simply doesn't know what to make of it when I say reality doesn't feel real, ya dig? After a series of meetings with my therapist it's finally been determined that I am eligible to take part in Biofeedback meetings which is essentially a means of teaching me how to calm down and organize my inner turmoil. I also insist that I must continue to attempt to do yoga.
6. Read
I must admit I did significantly better last year than I have in previous years (I'd say since High School) so I'm just going to go with it and keep it up. This year I've already finished reading Bossypants by Tina Fey and am well underway with On The Road by Jack Kerouac. There are also the remaining Game of Thrones series that I need to finish, that is if they can stop breaking my heart enough to become engrossed in the storyline again.
7. Create
Back in October I made my own Princess Mononoke Mask out of papier mache, clay and acrylic paint. Seeing the end result as a result of my own two hand's hard work left me feeling proud. Since then I've taken up knitting (I'm still trying to open up my own knit goods shop, Winterwear Is Coming) and I'm attempting to purchase my own pineapple ukulele. I'd love to get back into painting/drawing and I'm also trying to keep up with this blog and writing. 
8. Hike
This is important. It's become all too obvious to me that the more time I spend indoors the more stagnant and annoyed I become. I really must make the effort to be outdoors (and fit) and hike more often. 
That's it. Those are my resolutions. These are desires that I think I've nurtured for quite some time now and I think it's time I start paying attention to them.

Happy New Year.


Indy said...

These are so inspiring! Good luck with all your goals in the new year!


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