What do you want to take with you into 2013?
Although every New Year is a time for a clean slate and beginning again, I don't think one can (or should) completely disregard previous memories and what they've learned from them. I feel as though I've gone through a bit of metamorphoses this year, almost to the point where it's hard to recognize the girl from just a year or two ago. But perhaps that's the reason is because I no longer feel like that girl, but rather that I am a strong and courageous woman.
The following five things/lessons I would take with me are:
1. Don't do something because you feel like you're "supposed to." Unfortunately, people get those kinds of phrases ingrained into their minds early on. This is just what people do around here or That's just how it is are some of the popular ones that I've heard. Facebook, Twitter, and so-called advice blogs (whether it be dating, Christian living, etc.) don't do a whole lot of favors either. But the thing is, everybody has different experiences, and you shouldn't have to automatically jump on the bandwagon because it's what has become the norm. Life becomes a lot less complicated when you stop focusing on what you "should" be doing and hone in on what you're comfortable doing.
2. There is no stopping point when it comes to success. When I told people that I was accepted into the creative writing program, the common response was the joy over my dreams coming true and that I "made it." While I'm not denying that getting into the program is a major feat and accomplishment for me, I wouldn't say that I'm "there" quite yet. There is still work to be done and a lot of room for growth, which comes from goal setting and discipline. That being said, I also want to give myself the time and energy to enjoy the process of whatever it is I'm working toward.
3. Hatred gets you nowhere. I don't like to cut people completely out of my life; I prefer to put a good amount of distance between us and set firm boundaries, rather than openly declaring that the relationship is dead. I've had a few relationships this year where I have had to set those boundaries, but that doesn't mean that I've stopped caring about them. I don't necessarily believe that love necessarily has to die in order for one or more persons to free themselves from stress and dysfunction. I still deeply care about those people, but I have chosen to allow those relationships to take different shapes and not force it to be something that it's not.
4. Do what you can, and leave the rest to God. This is not just something new that I realized in 2012, but in the past few years. Yes, we are most certainly in control of the choices that we make, but not so much in how other people respond to them. It takes too much energy and stress to try and mold something into exactly how you think it should be.
5. You don't have to be Miss Independent. This is a huge (and crucial) one for me. It started in 2012 as a sort of baby-step process, and I want to become more comfortable with allowing other people to be there for me and take care of me in 2013. I want to remember that I have absolutely nothing to prove, at least not in the eyes of my friends and family. More so, I want to do so without the fear of having it thrown back in my face for one reason or another.