I’ve had some incredibly exciting starts to the past several years: In January 2009, I moved to London to study abroad; in January 2010, I was shaking myself alive from a NYE Times Square reverie and prepping for my final year of college; in January 2011 and January 2012, I traveled to Turkey; in January 2013, I jumped on a plane to Bangkok to spend the spring in Asia; and in January 2014, I met my gentleman caller (we just celebrated three years!).
However, once I settled in Boston in July 2013 – and especially starting mid-2015, when I found a lovely apartment that I refuse to ever leave and a wonderful job that continues to challenge me – I started to fall into a, how do you say, a rut. Especially when I just look at my life history from 2009-2014. When reflecting on my 2016 a few weeks ago, I realized that for the first time in over a decade, 2016 was the first year in which I didn’t move and/or get a new job.
I don’t necessarily need the big life changes or exciting passport stamps to prove to myself that my year is worthwhile; sometimes, internal changes are just as important. I’ve always appreciated that my birthday is relatively close to the start of the New Year – it means that New Year resolutions nicely align with my “new age” resolutions (although, to be VERY clear, I hate when people give me combo presents. “This is for Christmas AND your birthday!” Okay, you wouldn’t pull that shit if my birthday were in July, buddy). Since I’ll be ringing in the last year of my 20s next week, I figure it’s now or never to make those internal realignments to my mind, spirit, and relationships.
So, some of my personal resolutions?
- Keep in touch with my friends: It’s so easy in the Facebook age to assume I’m up-to-date on my friends’ lives. I’ve also been lucky that my work travels have taken me to cities where I’m able to visit with old friends. But, I want to be intentional about checking back in with friends. I love sending snail mail for no reason, so my goal is to send a couple of random postcards a month just to say hello, and occasionally even (GASP) pick up the phone and call someone just to catch up.
- Focus on wellness: I ain’t gettin’ any younger (see: birthday next week). While my eating and exercise habits have been better this year than ever before, I still know I could be doing better. I’ve also gotten more colds and other minor illnesses than I feel comfortable with (likely because I travel so often, my body gets worn down and exposed to other people’s grossness). So, I want to talk to someone about overall nutrition and wellness and establish a good plan for myself – even and especially when I’m traveling.
- Charity: More than ever I want to turn my attention this year to local, state, and national causes that are under attack by an out-of-touch, misogynistic, narcissistic despot of a President. I have a lot of privilege, and I want to use it to shout as loudly as I can for my rights and the rights of others. Still contemplating how to get this done, but I’m excited to kick it off – and, more importantly, keep it GOING – at the Women’s March in Boston on January 21.
I have a few more on the work and finances front, but I think that’s a pretty good place to start. Book resolutions to follow! I can tell you one thing: this year, I’ll be focusing less on reading a LOT and instead read more deeply.