As I approached my 28th Birthday, there were several times when I caught myself thinking of all the things I have yet to accomplish. In fact, I spent the last few weeks laying in bed at night freaking out because I’m STILL not where I thought I would be in my life. I don’t have the ideal income, I’m not completely self reliant, I drink entirely too much, I still have a bit of an inferiority complex, I’ve quit going to the gym daily, and I’ve found that I occasionally still slip back into old bad habits.
Today, though, I made a decision. I’m not sure whether or not it’s because I’ve been clear headed and sober for 48 hours, but while I was on the treadmill today, thoughts began pouring out of my brain before the blaring sound of LCD Soundsystem on my ipod could block them out.
I’m ready to quit focusing on all that I haven’t achieved. I’m ready quit putting myself down for lapses in judgment that I’ve made in the past. I’m ready to stop dwelling on all of my forgotten goals, and I’m ready to stop pretending that I can just sit here idle and the world will magically fix my problems.It’s time to take action.
First I want to congratulate myself on what I have achieved in the past year. Twenty-seven may have not been the best year of my life, but I think I’ve endured a lot of changes, some of which have helped me become a stronger person.
During my 27th year I changed jobs. I changed houses, changed cities, and changed roommates. I watched my family fall apart and had to learn to play the role of an adult with my parents. I helped to bring my family back together. I let go of relationships and learned that I deserve respect from others and from myself. I’ve had arguments with close friends and am learning how to compromise. I became a blogger and realized though at times I may go a little too far, I enjoy putting myself out there and love to write like no one’s reading. I’ve made new friends and reconnected with old ones… and I’m starting to understand the importance of friendship and communication.
But if 27 was a year of change, I think 28 needs to be the year of growth. I’ve decided to set some goals for myself, but I’m also not going to be too hard on myself ifI don’t meet them all.. because after all, I’m not perfect.
A close friend of mine told me the other day that in just the last two months she has noticed that I am not near as flaky as I used to be. She told me that she had started to hold me more accountable to things that I say I will do… and while on one hand that scares the bejeezus out of me… it also made me proud. I used to enjoy being the person that no one could count on. Not because I didn’t want people to like me, but because I was lazy and wanted to be able to flake out of situations without people being surprised. For a long time I didn’t mind when people said, “Oh that’s just Carissa.. she probably just forgot.” After years of this behavior I’m sure that people have just come to assume that I’ll be the one who forgets to RSVP to weddings. People have come to expect that I’ll be the one who will arrive 2 hours late to the party, if I even show at all. I don’t know how I went so long without caring that I was “that” girl. I have come to realize lately that I rather enjoy it when people can count on me. It makes people respect me, and want to behave the same way in return. I plan on making 28 the year that people can count on me for a change.
I’m not one to argue much with friends. I don’t like confrontation, but even more than that- I’ve always had a difficult time standing up for myself. Over the last few years I feel that I’ve made some head way in that regard. I’ve begun to feel passionate about my stance on my ideas and care a little more about sticking up for them, and I believe that this is a positive change. However, I’ve gotten myself in a few situations where I’ve gotten involved and I probably shouldn’t have.. It’s good to share opinions, but just like momma always said (your mom, not mine) there are times when things are best left unsaid. Sometimes it’s best to just let things play out and I think it’s important for me to understand that time is the best cure for some circumstances.
That being said, I still feel that one of my greatest weaknesses is how quickly I am to take the blame…. to say “I’m sorry.” I’m not saying that I shouldn’t apologize when I am at fault, but I should definitely recognize the times when I’m not. I spend entirely too much time feeling guilty over situations that I have absolutely no control over. I can’t be there for everyone all the time. It’s not my fault if my friend’s argue with each other, or if their relationships don’t work out. I can’t feel bad about not being able to be at two places at once. I can sympathize with situations, but I can’t always do something about them, and I need to learn to be OK with that.
I have a lot of passion for a lot of different things, but I feel like lately I’ve let a lot of them fall by the wayside. I want to spend this year getting back involved in the things I love. I want to perform more, and not be afraid to try new things. I want to improve my writing, and do it more often. I want to take advantage of opportunities. I want to embrace my talents and start looking to using them for my future. I want to join my sister on a birding adventure, ride the bike that has been sitting in my garage for 4 months, and start swimming again. I want to take one of the art classes in my neighborhood that I’ve looked into 5 times but never thought I had the time for. I want to meet some of you people and have some good conversation. I JUST WANT TO DANCE!
When people I know see that I’ve lost over a 100 lbs, a lot of people assume that I am the epitome of good health, that I must have have mastered self control. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure there are days, even consecutive weeks when I will work out 5 days a week, watch my portions, and count calories. But there are also days where I am so terrified that I will gain weight, that I will consume almost nothing so that I can drink a bottle of wine at night. There are other days where I will completely jump the wagon and not even care that I just ate an entire weeks worth of Chinese food, but will stress about it for days after. I don’t want to be this person anymore. I know this is something that I’ll probably always struggle with, but I want to find some consistency. My healthiest months are the ones where I am the most happy, and I want to feel that way all the time. I don’t want to be the kind of person who is always concerned about my appearance, or that people are going to judge me…. and for the most part I’m not. I want to get to the point (and some days I’m there) where I’m not concerned if I gain a few lbs, where I know that I will still feel comfortable and confident in my body no matter what size I am.
I want to stop smoking, and I’m only 2 days in but I think I can do this. I want to cut down on drinking significantly, so that I can remember the good times… so that I can enjoy the quality of my life. I want to brush my teeth every night and go to sleep early enough so that every once in a while I can get up and enjoy a sunrise walk.
I want to be more confident in myself. Sometimes I think I was more confident when I was bigger, probably because I had to be. I want to be able to walk into a room and KNOW that I’m fabulous, even if other people may not agree.
I don’t want to be so insecure in my relationships. I want to trust. I want to have more faith in people and human kind as a whole. I want to have the same faith in myself as I think some people have in me.
I want to enjoy everyday of 28, and not get bogged down by the little things. I want to make the most of this wonderful, wonderful life.
Thanks for sticking with me through 27, and through this ridiculously sappy post. Even this girl gets sappy every once in a while. I LOVE YOUR FACE!