Most people of my generation are calling 2016 a hellish year. You all know I’m on Tumblr – I’ve seen the memes, and I’ve reblogged a bunch too. In the end, though, I don’t hate the year 2016.
To me, 2016 was a year of firsts. It was my first year of being 20 years old. It was my first year writing a regular blog and committing to it, my first year working as a freelance typist/editor, and so much more. It was my first year trying to cook for a friend and the first year I traveled across multiple states and two countries on my own. It was my first year voting for any election.
This was the first year I experienced something even remotely similar to heartbreak, and it was the first year I had to learn how to deal with something like that. This was the first year I had to learn how to move on. Above all else, to me, 2016 was the first year I thought properly about my future.
Above all, I think this was the first year that I truly realized that I shape my own future. People can want certain futures of me, but ultimately, I must define my own happiness. This was the first year that I have committed to this realization. For the longest time, I believed people when they defined success for me. I allowed myself to be taken in by their visions of wealth, prestige, and societal power. I ended up thinking that if I do not set the bar at least that high, that I am somehow inept or incompetent or saying that I am incapable of achieving such things.
I think differently now. I truly do believe that happiness is individualized, and every person should consider sincerely what it is that makes them happy. I know there is a part of me that would relish the reputation and respect that would come of a position such as Chief Prosecutor or a UN Representative. However, another part of me understands that the thrill would be superficial, a kind of joy I wear like heavy jewels, exhausting the longer I wear it.
What I want for myself is a life where I can wake up every morning feeling rested and go to bed feeling content. I do not want to change the world. I would much rather change individual people’s perception of the world. I have come to realize that I may be a person who prefers to conceptualize the world on a smaller, more intimate scale. I would rather provide a loving foster home individual children than work to change the foster care system. I would rather pay for one person’s college tuition than set up a trust fund. I would rather buy someone a meal than donate to a charity.
I have come to realize that this does not make me a lesser or less ambitious person in any way. Having an different definition of success does not mean that I am wrong. Thus, with all that said, it’s time to discuss resolutions!
2016 Resolutions (completed)
- Figured out three new self-managing outlets for negativity.
- Used the schedulers I got for Christmas.
- Stopped telling people everything about my stories.
- Consistently updated my dream journal the day I had the dream.
- Finished a basic course in HTML code (though I promptly forgot).
- Refrained from the consumption of processed baked goods.
- Started writing handwritten cards.
- Sent letters to people dear to me without reason.
- Kept a small notebook with notes on writing styles and inspiration.
- Completely fleshed out a game concept.
- Learned and mastered five new ways to kill people (thumbs up).
- Started and maintained a self-improvement blog.
All in all, that is only a fraction of what I hoped to accomplish in this year, but I am also surprised by how many goals I actually met. Astonished, actually. Of course, the list had a few stupid resolutions I would never have been able to meet (spend less than $50 on games, cough), but I actually met some of those stupid ones too. I think I have the right to say that I am proud.
Of course, meeting goals just means I get to set new ones!
- Write 80k for one story. C’mon, what the hell, if some people are writing 50k in 30 days, you can write 80k in a year. You’ve started freelance work and are typing up that many words a week. You can pull this off.
- Write at least one poem a week; alternatively, keep a journal, practicing describing at least one remarkable event a week.
- Get to the point where it disturbs me if I don’t write for a set amount of time every day.
- Stretch for at least five minutes in the morning and evening almost every day.
- Reduce consumption of tortilla chips to one bag the whole semester.
- Read a foreign novel in its native language.
- Return to reading at least one novel a month, regardless of writing.
- Finish at least three video games I have yet to finish
- Complete every school assignment before the night before it is due
- Adhere to the blog schedule I set up for myself for the entire year.
- Don’t join any superfluous school activities.
- Cull any persistent sources of negativity from my life.
Although I had hoped to think of more, it seems that I can’t think of any more off the top of my head. I suppose that just means that the above are what really matter to me.
Good luck to everyone with their resolutions, and Happy New Year. Let’s make 2017 one to remember fondly.