I’ve learned a lot this year. I’ve also forgotten a lot (like how to properly fold clothes, or get up before 8 in the morning). I thought I’d share that with you on this day of days.
2014 started out with a lot of puke. And the discovery that I was, in fact, allergic to white wine. That was the first thing I learned! You can be allergic to one type of wine but not the other! It has something to do with sulphites or boobs or electrons, I’m not exactly sure.
Shortly after that, a romantic “relationship” (Because my generation hates labels and likes things to be organic which is funny, because organic things have labels) ended when shit got real (aka abusive) and then I went to therapy for a while and learned a lot about myself, like that new fears are like allergies and they can just pop up out of nowhere.
And, in mid-late January, I made my 2014 New Year’s Resolution: Look my fear in the face, and do what I’m afraid of anyway.
This has resulted in lots of interesting things and lots of interesting mistakes, but mostly, it has allowed me to become a stronger person with a healthy respect for airplanes and aquatic predators.
1. I went on a trip by myself to another country to learn how to surf. First of all, I used to be terrified of traveling by myself. I’m also scared of oceans because, you know, tsunamis and megaladons and Cthulhu. Then I learned to surf, an activity I had adamantly refused to learn how to do because I don’t want to look like sharkfood. I actively try to avoid looking like sharkfood, even when on land.
2. I learned how to set healthy boundaries and stick by them. I used to be afraid of standing up to people. Hell, I still am. Confrontation is a bitch, and I’m a people-pleasing suck-up (a la Hermione) and setting boundaries kind of felt like I was telling the whole world to fuck off. But what I was doing instead was learning to recognize when I was uncomfortable or afraid, and then doing something to prevent myself from being hurt. I shut a few people out of my life–one whom had just asked to be let back in (cough cough, Denzel, cough cough) and learned that I shouldn’t have people in my life unless we can help each other learn and grow and be better. So all of the people who weren’t helping me do those things faded away, and it also helped me welcome in some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met.
3. I got a sick new haircut because I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t afraid of what people thought of me. Turns out, people like me more with a weird haircut, and I like me more because now I only have to style half of my head, which is a laziness win by all accounts. I would add a gratuitous selfie, but instead you can follow me on instagram @highestformofwhit (so that’s basically a gratuitous selfie, anyway).
4. I stopped being afraid to write my thesis and started writing it. Over the course of three months, I wrote over 100 pages of my thesis. That was over the summer. Granted, I haven’t really looked at any of it since, nor have I written anything to add to it yet, but that was a HUGE step for me. I’d been so afraid of my inner voice telling me I’m a shitty writer that I had stalled writing (which, coincidentally, is what I’m doing right now) until one of the abovementioned “most wonderful people” started bribing me to write (not with money, but with chocolate) and I hammered out a good chunk of my book. I just need to find that fearlessness with that writing again, and I’ll finish my first draft. HELLS YES.
5. I did a fucking Tough Mudder, and it was awesome, and I want to do all of the tough mudders. Look, I hate running. Or, more accurately, I used to hate running. Now I love it. I also used to hate the idea of running 11 miles, or being electrocuted, or swimming through ice water, or not being able to eat sweet potato fries and chocolate all day, or looking like an idiot. But then some of my best friends and I tackled the tough mudder in Aspen, and though it took us a fair amount of time and though I may have cheated by eating those caffeinated-energy-gusher-things, it was one of the most fun days of my life.
6. I started a Yoga Teacher Training, which keeps lovingly giving me truth-wedgies and making me face my resolution. If you had told me this time last year that I’d be doing a yoga teacher training, I’d have laughed in your face. Yoga! I’d scream. I can’t be in my head that long. I can’t stay still. I’m not flexible! You’re ridiculous! And I would have laughed until I peed myself. I can guarandamntee it.
And then my friend Fae moved in with my roommate and I. And she was doing it. And we all bonded. And then my roommate signed up, and then I signed up, and the next thing you know, I’m doing yoga 6+ days a week and learning to not be afraid of what goes on in my brain when I’m supposed to be doing something like breathing or folding myself in half or turning myself into an origami elephant, or whatever.
This has been a wonderful year for me, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, friends, pets, and all of you wonderful people who read, comment, email and enlighten me with your own writing.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, AND HERE’S TO NOT THROWING UP TONIGHT!