When I used to blog in Livejournal, I would always start the year with a "year in review" and predictions or resolutions for the new year. While I do have some resolutions for the year, I'm not going to go month by month and reflect on the year as I normally would. After all, when I think back on this year, the bad things outweigh the good - and no one wants to read a post all about sick family members or broken hearts. I've never been very good about keeping resolutions - it's not that I consciously decide to not reach a goal, it's more that I forget I even made a resolution to begin with. My last year's resolution? Don't remember! So this year, I'm planning to do my resolutions a little differently.
On New Years Eve, I sat on the floor and watched the countdown to the ball drop in Times Square. I, however, was not in New York - I was happy being in Mebane for the new year. As the year turned over, I felt a wave of relief rush over me. For an instant, my head, heart, and soul were all calm and I felt a peacefulness overcome me. 2008 is over. A year that was supposed to be one of the best in my life ended up torturing me in a way I had never imagined. Now, there is a clean slate; I have crossed over to a new chapter in life. I am in a new city and it's time for me to take advantage of everything New York has to offer me. So now, my "resolutions"
I'm experiencing a very difficult transition from being a dependent to being independent. Part of me is excited about being independent and being in control of my own life. Yet, it is not easy and I sometimes crave that freedom. I don't mean "freedom" as in a 'I can do anything I want' way, but more of a 'freedom of mind' way.
I am grateful that this year brought me much closer to my family. Not just my immediate family, but my extended family as well. Throughout my emotional catastrophe, my family members were my saving grace (as they still are). For the upcoming year, I want to be sure to keep up these relationships with my family members and cherish each and every one of them. I also want to make sure they know how much they mean to me.
In addition, I need to understand that independence doesn't come just from moving to a new place or getting your first job - that it's a process and a journey and it's okay to ask for help or receive help without asking for it. There's nothing wrong with getting a little help.
One of my biggest regrets of 2008 was neglecting my friends. For some reason, I became very introverted this year and I avoided contact with others. I regret not doing what it took to make a lot of friends in college. Though, the few friends I gained during my four years there, I love and appreciate. I just wish I were better about keeping in touch. I don't want to lose these friendships.
I've heard it is strange for this to happen, but over the past 4 years, I have kept and maintained relationships with good friends from high school. I've heard that most of the time, the high school friends are replaced with the college ones and turn into 10th year reunion acquaintances. I am very happy this is not the case with me.
My resolution in this category is to maintain and foster relationships with these people because I wouldn't know if I could survive without them. Also, I need to make new friends in this city - so I don't feel so alone all the time.
On New Years Eve, I had a dream. It was the first time in a long time I actually had a dream that I remembered when I woke up. In the dream, I was in a crowded room with Cole and Krystan (since I've never met her, I'm guessing it was her that was with Cole - though I can't be sure). During the dream, I was being chastised and mocked by them. They were telling me that I was stupid for being so blind to their relationship among other things. After listening to their chides for a while, I had gotten very angry. Then suddenly, I started to hit Cole. As I laid into him, my arms turned to jelly as if the bones disappeared. I struggled and flared about while everyone laughed. Eventually, as tears were running down my face, I fell to the ground, defeated and ashamed.
When I woke, I was furious. I couldn't understand how I could have gone from such a calming and peaceful moment at New Years that left me feeling refreshed to this dream that brought be back down into an angry rut. For the next day, I couldn't shake the anger - not just about the whole situation, but that I had allowed this to bubble up again. Why now? I had made good progress emotionally and I certainly don't have any feelings for him anymore. Then, this morning, as I sat at the gate in the Raleigh airport, it suddenly hit me: I knew what the dream symbolized. I understand now that the fight I was having in the dream didn't represent a fight I had with Cole, but with myself. Krystan and Cole were a representation of a part of my psyche - the side that continues to punish myself for what has happened. This side of my brain and heart that beats me down to believe that I don't deserve to be happy or feel alive. The other side, as represented by myself in the dream, continues to try and fight the unhappy, depressed, and lonely feelings, but most of the time, I feel like I'm fighting with wet noodles.
I guess the lesson that comes from it is to understand that I have to stop chastising myself over what happened. I need to realize that I couldn't have done anything differently to change the outcome. It wouldn't have been easier for me if I had known that they had a relationship ongoing. No matter how the relationship could have ended, it wouldn't have been easy for me or for anyone else.
When it comes to future relationships, the thought of dating scares me to death. I have never really dated before - you know, meet someone new, go on a date, etc. Everyone I have ever been out with, I met in school. So, having that as my past makes the thought of traditional dating terrifying. Still, I am feeling this urgency to find someone new. It's almost as if I need to find a replacement immediately and I feel a little defeated when I go to a party or an event and don't meet anyone new. So, for the new year, I need to learn that it will take time before I'm ready to date and meet new people. And, in that vein, I need to understand that if I don't impress those that I'm around, it's not because I am not worthy, it's because those people, ultimately, are not ones that I want to be around. If people don't like me for who I am, they are not worth my time.
While being a file-copying, highlighting, data-entry clerk isn't exactly how I envisioned my life after graduation, I know that this will not be my job forever, and in this terrible economy, I should appreciate the fact that I have a job at all. Yes, I will still continue to apply to new jobs and hopefully this year will bring a rise in the economy and with it, new job opportunities to help start my career. Professional goal for the year: find a new job that allows me to experience the industry for which I spent years studying. Also, to increase my salary in order to save a bit of money (or at least to be able to buy legitimate groceries) and to get some sort of health insurance.
Ultimately, all of these categories deal with an improvement of "self", but I think this category is most important. And, in the past, it wasn't the most important for me. So, my resolution for this category is to be more selfish. I know that sounds terrible but hear me out. Throughout my life, or at least the life I can remember up to, I have always been very concerned about what others wanted, or how my actions would affect those around me. While I'm sure that quality is a wonderful one to possess, it has always taken first place in my priorities and most of the time, I put myself last. Most of the time, it ends up that I get walked all over and people take advantage of me. Now, I am making a conscious decision to put myself first; to make sure that I am taking care of myself before taking care of others. This portion of my resolution encompasses all other parts I've listed above. So, this year, I will be more selfish and love myself before loving others.
So there they are - my resolutions for the new year. This year, unlike most others, I am very scared about the upcoming year. For the first time, I can't envision what my life will be like in the future. I mean, not even month to month. So, I'm taking this year on faith. Each day is a leap of faith and I have to trust that God will lead my life to the place I'm supposed to be.