I find myself very anxious this time of the year. For starters, we’re in the midst of the holiday season, and my to-do lists are never ending. But the most anxiety-inducing part of the season isn’t the holidays; instead, I find myself filled with uncertainty. Am I ending this year the way I was hoping to? Have I changed for the better in the past year, or have I just allowed myself to disappear into the shadows of 12 months? Allow this post to be a reflection of my thoughts and actions over the course of the past 365 days.
2017 In Reflection
I’d like to start by acknowledging the elephant in the room: I began 2017 with a revamp of my personal blog. Gone were the days of a site branded as “The Macaron Queen.” Instead, I vowed to focus on mental health, skin care, and self-expression through beauty. In that sense, I’d like to say that I’m very proud of all I’ve accomplished with this blog this year. I’ve turned my dreams into an outlet of my creativity. What I wasn’t expecting was my ability to create content like I had never hoped — at work. Writing everyday for a job became a blessing this past year, and while it’s taken away from my time and creativity to create content for Speckled, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I would love to be able to promise a better dedication to the blog this coming year, but I’d much rather turn to this website if and when I have the time to create on my own time and with my own inspiration. That’s when I make my best content.
2017 was also the first full calendar year in New York City. 10 years ago, I would’ve never believed you had you told me I would be living in NYC as a 23-year-old writer. But here I am. I’ve come a great distance — both physically and emotionally — to become the New Yorker that I am now. This journey has been inexplicable, mostly because I’ve never experienced something as exhausting and simultaneously invigorating. One of my favorite shows, Broad City, explained it best: New York City is one big delayed orgasm. I always feel like I’m getting somewhere, as a career-focused young woman. But the satisfaction of getting there is something I have yet to experience. It’s frustrating and exhilarating all at once. Because of this, I’ve come to the conclusion that this city is like nothing else I will ever experience. But it’s also somewhere I won’t be living for the rest of my life. And that’s something I’m totally okay with.
Finally, I think this year was one when I began to understand the relationships in my life. When I was younger, my mom always told me: “You can’t be friends with everyone.” I was persistent in proving my mom wrong, attempting to collect friends over the years, almost like you would collect coins or baseball cards. But the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized how painfully right my mom was. I can’t be friends with everyone, no matter how hard I try. But even though I can’t be friends with everyone I meet, I can channel that energy into being a better friend to the ones who matter the most. I didn’t come to this realization until more recently, but I’d like to make an effort to be a better friend to the friends I love most — no matter where they are.
Another relationship I came to better understand this year is my actual relationship, with Jorge. He fills so many roles in my life: my best friend, my partner, and my true love. Moving into our own apartment together this year has done wonders for our relationship. We no longer feel like we’re inconveniencing others or living under someone else’s roof. This is our apartment, our rules, our decor style, and, for anyone else who’s made that move with their significant other, you understand how liberating that feeling is. But even more, because we no longer live in the city, our apartment is an escape for the both of us, something we’ve craved individually since moving here. But even more, with each passing day, I’m reminded how important my relationship is to my overall happiness, not because I’m dependent on him, but because we are co-dependent, supporting each other in this crazy city as much as we can. That’s the one thing I’m most thankful for this past year.
Despite feeling overwhelmed with anxious end-of-the-year thoughts, I’m also someone who likes to get excited for what’s to come. 2018 is a blank page in a whole new chapter of my life — and being the Type A, detailed, pain-in-the-ass that I am, the thought of the new year fills me with joy. A new year means so much: new opportunities to become a better person, a new chance to hit the reset button on mistakes we may have made over the past year. And, most importantly, the new year offers a quick moment in time when we can make promises to ourselves. Sure, some of them might be empty promises, but if anything, we can acknowledge the components of our personalities we aren’t so keen on and tell ourselves how we would change them in an ideal world. Below, a few areas of my life I would like to focus on in 2018:
This seems to top the list of resolutions every year. But this year, more than others before, I find it necessary to really focus on my organization and scheduling. This year, I’m starting Spanish lessons on Wednesday nights. I will be continuing my weekly volunteer tutoring position on Thursdays. And I will be taking back up my yoga classes on Tuesdays. All this juggled between work and social obligations — there’s a lot of scheduling, and I need to focus on organization in order to navigate everything effectively. Thus, I promise that I will actively use my weekly planner to its best.
This is an area of my life I’ve never prioritized in the past. It didn’t hit me until I was out to holiday drinks with my team from work. We were all joking about how we prioritize specific things in our lives, and it wasn’t until then when I realized that all of the things which I prioritize — work, my relationship, my friendships — are not myself. Because of this, I’ve ignored my health. It’s time to focus on working out, eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and my skin care.
Again, something I’ve never particularly cared about, but it’s ridiculous how often I default to a sweater and jeans when I’m stressed. My personal style is something I’ve never really cared about, but it’s such a big outlet for my creativity. Whenever I feel dressed up, I feel like I can do anything. So, let’s make 2018 a year when I’m not wearing jeans and a t-shirt every day because I feel like I have to. That’s a promise I intend to keep.