My New Year

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Hi everyone, birthday princess reporting and the breaking news?! I’m officially 25; like is this real life? Am I old? Do I need more night serums? How much does botox cost? Is that a gray hair? IS THIS MY LIFE NOW? I’m 25 and there are so many crazy wonderful things about that, like I finally don’t have to worry about zits, other than one hormonal week every month, but also I finally feel sexy and confident in my skin, and my car insurance costs less than it ever has, and my savings account is finally growing, but there are some not so great things too, like people keep using the phrase “quarter of a century” to describe my new milestone and I WANT TO HIT THEM. Anyway, I skip New Year’s resolutions, because my new year starts today, on January 28th, and I have a few ideas for how I want to spend my 25th year…mostly I just want to tell everyone I’m turning 21 again, and maybe say that for the next decade or so…but anyway! This year I want to…

  1. Take time to appreciate what’s really important – This year has been ROUGH, but it has also taught me so much about being grateful for what you have and enjoying every moment with those you love. It’s crazy to think how much the universe made me grow this year. Knowing that mine and my Dad’s time together is borrowed has been heartbreaking and scary and terrible, but I have to be grateful for the fact that we still have some time. Some people wake up one morning and they don’t have parents anymore, maybe a freak accident, or maybe old age, but I have gotten to tell my Dad countless times how much I love him, and the other morning he groggily told me that he’s proud of everything I represent. I think what he was trying to say, is that I have, every day, since October, encouraged him and my mother to enjoy every second we have together. We have movie nights, we do home improvement projects (well I do them, Jim and Ab watch). We’ve been out to dinner more times in the last six months, than in the last five years. We have had an opportunity to tell each other how much we mean to each other, and to just appreciate the simple act of sitting on the same couch with one another, and I am so grateful for that. Not to mention, through all this pain and grief I’ve had yet another opportunity to realize just how amazing Darren is. He has been there for me in every sense, and our relationship has grown stronger than ever before. Jim and Ab consider him family, and that warms my heart too.
  2. Depend on the kindness of strangers – I have good days and bad days, but there’s one thing that always keeps me going. It’s one thing to have a kind friend, but another to meet a kind stranger. This year, I have come to believe that there are inherently good people that are put on our paths, and they make us believe that maybe something in all of this might make sense one day. My Mom and I were out shoveling, when suddenly a complete stranger pulled over, jumped out, and asked us if we needed help. Our cheeks were red and our hands frozen. I shook my head, and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Jim raised me to be proud, to not ask for help, to be strong, but some people see past that. He shoveled our driveway and told us where he lived and offered help if we ever needed it, and moments like that make me so hopeful in this world and all the people in it, likewise, I’ve had people reach out to me after posting here on my blog, and maybe they’re not total strangers, but the kindness of someone to offer a word of comfort during my difficult time, it makes it seem less daunting, it makes me feel less alone.
  3. Take better care of yourself – This year I’ve become something I never anticipated being, a caregiver. I feed Jim, I help him move, I help him put his socks and shoes on, and through all of that I’ve realized that I need to make time to take care of myself too. Some days I become so obsessed with how many calories we’ve been able to get him to eat, that I forget to eat. To be the best care giver I can be, I need to be healthy and strong. I’ve been going to the gym with Darren once a week, and I’ve been trying to eat more often and healthier, which is always a work in progress for me. Taking care of myself also means not waiting 6 months to book a hair appointment, and taking an hour to get a manicure if I need some time to myself. I want to get better at admitting that I need a minute, or an hour, or a weekend to myself.
  4. Stop comparing yourself to others – I am so guilty of this one. I always compare myself to other people, whether my physical appearance, where I am in this life, or even my sadness to theirs. This year I want to put a stop to it! I once heard this quote that really resonated with me, and I’m paraphrasing here, but I think it went something like, “how can you be as kind and forgiving to yourself as you are to everyone else?” I think I need to be nicer to me, but also realize that people who look perfect, well they might have something going on in their life too.
  5. Embrace your five year old style icon – This year I think I’ve developed something close to a personal style, and that makes me really happy, but just about everyone I know makes fun of what I think are very cool threads. SO WHAT?! Pom poms, and rainbow stripe sweaters and yellow rain boots are cool… at least to me. I’m committing to being myself, to doing things that make me happy, and if that’s a ridiculous sweater or shoes, whatever, I’m going for it.
  6. Blog more – Okay. So…I went to school for English and I spent four years writing, and reading, and barely slept, and wrote papers about books that I hated, and left school kind of hating what I decided to go for, but this Blog, this tiny little blog that no one probably ever reads, it made me fall in love with writing again, and it has given me such a calming therapeutic outlet to deal with everything that the world has delivered me. I have a creative outlet and I absolutely love that! I want to write about my life experience, the worst date I’ve ever been on, my favorite restaurants, I want to make travel guides, and take cool photos, and I feel brave because of this little blog. I just hope that one person reads all the stuff I write about my Dad and they think, “wow, I’m not alone.” I was so hesitant to share about my real life, like I said my Dad raised me to be proud, and I didn’t want anyone’s pity, but I felt so alone at first, and writing about all of it makes me hope that one more person feels like they have a cyber friend who knows what they’re going through too, and mostly I know that someday in the future I’ll look back and be very thankful that I wrote down all the things he said and the way it made me feel.
  7. Lastly, I want this to be the year I go back to school. I’m ready to be brave, and to take some risks, and maybe to finally get that dream job I’ve always talked about.

I think my 25th year is going to be a big one; I hope it is a year filled with time with my family, Darren included, a year where I get a little healthier, maybe physically, but mentally too, and I hope that I decide to choose me when it comes to things like possible career changes or advancing my education and finally committing to being a graduate student. I hope to travel, at least a little, and to fill Jim’s remaining time with smiles, laughs, rainbow sweaters, smiles, and sprinkles. Thanks for reading, like I said this whole writing thing makes me feel a little better, and I hope it does the same for you too.

XOXO

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