Well! Hi! And happy new year!
Our past few months have been a crazy rush of travel, fun activities, and family time. We did Atlanta for Imagine Music Festival, then I did Alaska, then we did Atlanta for Hubs’ exams, then we did Dublin, then we did Fort Myers for Thanksgiving. All before our new year’s party plans! It has been nuts, but wonderful.
And the past two weeks, for us, have been about reflection and figuring out what should change for the upcoming year. Well, I should say, for ME, it has been a lot of reflection and for Jonathon, it has been a lot of random chats about life with his wife, who suddenly had a flurry of emotions about changing things for the new year and beyond.
And I want to tell you guys all about it.
As most of you know, I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I think they are stupid and generally set people up for failure. I mostly hate the idea that you need to wait for some arbitrary date to change things that you don’t like. But whatever, I digress.
I heard about a “word of the year” from one of my Bullet Journal groups. The idea is that instead of having a particular resolution or resolutions, you have a word (or words) that inform your year.
I immediately loved the idea. Instead of setting goals now which I may hate or want to change in a month or two (but then not be able to change because I have some weird sense of loyalty to things that weren’t working for me), I could choose a word or a few words that would help me stay on track for things I wanted all year.
I also felt drawn to the idea for another reason: I’ve been lost lately. In almost every arena of my life except my marriage and family. Time with my husband, is, as always, amazing. Which of course is perfect and lucky considering I spent almost all of my time with him. Time with our families has been great, as well. All of that makes me feel happy and centered and grounded, whether it’s traveling or just sitting at home.
Other than that, though, I feel like I’ve been running around all nuts, not knowing what’s important and what’s not. I’ve been taking on commitments I don’t want, I’ve been being there for people who wouldn’t do the same for me, I’ve been caught up in being a “helper” whenever people ask, I’ve been trying to maintain loyalty to stuff that I actually truly hate (and I’ve been telling myself I love it to get through it). Most importantly, because I’ve had so much going on in my head and life at the same time, I haven’t been able to prioritize what’s important.
So, I finally decided enough.
Enough of holding on to things that aren’t working for me just because I feel like I should. Things have to, finally, change. And Jesus H, I am glad as fuck because I was ready for a change.
One weird thing about me is that I have very strong intuition. And I always feel change coming before it does. And yet, I’m always resistant. I don’t know why – because the times in my life where I have intentionally decided to burn everything to the ground in order to rebuild in a new way (leaving a job that I – yes, loved – to find a life that better fits me, for example, or temporarily putting a hold on travel to marry the man of my dreams), things have only gotten better and better.
But yet, when I feel change coming, even when things are just going at a mediocre pace and when I feel like I’m just surviving, not thriving, I resist it.
Finally, after four days of holing up in my apartment with my husband, doing nothing but talking, eating, having sex and watching movies (more on that in a second), I got to the place where I let go of the resistance and embraced the things I needed to change.
Here are a few examples:
I’ve held on to friendships that should have fallen apart years ago – and without social media, would have fallen apart years ago. Twenty years ago, if you had known someone since you were 2, and you were close, the only way you would still know them at 30 is if you maintained that close friendship. Now, though, you can still know them because of the false familiarity of social media. They are your Facebook friend or your Insta follower even though they haven’t made an effort to contact you and ask how you are once in five years. It’s bullshit. And yet, people think unfriending someone or unfollowing someone is SUCH an aggressive move. What? What if it’s just clearing the clutter from my life of people who literally can’t be bothered to answer a text asking how they are – or send ME a texting asking how I am? Enough. No more scrolling and seeing people that viscerally piss me off because they have been shitty friends for YEARS. Instead, bai.
Speaking of scrolling. Social media in general. Like…okay, I know I am a person who has loved social media and I have felt like it’s a great tool to connect with people. Yes. I still feel this way. And yet, I haven’t been using it to connect with people in over a year. I’ve been using it to share happy photos of my husband and I, then getting criticized for those. I’ve also been using it as a time-waster when I have nothing to do. I have also been using it to help grow a blog and a YouTube channel that I haven’t cared about trying to grow in over a year. So…overall, the evidence seems to point to the fact that social media isn’t working for me.
Speaking of blog and YouTube. I have loved this blog and my YouTube channel. But over the past year, I’ve lost sight of why I love them. I’ve started writing things that I think will be successful, instead of just writing whatever the fuck I want on my blog about my life. It’s the LITMO life, FFS. I, somewhere along the way, stopped living in the moment. So, enough of that, too.
I’ve not let myself do what I want without beating myself up. I’ve been heeding people’s bullshit advice about things or reading stupid articles on the internet and letting them get in my head. One example: time with my husband. I have wanted, more than anything in the world, to stop worrying about social commitments and just be attached at the hip with my husband and do everything with him. And I know he feels the same about me. And I know we DO do a lot together. But I haven’t let myself just go into hiding with him because, well, I’ve felt some weird sense of loyalty to people that don’t seem to care one way or another about me. And I’ve also been telling myself “balance” is important in marriage. Sure, balance is important, but OUR balance doesn’t have to look like someone else’s balance. So we are one of those couples who only likes to hang out with each other and be attached at the hip. So fucking what? It makes us happy.
I’ve been there, consistently, for people at the expense of myself. I’ve said yes to helping anyone that asks, I’ve been there emotionally for people that call me all the time, and I’ve gotten freaked out about not answering a call or text if I think someone needs me. It all came from a real and noble place, but I’ve realized, it’s just not working for me anymore. I don’t want a life where everyone I know thinks I’ll be there for them at the drop of a hat, anymore. I like being a good friend, but I haven’t been able to find a balance with it. It has stressed me out and exhausted me and not left energy for me. I need to remember my introversion. I want a life where I do exactly what I want, when I want, including if that means holing up with my husband for WEEKS at a time and never speaking to another human. I want, finally, to focus on ME.
So, I’m starting a new year with a new outlook. The year is going to be one of saying NO. Saying no to people and activities and situations that don’t serve me. It’s also going to be a year of letting things go, intentionally, to make way for new things. It’s going to be a year of a lot less – hopefully almost NO – social media (so if you’re reading this and I haven’t responded to you on a social platform, shoot me a text – and if you don’t have my cell because we don’t know each other that well, well then, I’ll get back to you whenever I do!). It’s going to be a year of writing what I want, when I want, and not writing for stupid publications that peddle trash or writing to grow the blog.
It’s going to be a year of doing what I want and focusing on MYSELF, first and foremost and before anything else.
More than anything, it’s going to be a year of having faith in myself above all else. Faith that saying no to things won’t be bad, and will instead clear room for other things that I love. Faith that I can do everything I want, including continue to build my life exactly as I want. And faith that I don’t need to please anyone but myself, because it’s my. fucking. life.
So what did my word of the year end up being? Well, true to form, I didn’t want to pick just ONE word and follow the rules of the project. So I picked a few. Unsurprisingly, they match up in every area with the things I want to improve: intention. intuition. determination. And faith.
So, with all that reflectiveness out of the way, let me tell you about our new year. It actually started early, on Dec 28 here in Orlando. We went to see Slander, an EDM twosome, play at Gilt nightclub with a bunch of people we know from the rave world. It was AWESOME. Such a good show. I wish I had gotten to spend a little more time with my husband that night and a little less time socializing (normally, at EDM shows, it’s just me and him and I spend all night attached to him like a parasite = a cute little rave-bunny parasite – but this night, because, I, of course, felt that I needed to be nice to people and spend time talking I hung out a little more with other people that we know – I’m glad I did, but I realized later I really just wanted to cuddle up inside my husband and dance with him all night – see what happens when I don’t listen to myself?), but it was still awesome.
After Slander, though, we couldn’t sleep. We were up until 7 AM hanging out with friends and then we just couldn’t get to sleep. So we hung out and talked and lazed around and ate all day Friday. Then we fell asleep that night…and did it all again Saturday…and Sunday! Lol. It was honestly so fucking cool just to spend time with my husband doing absolutely nothing and exploring each other’s brains. We do it pretty regularly but a solid three days of that was amazing.
Sunday we packed up and headed to Tampa for another EDM show, our NYE plans, Slushii. That night WAS just me and him so all the time I missed with him from Slander I made up in spades. It was amazing and fun. Then we came back and just hung out all day Monday again, doing nothing but eating, talking, cuddling and sexing. If you’re jealous of my weekend, you should be because it was awesome.
And this morning, I finally felt compelled to write again. Not for any purpose or listicle or social. Just because I wanted to.
I’m looking forward to 2018. 2017, though it was a shit year in the world of American and world politics and though it was a year that proved how terrible people are, was the year that I started to discover even more of what life can offer – including, more importantly than anything, my husband and the amazing partnership and life I have with him.
So here’s to 2018!