new year, same me; but happier
“New Year’s day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written.”
~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
Hi friends! Well, the time of year has come again where one chapter ends, while we get a chance to write another one. Most years, I usually come up with some type of resolution for the coming year. Something simple like, lose ten pounds or learn a new skill, but this year’s goal is different to me.
I used to hear people say the phrase, “new year, new me”. I understand why people can feel this way at times. The new year for people can be like a clean slate. A chance to change an aspect of their life that they aren’t happy with, like a lifestyle change or their career or maybe something in their relationship. Most years, my resolution involved something simple, like losing weight. This year, however, I completely understood why people wanted to be a new version of themselves, because I did.
I have talked in previous posts about how these last few months I have been down more than usual. My anxiety has been more heightened and my feeling of self-worth has been lower. Sometimes when I get down in these “funks”, as I like to call them, it’s hard to see things around me. What I mean by that is, I get so consumed by the darkness of my sadness or anxiety, that I forget to see the light around me. Because I have been feeling this way, I wanted a clean slate and I wanted to be a whole new me. Every aspect of myself, I wanted to run away from and abandon. Because of wanting to change everything about myself, I got overwhelmed. Where do I start? Do I move? Do I change careers? Do I lose contact with my friends? Do I get a whole new wardrobe? Do I try to get into a new relationship? Do I get a new hairstyle? What do I change to make myself feel better? All of the uncertainty of what I needed and the unknown of how it would turn out if I did make the changes made me more anxious and because of it, I started feeling trapped. Trapped in this life that I felt I needed to abandon. For a while, I tried to forget about my need for change and just lived passively in the one I have now. Went to my job, went home, watched TV, went to bed, and repeated that daily. Not actively trying to change anything. I felt like I wasn’t living, I was just there.
I don’t remember when it happened or how it did, but one day I realized that I didn’t want to abandon my whole life and become a new me. I wanted to learn how to find joy in the aspects of my life I have now, because it was mine and no one else’s. Simply put, I didn’t want to be a new me with the new year. I just wanted to be the same me, but happier.
Every year we hear it
The words, some of us agree
“new year, new me”
The saying familiar to my mouth
Every year wanting to be someone else
Wanting to change many aspects of me
Comparing to everyone, not happy with myself
This year I realized
Some great qualities I own
Reasons to love myself
And be proud of who I have become
So, this year is different
No more “new year, new me”
No more wanting to change everything
Only to be myself, and be a better me
“new year, same me” .... just happier
I started to look back on my life and realized that there are so many things right now that I am thankful for, such as my family and friends, having a place to live, and having a job. If there was anything in my life that wasn’t bringing me as much joy, I knew I had the opportunity to change it and I feel like we can take that for granted at times. Coming to the realization that I had these blessings in my life made me realize how ungrateful I can be at times and for that I was upset with myself. God has us on the path we’re on for a reason. We are meant to be here. Which, in my mind, means I need to take advantage of this stage in my life and be thankful for where I am and how I got here. As I looked back on this past year, I realized how much I have grown in different aspects, such as my ability to communicate with people and process things within myself and around me. That was something that last year’s version of me would never have dreamt I would be better at. I think part of my problem is that I always expect so much of myself each year, which leads to internal disappointment. I expect to be attaining these big dreams and forget about the little building blocks I am developing each year to get there. While I continue to grow to get to where I am meant to be, I need to enjoy the development along the way. Like Miley Cyrus said years ago, “Life’s a climb. But the view is great.”
With it being a “new year”, it gives me the opportunity to write a new chapter in my book. Having a blank page to write gives me an opportunity to make it a different chapter than last year’s. I hold the pen and God gives me the content for my story. Maybe I will have a career that I feel more fulfilled at. Maybe I will have a new relationship with someone who I truly love. And maybe I will be closer to God and feel more secure in my relationship with Him, because that’s also something I have struggled with lately. Knowing I have these opportunities gives me hope that this time next year I can look back and be happy with what I wrote.
One of the reasons the New Year can be so important to people is because it gives us hope. When I get in those dark places, the reason they can be hard to get out of is because you feel like nothing will get better. Like you lost all hope in your ability to change anything. If one loses that, then it is very easy to feel trapped or sad. Hope is what keeps us going. Hope is what makes us understand things will get better, even when we feel scared or sad in the moment. Hope is what God gives us with His love and His word. Hope is something we should never allow ourselves to lose. Hope is a key to helping us understand how to be happy. If we can truly understand what it means to be happy, I think every aspect of our life would be viewed differently by us, even if nothing actually changes.
The path to finding happiness can be tricky, because sometimes it is easier to be more negative with everything going on in the world. Social media and the news can be hard to watch sometimes right now. For me, my goals to find happiness are by doing simple tasks every day, otherwise I get overwhelmed. A few things I want to start doing:
I want to start a gratitude journal, where I write a few things a day of something I am thankful for, whether it is something existing in my life or something new that happened, even if it’s as simple as, “I had a really tasty sandwich for lunch today” or something more complex, like “today I was anxious, but I powered through it”.
Doing at least one thing every night that brings me joy, whether that be watch my favorite movie, listen to music, or make my favorite meal.
Continuing to work on my anxiety by challenging myself daily with it, but also not beating myself up if some days are harder than others.
Being closer to God by praying more thoroughly, doing more meditations, and reading more of the Bible to understand His word better.
What is a resolution you have for this upcoming year? How are you going to work at it each day, so you can look back next year and be proud of how far you’ve come? Each of us has our own goals, our own dreams, and our own understanding of how we need to get there. Make this year a good one and be proud of how far you have come in these last few years. Be proud of every little battle you have one. Be proud of ways you have grown. Be proud of just being you. It may be a new year, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be a new you, just a happier one. Thank you for continuing on this journey with me. Stay tuned friends.