This year, I’ve decided not to change myself at all.
Every single year before this one, for as long as I could remember, I would write down requests from normal to insane for my new year: Write a poem, ace your classes, lose a hundred pounds. Sometimes, resolutions can be excuses to escape yourself.
This year, I don’t want to escape myself. I took a long, long time to get comfortable with the idea of being me, and who I am, and I want to settle in that this year. All my anxiety, all my dramatics, all my obsessions and idiosyncrasies. I hope you can do the same!
In the age of social media, it’s easy to compare and think you’re behind (or ahead? Or better? Or worse?) than everybody else. I do it all the time. Instagram is the place where self-esteem goes to die.
I remember mindlessly scrolling through people’s stories and posts, making myself sad. I felt friendless, and ugly, and worthless. Everyone was having a better life than me, everyone was doing life better than me. As if there’s some sort of metric for where you should be in life. There’s this unspoken pressure that if you’re not a millionaire by 25, or partying all the time, or having a bunch of friends around you all the time, then you’ve failed at life. There is this pressure to be successful before you’re even mentally ready to have those sorts of things. It’s weird.
Influences are “influencing,” but also they’re just making people really sad. And they’re sad because there’s always someone doing better than them! Everyone’s sad, and no one’s being themselves, and it’s depressing.
This year, I’m letting that pressure go. I’m cool with being average, and writing better than the average person, and having a less than average body. Last year I kept on chasing this idea of perfection, and this year I just want to do what I love. I’m writing, I’m graduating, I’m enjoying the people I love that love me in return. I’ve noticed I’m at my best when I’m not reaching for my phone and I’m enjoying a moment with people around me. Life becomes less of a blur.
This may seem boring, but I don’t think everyone does this: we can stop comparing ourselves to other people. Settle into being ourselves. Maybe we don’t even know who we are without images and videos of others to gauge who that is. It’s a little twisted, no? Each of us lives a life that’s different from the lives of people around us.
Maybe the thought of being our own person is scary, and that’s why we all chase a life we don’t need. It scares me, or at least it used to until I realized my own life is actually pretty good. Who I am is pretty cool sometimes. Takes a lot of therapy to get there, but I believe in you, reader.
If you’re reading this and you’re comparing yourself and your happiness to mine…stop. My life sucks sometimes, anxiety attacks suck, and sometimes I absolutely hate myself. It’s about finding balance, and being comfortable with the balance.
So, you know. No resolutions. Or just one: be yourself.