2017 is Just a Sunday

“Can’t wait until 2017!”

“2017 is my year!”

“So done with 2016!”

I hate to break it to you, but January 1, 2017 is this Sunday, and I 100% promise you it’s going to be just like every other Sunday you’ve had for the past year, minus the fact that you may have off on Monday.

Sure, you may have “new goals” for yourself, which I clearly don’t believe in (as stated here), but you’ll still be the same person. Truth be told, there are a lot of things about 2017 that I’m not looking forward to:

  1. Trump will be sworn in as our President
  2. Sweet little Joe Biden will leave us
  3. I have 3 major conferences to deal with at work
  4. My company’s largest conference is in June, which means my work load is about to quadruple
  5. I’ll be testing out a new medication (which could go either way, good or bad)

Sure, good things may come with 2017:

  1. I could (hopefully) get a promotion at work
  2. My lease is up in July and I want to move to the city (or a city)
  3. I’m hoping to plan a few trips throughout the year (my good friend is getting married in Austin, so that’s already a trip set)
  4. I want to start volunteering
  5. I’ll be testing out a new medication (which could go either way, good or bad)

But these are all “maybes” because I don’t know what’s going to happen after Sunday, except the next day will still be Monday, then Tuesday, and so on. Also, some of these things aren’t dependent on the fact that it’s a new year. I could start looking at volunteer opportunities right now (if I wasn’t feeling so lazy).

Maybe I’m just being my usual cynical self, but I just don’t get it. Come Sunday morning, I’ll be the same person, and so will you.

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When did We Lose Ourselves?

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I was sitting outside last night, smoking a cigarette, and as I watched the smoke float up into the air, I thought, why do I do this to myself? Because it feels good? Sure, but how long does that actually last? For me, maybe a few minutes or a few hours, depending on my level of stress. For others, it could be different. But it wasn’t the cigarette I was concerned about, it was the general idea of why we do terrible things to ourselves?

Drinking until blacked out; inflicting physical pain; inflicting emotion pain, starving; throwing up; binge eating; self-deprecation; doing drugs; the list goes on. We do these things to feel better or maybe to escape, but is that the actual outcome? Does it last? Hours, days, months, even years later, do we actually feel better or free from our problems? If it’s consistent, then maybe the answer is yes. I can attest to many of these actions helping me to cope with various issues, but when it comes down to it, at the end of the day my problems are still there and I’m left with mental and sometimes physical scars.

Some people aren’t able to ever stop and see the other side. I’ve straddled that line many times, and may be doing so right now. It’s hard to see and even harder to sit down with yourself and ask “why?” The hardest part, in my opinion, is learning that reason, or that there is no real “reason,” and trying to figure out how in the hell to stop and find a better way to cope. That’s the place I’m in and I’ve been in multiple times. You’re in limbo, not sure where the light is at the end of the tunnel, or if it even exists. I like to believe it does, but I’ve yet to see it.

I know it’s much more complicated than the things I’ve written here, because I’ve lived it. I’m still living it. But I still beg the question:

Why do we find it so easy to destroy ourselves?

New Year, SAME Me

Whip out your steno pads, fresh 2017 calendars, journals, and any other surface with which you can scribble down your New Year’s Resolutions! Diet? YES! Organization? YES! Exercise? YES! Be less of a bitch? Meh, maybe not. What incredible and outlandish goal will you create for yourself come January 1? How do you even begin to choose? If you’re like me, you just don’t. Plain and simple.

People make extravagant, ridiculous goals and resolutions for themselves, only to fail and ultimately feel like shit. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve said that I was going to diet starting January 1, only to find myself crying over a pint of Ben & Jerry’s on January 7; I’ve signed up for gym memberships and cancelled them six months later; I’ve created lists of 30 books to read by the end of the year and found myself scrambling to finish book number four come December. Why was I setting myself up to lose? How was this added pressure in my life making it any better? And WHY did I have to put a timeframe on it? I was getting nowhere, up until a few years ago.

I could say it was a “chilly afternoon in mid-December” when I came to this realization, but in reality it was probably just some random day when I was bored AF, just trying to find things to think of that would provoke a panic attack. Classic me.

During that time, I decided that I would make goals for myself whenever I felt it necessary with no dead-set timeline (you will always need some sort of timeline or nothing will get done).

Consider a few weeks ago: A friend of mine let me borrow a book of hers that I had to read. Well, it’s been sitting on my dresser ever since, with piles of shitty jewelry covering the title. I saw it there as I was cleaning my room (a simple weekend goal I set for myself) and remembered I had an unfinished book on my kindle, along with three others that I NEEDED to buy during the Amazon Kindle sale (don’t ask). I told myself, “yo, read the damn book.” I paused my desire to read this new book, to go back to an old desire to finish the other book. So I picked up my Kindle and placed it on my coffee table. Granted, it’s been there a few days, it’s there and it crosses my mind every time I walk by. Actually, I’m looking at it right now and thinking I should probably get to it once I’m done writing.

Most importantly, I’m not putting any unnecessary pressure on myself. I’ve already had a glass of wine, so I’m kind of tired, but I’m also not too tired to pick it up and read a few pages (clicks? I don’t know the proper wording for the use of a Kindle). Sure, I may make another excuse not to read the book tonight, but I’ll forgive myself. I didn’t say my plan was fool-proof. But sometimes life happens. Why didn’t I read the original book in the first place? Because life happened. I purchased the book right before I had three crazy work projects due and two vacations coming up. Naturally I forgot about it. But at this moment in my life, work has died down a tiny bit and (unfortunately) I don’t have any upcoming trips.

The whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing might work for some people. More power to you! But if you’re like me and struggle to complete the simple task of reading a damn book, consider making smaller goals as you move throughout life. Things change and you should be able to change with them.

As I always say, to each his or her own. But sometimes, my way is better.

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life…?

Just read an article in Cosmo about what you should “really be” in life. Afterwards I had a seriously irritated look and a furrowed brow that is sure to help my faint forehead lines more pronounced. My 20s are my defining decade?? The fuck? Please, make my anxiety worse. I’m almost half way through and I have like, half a job and a tendency to never wear bras. How do people just know what they want to do? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve pictured myself in every position imaginable only to realize that it just wasn’t for me. I don’t know what I like. I have some experience, but I don’t know if it’s the right kind. I’m 24. I can’t even rent a car in most cities. How the hell am I supposed to know what I want to do for the rest of my life? Why aren’t there people out there who can just tell you what to do like in The Giver (skip the movie and read the book, unless you read it when you were 13 like everyone else). Sure most of the women were used as baby-makers and utopian/dystopian societies overall blow, but at least I wouldn’t have to think about my future. Ok I’m exaggerating, whatever, but I just need guidance. Bleh.