We have these markers in life, one of the big ones is today...New Years Day. We want to start things and make other things end, on this day. We want to be bold, new, fresh.
How long does that usually last?
I'd say round and about until mid-February for me is when I usually can sustain my enthusiasm until. I didn't know this, but apparently there are these books out there about this Dip or Tipping Point where you have momentum until a point. Then you stop. If I were any kind of real author, I would read these books right now and tell you what they say. It's something about winners quiting sometimes and quitters winning.
But I'm not here to give a book report, I'm here to tell you it's OK that you might not get to your New Years Resolution in the time or manner in which you want. The reasons are complicated. So how do we actually get to our goals then?
Well if I really knew would I be sitting here writing a free blog as opposed to writing for the New York Times? I don't know shit, but I know that I don't know.
What I think, maybe, is the point, is something one of my good friends used to tell me all the time: take baby steps. (Are you allowed to use that many commas in one sentence?) This friend of mine doesn't speak to me anymore, so take this with a grain of salt: If you've never worked out in your life, go on the treadmill for five minutes. If you eat at McDonald's every day and you are now trying to lose weight for the New Year, try Wendy's, they have some healthier options. You don't have to go Vegan tomorrow.
We watch shows like the Biggest Loser and think that you can change your life entirely in a manner of months. Although what they do on that show is amazing, it's a controlled specific environment that is unrealistic in most of our lives. I still believe anything is possible, but realistically....
I will stop measuring food this year, I will eye ball what looks like a serving of what a normal human being should eat. I will stop counting calories, I will glance at something and I will trust my intuition. Sometimes I will eat shit, I won't cry about it though. I'll let myself indulge every now and then.
This is in a perfect world of course. In the real world, I'm starting school again full time. I'm gonna be stressed and I might use food, as I have in the past, as a sedative. How do I stop doing that? By letting myself do it every now and then...trying to not make a habit of it, trying to let myself be, trying to get to a state of mind where I don't need to use food as a drug.
Besides losing weight, which is on pretty much everyone's wish list for the New Year, what else do we want? I wanted to be a better person and volunteer at a women's shelter. I don't think it's just procrastination, something is keeping me from doing this. I've had my own troubles with men, it's going to be very difficult to listen to women who have been abused, stalked, attacked etc. I'm gonna have to be really strong.
I wanna be a stronger person this year. I mean I'm pretty strong, I can hold my own, but I want to be strong enough to face my demons. One of my demons is being molested as a child. (I can't believe I'm telling the whole world about this, but like Oprah, if one person is changed because they hear about my own experience, I will have done something worth while. I'm not like Oprah though, I don't do things for other people, I just talk and talk. I may have trouble volunteering but one thing I can do is communicate my story. Unfortunately this is one horrific aspect of my complicated story. If it's part of your story then know that you are not alone).
My demons are keeping me from losing weight, they are keeping me from finding the right man, they are keeping me from doing a lot of things I'm capable of. There's a little girl inside of me that doesn't want to grow up, that doesn't like grown ups. But I'm a big girl now, "And big girls don't cry." I forget who sang that. "I hope you know, this has nothin' to do with you, myself and I got some figurin' out to do."
I'm sure you've got your own demons to deal with. Enough about mine. That should be our goal, you know, to try and deal with the past. Accept it for what it is. That's the only way to approach the future.
This year, the future, could be good for us. This time maybe we'll get it right.
We're gonna damn well try, aren't we?
I haven't really cried in four years, since I started taking my mania and depression medication. I cried while writing this. And as funny as it may sound, I thank god I can still cry. I can feel again. I was worried that the medicine was sucking my soul out, but apparently writing about my past makes me feel alive again.
I want the future to not contain the type of horror or sadness I experienced at a very young age. I want to protect the kids I don't even have yet. I want to protect myself. I want to protect you, if I can. I want to share with you how sharing your story can free you. I remember I had a boyfriend who kept telling me my past experience of being abused was not my fault.
I know that. But I needed to hear it. Hear it from someone I loved.
So if the past years didn't really work out because of something that wasn't your fault, know that you have power in the future, in this new year.
This is your new life...how does it go, this is the first day of the rest of your life? How 'bout giving yourself a break and making it a good day.
P.S. And if you are a sensitive person, don't cry for me, cry with me. I know you've got your own past to deal with. Let's take a minute and sobbingly celebrate, shall we?