Goodbye…and Hello

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[Image description: A Polaroid on a blue background. In the photo, Allison is holding gold, cut-out lips. They are standing in front of a glittery background next to a balloon]

2017 is drawing to a close and I can’t remember a recent time in life I’ve been this excited for an event. This year caused me to grow in ways I didn’t think were possible, under some of the worst possible conditions. Rather than a ten-second or even one-minute countdown to New Years, I’ve been counting the days since Thanksgiving, so I can wave goodbye (and good riddance) to this year.

My New Years Resolution for 2017 was simple: survive. And clearly I did, although it was no small task. To be fair, this year did have some highs. I actually did get an Elantra, I finished school, I got to see relatives I hadn’t in too long of a time, and more. But overwhelmingly, this year kicked my ass and was reluctant to hand it back. At one point, or maybe more than one, I thought to myself, “How much worse could this get?” And then the Universe would laugh and throw something else at me. So in the next twenty-one days of 2017, I’m gonna need everything to not bother fucking with me. A bitch is tired and I really just want the ten-day vacation I’m going to have starting next week. Until then, @ everything else, leave me alone.

However, rather ironically, my New Years Resolution for 2018 is to have a better outlook. And I’m a disbeliever in positivity, so I won’t say, “I want to be more positive.” But I want to feel hopeful, because time and time again in 2017, I felt hopeless. And whether or not that feeling was warranted given the circumstances, 2017 in one sentence was surviving with little hope for the future. Just trying to get by. Many times, I’ve contemplated a tattoo that said “for one more day,” after a Mitch Albom novel that I read in high school. That’s been my outlook for the last maybe…six years of undiagnosed depression and some noteworthy situations. “Let me just get through today, and it’ll be better tomorrow.” And clearly I’m still here and kicking it so that outlook has served me well I guess, but I want to move past it. I thought about finally getting the “for one more day” tattoo when I first moved to North Carolina, but instead I got the word “grace.” You see the difference?

In 2018, in having a better outlook, I want to be more accepting and forgiving (mostly of myself). I want to accept having anxiety and depression, and being single. In fact, I want to embrace those things as building blocks of who I am. I want to make positive changes for myself like paying off more debt, possibly getting a black kitten named February (!), and being more diligent about finding an apartment and job than I was the first time around. I want to be kinder to myself and extend myself the same empathy and gratitude I try to share with others. While 2017 was at times filled with senseless adversity, I want to also see the lessons and growth it provided. See! Lots of good changes in the works! Better outlook!

And finally, I’ll no longer be posting every single week like clockwork. I wanted to get into the habit of blogging regularly here, and I think I have. So I’ll probably still post once a week, but I’m not holding myself in such a death grip over it anymore, especially since the last few weeks of this year will likely be hectic.

What are you trying to change in 2018? Or better yet, what did you learn this year?

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