Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot

As a general rule, I tend not to subscribe to the notion of undergoing grandiose transformations every time a new year rolls around. There isn't a specific reason for this - I'm simply resistant to deliberate, drastic change. I'm all about organic, authentic growth rooted in experience and self-analysis and don't need a January 1 to achieve that. 

However, over the last few weeks, I've experienced a plethora of rude awakenings about my childhood and my upbringing and how it has so profoundly affected nearly every aspect of my life. I drifted into 2016 with a very uncomfortable awareness of the fact that I'm not nearly as well-adjusted as I thought I was. 

For the first time, I am truly dedicated to taking deliberate steps to heal and grow into the woman I'm meant to be. I took some time, thought about it, and these are the goals I've set for myself for 2016:

1. Get outside once a week - This is a bit of a stretch and I chose this knowing that it wouldn't always be possible to do. However, that doesn't mean I can't aim for that. It's a way to force myself out the door whenever I can, because to be completely honest with you all, when I finish a 55+ hour work week consisting of 13 hour doubles or night shifts, there's no place I'd rather be but in my bed.

2. Pay off my student loans - I've had this goal since late spring of 2015 and the closer I get to being debt free, the more attainable it seems. I hope to make my final payment by June 15 of this year, so that I can spend the summer and fall saving up for whatever I decide to do next.

3. Start and maintain a blog - As I said in my first post, I've wanted to start a blog for as long as I can remember. Now, I finally feel like I'm in the right frame of mind to be able to do it. Now, the real kicker here is maintaining said blog. This is going to be a challenge for me; I'm great with ideas, but not so much with the follow-through. 

4. Be more creative and write more - This sort of ties into the blog resolution, as it gives me an incentive to follow through with it. When I was younger, I used to write almost every single day. Of course, that was because I had about 12 different journals to fill with stories that demonstrated my unfathomable teen angst.

5. Minimize my collection of "stuff" - I've been a minimalist at heart since I was a senior in high school. One day, I stumbled upon the Zen Habits blog and soon enough, I had my butt out my bedroom door tossing things out behind me. I've noticed that the less stuff I have, the more organized my space (and life) is, and the happier I feel. I've always tried to subscribe to this lifestyle in terms of surface clutter and useless gadgets and trinkets. However, for the first time, I want to give it a try with my wardrobe and try my hand at a capsule wardrobe.

6. Improve at photographing people - Since the first time I picked up a camera, I was drawn to subjects in nature: nature itself, animals, etc. I seldom photographed people unless specifically asked as a favor by my mother. I'm very shy around people, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't learn how to capture portraits. I want to be a more well-rounded photographer.

7. Figure out my next step - This is a biggie. I'm currently living in my parents' house in the town I grew up in. Yeah, I got out for a few years when I went to college in Westchester (30 miles north of midtown Manhattan), but I cannot allow myself to stay in this place for too much longer. There's nothing for me here and the possibilities are endless. (And hey, Texas might be nice...)

This might be a lot for me to take on in a single year, but that's okay. There's nothing wrong with aiming high. 2015 was simultaneously one of the best and worst years of my life. I lost so much in so little time and had to experience things that I would never have anticipated. But through it all, I gained so much more: clarity, a sense of self, and for the first time, a true desire to heal myself.

And that is all.