6 Ideas for 2016

I’m not usually a resolution-type, but this year there are some things I would like to accomplish before the year is through. There’s nothing too crazy, but there are a few things that I’ve wanted to accomplish for a while now. Getting these six idea/goals in motion for the year would help me get started on my infinite “to-do” list of life.

  1. Learn Italian fluently: being that my mother was born and raised there and that my college courses gave me a proficiency, I would like to become completely fluent in my mothers native tongue so I can connect further with my cousins and family that lives abroad.
  2. Find my nutritional balance: One of my passions in life is nutrition and understanding how food affects the body. This year I want to find the diet I will follow for the rest of my life that allows me to feel and look my best.
  3. Treat my curls with respect: I’ve been damaging these locks for far too long with an absurd amount of heat (400 degrees 2-3 times a week to be exact). My hair has thinned out and become frail, but with one year of limiting the damage, I can grow an entire new head of luscious cues.
  4. Put myself out there on the Internet: *insert the very reason I started this blog lol hi*
  5. Do what makes me happy (don’t follow the crowd): Don’t feel like going out? Stay in. Feel like getting shitfaced? Crack open the vino. Want to eat the entire fridge? Go for it. Decide to go vegan because of the amazing benfits? Fuck what everyone is going to think/say.
  6. YOGA & MEDITATION: So many benefits for the mind and body. I need to stop driving myself nuts with the constant thoughts and anxieties that fly through my head everyday. These natural and simple methods can help ease stress, anxiety, depression and other issues in day-to-day life. I want to start incorporating this into my daily routine throughout the year.
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Reflection

As I mentioned in my last post, 2016 is a year of risk and change, but I have not spent enough time reflecting on how the past year of my life lead me to decide to take the next year to find who I am.

2015 started with amazing potential and could have been one of the greatest years of my life. And it was when I look at it through a certain light. I learned five important lessons this year that have helped shape me into the person ready for 2016. There were many ups and harsh falls that all lead me to reflect on the lessons that I was taught and some that were learned the hard way.

  1. I cannot control everything. A concept that became very apparent as I was in charge of my college sorority as chapter president. I wanted to do everything, help with all of our events, and be the perfect role model. I wanted things to turn out exactly the way I imagined them, and that didn’t always happen. There would be time when I was hysterically crying in my room because of a girl joining a different sorority. I look back now and laugh. It was ridiculous for me to care so much about something that has zero importance to me now. The idea of being in charge and being a leader overcame me at some points and began to control the rest of my life. I learned that I had to let go of the little things that didn’t go my way after my first semester as president. Once I learned that, my second semester felt like a breeze when things went a little awry.
  2. I have anxiety and dealing with it sooner rather than later makes life a lot easier. 2015 brought an entirely new issue to this crazy little mind of mine. I knew I always felt on edge and when I get (extremely) overwhelmed I tend to burst into hysterical tears. But this year the flowing stream would come at the most inappropriate and strange times in a way that had never happened before. I went to the Gold Bar in NYC with friends and had an extreme panic attack. I immediately rushed to the bathroom where I proceeded to cry (for no reason at all) until I was blue in the face. I later Ubered home with one of my best friends and tried to explain it in a way that didn’t make me sound absolutely insane. I’ve been learning how to deal with my anxiety and have been working yoga and meditation in my daily routine to stop this from occurring so frequently.
  3. It’s okay to say “no”. Huge lesson. It’s easy to want to do everything (back to #1), but when you are living off of a minute-by-minute schedule, it gets hard to take time to appreciate life. Taking a step back and spending time with myself made me realize what was really important to me and what opportunities I wanted to take advantage of.
  4. I’ve healed. It’s safe to say that I have had much worse years than this past one. I’ve been hurt a lot by a few different people, but this was the year that I didn’t think about all of that negativity. I’m happy to say that I have let go a lot of pent up anger and resentment against certain people and started to welcome new people in. It’s been difficult, but I think I’m there now. It’s been a long time coming.
  5. “Don’t do anything unless you’re all in it” – Justin Bieber. Ugh, still love JB after 6 years (unlike all the peeps just hopping on the bandwagon now). But for real, I committed to things that I wasn’t really passionate about and I fucked up some great opportunities. After a little bit of reflection I realized that I think I messed them up intentionally because they were not real priorities to me, rather just things to check off of my to-do list. I don’t want to commit to anything that I’m not actually passionate about this year. Life is about doing what you WANT not about doing things you “HAVE” to do.

These lessons came into my life a few different ways. Taking time to reflect on this is therapeutic and now makes me realize that this year was not a waste. I learned a lot through mistakes, successes and failures.

2016

I feel completely and totally lost right now, but I’ve come to the realization that it’s okay. 21 years old, attaining a degree in a major I despise without a clue of where this path is leading me next, I’ve decided that I’m lost. During my second-to-last semester I sat in my room multiple times crying over the fact that, for once in my life, I had no idea what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go and who was going to be there with me.

I’ve dodged family gatherings just to avoid the questions that will ensue about my future. But I’ve found some grace from my father’s side of the family and have gotten some great advice during this time of ambivalence. My uncle gave me advice that going to grad school isn’t for everyone and if I do choose to go, I should know what I want to do. He also ensured me that I’m young enough to not know what I want to do. It’s okay that I have no idea what I want to get out of life.

My cousin, who is 10 years my superior, has always been an important person in my life. His mother is one out of my 7 aunts, but she has made an incredible impact on my life through her constant love and support. Our families mesh perfectly together and we have been close since before I was conceived. He told me how amazing college would be and to live it to the fullest. I took his advice and ran it to the ground. I’ve gotten everything out of college that is humanly possible. Friends, foes, success, failure, fun, memories, regrets and lessons. I’ve decided to take the other bit of advice he gave me on Christmas day. “Go see everything you can. Travel. Because once you start this whole ‘real world’ experience, it’s hard to get out of it. Take some time to relax and go see the world.”

He did not steer me wrong the first time and I trust him enough to take this advice and run with it again. 2016 will be a year of change and direction and I’m going to take some time to relax, reflect and center myself.