vague new year's resolution: to be more true to myself.
so, here i go:
this year has hardly begun but it's already off to a strange start.
because this time around, rather than obsessing over resolutions and ways of improving myself the very second the clock struck midnight, i decided to stop pretending like i wouldn't eventually buckle under the overwhelming pressure of those expectations. all those years, i was just setting myself up for failure. and besides, the number--the symbolism of a new year, a new start--doesn't mean so much to me all of a sudden.
why wait for a new year or a new day to drastically change things? why not work at it a little everyday instead of all at once or not at all? extremes are so damaging. i've always worked in extremes--i was conditioned to feel comfortable in them.
well, not anymore. no more strict lists dictating what i should/shouldn't do each day of this new year. because st thomas has shown me that stress and pressure are counterproductive. good things are achieved with patience. and perspective is everything.
i know these things are all too obvious to most, but sometimes a stubborn girl just needs to be hit in the head with it a couple times in order for the lesson to settle in.
this island is changing me...
pre-caribbean stefanie would've written out a list ordering that i drink 7 bottles of water a day, drink alcohol only 2 nights a week, and cut out sugar altogether.
post-caribbean stefanie is so much happier letting things happen naturally--going towards goals with good intentions and not getting upset when expectations aren't met. sure i'll try and drink more water and eat less sugar, but i'm not going to set exact rules and then beat myself up with guilt when i disobey some arbitrary list.
when the clock struck midnight in the caribbean this 2013, i was at a bar called foxy's in the british virgin islands with a couple of friends. if you're unfamiliar, this new year's party on jost van dyke is epic and world renowned. we had it planned for weeks. we'd get a boat and the whole huge crew would ride out together. well, life happened and the boat broke. most of my crew decided to stay in st thomas while i went against my instinct and rode to jost on a ferry with a very convincing friend. i should've known that my expectations going into the experience were too high to be met. i put so much pressure on the day and the number and myself. so when it came and proved to be subpar, i was beyond disappointed. i let that disappointment prevent me from enjoying the moment. how very bratty, right? i was on a beach at one of the most famous new years parties in the world, and hating it.
and then that friend i was with--probably the most straight-forward, realistic guy i've ever met--laughed at me. laughed! he smacked me back into reality by reminding me how absolutely silly my expectations were. in a short set of words that i wish i could remember, he told me i was dumb and that i should enjoy the moment and that the day is just another day and so what if it's not perfect... and to have as much fun with it as i could, because that's all i had control over.
those are the best things he could've possibly said to me, because at my pity parties, it's most effective to laugh and tell me how dumb i am. it worked--that's about when i finally threw out the absurd idea of resolutions and high expectations that only lead to disappointment. i left my disappointment on the beach that night, among the empty beer bottles and wet sand.
i got up and made light.
ever since that night, i've been astonishingly more positive and accepting of everything put in my path. lately, i walk into situations with an open mind (free from expectations) and walk out of them without regret (guilt over what should've been). little mishaps don't bother me so much because i focus on putting them in perspective. it's unbelievably difficult to do it all the time, but i'm working on it.
my new years resolution is to have no more resolutions. in place of strict, numbered rules, i promise to only hold vague suggestions.
everyday, i hope to be more positive and less judgmental. i'll try to be more honest, when it's appropriate. i'll try to stop falling madly in love with people that are just out of reach. i'll be better to my body by partying within reason and giving it the nutrients it deserves. i'll try not to succumb too much to momentary pleasures. i'll allow myself to be real, as much as possible.
of course, this year, i've already gone against ALL of these suggestions, hard. but that's why they're suggestions--because if they were resolutions that i followed to the T, well that would mean i was perfect, and perfect is boring. ;)