Normally, I don't do this. I don't blog for the new year, never thought of it as an important holiday, and no one in my family really passed on any feelings of significance about it. But, this year really is different for me, and I can't stop thinking about how much everything has changed for me in the last year.
I'm actually a little sad 2008 is over, which is not at all how it started. I don't want to go back, but it's one of those situations like when you finish reading a good story and you don't really want it to stop even though you know that it's really better that it does. I started off unsure of myself, stressed out with people stuff, cat stuff, school stuff, work stuff and all of the insane changes happening in my life. I was worried and scared of changes because change had been a little hard on me for the last several years or so. :} I was starting school, getting things organized for the wedding, working full time, and still trying to work with Tatsu to make the necessary compromises so that we could all live happily together.
But, things have been really great! I've gotten all A's throughout the year! I didn't think I could do that, so it's great to be like, "Hey! I did better than I thought I would!" Tatsu really feels like part of the family now and I love that little meow-box. ;) Work is hard for me because I just see myself doing so much more with my life, but not what . . . However, instead of hating myself for that and worrying that other people will hate me for it, I've come to accept that part of myself as a good thing. It isn't really wrong to be disappointed with something I'm doing because I yearn to be doing something bigger than that. That being said, I'm grateful for my work and grateful that much of the drama that existed before with my job has moved on (there's still drama, though, to be sure).
I could go on and on with specific examples that would probably be of no interest to the few people who read this, but in the end it all sums up as me feeling like I climbed a mountain and am looking down now and going, "Wow. I climbed all that. And hey, the view here isn't bad either!" * smile *
But, the climb isn't done, and in 2009 the actual wedding will happen, there will be more school and work, and I'm looking forward to the adventures. The main difference is my new bring-it-on attitude. Even though I'm still scared and, like when I go to the doctor to get a shot, don't look forward to the little pains that are so crucial to my growth process, I feel ready to face them. I believe in positive conflict. I believe that I will continue to get better. And, I finally feel liberated from worrying about the perceptions others have of me.
I think, for some time, I've burdened people with my intense desire to be understood, to be heard. I think everyone needs to be truly heard. Man, Carl Rogers took the thoughts right out of my head and put them so eloquently. But, it's not fair to expect people to understand me all of the time. It's unrealistic for me to hope that everyone will get me, especially when I've gone through some pretty unusual stuff that has shaped me in unique ways. I try really hard to hear others, but even I'm distracted with my internal dialogue, stress, or just thinking about that person. It's not something not worth wanting, but I think loosening my grip for fear of being lost myself has really allowed me to breathe more freely. I have faith that the ones who matter will get the gist of it and I can't force anyone else to know me for who I really am (or at least, how I perceive myself). Consequently, the bad things that people have said about me or to me or may think is no longer a burden for myself to carry, and I leave it for them. I have my own misconceptions to work on clearing up, because I don't know everyone else either.
So, for the first time ever, I have resolutions for the following year. Really, they're for the rest of my life, but I'm feeling the tradition here so it seemed appropriate to post about it today. I'm a bit overambitious, so posting everything in detail would be lengthy and boring, so here are the general ideas of what I'm working on internally this year (the external list is even longer). And yes, I do realize my cut-down version is still pretty long. :} Sorry!
1.) Keep up my exercise/nutrition schedule - get all the secret stuff in Wii Fit and My Fitness Coach.
2.) Be more open to adventure, which means making time for adventure and not getting sucked into constantly working because I'm too scared of consequences. I'm only going to die someday anyhow. If I don't do it, I'll just regret not knowing as opposed to only the possibility of regretting trying.
3.) Working on my communication skills. I've learned a lot in the last year, and I know it sounds very mechanical saying it like that, but I do need to work on both the mechanics of how I speak (English has always been hard for me, even though it's my first language), and on having a varying way of speaking so that I can be sensitive to others in a variety of situations or people. I'm used to going with my inspiration and just allowing myself to say how I really feel and think, but there's a time and place for meowing and crazy talk, and I fall apart everywhere else. Even after I type up a blog I can tear it apart for mistakes or think of ways I could have phrased things better for days.
4.) Making more time for the things I'm scared of: my music, my artwork, and relaxing. Oh, and video games! Maybe... after the wedding. :}
5.) Changing my look! I actually started this shortly after I came upon the Princess Portal. I have been scared of fashion and clothes my entire life. I didn't used to be allowed to pick what I wore for me (that's a whole other story), and then when I finally was, I kept on worrying about what everyone would think. It's really easy when someone picks your clothes out for you because you can defer responsibility if someone else doesn't like it. This goes back to the whole being comfortable with me/being heard deal. I'm doing it, though! Already have a box of clothes to donate/toss out (some of it's pretty worn), and I'm going to shop, baby! Hey, after losing 60 pounds over the last 5 years, I deserve it! It sounds like an external change, but it's really a reflection of my internal perception of myself.
There's more, like I said, but I think those are the first and foremost on my mind. At any rate, I'm really thankful for everything, for everyone, so much that I can't think of any concise list of gratitude that I could place here. Even the people who have tried to hurt and slight me have resulted in inner growth and the removal of toxic things from my life, so I'm happy there, too! But, I think I would be remiss not thanking Stardust, Terinati, and Kyriel. Their support and acceptance in 2008 has really helped me to allow myself to be me. I definitely wouldn't be feeling the way I do now if it weren't for them. I really hope that, in turn, their goodness has come through me and been passed on in some constructive way.
Alright, enough of that! Happy New Year, everyone!