Happy New Year! Kisses! New year, new me! #Blessed! So many resolutions, am I right? Mine was to keep up with this blog, so let’s do this.
So resolutions seem like an appropriate topic of thought for today. Before I go any further, please no one start starving themselves or force yourself down the isle faster than Charlotte York when she married Trey on that one episode of Sex and the City.
I know, especially as women, when we want to change something, we want too ASAP or like…we might die. Well, take a breath because the reality is that you probably have many wonderful years left on this earth. So, don’t make yourself miserable and screw up your mental health because you are trying to look like a 15/10 by tomorrow. Do not start settling for easy short cuts in health, work, love or just life in general. Take your time babe.
Enjoy the slow, complicated journey that is life. This is kind of my resolution- Enjoy the journey. Because I have this problem where I overthink my entire existence and get so worried about the end result of everything.
Although, sometimes I think resolutions are BS because you should constantly be the best version of yourself all of the time. I also know that as humans we are not good all of the time. The new year forces us to reflect on all of the good, the bad and the ugly of the previous 365 days behind us. Then, someone had the bright idea of making resolutions a thing.
So now, we all must reflect on the aspects of ourselves and our lives that we want to change. It sounds nice, but it is also kind of depressing because the whole world suddenly starts making drastic changes. People beat themselves up over a past that they can not change.
But regardless, it’s a new year. I wouldn’t say it’s a new me, but each year I gain more experiences that shape me into the type of women I aspire to be. Each year I grow, screw up, have some wine in between and then evolve some more. So ok, I am definitely very different from 2014 Leah and maybe, even 2017 Leah. However, my values and heart will always remain still in time, regardless of what phase of life I am in.
And whether we want too or not, the holidays and new year force us to reflect on all of the crap that has happened to us. I feel like everyone just gets super deep and emotional with all of the food, family time, traditions, and holiday rom coms (shout out to the Hallmark Channel because my mom now sets the highest possible expectations for my love life).
So after all of this is over, we are like, QUICK IT’S A NEW YEAR LET’S CHANGE OURSELVES. And then, we get really depressed like a month later when we make a mistake or something from 2017 interferes with your 2018 vibes or…God Forbid eat a piece of bread!
Well, have a damn slice of pizza, sit down, and hear me out for a second.
What if, we took a different approach?
Instead, of reflecting on all of the things we hate about ourselves or our past decisions, and attempting to hide them back in the years behind us. Let’s just acknowledge that our mistakes and flaws are what make us who we are. They are what shape us and lead to beautiful things in the years to come.
I am accepting that there are things about myself that will most likely follow me over into 2018. Yes, I would love to erase my flaws, regrets and mistakes, like every other woman on the planet, but that’s just not realistic.
So with that being said, I have made a New Year, Same Me list for the things I am taking over with me into the new year. (CAUTION: Extremely extra and deep thoughts ahead)
- New Year, Same Anxiety because I can not change the way my mind works. I have acknowledged that it is something I will work on and fight with in the years to come. Sometimes I deal, and sometimes I break down. I began having bad anxiety around 5 years ago when I was in the middle of a very bad relationship, while also starting college early/figuring out who I was. This anxiety followed me into other years that followed. It lead to other challenges, like an eating disorder. I thought my body needed to be perfect to gain the acceptance of an abusive partner, so I got even more anxiety about food and my body. The following year, this turned into a panic disorder. If you have had panic attacks, you know that you basically feel like you are dying. For me, I get jittery, my heart feels like it might explode, and my throat gets so dry I feel like it might close and then, OMG WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING YOU NEED TO EXIT LIKE NOW. When this first started, I found myself running out of movie theaters, having to stop my car, leaving in the middle of class, and always going to the emergency room because I felt like I was having an allergic reaction. Physically, I look perfectly normal, despite maybe moving around a little more than usual. I just zone out and have an internal fight with my mind. I am happy that I no longer need medication to suppress the panic attacks because I try my best to do things I enjoy and be around people who make me happy. However, for whatever reason, they still happen randomly. I have learned to deal with it. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. It’s something I am now aware of, but also something that is out of my control. Everyone has anxiety on some level. Each year that goes by for me, it gets better. As much as I wish my mind was chill, it has experienced just as much damage as my heart. Even though I still battle with all of these mental hurdles, I am embracing my anxious mind because I find that it just makes me who I am. I care way too much, think way to much and dream way more than the average person might; but I actually like that about myself. So cheers to anxiety and freaking myself out a lot this year!
- New Year, Same Dream because it’s a good transition from the last thing I just said. Our society has set the standard of what the norm should be for EVERYTHING. What type of work is considered a job, what a women should act like, what love looks like, what you should wear, what a family looks like, what will get you into Heaven, and even worse, what will put you in Hell. Everyone always wants to chime in on how you should live your life, even your parents. For anyone that is brave enough to stand out from the “norm”, whatever that is, you get all of these different opinions/hate. Well, IDFW haters. I am going into 2018 with the same dream. My dream is that my voice will matter and my life will somehow make an impact. I will continue to have the fear of living a completely normal life. I will keep dreaming and being entirely myself, even if it’s weird to someone else. All in hopes that one year, I will feel as if I have made an impact. Being yourself and living your dreams can be the most terrifying thing in the world, and this year, I will embrace my dreams. I will continue to take any hate from strangers and people who think they know me, just like the years before. Keep your dreams this year, even if they did not come true in the years behind you.
- New Year, Same Ghost because every girl has him. That one guy or a first love, that shakes you and breaks you to your core. The first person you give your heart and soul too because you thought it was safe in their hands. Even though I am years past mine, his memory will always haunt me. I will still go into another year of my life being afraid him, as I have the weight of painful memories and harm. This year is another year that I am older and wiser. However, with every new possibility of love and heartbreak that comes my way, I will carry the fear that someone could treat me as worthless and objectified as he did. Your ghost can stay in your heart just as much as your angels can, and their memory is what makes you fear opening up in the future. I am accepting that he will always be in my heart another year. My ghost took away some of my sweetness and most of my innocence because Ghosts go after Angels. It made me more guarded, silent and insecure. I am still working on those things. My biggest fear is that whenever I do fall in love again, they will judge me. Or worse, think I am too damaged to be loved. As I put myself back together each year that passes, I am appreciating the strength and independence he gave me. I have learned to not regret him because I can not erase him. Instead, I am acknowledging him, as he set the foundation for what I now know is not love. His ghost makes me love people harder because I know what it feels like to be treated with hate. He is a reminder that nothing can break me quite as bad again. Lastly, his memory drives me to not settle for anything other that the same amount of love I have to offer someone else. So go ahead, let your ghost keep haunting you into the New Year.
- New Year, Same Scars because my heart and mind are full of scars. The thing about scars is that you can do just about any type of treatment to get rid of them, but they will always be there. For me, they are there from opening up my heart again and again to people whose intentions were not genuine. Actions and words will scar you. Broken promises will leave temporary pain and a boy mistaken for a man will definitely break your heart. This has happened to me only a couple of times (post my ghost), but sometimes that is all it takes to leave a mark. So here I am, walking around broken with a bandaged up heart from people who solely had selfish intentions. However, I am choosing to keep flaunting my messy soul and not stress about all of my wounds. So what if they become visible to someone else? For me, flaws and brokenness reveal so much beauty in other people. They inspire connections and love. I think we are all just walking around broken and not showing each other. What good is that going to do anyone? So wear and embrace your scars because they are not going to go away this year. Let your scars remind you, that you got hurt, but you got through it. Because that’s the thing about scars, they will always be there, but they fade. Here’s to letting them fade more this year, and here’s to more battle scars to come.
- New Year, Same Old Heart because the worst thing in the entire fucking world is being a hopeless romantic stuck in a hookup culture and an old soul trapped in a 22-year-old, blonde girls body who guys like to cat call and stare at and mess with and try to hit on while you squat at the gym and tell you to smile because you look pissed off and think you are just a walking pretty object and not a girl with a broken heart and actual values and a women with a mind and a degree and a daughter and a big sister and do not acknowledge that I am actually a completely weird and normal person who is a hot mess on most days and a human who has been through some shit!!! …With that run-on sentence being said, my heart does not match the impression people get when they first look at me. I know most women have this same frustration. For me, I want an amazing love. I always have and I always will. Thankfully, I am blessed with overwhelming love from my family and friends (hashtag blessed). However, inside me will always be the desire to share my life, adventures, and heart with a best friend (who I also like to kiss). So each year, I get super depressed and mad at the world when I realize that love is not as easy as it seems in my head. Do I like to “hookup”? Yeah, who doesn’t (everyone’s definition of this might vary). But with someone I care about and see some type of future with. Each year, I get hurt and get taught a lesson that shows me, not everyone has the same heart and values as me. AND that is completely fine! DO YOU! I am acknowledging that not everyone will have the same heart and intentions as me, but I am still keeping my hopeless romantic heart this year. My mom always tells me to keep expectations low, so your heart does not break. Although, that is nearly impossible for me to do. I still stay so damn hopeful for people, despite all of my heart’s damage. I will always hold on the idea that my heart will be perfect for another person and their’s perfect for me (Not perfect people, just our own perfect love, ya feel me?) I want a love that is like a combination of a 1950’s romance and a 1990’s rom com, mixed with 50 Shades of Grey and a sprinkle of Wonder Women (joking but serious). This year, I may not find it, but what if I do. That would be pretty awesome and that is what makes the years to come exciting. I love my completely extra, unrealistic, hopeful and continuing-to-beat-each-year, heart. My hope for you is that you learn to love your heart for all that is, has been, and will be for years to come.
- New Year, Same Independence because this is actually my favorite quality about myself, so I had to add it. This is the one thing I know that will follow me in all of my years ahead and will forever be instilled in me. It might be weird to some, but on most days I like being by myself or doing things alone. Being around people 24/7 would actually drain me. When I’m out, I’m social. When I come home, it’s nice to have time for myself. After you have been through some shit, you learn to have your own back. Despite this long blog post, I cringe when talking to people about my issues. I prefer to read so I do not feel so alone in things I face and I prefer to write so people will take my words more seriously (because I am more that just a face). So, I keep my circle very small because quality is so much better than quantity. However, even in my small circle, there are some things I just want to keep to myself. My friends and family joke about how picky/ indecisive I am with guys and life in general. But I am not sorry for wanting what I want. I know this year, I will continue to be fine on my own, if that is what is in store for me. Do I want a man to take care of me and give me babies and a white picket fence and all of that good stuff in the future? Heck yeah. It is almost innate in you as a woman. But I also want bright lights in a city, passion, and adventure. I want to have my own career and make my own money (while also being a Pilates wife who brunches, ya know). I want to take care of someone just as much as someone takes wants to take care of me. Not changing for anyone, being equals, and keeping my independence will always be essential. It is a quality I wish for all women in the years ahead of them.
- New Year, Same Me because this list above is going to follow me into the new year and I am choosing not to change anything about myself. I am learning to use my voice and not be so afraid. I am going to keep taking risks and also make a lot of the same mistakes. I am going to have the same fears. I am going to be a hypocrite and not listen to myself. I am going to screw up. I am going to fall. But most of all, I am going to keep learning to love myself for all that I am and will be this year.
If you made it through this post, I hope there was something on my list that you could relate too. I hope this year is better than the last. Don’t focus so much on your past and be excited for your future, as you carry your experiences with you. The nice thing about the New Year is that it gives you hope in new beginnings and reminds how lucky you are to see another year of life. Embrace that it’s a new year and the same you! Whatever you may be.
Love, Leah La Rosa