A new year quickly approaches, and I anxiously await the changes it brings. It is typical for many to take this time to reflect on their past year and the great experiences they have had and memories they have made. Sure, 2014 has brought amazing things. I joined Pi Beta Phi Fraternity For Women, which was a life-changing experience in it’s own. Relationships ended and the world kept turning, though I didn’t find it possible. I made it through three semesters of college. I wrote music, I went to Disney World. I even got a job. But overall, this has been one of the most emotionally taxing years of my life, and for that reason, I choose to spend less time reflecting and more time looking forward.
Around this time of year every year, I am extremely guilty of setting unobtainable goals for the year to come; to strive to reach maximum results by taking drastic measures that in the end become too difficult to commit to. It’s something that many people struggle with, and usually results in an abandoned goal about a month into the year.
I want this year to be different. I want to take small steps to improve the way I live, think, and act. Ultimately, becoming more in-tune with my surroundings and happier overall. I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and have come up with a few simple goals to guide me.
First, I want to improve my physical health. Now I’m not necessarily talking about weight loss (which is an exceptionally common New Year’s Resolution). More-so, I am talking about making time to exercise daily, drinking more water and less coffee, and above all – GETTING ADEQUATE SLEEP. That last one will probably be the most difficult, as college students are known for all-nighters spent studying in the library, or attending social functions at the quad. It seems the older I get, the more I recognize the value of a good night’s sleep. For that reason, I have made it a goal.
Second, I want to focus more on my emotional needs. I am and always have been centered on my emotions. When I am sad, I don’t feel well physically. When happy, I bounce off the walls with energy. This year, as I have become busier from taking on more responsibilities both in and out of school, I rarely saw down time. When I did, I usually spent it worrying that there was something I should be doing instead of resting. The stress I felt, especially this semester, took a toll on the way I acted. I was often moody and distant. Quite often, I wondered if I might be depressed. This unfortunately took a toll on my relationships with the people that I love. I felt as though I was slipping further and further into a pit of distress, and I was bringing them with me. This coming year, I plan to become more organized in an effort to relieve myself of some of the stress I often feel. Scheduling and distributing your time evenly is important, and I’m hoping to fit a little down time in there as well. I also want to focus more on making music and writing, as these are the two outlets that provide the most relief from pressures of the outside world. Most importantly, I want to restore the relationships that my emotional unsteadiness has compromised. I am naturally drawn to people, and value friendships as close as family. It is important that I am around people I care about, and I am hoping that a clearer, happier, more emotionally present me can accomplish this and more.
Finally, I want to experience all that I can. This is a vague expression, so let me elaborate. When I was a child, my family very rarely traveled, and when we did, it was never further than Texas. In fact, I did’t see the ocean until I was seventeen, and I hadn’t flown in a plane until I was eighteen. Because of this, I feel as if I have a lot of catching up to do. This is the prime time in my life to be traveling; while I am old enough to go without parental guidance, but not old enough to have to settle down and have a career or family. Therefore, I want to see all that I can while I have the time and opportunity. Whether it be the world, or seeing a band that I love live, I want to spend less money on things and more on experiences. Those are the memories that change you; the memories you remember forever. I am already taking steps to accomplish this. In May, I will be traveling to Europe with Drury Singers. In twelve days we will hit three countries: Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. This is the chance of a lifetime, and the fact that in only a few short months, I will be there, performing in a different country with some of my closest friends, doesn’t seem real…. yet.
The future holds incredible possibilities. And as this will be my twentieth year on this planet, I feel it’s time that I start taking more advantage of the life I have been given. I need to take care of myself; I need to surround myself and submerge myself in the things that give my spirit life. I will run into 2015 with outstretched arms. This is the year when everything changes. I can feel it.