Personal

2021, fuck me up (not really please don’t)

It’s a new year, and I’ve got hopes for it. I’ve got goals and things that I think I want to do at some point in the next few hundred days, so here’s my wishlist.

First, I wanted to pop some reminders in here for me to remember. I’m trying to get to a point where I’m completely good with myself and just making some improvements so I have a better time on this rock we call home, and I think that’s mainly going to come from compassion and care for myself. So, I’m trying to remember to do things out of a place of care rather than trying to yank myself into some “better” image because I dislike myself. Also, I have trust issues, and I find it really hard to ask people for things – I think that stems from feeling like I’m bothering people? From personal experience with other people who have a hard time asking me for help, it sucks. It’s frustrating and then you have to worry about figuring out if you need to help them as well as helping them because they won’t tell you, and I’m realizing that I’m one of these people. I’m working on asking for things because I, like, deserve help and I can try and get it for myself, rather than being independent because I’m ashamed of looking stupid. So, some general reminders from helpful things I stumbled across on the Internet as I set out resolutions for the year!

WITH MYSELF + OTHERS

  • Trust and support myself – less doubting/berating, more learning/caring
  • Show up for my boundaries
  • Be more open and loving – say nice things to others

2021 is the year I’ll be graduating college, so it’s the first year where the rest of it is open-ended. The past several years, I’ve had graduation requirements or syllabi to guide me through what the future will look like. Before that, I didn’t really plan for the future that much (#justdepressionthings). So it’s a first for me, this whole thing where the future is here and it’s all up to me and I’m looking forward to it. I’m really scared by the thought of that, so I’ve thought of these with that in mind. I think I’ll need a lot more support and care, and I think I deserve to give it to myself.

The first two things here are sort of two sides of the same coin, and are about taking care of shitty things I do to myself. I don’t want to doubt or second guess myself – I want to trust myself. Either trust that I’ll do the right thing or, even if I don’t, to trust myself enough to know I’ll be OK anyway. Whatever hole I may dig myself into, I cal also get myself out. I think that’s what supporting myself would look like; belief and faith and trust. I also want to be firm with my own boundaries, mainly around not talking to people who are bad for me and not feeling guilty for it and talking myself out of it. One of the biggest lessons 2020 has taught me is that being around certain people is simply not good for me, and the only thing to do is get away. I know that’s going to be hard for me – I’ve spent years trying to figure out some way to square the circle, but I’m not interested in giving myself grief anymore. Even if it’s hard and uncomfortable and awkward, I want to be strong in knowing I’m doing the right thing, and when I read this post in a year I want the Max who enters 2022 to be thankful for the Max that’s making these choices now.

My last one is more about saying yes and trying to seek out or create love and warmth. I’ve realized that I’m really bad at giving compliments and generally being nice to people. I don’t mean this in a “I’m a total misanthrope” sort of way, like I have friends and I can chat with people, but I have this suspicion that I may come off as a bit of a dick sometimes because I feel really really awkward and don’t know how to make the friendship sail. And I don’t want to be a dick! I want to be someone who asks people to hang out first! I want to love someone’s sweater and then just tell them I love their damn sweater instead of fretting about how to convey the compliment for the entirety of our interaction! I want to see a thing and then tell someone about it because it made me think of them! I want to be casually loving and kind and warm. Of my many flaws, a lack of self awareness is not one, so I know that I have shit in my way – my social anxiety and huge fear of rejection and childhood belief that affection is conditional and earned through outward markers of success et cetera et cetera. But I will not let that stop me this year, I say! I’m honestly not very sure how I can get this goal off the ground. My boyfriend is the sort of person who brings pastries to work just 4 fun, and then all his coworkers like him, and then they’re friends. I have no idea how that happens. I have no idea where the thought process starts or ends at all. I simply go to the cafe and get my food and eat and then rush off to work. So I’m not sure how exactly I’ll start doing this, but I’m thinking of seeing some sort of concrete, actionable goal or reminder for myself. Ex. Say something nice to someone once a week? A couple times a week? Write it in my journal and then work on voicing it aloud? OK, clearly we need to troubleshoot this one lol.

WITH HEALTH

  • Develop a regular yoga practice, at least ½ the days of the month
  • Do the How to Break Up With Your Phone book
  • Take walk breaks and get back up to 5K steps daily

I started doing yoga in lockdown. It was good – there was a period where I was doing it pretty consistently – like, enough that my boyfriend said he noticed increased definition in my back and arms. I mean. What?! Minute physical changes aside, I also think the yoga helped with my mental health and with growing the connection between my mind and body, so that I actually knew what my body was doing. Thinking back to periods where I did yoga every morning for a week vs not at all, I definitely felt a bit worse. I’d like to aim to do it at least ½ the days of the month. This way will be easier for me to keep track of compared to a weekly goal.

Last year I read the book How to Break Up With Your Phone for a class, and it sufficiently freaked me out about phone usage. When I’ve been better about social media (as in, stopping my mindless scrolling spirals or deleting an app), I’ve also noticed general improvements with mood and concentration, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually made any long-term changes. I’d like to try the actual break up part this year and see how it goes.

COVID has decimated my step count, so in anticipation of living most of 2021 amidst this pandemic I know that if I want to walk I need to make it a whole ass intention and goal. I used to walk at least 10K steps a day, usually around 15K, just to get around to things and – I think I miss it. Also, my ass hurts from sitting for endless hours of Zoom. I’d like to figure out how to get back up to an average of 5K steps a day (at least – hopefully more on weekends), and I think a good way of doing that would be to take breaks between Zoom to go for a quick walk, or taking more meetings on my phone while I walk.

WITH EDUCATION/WORK

  • Graduate without burning out (and say thank you to professors/others I met)
  • Get a job
  • Do a MasterClass course

Big change to this category, because I’ll graduate in the summer! Ah! Terrifying! Is this the end of my formal education?! I’m fairly sure I’m all good to graduate, so I just want to try to do it feeling good and not tired to death.

Getting a job is probably the thing in this whole post that feels the most intimidating to me. I hope I’m psyching myself out – I try to tell myself that my first job after college won’t be some sort of binding contract to an industry or determine my entire sense of self, but those are my fears. I’m scared about the feeling like I have to choose a career path or even just figure out where I want to go next. I’m scared about not really knowing, and I’m scared about figuring out the balance between making enough $ to not live in fear and not wanting to spend years figuring out how to make people buy things they don’t need in search of greater profits. I’m thinking about not living in the U.S. one day, so I can do things like have sick days that aren’t limited and other basic things like that, and I’m wondering what I could do to get there. I’m thinking, hm, maybe I don’t need to freak out about this and just kind of see where life takes me next, but then I talk to someone who has a goddamn ten-year plan and maybe not. I guess this is just being hyper aware of life with capitalism, and I’m not sure how to make my peace with it. I’m not sure if there ever is going to be a peace, but uh anyway I’d like to find gainful employment by the end of this year and be paying my own bills so I can take care of myself and not be dependent on people who are bad for me!!!!!

Let’s pivot from the existential dread that comes from living under capitalism in the U.S. At some point in 2020, MasterClass did a student sale where one year was $1 instead of hundreds or whatever the regular crazy rate is. I signed up, and now I get emails every week with an announcement about a new class. They sound cool and I’d like to do one! Also, I will likely never buy MasterClass again because I won’t have such a good deal, so I may as well properly try it out while I have it.

WITH $ AND SPACE

  • Move out
  • As little clothes/makeup/etc shopping as possible – wear every item I own at least once
  • Save $3000 and invest $2000

In a shocking turn of events, I have already moved out! It is the middle of January and I’m no longer living with my parents. When I wrote this list before the start of the year, this was the first thing I thought of, and the thing that I anticipated being the most difficult. It still is, because I don’t want to check this one off as done – I think truly moving out would mean less contact, me paying all my rent by myself, that sort of thing.

A low buy year! I thought about no buy, but I wanted to build in some flexibility. I already know there are some things I want to buy, like to replace the leggings I’ve had since I was 16 that always fall down, and I might need work clothes if I get a job. Aside from things like that, I’d like to keep my shopping in this category small. I’d also like to wear every item I own at least once! I watched a YT video where the woman made a spreadsheet of all the clothes she owned and noted down when she wore them, and I’d like to undertake that – the data seems so satisfying to look at. I’m not sure when or if I’ll get around to the whole spreadsheet thing, that’s a lot of work, so I have yet to figure out how to track the goal of wearing everything but we’ll work on it.

And then just another little savings goal. This is probably going to be adjusted, because I’m not sure how employment will go or, you know, the whole pandemic, but we’ll see!

WITH OTHER THINGS / SMALLER THINGS

  • Plan a post-COVID trip
  • Learn how to do something with my hair
  • Learn how to do eyeliner
  • Clean up my Facebook
  • Donate at least $10 every month

These are some smaller more concrete goals that I’d like to do! Potentially easier because they have a start and an end and seem a little smaller than some of the above stuff, but also potentially harder because I don’t know that I would ever put “figure out how to put eyeliner on” on my to-do list instead of just vaguely thinking “hm, wouldn’t it be cool if I knew how to put eyeliner on”. So, trying to remember stuff like that so I actually do the thing.

Right, that’s that. Fingers crossed, eh? See you next year!

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