By: Erika Star
It’s that time of year again, we’re on the cusp of a new year and it seems that the general consensus in regards to 2014 is GTFO. It’s been a rough year, filled with loss, a polar vortex and more heartbreak than anyone should care to shake a stick at. All was not lost however, Pharrell was Happy and I tried patchouli deodorant for the first time. Also, in semi-unrelated new, for the first time in history the majority of Americans are now living in states that allow gay marriage. That is 35 states and the District of Columbia to be exact, and while I’m still waiting on a marriage proposal, from anyone, ever, I am preparing for a whole new outlook in the new year, one that finds me making huge strides in my life by not wanting for anything. I mean, that’s the dream, right? My resolution is one that says “Stop whatcha doin’ ’cause I’m about to ruin the image and the style that ya used to.” In other words, I’m going to put a quick stop to my wealth of notoriously destructive repetitive patterns.
Seeing that I already try and choke down one salad a day, and my biggest vices include SVU marathons and binge cookie eating, bettering myself this year will be keeping myself from doing the same things over and over, hoping for a different outcome. I mean, SPOILER ALERT, no matter how many times I watch Little Women, Jo is never going to choose Laurie and Laurie is never going to be a chick, AMIRITE? I doubt it’s only me who finds myself saying, “this time it’ll be different,” or “maybe she’s changed.” If you’re familiar with this kind of self-talk, read on my friend. And get ready for the year of your life!
Who can I date next?
I mean, you don’t have to completely stop dating, but it probably wouldn’t hurt. Wouldn’t life just be easier without all the rage texting anyway? Last winter, after having been in the most tumultuous relationship of my life with an even more difficult breakup, I swore to myself that I would take a year to sit-out the ol’ dating game. We broke up on December 1st and by January 5th I had already found my newest soul-mate. Up until that point, I had never truly understood the concept of ‘not being in a place to date,’ but looking back, I was not in a place to date. Your life doesn’t have to be quite that black and white. Date if you want to, but if you’re not feeling it, YOU’RE NOT FEELING IT. Take whatever time you need as dating is, ahem, NOT REQUIRED. Take a minute with that. Dogs and multitudes of cats are acceptable companions until you find someone that is worth your time. Until then, do you instead. Pun very much intended.
Speaking of, Re-dating your ex?
Just don’t. Kudos to you for being persistent and all but instead of reconsidering, pop open the notes section in the ol’ iPhone and make a list of reasons you deserve so much better. And, yes, it probably was the best sex you’ll ever have. I’m sorry you had to find out this way.
And further? Saving bad relationships…
Social media often finds us collecting friends instead of keeping up with our more cherished relationships. Instead of taking the time to (re)connect with those we love, we often waste time compromising ourselves in order to nurture unworthy relationships. Maybe it’s time to vote some of your friends off the proverbial island. Are there people who stress you out, who judge your life choices or are condescending to curb their own feelings of insecurity? GET ‘EM OUTTA THERE. Go through Instagram or Facebook or whatever that new one is, Wink? Nudge? ‘ELLO! and unfollow anyone who makes your eye twitch uncontrollably. It’s time to choose those we hold most dear and celebrate them and maybe start letting go of unhealthy or stagnant relationships.
Instagram says I’m a failure.
Fact: The quickest way to feel lousy about your existence is comparing yourself to what you see in your newsfeed.
“Look how in love they are, look how many babies they have, LOOK AT HOW SMALL THEIR PORES ARE.” Especially following the holidays when bragbook can be at an all time high, comparing yourself is the worst, most obviously repetitive, offense. Remember that people often create personas of unbridled happiness with their social media sites and rarely post acne, piles of tear-filled tissues or how many hours they clocked stalking their ex online. Instead of believing that rainbows shoot out of their ass, know in your heart that they too are sitting home alone on a Friday night, watching Star Trek on Netflix with crumbs in their cleavage, drinking flat soda that’s been sitting next to their bed for a questionable amount of days. You are not alone.
I was recently given the amazing life advice that read, “I think a good rule to live by is to never do something you hate for more than two months.” Is your job satisfying your needs? Awesome! Do you enjoy your time there? Is it fulfilling you or sucking what little energy you have left between shivering and waiting in standstill traffic? If you can at very least say, “my job’s alright,” then good for you! But more often than not, we make excuses as to why we have to suffer day in and day out at a job we hate. Paying rent is surely valid, but I can guarantee you have other options. Or, if not, there are changes that could be made in your current position that would alleviate some of that complain-inducing suck. Think outside the box, talk to your boss, stir things up, get an office plant, DO SOMETHING. Life is too short to spend it counting down the minutes of every workday.
Pressuring yourself to ________.
If nothing else, take 2015 to relieve the pressure you put on yourself. We’re our own harshest critics and if there’s one thing I can assure anyone of, it’s that you’re doing fine. I’ve found myself doing a lot of work on myself in the name of personal growth this past year and overwhelmed myself with the number of steps each area of change required. Truth is, I need to be a little kinder to myself as I merely need fine-tuning and not an entire overhaul. See also, self-love. The most important habit to let up on is self-criticism. That being said, the positive changes that you’ll be making are ongoing processes and don’t necessarily require a new year from which to start. What the New Year is good for is taking a step back and re-evaluating. There’s probably something in your 2015 resolution that you could do without. Either it’s something you’re doing because you think you’re “supposed” to, or it’s something you’ve been wanting for a long time but it just hasn’t happened. Go to the gym, make more smoothies, date, or don’t, keep your job or split. Just make sure whatever you do or don’t do, it’s something that fulfills you. And whatever you do, never give up cookies.
About the Author:
Erika Star – After graduating from Columbia College, or more colloquially, where you go when your parents let you dress yourself at a young age, Erika spent time living in nearly every part of the US, Portland, LA, Chicago, repeat. She’s written for Afterellen.com, xoJane.com and TheLaughButton.com but her most prestigious job-title was KJ at Portland’s very much missed lesbian bar, the ERoom. She’s now “just a writer” who takes an obscene amount of trips to the kitchen for snacks and has regular conversations with her corgi. Also know that she lifted this bio from her OkCupid profile so she’s obviously living in the cold open of a romantic comedy.