Let’s leave “nice” and other myths we tell ourselves in 2018 and be present, genuine, and whole in 2019.
I meant to write this on the first, to be a cliche and corny and uncool as I am. I closed my thoughts on 2016 on Christmas. With 2017, it commences with intention. I want my hopes for 2017 to exist in black and white– out there in the universe, breathing themselves into reality. Just as last week, I’m scared. I feel more exposed now. In the past year, I reopened this blog in the rawest fashion– confessing my suicidal thoughts. My words traversed depression, a lack of community, mustering the courage to leave, to start over, belonging, boundaries, love and what if I don’t get it, all the things I want but go mute between my head and my vocal cords. Vulnerability is profoundly uncomfortable, but I’m glad I’m exploring it here. Thank you. Thank you for reading, for listening. I don’t personally know anyone who follows this blog, and that makes it all the more humbling to feel a sense of support just everywhere.
It’s 3 am. These words won’t look away . They inundate my thoughts like a monsoon that downs all other sounds. Be your own wreckage for once, Marisa. Don’t stand neatly in this box, praying nothing will wreck you so you can remain innocent and clean. That’s not you. Be the messy, brave glory you were born to be.
Please be good to me. Love me hard and send me abundant, indulgent, unconditional, incandescent love. Send it to me in people and places. Send me to them. Mail me with intention so I am delivered (and accept) to those who honor me as I honor them, rather than settling to avoid ever feeling lonely. This is terrifying and overwhelming and jolts me in an emotional tailspin about my ability to deserve love. That’s ok. Send it anyway.
I understand the trade off for this (not that love is a transaction force– it’s not) is my surrender of perfectionism. Now, I unsubscribe from the collector’s ideology: I will travel/ date/ find love/ tell people about this blog/ try that workout class/ talk to those people/ demand better treatment from others. Perfect doesn’t exist. It’s the opt-out clause for acting now. But, knowing how little treating myself like memorabilia has gotten me, it’s necessary to try something else. Here it goes– here I am trying to peel back the layers of shame, shoulds, and coulds and woulds. Let it be uncomfortable, raw, exposing, vulnerable, let sensations return, and with that alone, it will be worth it.
Let this be a year alive. I want to experience this year– travel, taste, sweat, curse, dance, cry, laugh, connect, scream, come and go, marvel, empower, be empowered, love, revel, and celebrate. It won’t be perfect. Don’t worry, 2017, you don’t have to be. Let me be alive this year. Staring less into the black mirror of a cell phone or TV and more into the eyes of the people around me. I want to numb less, petrifying as it is to expose my nerves to this gritty world.
I will challenge myself this year. I will stretch and grow and grow up a little (but not too much). Inevitably, I’m going to fall short and fall on my face. This won’t be easy since I’ve acquired a taste for control. Life is most delicious when you allow it the space to unfold for itself. So, I’ll center back on my values and allow things to unfold, knowing I did the best I could with that. It’s not about doing to most or overcompensating. I just need to tune into the woman I am at my core. She’s in there.
My boundaries, the ones that I firmly believe in, will be respected by others and myself.
Screw pretty. Screw the way it looks. What does it feel like? Let this be a year that glows from the inside out.
May I find community, belonging, and the courage to connect without the insurance of longevity.
2017, I’m scared I won’t get the things I want. I’m scared I don’t deserve the things I won’t. I’m going to it anyway. Shaking, sweat palms, I’m going for it– all of it. I am ready for you. May you be all the things a good year is, and I will be my best self (this far).
Merry Christmas! Merry happy blessed everything. Truly. As the year draws to a close, my mind ventures along the same pilgrimage everyone’s does– where did I go this year? Was it good? Was I good, and how can I be better? I’ve been so many women in 360 days. I began 2016 as a damsel in distress– contorting myself into a a series of uncomfortable positions to fit into Cleveland, into a city that was never really meant to be more than a launchpad in my life. My mettle matched my desires when I got brave enough to leave. I got a new job, and returned to a place where I could flourish. No one is going to do life for you. I’ve doled this advise out countless times, but I hadn’t heeded it in a while. There’s this misled section of me that hopes fate or life or some celestial force will intervene in so many aspects. But all the good in my life is the fruit of being unprepared, un-calculated, and bravely throwing myself into the arena anyway.
With that, for the first time in my life, I actively dated. Not much came from this endeavor, but I did it. I maturely negotiated conflict with another mature party. I advocated for my needs without an apology. I invested in my health. I indulged. 2016 was a year I did things, as opposed to having events befall me.
In the fall, I got lazy. Comforted lulled me out of my bravery. I got into my groove at work, regularly went to the gym, hung out with my friends– content in my established routine. I dislike myself slouching. I don’t like myself asleep. I want to grow and challenge, and I know I am far too hard on myself. But courage tingles on my taste buds like a craving I haven’t indulged in a while.
Jump starting my resolutions (which I normally avoid because I find them cheesy), I went to a counselor recently. Therapy and I never worked before. I don’t think I’ll revisit this counselor. However, even after my experience with her, I was open to exploring therapy in the future. I appreciated the insights she offered, even if we aren’t compatible. Growth is shit failing and still pursuing the vision and hope. I’m doing that.
I did that with dating. In addition to putting myself out there, I was vulnerable and authentic with men. Finally setting fire to the standards and games and goals and barriers, I (toward the end of 2016) allowed myself the freedom to interact as two people. Connection is a liberation I hope to explore more within the next year.
I’m scared. I’m scared I’m not enough, that I’m too poor, too fat, not pretty, not smart. Those fears won’t dissolve anytime soon. But my courage can be louder. Being whole comes with the bad stuff, but allows the good stuff to speak. I will close this holiday (and this year) in a messy way. I probably won’t get skinny in 2017. That’s not the goal. But I will experience more, fall on my face, get up, be hurt and heal, and make it one hell of a year. Cheers to that. Happy merry blessed everything.