2019: New year, same Liz . . . sort of

The past year has been a full one. In the span of a few short months:

  • My brother moved in
  • Husband and I bought a house
  • I went to California for work, which was a mixed bag . . . but a mostly positive experience
  • We got a dog
  • Work stress nearly tossed me over the edge
  • I course-corrected with a two-week holiday

Not to mention all the little things that happened here and there that don’t warrant a bullet on this list. Suffice to say: The latter half of 2018 was a doozy, in both positive and negative ways.

That is to say, it was mostly a positive year, objectively speaking. Subjectively speaking, though, it was one of the most difficult, challenging periods of my life. I had to take a step back and assess my mental health and how it impacts the people around me. For a while, I had no idea what I was doing or whether I was making the right decision about anything. Something that should have been a great-yet-stressful experience–buying a house–became a consuming, waking nightmare. I barely slept, I forgot to eat, I obsessed over the minutia. I was grouchy and resentful and stopped answering text messages.

Finally, Husband convinced me to start trying to figure myself out, for him and our family if nothing else. It was a bumpy road, but I’m on a better path now. The last couple months of 2018 have been a lesson in learning who I am as a human now that I’m nearly 30. There are some things about myself I need to let go of, and some things I want to cultivate.

2019 as a garden, and other silly metaphors

And so I am going to make 2019 into my own personal garden.

I am going to plant the seeds of hope, of positivity, of just fucking breathing when things go sideways. This is my last year before I turn 30. While I don’t dread the thought of entering a new decade of life, I am feeling the pull of getting something done this year. I’m turning my home and my body into a sanctuary.

Along with cultivating the garden, I have to expel the weeds that will crop up. Depression, self-doubt, insecurity, unfocused anger: These are part of my identity, but they don’t have to overtake the good parts. They will come back, but I am ready with the Roundup Zoloft (I told you, silly metaphors ahoy).

I am also going to plant a real-life flower garden this year. I can’t wait to tend blooms and listen to podcasts while chilling outside. This summer is going to be invigorating, and I am going to make it that way.

Purple flowers in a bed of green grass.
What I hope my 2019 garden will look like.

I do have some concrete goals for the year. Write more, read more, be kinder to myself (mentally and physically). However, these are less “New Year’s resolutions” and more a continuation of what I started at the end of last year.

I’m going to celebrate. I’m going to continue to sing the song of myself.

Celebration.

I’m going to hold my family closer. That includes the newest addition, Alvie (AKA Alvis Dumbledog, Alvisaurus Rex, GooglyButt, etc).

She’s a wigglebutt.

I’m going to follow the advice of my favorite podcasting brothers when they laid out the theme for this year: Frankensteinteen: Become the Monster.

Monster herein not being a derogatory concept. Instead, for me, becoming the monster means shedding the outer layer of uncertainty and introversion that has kept me from finding my true confidence. I’m going to paint my nails red and learn how to do makeup properly and wear those boots I haven’t worn in four years. I’ll write and read ravenously. I’ll stand for my beliefs. I’ll make good art.

And I’m going to continue the practice of just fucking breathing. It’s definitely a practice, and I am working hard to simply be present in my own life. Slow down, breathe in, dig deep.

Breathe, folks. More than that: Be.

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