Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why I Hope You Fail At Your Resolutions (But Not All Of Them, I'm Not An Asshole)

2014 is upon us. A New Year, holding  new hopes and goals, and the promise of possibilities for old dreams. Yesterday, I posted a status on Facebook listing all the day to day resolutions I make and then break. I have always felt to be in a constant state of self improvement. My point was, I always have goals that I am working on, no matter the time of year. It made me chuckle to see how many I had not met. It was impossible to think of starting fresh on January 1st, when I have so many resolutions that I have abandoned, forgotten or lost the will to achieve. I accomplished a million things I had not even planned to attempt and failed the dozens of things I had. 

 And so goes life. Uncontrolled. The New Year resolutions of “The Unplanned Life”.  

My friends rallied behind me. Some laughed and some encouraged me to focus on the all the positive things I had done this year, as to not beat myself up. Focus on the positive and positive things will come to you, they assured me.

Except, I am positive. Positive I failed at these things! And I’m OK with that. In fact, I’m glad.
And I still had an absolutely incredible year.

I am positive and I am negative. I am generally happy and I am sometimes sad. Sometimes, I succeed, sometimes I fail and that is what makes me human. It’s OK to not achieve everything you set out to do and it’s perfectly fine to be in a constant state of self-improvement. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s awesome. If life is an adventure, then a wrong choice, here and there, is necessary. Screw ups keep us on our toes, keep us motivated, give us confidence and teach us gratitude.

I am OK with screwing up. I am OK with being imperfect. Aw hell, I ENJOY IT!

Happiness is not the absence of sadness.
And success is not the absence of failure.

Happiness thrives on truth, acceptance and gratitude. It is possibility and it can be present even in the face of despair. I am usually a happy person, often a sad person and generally, optimistic to a fault. I remember lying in my own blood, razor in hand, on the bathroom floor and still knowing that if I “ended it all” I would be missing out. In fact, I remember being mad at my optimistic mind for reminding me, despite my hatred and pain, there would be a silver lining. I’m lucky to be an optimist, genetically given the nature of a child, reluctant to go to bed and miss out on the fun that must occur when only the grown-ups are awake. Optimism is happiness wrapped in possibilities BUT it realistically acknowledges the presence of negativity. It tells us to keep on keeping on and whispers promises in our ears when the negative noises weaken our resolve.

Another friend suggested that maybe I needed a shorter list. Truth be told, if given more time, I could added dozens of active personal pursuits to my list. We should be constantly striving to better ourselves; physically, mentally, socially and intellectually. Attainability should not determine what we strive for. Because growth does not end and the presence of failure should not detract from success.
Hurdles are for jumping and jumping makes you strong. True success requires practice and true self-improvement requires failure. Acknowledge those failures! Relish in them. Let them make you laugh. Screwing up can be hysterical. I am fully aware of the mistakes and unaccomplished goals that led me to here. I do have regrets. I regret the decisions I have made that hurt other people. But I also look to my errors with complete gratitude for molding me into the person I am and lighting my path. Being imperfect is the most universal thing you can be and therefore, the last thing anyone should be ashamed of.

If I could suggest anything for anyone in 2014, it would be to EMBRACE YOUR TRUTH. Become ridiculously comfortable with your imperfections, fall shamelessly in love with your story and stay incredibly excited by your potential. Other than that, don’t change a damn thing.

Much love and Happy New Year ~~ Jeanna