2012, a year through brighter eyes.

Welcome, 2012.

I'm a day late, or maybe even later since most people plan these things early, but today I've been thinking about New Years resolutions. I've never been one to list any, and if I did, I've never been one to stick to them.  I'm sure there are many things that I could improve on.  Although school is finally merging higher and higher on my list of priorities, it's still not exactly where it should be.  I did not do nearly as well in my classes as I planned on doing this semester.  I also, like most people, need to focus more on saving and not spending.  I need to eat better, I'd like to pay off my car... and win the lottery...

Over the past year or so, I've found a greater strength in myself that I never thought I had before.  I know I haven't reached my new strength's full potential, and because of the happiness feeling stronger has brought to me, I won't stop until I do.  This idea is what has helped me build my list of resolutions for 2012 and beyond.  I want this to be a better, happier year... and the beginning of a better, happier life.

My focus at the beginning of this new year is to become a genuinely better person.  I believe that the happiness we feel partly stems from the happiness we cause others to feel.  Every one of us has had many times where take anger out on someone or something else; I know I have.  But, I can't think of any of those times where getting so angry made me feel better about anything.  I also can't think of one time where I didn't feel guilty and regret the words I've said or things I've done.  Regret and guilt are terrible feelings that hold us back, but they are also feelings that can sometimes be prevented.  My first new years resolution for 2012 is to look at each conflict in my life with clearer eyes.  I want to learn to base my decisions on honesty, respect, and kindness, and not react out of feelings like anger or jealousy.  I want to stay strong, calm, and rational through all situations.

This new years resolutions seems like it could stand alone, but a strong backbone to being better to others is being happy with yourself.  So, another new years resolution on my list is something I've been focusing on already for a while, and I've found it's one of the easiest ways to build a strong foundation to a happier life.  I want to continue to discover the great things about myself, and stop focusing on all of the negative aspects -- or the things that just I believe are negative aspects.

It seems like we all start off believing that there is some mold that we need to fill to be "accepted".  Sadly, I can remember this being the case even as far back as kindergarten.  I remember knowing exactly which kids in the class were "cool".  These were the ones you wanted to be seen with... they were the ones who constantly had all the other kids flocking to them for their attention, and if you got their attention, suddenly you had this great feeling of acceptance.  I also remember knowing which ones to stay away from, unless you had no intention of being in the circle of accepted kids.  I guess I always stayed in the middle.  The cool kids were "cool", the one or two of them at the top that everyone else followed... but all of the ones who were following them were like their clones, or at least they were attempting to be.  I never remember feeling any desire to have such boring people as friends.  They were constantly worried about making the right impression and saying the right things.  I'm talking about kids who are four and five years old, already caring about how they appear to others and what that makes others think of them!  This age is where most of us acquire this habit, and unfortunately we carry it on our shoulders for the rest of our lives.

For some reason, on the other side of the spectrum, the kids who weren't as accepted were the ones who actually held on to their own personalities and what made them unique.  Sure, some of them might be considered weird, but at least they kept true to who they were, and I think that's what makes someone worth knowing.  Even through high school, and now working and going to college, I'll take a conversation with someone who knows who he is over someone who is trying to fit in any day.  I want to be that person that people have conversations with because they enjoy what makes me unique,  I also want to be able easily walk away from  those who feel like I'm not worth their time.  I want to be able to do this without getting hurt and without wasting time worrying about why they think so negatively about me.   After all, why would I want to act like someone I am not just to get someone's attention?  I want to draw people into my life who are "real", and the only way to do that is to be the real me.

Just like some people don't like some foods or activities, some people do not like other people, but this does not mean those people are in some way corrupt.  This does not mean hearts should be broken or tears should be shed.  We should all be able to be satisfied knowing that there are people who love us for who we really are... and we should all be satisfied by this enough to move on from those who don't like what makes us unique... no harm done.

I really wish others could realize the importance of this idea.  To find true happiness, true friends, you need to be you.

For this new years resolution, I want to focus on the things I love to do.  I want to pick my camera up more.  I want to go back to sitting at an electric piano for hours endlessly writing bits of music... and maybe actually turn those bits of music into something outstanding.  I also want to find new talents, and I want to improve in areas where I feel I'm not doing as well as I should be.  I don't want anything to do with trying to fit in. I want to find myself.

Another new years resolution I feel strongly about is trying to create a life without unnecessary fear and worry.  There are many things I'm scared of... heights, water, pain.  Now, I'm not saying I'm going to go skydiving because I absolutely need to get rid of my fear of heights, but I want to get rid of the fears that are not so rational.  Being so consumed in fear and anxiety is what has kept me from trying new things and living an exciting life.  I want to be able to better understand that things like failure or pain are inevitably going to happen and some points of life, but that the worry we feel over these things is often worse than the actual event that occurs.  I want to live by the idea that there is no real reason to worry about things that we cannot control.

Overall, I want to replace as much negativity in my life with happiness; because... what a life that would be.

I saw someone post a status on Facebook recently about how announcing "here's the new me!" is kind of a way of introducing a "you" that isn't really you.  I agree with this.  So, for 2012, I will be going back to the original me.  The one that is who I actually am... and who I always want to be.

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