2016 going on ’17

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This is me admitting I have been putting off writing this post for a few days now. My past two years of NYE posts are my two top viewed posts, and two of the posts I am most proud of quite frankly. (2014) + (2015) …In both posts I slightly mention how I am not the biggest supporter of “new year’s resolutions” solely because I don’t think we should aim for the “new year new me” mentality of changing ourselves, but rather look on improving aspects of our lives and daily actions without changing who we are. I also don’t think that waiting for a special day to start acting upon having better intentions for yourself is something worth waiting for; if you have a good intention…why wait???? SO  yeah, those posts were full with the good stuff and I was all full of wisdom. However this past year I have grown so much and learned so many things and my brain is fuzzy of what to spill to you all. Anyways, while I am typing this, we are about 21 hours into 2017 and while I was reflecting over the past year and on what I wanted to make this post about, I was constantly drawn to the areas of the past year that weren’t the best and realized one thing that constantly was a key factor in these areas: myself.

Now I know, I just said I am not a supporter of changing who you are, I am a firm believer that everyone is who they are for a good reason and God made them with personality quirks and all for very specific purposes in this universe, so I promise what I have to say isn’t about changing who you are. (trust me, this is coming from someone who in the past year has learned that she is  t e r r i f i e d  of change, so I wouldn’t throw that at ya.)

A whole bunch of crazy cool and big things happened in my life in 2016! I graduated high school! I moved to Kansas! I started college! I met new friends! I missed old ones! I joined a sorority! I doubted myself in so many areas I thought I was confident in! I found new things I am super great at because I went out on a limb! As I said, I am not super fond of change. I am an oldest child messily “Type A” who is used to pretty much having the things in her life under her own control. So as exciting and big as all of the change in my life was, it is pretty safe to say I am a lot bigger fan of the period of time a few months AFTER the big changes. Needless to say, 2016 definitely had some trying moments for myself, but nothing that didn’t end up working out for the better. As I mentioned, in the end, everyone is who they are and everything happens how it does for a reason (thanks God!!!!!)

Back to what I was saying about finding myself in the midst of all of the times of the past year weren’t the best. Every time when I was feeling lost, when I was feeling scared, when I was feeling like I wasn’t performing to my full potential or that I wasn’t being the best friend/sister/daughter that I could be: all tied back to times where I wasn’t taking care of myself. Now I am speaking from personal experience, but I am positive that we have all had times similar to this in our lives. It is not in any way a bad thing. For most of the time, we forget to care for ourselves when we are too busy caring about others. For example, instead of trying to commit time to each of my friends, I would get so worried that each of my friends was feeling loved or was doing okay that I would get so caught up in them that I forgot one of my favorite focuses: you can’t fill others’ cups when your own has yet to be filled. The same concept goes for so many different aspects of life and can even be applied to things like my academics. When I zoom out and stress too much about the bigger picture and how much work has to eventually be done (which I admit to doing far too often) instead of taking my classes one at a time and doing each assignment to the best of my ability as they come…I end up giving less attention to my studies than I should. Heck! It can even be applied to simple things like when we worry too much about eating healthy, staying in shape, being in a good mental state; we can freak ourselves out about how little progress we are making! However if we just take each step at a time: get a decent amount of sleep each night, carry around a water bottle and stay hydrated, take some extra time to walk to your classes, that huge daunting task of “healthy” seems so much simpler.

So more simply put: learn how to love yourself in order to love others. be selfish in the most selfless way. Quite honestly in order to be fully selfLESS, one must learn to be selfish. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make other’s lives better, but make sure to include yourself in that. Do you find yourself asking others how they are often? If they’re okay/happy? How their day is? ASK YOURSELF! It is kind of like the golden rule of treating others the way you’d wanna be treated, except reversed and inside out: treat yourself how you treat others and then treat others how you treat yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of others. However if you choose to be selfish for small and purposefully good intentions, the outcome of how you treat others will show tremendously better.

So what is my 2017 “resolution”, if you will? To love myself and to grow. I triple dog dare you all to do the same. As always, never change, but learn to grow. Learn to accept the big changes in your life for what they are, and decide how you’re gonna see the good side of them. Understand that the big leaps usually mean rough patches which sometimes mean bad days and the hardest part about all of that is understanding that all of it is totally, completely, 100% normal, and you’re gonna turn out just fine. Have a rough week? get some good sleep and work ahead. Not feeling yourself? Surround yourself with friends that make you smile and love ya lots. Miss your mom? Call your mom. (slowly learning there are some things ONLY moms can fix.) (And sometimes you have to FaceTime them at 6am from your dorm bed to show them your bronchitis infected throat. and they’re okay with it. because they’re moms and super-humans.) Do things that make your heart sing and find more things that make your heart sing and do those things too. Pet dogs occasionally if you can too, unless you’re allergic, then that is so so sad but there are cute pictures and videos of dogs ALL over the inter web to make your heart smile as well. Change your sheets, brush your hair, hug your best friends, hug yourself. Let’s all do some stuff to make ourselves happy, and then do some stuff to make our people happy. Because imagine if we all did that. That would be one gosh dang happy world, and one gosh dang happy year.

Here’s to 2017, may it be the happiest + most selfishly selfless one yet.

Love + hugs, xoxo, Ally

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