Happy new year, my lovelies!
I rang in 2016 in Hamilton, of all places. An uber driver asked me if I had exciting plans for New Year’s Eve and when I told them I was going to the Hammer, he laughed and said “I guess not, eh”. I always find that such prejudice against very normal cities rankles me. I didn’t go for glitz and glamour, I went for the people. I don’t mind Hamilton, although it could never fill the 6ix-shaped space in my heart.
As you may already know, I’ve long given up on New Years resolutions.
The last time I made one was three years ago, when I swore to be single for the whole of 2013. A few hours later I met Mel (and I realised that I’m not very good at resolutions).
So instead, I take part in the eAmbassadors’ tradition of #OneWord365. Instead of making lofty and unrealistic resolutions, we choose one word by which we place to craft the coming year. Last year my word was Recover: recover physically, recover my sense of self, recover from the trauma and grief that permeates chronic illness.
This year, my word is Embrace.
If 2015 was about finding my feet, 2016 will be about opening my hands, ready to give and to receive. More so, I hope this will be the year that I can not only accept past events, I can embrace them and the growth they inspired in my character. If last year was character development, this year is climbing my story arc.
2016 will carry me from third year into fourth. I went into my degree in the UK, where programs are generally three years long: but when I transferred, I transferred into a four year program. Rather than sighing over my peers’ graduation posts, I hope that this year I can embrace the opportunity to really get my teeth into my studies, to learn French, to have at least half of my undergrad not be tainted by past misfortune. I hope I can become a valuable part of the Glendon community, that I can contribute something by being here.
I hope this year brings new and good connections. In the last few months I’ve been graced by the newfound presences of wonderful people, freshly unearthed gems who have enriched my life in profound and moving ways. I’m an unusually open-hearted introvert: I highly value connection both to places and people, I love talking to strangers, I love making new friends. This year I’d like to embrace these new friendships and not let such bright souls slip through my fingers.
I also wish to embrace the ones who have stood by my side for years now. It’s so important to avoid complacency in life, but particularly in recognising the people who love you. My family and my oldest, closest friends are far-flung across oceans and international borders, and I’m not very good at keep in contact with them all. I like to think that even though we speak rarely and see each other even less, they can feel my presence and that they know how deeply I love them.
I’d like to embrace my potential this year: to write more and to write better, to find work that excites me, to learn, to learn, to learn. Whether in retail or in university or in the dream job or the 501 streetcar, always to learn.
Most importantly, I’d like to embrace myself in 2016.
I’ve struggled a lot in past years with low self-esteem, much of it stemming from disliking my appearance. I’m happy that since I’ve been in my twenties, I’ve been able to make some peace with my body: my wide hips, my Kardashian-esque behind, my thighs, my cellulite, my breakout-prone skin, my big nose, my weird chin. I have had a habit of comparing myself to others and taking their differences as superiority– but this is a habit I’m letting go of. Going forward I intend to embrace all the things I’ve been resenting.
I know that it’s just another day, I know that time is an illusion, etc etc ad infinitum. I don’t believe in January juice cleanses or that “New year, new me” happens overnight. I do, however, believe that setting an intention can make a huge difference to the behaviours and habits that we carry with us. I have seen how one word can define 365 days. That’s something I can embrace with all my heart.
So until next time, I hope you all have a beautiful and fulfilling 2016, and I can’t wait to read all the eAmbassador’s #OneWord365 posts. I go back to uni on Monday and I already feel slightly overwhelmed by how busy it’s going to be. And yet, I can’t wait to get stuck in and embrace it.