Well, listen. I think you’re fine just the way you are.
Sure, you might benefit from a crash course in assertiveness. It might do you some good to cut the sugar, to read the classics, to schedule yourself a detox bath twice a week.
But it might not.
It might just make you feel gloriously defeated when you fall into bed at the end of the night to find Catcher In The Rye gathering dust (again).
It might offer the false assumption that you are what you do, that you’re only as strong as your weakest habit, that you’re incapable of change.
I don’t believe this to be true.
I think there is inherent worth in change, and I think there is inherent worth in the decision not to change.
I think there is a certain beauty in taking stock of yourself, in peering into your own green eyes, in surveying the wrinkles and the grays and your innermost imperfections and saying to you and you alone: You know, NOT BAD.
There are worse things, I’m sure.
And this is why – year after year – I pen my own non-goals. The non-improvements, the non-betterments, the non-upgrades. The habits I want to stay the same because I once fought really hard for them. The ones I won’t allow to fall quietly by the wayside simply because I caught myself reading an article titled 20 Things To Change In 2016.
The ones – dare I say it? – I love about myself.
And so, here they are, in no particular order. A short list of happy things I resolve to appreciate for the year upon us, for the day upon us, for whatever we’re given:
- You’re an extremist, a bit. Kind of irrational. Just yesterday, you searched for property in Thailand and nearly gave away your entire house/belongings/shoe rack to jet set for a shack on the Andaman. This is OK. It’s not particularly healthy, but it’s OK, and it’s endearing, and hey, the roads were paved with dreamers. Feel free to channel this. See what happens.
- You didn’t put cream, milk or sugar in your coffee once this year. Color me impressed.
- You’re learning to write simply for the sake of writing. For the sake of truth-telling, for the sake of learning something incredible about yourself to learn something incredible about others. You wrote a book last year, yes, an entire book, but mostly you sat down and told the truth to the keyboard, and it made you raw then strong, tired then brave. It did not make you new, but it made you see something new, and sometimes these are one and the same.
- You are content with what is, mostly. You are passive. You’d rather glide through life than bristle through it, rather roll over on your back for a cat nap than face an angered lion. This does not make you fearful; this makes you quiet. Soft. Meek, perhaps. There is a difference. You walk away from conflict, you take deep breaths, you trust that time will heal and the rising sun will still shine tomorrow, and perhaps even the next. And you are finally seeing the beauty in this. You are finally growing comfortable in these mechanics, finally understanding that passivity is not a personality flaw to be changed, but a personality style to be honed.
- Surprise! You’re still sensitive, still a thin skin. You still eat too much cheese. You still forget to exfoliate. You still need an Introvert Time Out at family functions. You still can’t multi-task, you still haven’t mastered a yoga headstand and you still haven’t learned all of the words to We Didn’t Start The Fire. Maybe you weren’t meant to yet. Maybe you weren’t meant to at all. Maybe you were given this precise personality, this precise nose, this precise freckle on your left knee as a vehicle to wander, to watch, to observe something larger than yourself – flawed eyes in a flawed world. Perhaps this isn’t about you, not really. (Perhaps it never was.)
Happy New Year, friends! I’d love to hear your own non goals for your life – feel free to share!