cw: mental health, depression, anxiety
Every year we are pressured to make resolutions for the New Year. And most of these resolutions fuel our adrenaline in January, but ultimately weigh us down, and hang over our heads with guilt when we can no longer force ourselves to commit. So I have a proposition: make a list of resolutions, and let the cards fall where they may. These lists are (usually) positive and come from the part of us that cares about being a bigger, better person. Just the act of thinking, trying, and even recognize our faults or where we can improve is a big and important step for us. And after the national, international, and personal shit storm(s) of 2016, we owe it to ourselves to permit a sliver of optimism into our lives. Without further adieu, here is my list for a path to a better, healthier me:
- Work out. Get fit. Take dance classes, follow '80s aerobics videos, do my professor's signature sit-up warm up to Beyoncé's "Formation". Walk home instead of taking a train, bus, Uber.
- Get professional help. I really tried to do this Fall 2016 after the unspeakable Spring semester I had. It didn't prevent my semester from eating me alive, but it was progress. I won't settle for a therapist that is condescending, monotone, racist, or bad for me in any way. If I want to see a change and be better, I need to speak up and seek out the best -within my means.
- Let my ego go. This is a hard one. For many of us marginalized and oppressed folx, we are so used to being the loser, we sometimes fail to recognize when we ourselves are in the wrong. As much as I love unfriending people who don't even use my pronouns irl, it is important for me to have healthy debates, and to agree to disagree. I will stand my ground and stand up for what I believe in, but must be open to hearing the voices and experiences of others I am familiar with.
- Making friends. I have reached this point in my life where I am unsure as to who is my friend or who is just my acquaintance. I have pushed people away and let people go. And while most of that is caused by my depression and (social) anxiety, I have to do what I have always done and fight. I don't need to be BFFs with all my coworkers, classmates, and subway-mates, but I need to build my support system. Virtually the only thing I got from my therapy last year (lol) was that I have too much on my shoulders to not have support.
- Go for it. I should really put procrastination and quitting on my resume. I used to have a lot of motivation, ambitions, and dreams and that all fell away in 2016. But this year, instead of wishing people invited me out, thinking up realistic hypotheticals, and envying others for being cooler than me, I'm going to risk it all. Let my guard down and invite people out myself. Or go out and make friends myself, at the punk show. I am going to live out the hypothetical and make it a reality to the best of my ability. I am going to be my own role model and impress myself.
It irks me when people say how strong I am to keep fighting and keep going when I just keep getting weaker, but keep going because I don't have the privilege to give up. My family continues to invest in who they think I am and I owe them something. And while I don't see a clear reason to keep on living or to keep trying, it's selfish of me to just let my mind consume me when I can be doing something with all the privilege I do have. Because I owe it to my mom and I owe it to my ancestors: who went through much more than I have. There is no good in shaming myself for my mental health, and there is no good in succumbing to it when I am on the fence of being better. I am tired of my feelings being inconvenient, but I am even more tired of not believing that I can get better.
There is a lot riding on 2017, and I am so scared for our future. But I'll leave you these words of tumblr hope: