I’m pretty sure most of us have things we want to accomplish this year. You know, typical things, like losing weight, accomplishing a career goal, or laying off the spells you’ve been casting on that one girl that tried to ruin your life in eighth grade by telling everyone you were a poser and didn’t even like screamo music.
Though we set intentions to achieve commendable results, I find that most resolutions are quite negative, in a literal sense. They involve taking away—whether it’s food, free time, or the simple enjoyment that comes from chanting while surrounded by nasty Myspace wall posts you printed out, while Underoath plays in the background—and that can make it harder to achieve. This year, I propose we focus less on the negative, and more on the nourishment of mind, body, and spirit; to fill up on the good, so there’s less room for the things we wish to change. My thought is, the more we fuel ourselves for growth, the more naturally the positive will fall into place.
As someone with a history of disordered eating, food is important to me. Like, really important. Like, I think about food 90 percent of the time important. I’ve researched almost every diet from high fat to low fat; no-carb to eh-carbs-aren’t-that-bad; high-protein to you-can-forage-for-berries-in-your-backyard, and have realized that they all have to do with eating less of something—whatever that may be.
In the past three years, I became so obsessed with limiting my food intake that I gained weight from not eating enough. I gradually started to feel and look weaker, which was accompanied by a myriad of health issues, including joint pain and low blood pressure. It’s been incredibly frustrating to feel like I’ve been working so hard, and still have things start to fall apart. Throughout this process, though, I’ve begun to realize how important food is, and not just in terms of limiting it.
The times I’ve felt strongest recently are the times I’ve focused on fueling—on adding more food. Food that’s good for the body. Food for nourishment. Food that helps me grow. If you intend to eat better this year, instead of obsessing about limitation, it may be helpful to focus more on adding good, so there’s less room for the things you wish to avoid. Also, I’m not a doctor, so don’t sue me if you eat so many leafy greens that you turn into a head of romaine.
It is 100 percent okay to strive for more and chase your dreams in 2018. Go for that promotion. Be the last one to leave the office. Improve your personal assistant efficiency by 43 percent. Other job stuff (that I wouldn’t know because I don’t really have one??)!
I think it’s great to be on that work grind, but sometimes when we devote ourselves to more work, we lose track of taking necessary time for ourselves to recharge. If you’re rolling you eyes at this, I get it. I work four part-time jobs, and only half of them provide stable income. If I’m not at work, I’m applying for a fellowship, or sketching a book, or chauffeuring children, or updating my website. I understand that we’re all busy trying to accomplish things while still faced with the task of paying our student loans, rent, and bills from the one time we decided to see an endocrinologist that said nothing was even wrong and it was all in our heads.
As a fellow busy person, I realize that it can often feel more stressful to take a break than to keep working. I also realize, though, that if you don’t take time to rest, you can burn out, and then you won’t be able to work or pay rent. And then you’ll starve and/or freeze to death, probably.
If you’d rather not die, let’s tackle this together. When we’re writing things in our shiny new planners with our colorful pens, let’s be sure to throw in a quick lil 30 mins of reading, meditation, or even a quick Netflix break. Then, when the time comes, we’ll set an alarm, and get lost in whatever we’re doing to relax, and won’t check our phones until the buzzer goes off.
Taking this time might sound kind of stupid, and like it’s not doing anything, and yes, I’ve fought with my therapist over this numerous times before she eventually quit on me, but it works! Happy us = more productive us = a “more efficient at coffee runs” us.
No one likes toxic bitches in their lives. That’s just true. It may seem like it’s easy to just cut them off, but it’s become increasingly challenging to do so because of how we’re all connected through the internet.
I’ll be honest—I have a social media problem. I can easily just not go outside if I think the girl who did me dirty is going to be around my neighborhood, or stay away from Panera because I know a bitch who loves white people food, but staying away from them online is a whole different thing. Sure, I can block people, but if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to roll my eyes at their dumb af Instagram stories, stalk their current location via the Facebook mobile app, or screenshot their tweets with pronoun agreement errors. (This isn’t just me, right?) The issue with these actions is that by continuing to do things like this, I haven’t cut them off at all; I still let that negativity seep into my screen and affect my life. And I’m trying to stop it.
In 2018, I invite you to spend more time with people who are not toxic bitches, and I’ll try my best to do it, too. We will satisfy our hearts with friends who would never talk behind our backs and tell everyone that, “like, actually, I think her hair is ugly and weird.” We are going to hang out with family members who make us laugh, and would never start a passive-aggressive Instagram war where if you like something first, she won’t like it after that. We will go outside and connect with people in our communities who are doing good, and not trying to turn all of your mutual friends against you by telling everyone you (justifiably) called her a racist.
If we fill our days with positivity and light, we won’t have free time to hate-stalk, and that’s best for you, those around you who would benefit from your undivided attention, and especially that chick that called you a poser.