I Will Not Live Life Looking Forward to a New Year.

Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open. - Alexander Graham Bell

Every year around this time people start getting self-reflective. Every year around this time memes and people’s facebook posts start talking about how “This year was terrible, can’t wait for the new year.” Every. Single. Year. Last year, everyone was saying that 2016 sucked and that 2017 would be “their” year. Now, I’m seeing a lot of those people saying “2017 sucked…2018 will definitely be my year.” I have news for these people, this kind of mentality will make you miserable, every year.

I refuse to live my life always looking forward to a new year. Guess what? Shitty things happen every single year. People will die. Bad decisions will be made. Life will throw curveballs at us and throw us completely off track. Or at least the track we think we should be on.  Now I could write off 2017 very easily. I had a break-up at the beginning of the year. My sweet dog died. I had the world’s worst roommate who made my life very difficult and dramatic for 6 months. I have been house hunting and losing on every offer I have put in. I applied for a job I really wanted and didn’t get it.

You know what else also happened this year? I started my year of single blogging and it made me fall completely in love with myself. Incidentally, 3 months into the “year of single” I met a great guy (I’ll come back to this in a moment). I got my first freelance writing job. I applied to grad school. I have had some really great times with friends this year. I’ve laughed so hard I have cried and loved life.  

Even the relationship I didn’t intend to start during my year of single has had it’s ups and downs. We are well-matched and he is someone I consider a best friend and a partner. However, we are so well-matched that we have very similar aspects of our personalities, including being stubborn as fuck. So, we have had fights, we have broken up, we have said unkind things. It has been an unexpected learning curve for both of us. I think we are finally figuring it out, but it’s taking time.

Instead of focusing on all the bad things this year, I’m focusing on all the completely amazing and unexpected things that have happened. If I based every year on whether or not something bad happened, I would be unhappy all the time. I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now, even if I didn’t think it was where I should be. Life always has a way of surprising me, but I think it is because I am open to new possibilities.

A new year means nothing. You are not getting a clean slate, it’s a continuation of the life you are creating right now. Calendar years are just how we keep track of time. If you aren’t happy with your situation, change it now. At the very least work towards making small changes to improve your life. Wallowing in your failures and constantly hoping for a new year will get you nowhere. Life is going to be hard and it isn’t going to go the way you expect, but you have to adapt. Those shitty moments make the great ones so much sweeter. Spend the rest of this year reflecting on the great moments that did happen in 2017 and carry that into your new year and every year after it.

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