Wow. 2017 is gone and I’m glad for it.

2018 has just begun. We are three days in. I’m still not sure how to respond to it. I mean the year started with my favorite football team, the Michigan Wolverines, losing their bowl game and bringing shame to the Big 10. What’s lurking around the corner now?

You know, I thought long and hard before writing this post. It’s the obligatory “It’s a new year, new me” blog post impulse. And you know what? Every dang year the same thing happens. I devise a list of goals certain I’ll succeed and then I fail. Do I dare set myself up for failure again this year?

Yes, because I’m a fool.

But maybe it’s also because I have a warrior deep within me that strives to rise up above failures.

You see, there seems to be something strangely different about this coming year. This past year has been a crazy one with friends, family, and this destructive political climate we are in. (Can 2018 please be the year Trump is impeached?!) I’ve endured things, learned things, and persevered through things I didn’t quite expect–I still am.

And maybe it’s not about going into 2018 a bit different. Maybe it’s just that I’ve decided that I’m done being the person people WANT me to be. Growing up, there was this expectation to live a certain way, to think a certain way, to be blind to a world of facts. To challenge that, to think differently, and to think for myself has been me with quotes such as “You have not changed in a good way”, or “What did we do wrong to make you like this?”, or “Where is this coming from?”, or even “There’s no hope for you anymore”.

It’s cost me relationships with both friends and family. I can’t deny that it might sting a bit, but I also can’t deny that it feels good to let go of such narrow-minded thinking and embrace who I truly am. Being who people WANT and HOPE me to be is exhausting. I’m breaking out of that mold.

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My favorite scene from Agents of Shield resonates with me right now. Break. Out. Of. The. Mold. Except I’m not Daisy Johnson 

I can’t be defined by the expectations of others. I should only be defined by the reality of who I really am. I can’t linger on worrying about what people in the past might think about me. I can only hope the people who matter will accept my freedom and champion me on the sidelines.

Therefore, I’m not making any apologies. I’m moving forward. I’m thankful that I have a small group of friends that I can call my family along with some dedicated family members who love who I truly am instead of being disappointed in who I am.

Trust me. 2017 has been a mess of me “disappointing” people who think I should be somebody else–somebody fake. Well, no more.

That’s all changing and as a result I’m trying to set my sights on new things and dreams. As 2018 cements itself into my life, I’m setting out to accomplish a few things. And I will not fail.

  • After being inspired by a friend of mine who did this in 2017, I’m going to run a 5k everyday of the year. I know it will not be easy and that I’ll want to give up, but I’m doing my best to stick to it. I’ve already accomplished it every day so far. If I can’t make a run happen due to knee issues, I’ll bike a 5k. No excuses. It’s literally a half hour out of my day and I should be able to manage that. With each run, I will envision myself breaking out of the past mold. It will keep me focused.

 

  • I’m only eating between 8AM and 8PM. I’m not having super strong dietary restrictions because that just doesn’t work well long-term. However, I’m a bit mindful of what I’m putting into my body. I’ve read that eating on a schedule like that actually maintains weight loss. I just know that I can’t make pizza and ice cream my main foods during that time period.

 

  • I plan to read two books a month at least. I can do it. It just means prioritizing my time better. I’ve really fallen in love with reading all over again lately. Good books, cups of coffee, and my little reading nook has been my favorite thing over the past week of my life. It’s been a nice shelter from negativity and a nice escape from reality.

 

  • I’m sticking to a budget this year. I’ve laid it all out and I’m committing to it. I’m not using my debit card unless it’s to pay for gas. Everything else will be cash payments to keep myself focused. I’m in an incredible amount of credit card debt and student loan debt. I’m a teacher so I don’t make big bucks. I’ve accepted I’ll probably be in debt until I’m 80 years old. However, I can’t just roll over and let the debt continue to build. I may be living paycheck to paycheck, but maybe in time and with budgeting, I’ll rise above the mountain of debt.

 

  • I’m hoping to finish writing a book by the end of the year. What book? Who knows. I’m still wrestling with my Aedonu Chronicles, still fighting my middle school story, and breathing life into a dark tale of Peter Pan. What story will come out victorious by 2019? Writing is my passion, but it’s also such a hard thing to do with my busy life. I just hope writing isn’t one of those dreams that just remains a dream. I hope one day it becomes a reality.

 

  • I’m also disabling my Facebook account for the month of January to see how much time I gain back. I might even keep it disabled longer. I’m always on there, scrolling through mindless posts and videos. Time to destroy that. Plus, it comes with unwanted drama. You see, I’m very political because I care about people and the world. It’s hard for me to be silent when the current administration doesn’t hold human beings and love at its core values. Therefore, time to axe out the negative and distracting Facebook. I’ll be on Twitter and Instagram instead which I spend far less time on.

 

And with that, I’m done ranting about 2018. Ranting does nothing. Action does.

Be who you want to be in 2018. Make no apologies This is me. Who are you?

I leave you with that question and with my new anthem, which I fell in love with from the movie The Greatest Showman. Listen to this song. Study the lyrics. Cherish it. This is what I’m going into 2018 with. Join me and make NO apologies about it.

2018 is the year of being free.

 

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