Resolution 2013

New-Years-resolution-tree

I’m not really one of those people who makes New Year’s resolutions every year. While I’m sure I’ve made them between then and now, the last resolution I can clearly remember making was in 2006, when I resolved to stop my constant habit of biting my nails (I haven’t since.) This year, though, I need to make one to avoid slipping back into that place I fell into in November.

My resolution this year is to be kinder to myself. I feel a bit selfish having a resolution that’s not more centered around others, but I really think that before I can even consider helping other people, I need to work on this first. Maybe cutting themselves some slack comes naturally to some people, but not to me. I’m still beating myself up over a slip of the tongue I committed when I was eleven. About two weeks ago, I was chastising myself for waking up later than I wanted to and (in my mind) throwing off MY WHOLE ENTIRE DAY GOD when I had a thought: I should be nicer to myself.

This revelation actually stunned me; it was so simple and yet something I never, ever do. If I do something well, or I get something I didn’t think I would, I always chalk it up to luck, never to the hard work I probably did get achieve that. And if I do something poorly, well, I can count on a good year of guilt, at least. I often joke that this is the long family line of Catholicism affecting me, but seriously, it has to stop. Yes, I think I should feel bad if I do something wrong (though not if I do something poorly by accident), but the amount of guilt I heap upon myself for doing those wrong things is unbelievable. Considering that I rarely do “bad” things just for the fun of it (wait… I never do bad things just for the fun of it…), I probably don’t deserve that much guilt. The fact that I feel guilty for even cutting myself as much slack as I did in this past sentence is kind of disturbing.

I’ve been back in therapy for almost a month, and I’m really happy to be going again. One observation my therapist has made about me is that I assign myself to watch over everyone, and if something happens to them, I blame myself. It’s a heavy load to carry, and while I will never stop worrying about my friends’ and family’s well-being, I’d like to one day not feel like my looking away for a second was the reason for something bad happening to them. I’ve stated before that I often live my life for other people, and I think that ties into this; I need to live my life for me.

That second bit includes something I’ve been finding very hard to accept lately: that I have a different timetable than most people. I am the latest of the late bloomers in many social ways, and it has been bothering me a lot lately. Pretty much everyone tells me that this doesn’t actually matter; that no one’s judging me for what I have and haven’t done. I don’t believe them at all, but I want to work on believing them. Maybe if I start to convince myself that I’m not the weirdo in every social group, I can start to integrate myself into those groups without feeling terrible about myself.

I’d like to make a big list of resolutions, but I think the above is quite enough to deal with, even for a whole year. Hopefully by 2014, I’ll be putting a lot less pressure on myself.

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