Happy New Year!! We should all feel so proud of how far we have come in the past decade. I am sure each one of us has grown in ways we never even imagined could happen, and for that, we should be proud of ourselves. Now, I do feel like there is always some type of pressure when it comes to starting out a new year. The phrase "New Year, New Me," gets thrown into every post on social media. One thing I do want to point out is that we shouldn't strive to change ourselves but instead grow from what we learned in the past year or even decade. When I reflect on the past decade, I can tell you most of the problems I had stemmed from that very phrase. I always told myself each year that this would be the year I would re-create myself. In reality, it is not about re-creating a new you, but instead learning how to love yourself for who you are and prioritizing on finding yourself! I believe that is the hardest thing to embrace because we are living in a time where everyone shows a perfect version of themselves on social media. Most of us have gone through adversities in our lifetimes, but we don't talk about them because we are scared to lose the perfect life we display to our friends and family. I am here to tell you that you should embrace all the misfortunes that have happened in your life. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so please prioritize both. If you didn't have a great year, know that there are so many great things ahead of you. Learn from what has happened to you and keep growing. If you feel lost or if you feel numb, know that you will see and feel again. It is okay to be not okay. Take it from someone who has been there before. You will find your place; I promise you that! Word of advice, take it day by day. Focus on the small things that make you happy and bring positivity in your life. This decade for me was filled with ups and downs (downs more than ups if I am being honest with you), but I kept going. I took myself out of the deep hole I dug myself years ago and created someone I absolutely love. I love myself, and I love where I am going in my life. From starting a non-profit in my college to landing my dream job after graduating, I accomplished so much because I pushed myself and never gave up hope. I persevered, I met people who challenged and pushed me, and most importantly, I learned to love myself. Always strive to surround yourself with people who challenge your way of thinking, be compassionate towards different causes, and show up for the people who love you. Put yourself first, be selfish with your time/energy, and don't be afraid to cut people out of your life.
Remember always to look ahead, life isn't meant to be perfect. What's in the past should stay in the past. Don't let those mistakes and failures affect the way you live daily. I am a firm believer that you learn the most through those imperfections in life. With that being said, there are so many ways to heal and to grow, but one thing is certain, patience is key. The answers to your problem aren't black and white; you have to be willing to work on yourself. It took me years to get to where I am now, and I am so proud of how far I have come. Be proud of yourself; every small step forward is an accomplishment. Now go love yourself and remember, you are loved no matter what.