After spending a lot of time in 2017 (re)building and exploring my warmer-fuzzier side, I figured in 2018 I needed to be a bit more aggressive again.
But not in a way that negates everything I learned over the past twelve months.
That’s always a danger in setting goals and intentions at the beginning of a new year.
We spend hours — days — weeks reflecting on and reviewing our past year in December, and then in January we sit down to plot brand new plans and focus.
Yet how often do we stop to think about how we are applying the lessons of the past to our hopes for the future?
As I thought about what I want 2018 to look like, and what I need to do to make that happen, I didn’t want to lose the vulnerability that I worked so hard to claim.
But maybe with a little less (ok, a lot less) time curled into a fetal position.
My year essentially started with me standing in my sister’s living room, with her arms around me as I sobbed — and it ended the same way.
It should be noted, crying uncontrollably (especially in public) is quite possibly my 7th circle of hell.
Yet in 2017, I found myself unable to get through an entire day without welling up a bit, if not curling into full fetal position, sobbing and eating Nutella, straight from the jar, with a spoon.
Which was odd, as 2017 was “my most successful” year-to-date on many professional and forward-trajectory life fulfillment fronts.
But that seemed to be a huge part of the problem. The more I accomplished and succeeded, the more I pulled myself into analyzing the failures that fell between the peaks. I would be standing in a grocery store, looking at a package of green olives, and burst out crying that my life should feel so much…better.
The happier I should have been, the harder it got to knock the feeling that I wasn’t.
The most important question I had to ask myself?
“If I eat a ton (metric, not metaphoric) of olives daily, will I die?”
Everything else was a no-brainer—and a surprising amount of hard work.
See, I was all set to move back to the Greater Boston area this spring. My sister and niece (and her husband—my brother-in-law is pretty fantastic, but the other two are the ones who really hold my fixation) live about an hour outside the city in a little New England town I like to refer to as Republican Stars Hollow (I’m not sure the family enjoys that moniker).
I had a deposit and an application in on an apartment complex that was basically brick-and-beam lofts in a converted mill, overlooking the river (aka my dream living space). I had appointments to look at a few co-working spaces in Boston. I bought a ROUND-TRIP TICKET when I left for Oaxaca, Mexico in January. The plan was always to return to the US.
My plans were to settle into an actual home base.
Silly Elisa. Life rarely goes as planned.
(Update: This post was written in 2015, when I actually turned 35)
Today I turned thirty-five.
I wasn’t upset when I turned twenty-five. Or thirty.
Somehow, twenty-seven was a rough year for me. Not really sure about the cause of that…maybe 2007 was a bad year for everyone?
Now, I’m hitting the next milestone (or half-milestone?) birthday…and it is actually hitting me.
As I said to a friend who asked me why I was struggling: “I’m a whole new demographic now!”
He was understandably confused.
“A whole new demographic! I filled out a survey online, and I’m no longer an “18-34 year old” adult. I have to check “35-49 year old” box now! What does that make me? Am I old now?!”
I know how ridiculous it sounds.
Thirty-five just feels…weird.