New Year, New Me?

My last blog post was in May 2013. It was about the time when I went to my commencement ceremony after graduating college. Later that same year, I went back to my alma mater for graduate school. In the three and a half years since that blog post, I earned a master’s degree, wrote a manuscript of poetry, took some very memorable and enlightening classes in literature and creative writing, was the vice president and then president for my college’s creative writing club, remained active in two or three other clubs, made some good new friends, and became even closer to the friends I already had. I accomplished a lot as a student, as a board member, as a friend.

I want to say I have grown a lot as a person, but in a lot of ways, I am still very much the same as who I was when I wrote that blog post in May 2013. I still struggle with a lot of the same things. In the past six months since graduating again, in addition to having trouble finding work, again, I’ve had to rethink my own identity, for I was no longer a student, and I had to figure out what that meant for me. With no school work and no job to distract me, I’ve had to deal with the demons inside me that I kept hidden for far too long. 2016 in particular wasn’t a very good year, both on the macro level and for me personally.

Sorry to bring you down for a bit there, but I had to get you up to speed. It’s 2017 now, it’s a new year, and so what I really want is to make this post about hope. I’m trying very hard not to say something corny like “new year, new me,” but there’s some truth to that phrase for me. Well, technically, I didn’t start renewing myself this week, I kind of started about a month ago. I’ve been slowly pulling myself out of the hole I’ve been in, building up my self-esteem, getting to know myself, and being more comfortable in my own skin.

Some things I’ve learned in the past few weeks that may be helpful to anyone else trying to renew themselves in the new year are: don’t let others take credit for your accomplishments, don’t let others overemphasize your mistakes, don’t let others determine what you ought to do or who you ought to be, don’t let others pass their pain onto you to internalize as your own, and finally, don’t tell yourself that you aren’t good enough.

I usually don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I know I’ll break them, but this time, I felt it was crucial to make just one: to be better. I’m finding ways to be healthy, both in body and mind. I am exercising more consistently and eating more healthily, and I’m trying to read, write, and record more frequently. Perhaps most importantly, I am trying to not be so cruel to myself. In terms of keeping this blog active, I am going for at least three blog posts a month, some of which will be reviews, and at least three recordings a month of covers from my favorite bands. Last month, I covered Fall Out Boy, and this month, I’ll be covering Jimmy Eat World, so stay tuned for those. And, of course, when I get a job, which will hopefully be very soon, I’ll be sure to tell you about all of that as well.

I haven’t been this hopeful for the future in a long time. I know it’s going to take a lot of work to get to where I want to be at this stage of my life, but I’m ready for it. Bring it on, 2017.

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