New Year’s Eve: A Reflection

I cannot believe my wall calendar, with its alert, perky brindle-haired Chihuahua looking up at me, had the nerve to tell me that today is December 31st.

What?

NO, NO, NO.

It can’t be. I feel like I was just bathing suit shopping for the Spring last week. Only a few days ago, I was stocking up on aloe for my annual Summer sunburn. And I know the Autumn birthday rush hasn’t passed already, has it? (Seriously, did everyone choose to copulate between December and January in my family? There are SO many September and October birthdays, I can barely keep up!)

This year has absolutely flown by. I know it is often said, but time truly does seem to move faster as you climb higher into adulthood. I used to wish for the passage of the years as a child; now it almost frightens me how badly I want it all to slow down.

Despite my aversion to the advancing years (and all that it entails regarding aging, mobility, etc), I must admit that I had a pretty stellar 2013. I accomplished nearly every goal I set for myself and have few regrets (or missed opportunities) on my shoulders as I enter 2014.

Here are just a few of the accomplishments of 2013:

  • I had a total of 21 publications over the year, which included poetry, short stories, photography, and my article in the Huffington Post.
  • I was featured in The Daily Mail for my weight loss journey.
  • My documentary, The Memoirs of a Yo-Yo Dieter, received over 1,500 views on YouTube as well as nearly 10,000 combined views on the “spin-offs” (people who yanked my video to host on their own channel) that followed the Daily Mail article.
  • I graduated from Full Sail University on October 4th, 2013 as the Valedictorian and Advanced Achiever of the BFA in Creative Writing. You can see my speech by clicking here. It is in Part One of the 10.4.2013 ceremony.
  • I was accepted into the Rollins College MLS program for Spring 2014. HUGE!
  • I bought a house!
  • I was officially branded by the incredible staff of Different Perspectives and now have fancy business cards (and letterhead/envelopes) to use when working with clients.

Holy crap!

Even for a year, that’s a lot of stuff. I’m exhausted just reading this list. For the majority of 2013, I was working full-time (45-50 hours/week), a full time student in the BFA, and juggling life, family, and friends. No wonder the time passed so quickly – I never had a chance to slow down and breathe!

For 2014, my goals are more subdued. I will be, yet again, a full-time college student and working adult. I’m taking the minimum number of classes to maintain status (just 2 per term), so I’m hoping this will afford me a few more hours in each week for personal growth. I hope to make time for running, a favorite pastime I’ve only recently re-explored, and more time for self-rejuvenation. In 2013, I spent most of my time exhausted, running to catch up. In 2014, I’d like to make time for leisure, for mental health, and for those that I love.

I want to give 100% of myself to everything I choose to participate in for 2014, so that means I need to take on less so that I can do more. Balance is going to be the operative word in the New Year.

I’ve set some physical health/diet goals for 2014, but I’m keeping my professional and personal goals low-key. Nothing intensive, nothing life-altering. I am going to view 2014 as the year of mental health and replenishment, not revolution.

My Goals for 2014:

  • Read two novels per month for leisure, not school or work.
  • Attend an arts, culture, or literary event monthly, if possible.
  • Visit the Downtown Orlando library. I cannot believe I’ve lived here more than a decade and I’ve never been inside.
  • Maintain a 3.5 GPA (or above, ideally) in the MLS program. I plan to take 2 classes each semester, so a total of 6 classes in 2014.
  • Write more. I’m not going to put a qualifier on that, such as a minimum amount of time or days in the week, as I want to be realistic with what’s already on my plate. More is sufficient. I can always do more.
  • Be more social. I used school as an excuse to stay indoors more in 2013 than I had in the past. As I get older, I can feel myself transitioning from an extrovert to an introvert. It has been a gradual evolution, and unintentional to boot, but I really became aware of it in the last twelve months. I love my friends, but I crave being alone. I love sipping wine and chatting, but I adore an hour long bath with a book. I never regret the time I spend with my friends, so I’m not sure why I avoid it. I resolve to take a more active and concerted approach to my friendships by seeking out socialization and not waiting for an invitation.

I’m sure I have more, but this is a good, minimal-obligation list to get me started.

As I said, I am not viewing 2014 as the year to change who I am. Instead, I view it as the year to rediscover myself, my interests, my hobbies, and my friends. This is the year to just be who I am.

My 2014 will be a mix of selfishness and of giving, of new endeavors and familiar pastimes. This year will be about me and not about my accomplishments, benchmarks, or movement on a timeline.

Happy New Year, everyone, and enjoy the rest of your vacation!

~ Victoria Elizabeth

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