Day 6

I drank my first black cup of coffee Sunday while on a frozen lake…alone. I needed this time more than I did in any other moment. Guarded by an amazing parka, fresh fallen snow, and crisp Maine air, I had the perfect setting for reflection. Even thinking back on it today, the first few days secluded in an icy tundra was the best way to ring in the New Year and reflect. What has 2015 taught me? What are my big resolutions and aspirations for 2016?

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The icy Maine tundra. 

One of my first feelings of the New Year can be closely defined by the imposter syndrome theory.  This theory states the in ability to internalize your accomplishments, in my case, what I accomplished and became in 2015. These accomplishments and experiences have shaped me into a person that I did not realize was different until this past weekend. From my political beliefs to my view on gender, I have gone through a positively challenging year.  I think the biggest area to be affected by this “new me” (sorry for the cliché) is my relationships to the people around me. I put a lot of value in the groups I surround myself with. All of these groups are filled with strong, beautiful, intelligent people hoping to change the world within their worlds.  However, this imposter feeling has caused a moment pause and reflection on how I interact in these social circles and if my space can be filled by this newer version of myself.

My resolution is to never stop questioning, to never stop challenging the past, present, or the future. It is also to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Feeling like an imposter shows that change is happening and that you have achieved something; which in turn pushes me to continue to grow.

Day 1

I woke up this morning not quite knowing when I arrived on the basement couch that served as my bed the night before, covered in an odd assortment of blankets and empty soda cans. I crawled upstairs into the brightness of 2016 – and spent the day surrounded by loved ones hanging in my pajamas and snacking on old Chinese food.
As I ruminated on the night before (spend eating, laughing, and playing Cards Against Humanity), I had a pang of almost-guilt. Last (last?) year, on the eve of 2015, I had planned a night to be remembered. There had been games, a play, a photo booth – we’d spent the night actively chasing midnight. 

Snowy afternoon

 This year was relaxed and without an itinerary. I had arrived on my aunt’s doorstep exhausted from a not-so-vacationy vacation, without anything prepared. I sheepishly greeted the new year,simultaneously welcoming its arrival and wanting to apologize for already being behind the ball.

Relief came this afternoon in the realization that I had placed an importance on the night that didn’t have to be there. It didn’t have to be a perfectly scheduled night of perfect laughs and perfect cocktails. I fell asleep on the countertop at 3AM listening to my friends’ rowdiness, my face hurting from smiling so much. I spent the first day of the new year with #HGTVNewYear (I miss cable so much!). The expectations I’d been worrying over weren’t mine – they were what I thought I should have. 

I hope you had a New Year’s Eve that was true to you. 2016, here we go!

Where did 2015 go?

Planning sucks.

Rather, planning can be life sucking. 2015 is coming to a close, and as I finally strung those glistening dollar store Christmas lights up around my living room window, I realized I was totally drained. And slightly miserable, à la Scrooge. All I could think about was everything I had not accomplished. My laundry pile was overflowing, we still didn’t have our Christmas tree, I’d missed going to the gym, why wasn’t my first draft written, why wasn’t I fluent in Spanish yet?? Wave after wave after wave of negative, downtrodden had me throwing a pity party for one.

I made a decision then and there, as I cursed that one tiny light bulb that refused to work, that I was going to just let it go. The year has come and gone. I did what I could when I could. It’s as simple as that; I gave 2015 a very hearty try, and didn’t end up accomplishing everything I wanted to. But it’s okay! Thinking badly of myself and my choices doesn’t change the past or help me get anywhere new.

It’s been a hard lesson to swallow, but these days I’m trying to just be. I’m not pressuring myself to work on any projects, or even blogging (as I’m sure you’ve noticed). When I want to go to spin class, I go to spin class. When I want to come home and go straight to bed, I do that.

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Our Christmas twig, up and decorated at last!

There’s something absolutely delicious about not having that voice nagging at you constantly, wondering when you’ll stop doing X,Y, and Z and when you’ll start doing the things you’re “supposed to”. The voice isn’t easy to quiet, but when it’s at least muted I’m able to enjoy what I’m currently doing much more.

That being said, I believe wholeheartedly in the freshness of a new year. I’ve decided to theme 2016 as “Here’s to an Interesting Life”, and I’m kicking it off with a bang, starting with a trip to Denmark and Germany in January. After some quality time at home with the folks, I’m looking forward to plotting anew for the year. By then, I hope that naggy voice in my head will have transformed into one of encouragement and inspiration.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! See you in January 🙂

 

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It’s almost New Year’s Eve – one of my favorite times of the year.There’s something about fresh starts and new goals that gets me really excited. I am proud to say I accomplished nearly all of my goals from last year – everything from improving my professionalism to improving my fitness regime. Already, I’m starting to think about how I would like 2015 to shape up.

As my vacation begins to wind down, I’m realizing that there is one goal I definitely have for the new year: to focus more on the quality of my relationships. And I don’t just mean calling my grandfather more – I mean really investing in nurturing all of my friendships and familial ties. Being home has reminded me how important everyone back East is, and that living in Cali is no excuse for not keeping in touch.

I’m not waiting for the ball to drop to start on this resolution; right now, I’m doing my best to keep my schedule straight. Nothing is more insulting to people than double booking yourself by mistake. It’s also important to stay unplugged during quality time, and to not overdo it. Nobody likes visiting with someone who is prone to pass out on their couch from over exhaustion. It’s also important to do what you want to do, rather than what others expect you to do. Sometimes, you’re between a rock and a hard place and you’re just not going to be able to make anybody happy with your decision. In that case, go with your gut and remember: your loved ones will forgive you if you are 100% straightforward with them.

I hope you are enjoying a relaxing and family-filled last few days of 2014! Not sure what to do as you wait for the new year? Head over to http://www.futureme.org and write yourself a digital time-capsule.

xoxo Aubrey

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