Another New Year Manifesto

newyearcoloring
Yes, this is from a coloring book.

In the last installment of this series,

I started the post in a similar identical fashion, down to the header 2 lead-in. You should go take a look; reading it, I want to pat 01/02/16 me on the head like a knowing granny and tell her it’s cute that she’s just “going to see where this goes.”

It wasn’t perfect, and this won’t be either. If anyone knew the time I usually put into getting things *just so* (and already knowing exactly where I’ll fall short) they’d probably tell me to stop overthinking everything – just do it. That’s what my sister tells me anyways.

In school, I’d have these amazing ideas for projects and papers (nerd alert)  get them all done in my head, and still be sitting in front of a blank (or nearly so) word doc two weeks later (not so nerdy).

Cue the “oh shit” moment.

(courtesy of a beloved riding instructor, who’s Facebook still regularly receives thanks, memories and laughs from the people he taught)

So, I did the best with what I had, and it softened the blow of imperfection a bit. I couldn’t have done anymore with the circumstances I’d set up for myself.

So, instead of beating myself up for not being perfect, I could tear myself apart layer by layer for my choices leading to whatever consequence had befallen me. I was (usually) 10 steps ahead of anyone giving me criticism, sometimes finishing sentences because I knew exactly what happened. I didn’t know why though – I’d start going through that out loud, and never get far. It wouldn’t be until I began going to some regular counseling that I actually started to understand (spoiler: it’s not one answer. It never is.).

So what?

I see a lot of quotes on Pinterest about being misunderstood. Nobody knowing the thoughts that run through our heads, seeing how we internally struggle as we carry about our lives.

To which I say, yep.

Yep?!?

Yep. I became particularly skilled at this; learned a bunch of tricks and techniques and through trial and error I accomplished it: nobody had a clue. Occasionally a crack would show, but it didn’t usually last long and I could always channel it to stressing over grades, a paper, project or test.

I’d like to think I’ve become pretty good at noticing the same in others, because I recognize how I used to speak, act and listen to others.

Because if you really want to,

if you put all your effort into it,

you can hide from just about anyone.

And they respect that.

“You hide your stuff and I’ll hide mine”

But I don’t have the time to be digging up everyone’s skeletons. And neither do you! If I don’t want you finding something that’s actually invisible, you’re not going to find it. I give the shovel to a few, select people when I feel up to it now, and I’m learning to not just pick up every shovel I find. I did that for a while to avoid anyone finding mine (and all of this is invisible, remember?). All of that effort, for skeletons. Last I checked, skeletons are for sure real (and the ones you know of are probably important), but they aren’t everything.

Am I overthinking this yet?

As stated by the title, this is supposed to be another new year manifesto.

“a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization.”

Everyone loves a good definition thrown in, right? Also, manifesto originated in Italy – somewhere I plan on going within the next five years, making it doubly appropriate. Beyond that, no specific goals or resolutions for this year. 2017, as they say, will be the year of me.

Not what I feel obligated to accomplish, but what I need to do for myself in order to be myself. Epiphany moment: I’m already her! Which thankfully means I just need to do less of what isn’t me, and more of what is. Not so thankfully, society has certain expectation of me, social media has certain expectations of me, my local community, family and friends have assumed expectations of me.

They aren’t necessarily right or wrong, they’re just assumed because that’s what we’re familiar with. I’m just as guilty of taking on expectations that nobody *directly* placed on me because I didn’t have my own. I’ve decided to to make a conscious effort to separate expectation and myself (whenever I’m aware of it), and if the two line up, cool. If they don’t, I shouldn’t pretend like they do and own whatever I’m doing. That’s going to take some work.

First expectation I am doing a FABULOUS job so far at separating from myself: Sacrificing 10+ years for a diploma (check) –> getting a job! (cricket) –> getting a place to live! (cricket)

More on that in the next post.

thich-nhat-hanh

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