A few nights ago, I curled up on the couch with my cat and my journal, determined to write out my 2018 new year’s resolutions. It was only three days into the New Year and I already felt like I was falling behind. I hadn’t written down my resolutions yet, I had two slices of pizza and a Dr. Pepper for dinner on New Year’s Day, and I hadn’t been to the gym once since the ball dropped in Times Square. How could I already be failing only three days into 2018?
I absentmindedly pet Belle while staring at the blank page in front of me. I had nothing to write down because I felt like I could never live up to whatever resolutions I came up with. I never had before, so why bother? Lose 30 pounds, read 100 books, overhaul my wardrobe, blog twice a week– these had been my resolutions for years, and I never fulfilled them. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t like failure; the weight of it physically crushes me. And that’s how I felt as I sat on the couch staring at my empty journal.
So I picked up my phone and scrolled through instagram, my usual distraction. My feed is filled with dozens upon dozens of pretty girls living picture perfect lives. Every day is perfect hair day, there are never any dirty dishes in the sink, every outfit is perfectly coordinated, every room of their house is decorated Pinterest Perfect. And then it hit me: Why am I comparing myself to a perfectly staged photo of a stranger’s lifestyle?
Maybe I haven’t been failing after all, maybe I was just setting the bar at an impossibly high standard. I don’t have to be as skinny as an instagram model, as skilled a blogger as these social influencers, or as artsy as the hand-letterers. I am tired of living up to somebody else’s standards. Quite frankly, I’d rather just be myself.
So instead of the usual new year’s resolutions, I wrote down a list of things that I want to do this year. And I noticed that they all have a common theme: Practice grace instead of striving for perfection. My success will no longer be defined by numbers on a scale, the balance of my bank account, or likes, or followers. My success is defined by loving myself and being kind to myself, embracing who I am instead of trying to force myself into this perfect little box. I can’t be a better wife, sister, or friend until I learn to love myself.
We’re always so focus on being kind to others, but we can’t forget to be kind to ourselves as well.
Happy New Year. xx