I would label age 22 as “The Age of Fear and Anxiety.” It held me captive, keeping me inside and sleeping away my life. I didn’t stretch myself to my fullest limits and let my anxiety to keep me from really living life. I let it keep me from believing in God’s promises and falling headfirst into a relationship with him. I let it keep me from enjoying relationships with friends, always worrying I was suffocating them with my presence and wondering what they saw in me as a person. I let it keep me from putting myself out there with my writing, going after freelance articles because I was too afraid of the consequences of not being good enough. The fear of failure and the fear of true happiness has crippled me. I don’t believe that there is an amazing plan for my life, because I’m too caught up in worry, anxiety, and fear.
I wrote those above words on Thanksgiving Day night. While I had a great holiday and left with a full belly and an even more full heart, I felt a tugging in my soul as I entered my apartment that night.
Next Thanksgiving, I want my life to look a whole lot different than what it looks like tonight.
I feel as if I’m living an endless cycle of mediocrity. The truth is, I’m scared. I’m scared of what could happen if I let go. If I start wearing my heart on my sleeve. If I submit articles for review. If I flirt back to that cute cashier at Publix. If I schedule a girls night out. If I join a Bible study. If I believe in myself.
I want this upcoming year to be a year of change. I did a lot of acknowledging the fear and how it was affecting my life in 2010. I want 2011 to be the year I put the change into action.
As of right now, here’s what I wish for 2011:
I want to be healthier. If this is the one goal I achieve in 2011, I will be happy because it has been an ongoing goal for years now. I want health and fitness to be my life, not just a part of it. I want my new normal to be exercise, wholesome food, and more water than soda. I want to be a runner and complete a half-marathon. I want a better self-image and part of that comes with taking better care of myself. I’m hoping this blog shifts a more healthy-living focus as I begin to make the change to being a healthier person. And I have to believe that being healthier will help me be happier.
I want to have a career. I am graduating from college in May and I’m a little nervous about the job market. I know it’s not easy to find jobs and probably even less so if you enter with very little experience. I just want to be out of the preschool world and into a more professional field.
I want to be independent. Once I graduate and have a job, I know my next big step is to move out. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I depend too much on my mom and I need to step out on my own. I need to have my own place, with my own responsibilities. It will give me an avenue to find my own identity separate from my mom. And force me to seek out social situations more and stop living inside my little bubble.
I want to be more social. I posted last month about how I am an introvert and find my happiness in being alone. But I also think I need to put myself out there more. I don’t really hang out with friends and although I’m never going to be one for the bar scene, I know there are plenty of other options for me. Book clubs, coffee dates, and shopping trips are among the many options available to me. While I’m more content to stay inside and keep to myself, I know I need to expand my horizons, just to see what’s out there.
I want to be a writer. I hate the feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I hear of someone else doing freelance writing. The only writing I’m doing now is here on this blog and on Blissfully Domestic. I really want to do more with my writing (maybe even get paid for it!), but it’s a scary process to put yourself out there like that. I’m so afraid of failing, but I think I just need to do it. Submit some stories and see what happens. I’m pretty sure there will be few feelings in the world that compare to seeing my name in print. I’m determined to get to that point, even if it breaks me.
2011 is going to bring about a lot of change. Change is scary, hard, and messy. But change is inevitable and it is necessary. I’m ready for it. So long, 22. You were good to me, but I’m moving on to a better age. An age when I start believing in myself and enjoying the life I have been given. Hello, 23. I’ve been waiting for you.