I'm entirely guilty of hitting the ground running each new year - quickly tearing down Christmas decorations, reorganizing my possessions, purging my closets and making my resolutions. But as important as it is to tackle the new year with gusto, it feels just as important to reflect on the last one.
In college, each year, I would make a list of everything I'd accomplished that year, as well as everything I hoped to do in the upcoming one. Resolutions, I guess. But really more goals than things I'd hope to resolve. Somehow as I've gotten older, I've fallen away from this practice, and instead only look forward - new habits and goals, things to do, changes to make, busy hands to keep. Running into the new year...
But this year has been important. And I want to be sure to reflect.
In 2011, I was really broken down during the first half of the year, and by the start of 2012, I felt whole again. I didn't envision 2012 to be a rebuilding year.
And it wasn't rebuilding that I did, exactly, but instead started to see myself differently. I have begun to learn that to be loved, you do not have to be perfect. My friends and family don't love me because my house is clean and I can run far and I never forget to make my bed. They love me even with a broken foot and messy hair and tears in my eyes because our house is rat infested.
And it's going to be a lifelong haul for me to remember this. And to remember that it is not one part runner + one part busy person + one part happy person = Whitney. And being able to run fast or pick out the healthiest food in the store or get the most things done in one day isn't going to earn me more love - or even more street cred, for that matter. Sure, those things might give me momentary happiness, and it's important to identify the things that do that. But they don't make me me, or make me more valuable. They're just things.
In the last week, I have had two different people say things to me that made my heart hurt for them a little bit:
At an engagement party, a girl I'd just met told me she worked at the bakery that made the cupcakes for the party. That's so fun! I told her - slightly distracted. Then she quickly added, Sitting on a degree in social work, working at a bakery...
Another friend told me that she was having a hard time with a friendship, and she said, Whitney, I feel like I'm just never enough. I will never be enough.
And it made me so sad.
So in case no one has told you yet this year: You are enough. In your imperfections and flaws and on days you want to lounge around and do nothing at all: you are enough. Just by living and being who you were designed to be, you're succeeding.
It took me all year (+ 25 years) to learn it, and I am ninegajillion times positive I will forget it from time to time. But as we embark upon yet another year, I hope to do my best to remember it, and give grace to myself - as well as others - in their imperfections.
So, there you go. That's what I learned in 2012. Now on to those resolutions!