I love the new year. I love the fresh start, the way the world is motivated to make this one better than the last. I love the energy of it and the fact that you know, just as soon as winter is over, spring is coming.
I love the way people set resolutions, goals and defining words with abandon. It may have not worked last year, but, by golly, it's going to work this time.
But, similarly to a birthday, the turn of the year can also instill panic when we're not yet where we thought we'd be in life. Another year? I thought I'd be so much further along by now. Am I way behind? Is everyone else happier than me?
I've started new years this way, caught in an anxious spiral, swirling round and round, panicking at the way the life I thought I'd have compares to the one I really have. I've started years drowning in frustration, so many expectations placed upon myself that were still far out of reach.
We hold in our hands big plans for our careers, our romantic relationships, our homes, our finances and our ovaries that sometimes feel impossibly far out of reach as the clock strikes midnight. It can lead to self-doubt and anxiety that doesn't deserve a place in our new year, our fresh start.
If I could, I'd go back and tell myself this during those seasons of anxiety:
Hang in there, girl. The tide is turning. You are not stuck.
Keep pouring into yourself, because self-care matters and you have come so far. You're doing great. You're creating a beautiful life with small steps that can be hard to see in the day-to-day.
Keep going, keep growing. I repeat: you are not stuck. Every day is a step toward your future. Good things are coming your way, you've just got to press on. Nothing - absolutely nothing - is wasted. The frustrations you feel? The heartache? The sadness? None of it will be wasted.
You can't see it yet, but you'll use that frustration to propel you forward, create more gratitude in your heart and help others along the way.
As for those dreams you have? They might not come true. But I can promise you your life will be better for it. You can't even begin to fathom the dreams that are coming your way. They're so much better than you have imagined.
Keep making goals. Keep your hopes high, but your head higher. Know that you are strong, you are loved and you are worthy of great things that will be here before you know it.
I believe in you and I believe this year will be one of great things for you.
Sending you love and solidarity.