Sitting on the porch, computer on my lap and a slight chill in the air, I am content. I am happy, actually, which isn’t something I can always say. I tend towards bad days, sad days really. The ones that grab hold of you and weigh you down. The ones that make it hard to smile or laugh. And I love to laugh. It’s my favorite feeling, when something is just so lovely and wonderful that you have to show it, you have to let the happiness and joy bubble forth and ring through the empty space between you and another soul. I want to laugh more. It makes my soul happy and my heart full.
Today I am 25. I expected to come to this milestone of sorts with a heaviness pervading the day. Because my life isn’t exactly what I want it to be. I’m not where I assumed I would be at this age, alive for a quarter of a century. There were plans I had and let go. Dreams I outgrew or outran. People that faded into the horizon as the sun set on different chapters in my life.
And yet, I’m optimistic about this coming year. I think I started 25 off right. I chose to be happy today. To look around at the life I’ve been blessed with and smile at how far I have come, even if it’s not always easy to recognize. I enjoyed the sun, winding roads, and good company. I felt loved, by myself and by those I care for deeply. And I had some Diet Coke, which always makes me sigh with pleasure.
I want to keep the good feelings going through this next year. I want to spend my twenty-fifth year on this earth living life the absolute best I can. I want to take a few chances, make a few mistakes, become stronger and happier. I want to live as though I am worth a good, happy, fulfilled life – because I am. I want to love myself to pieces. I want to experience things and write with fervor. I want good things for myself.
So I made a list of sorts, which isn’t cut and dry or black and white. It’s not exclusive or final. And I won’t call them resolutions, because New Year’s never seems to go well for me. But today, these are the things I want for myself in the coming year; things I want to live out and work towards. Things, I believe, will encourage me towards happiness, joy, and being the best possible me.
1. Read a book a week. – There was a time in my life when I read a book a day. Easily. Locked in my room, I’d delve into the pages of a story and fall in love with it. For a few hours I would be enraptured with the perfect way the author had woven words together into a gorgeous tale. I’ve forgotten how to do that – how to lose myself in a story. I’d like to find my way back by reading something new each week, whether it’s a novel, a short story, an essay, a poem, a biography, or a philosophical treatise. I’d like to rediscover my love of books.
2. Sweat. – Gross, right? Yeah it’s a bit gross sounding. I used to play soccer. For years I was my father’s daughter. I played in the rain, ran through the pain, took out some pent up aggression on an unsuspecting soccer ball. And I loved it. The fresh air, the ache of well-used muscles – it makes you feel alive. I want that feeling back.
3. Embrace the artistic. – I’m not exactly an artist in the truest sense. The only art class I’ve taken is calligraphy. So I don’t have much technical skill, but I have a passion for art. For making beautiful things. There is freedom and healing that comes when you put pencil to paper and create something from nothing at all except a whisper in your imagination. I want to fill notebooks with my moments of inspiration.
4. Publish a book. – I’m a writer. That is who I am and what I was called to do. I’ve finally embraced that over the last year. In this next year, I want to discipline myself and create a book of my own design. I want to finally finish and idea and share it with those who need and want to hear it. I’d like to pour my heart and soul into something and watch as it comes together in a beautiful ending.
5. Know my worth. – I want to finally accept and believe with my entire being that I am worthy. My times is worth something. My friendship is worth something. My words are worth something. My heart is worth something. My love is worth something. I am worth something. And I want to surround myself with people recognize that and encourage me to believe it of myself; with people who look at me and see a lovely woman who is worthy. No more wasted time and tears on those who only take advantage and belittle and degrade my spirit. Because I can finally say I am worth more than that.
6. Love first. – Love, I believe, is the most important thing. The only thing. I want that to be the thing I do first, with myself and with others. I want to love before I criticize, love before I argue, love before I disagree, love before I speak, love before I listen. I want to learn to love completely, with every piece of my heart, no matter the person. And I want to learn to express and share that love with those I care for. I want to find freedom in unconditional love. I think it’s a beautiful thing.
There are other things I want for myself, things that are floating about in my brain. I want to move to a place that fulfills me while challenging me. I want to strengthen my friendships rather than allowing them to fade away. I want to travel everywhere that strikes my fancy. I want to find a job that brings my joy and fulfillment rather than leaving me with a sense of dread. I want to read my Bible more, pray more, and perhaps finally find a church that makes me feel at home.
Mostly, God willing, I want to be happy. That’s my birthday wish for myself.
Thank you for reading! And maybe (definitely) follow me on Twitter >> @cassiclerget.
I’m pretty entertaining.