“The most potent muse of all is our own inner child” - Stephen Nachmanovitch
I've never been one for new years resolutions, but I do I love a good year-in-review. Not because sharing highlights makes me feel like I’ve accomplished a lot, but because sifting through captured moments from the previous year always reminds me of the beauty in everyday life... even when things were as heartbreaking and challenging as they were in 2020.
Each year, I make an effort to capture as many moments as possible so I can remember and feel grateful for them before moving onto the next. And you know what? Year after year, I'm pleasantly reminded that all of life's moments—even the ones we think are mundane and small—are big if we allow them to be. We've been conditioned to believe that the best moments are big and bold and exciting. And that's just not true.
I've come to accept and appreciate that I'm no longer into chasing external accomplishments and hustling for recognition. Heck, I'm not even someone who really wants to set goals. All I know is there are things I would like to experience in this life, and I know I can make them happen. Time is an illusion, so they'll come when they're supposed to. Who am I to try and control or rush that?
Rather than writing a list of things I want to change or improve upon this year... there’s been a voice tugging at me to write a letter to my younger self. Not the type that tells me all the things I should or shouldn't do, because those things have already happened. But rather, a letter that reminds her of how much she’s loved, healed and evolved. A thank you to all the versions of me who helped me become who I am today—even when they were angry, messy or depressed.
Thanks for the caption, mama Deb.
Warning: The following mentions eating disorders, sex, and addiction.
I am learning to love all of the past versions of you—not just the ones that I consider to better than the others. We both know they’ve all served a purpose and lead you to the life you lead today. A life that you’re proud of, grateful for, and curious to live. Here are a few of my favourite ways we’ve grown together over the years…
We understand that beauty is subjective and diverse. We no longer look to what the media deems as beautiful. We realized that the presence of someone else’s beauty isn’t the absence of our own. We’ve embraced our natural self and no longer obsess about ways to alter our appearance in an attempt to be more attractive.
We have a healthy and loving relationship with our body and food. We no longer count calories, over-exercise or spend hours in the mirror focusing on what we want to change. Our mind isn't occupied by our looks 24/7. When we do exercise, it's because we enjoy the movement, endorphins, strength and taking care of our body.
We value our own opinion above others’ opinions of us. We aren’t embarrassed about our likes and dislikes anymore, which means we no longer compromise our values just to “fit in” and we no longer try to be like someone else.
We don't buy or hoard excessive amounts of clothing to feel validated and secure. We know that our worth comes from who we are, not what we do or what we have. We're working on the scarcity mindset.
We have the humility to own our mistakes, learn from them, and to not be embarrassed by them. This has translated into more honest friendships and relationships—no more games, lies, or drama. We trust more.
We have high emotional intelligence and are actively transforming the habits + behaviours that aren’t serving us. We no longer create chaos out of nowhere because it’s what we were used to.
We understand addiction and mental health on a deeper level. We know that what we experienced throughout high school is called High Functioning Anxiety and have learned healthy coping mechanisms to manage it. We can make sense of why things happened in our childhood and are not to blame. We no longer use alcohol to be fun and outgoing, speak our truth, or hide from our feelings.
We don’t hide or downplay our needs because of what a man or a magazine says. We are comfortable enough in our skin to ask for what we want and no longer feel the need to fit unrealistic sex and beauty standards. Goodbye razor burn!
We have a healthy relationship with mom and dad. We know the importance of boundaries and communication.
We've built a beautiful life with someone who loves, appreciates and respects us the way we deserve and have always longed for. Not because we chased it, but because we stopped looking, we loved ourselves enough to ask for it and we work at it every single day.
I thought that would be all, but as I was sorting through the pictures of my childhood... I noticed a few things I'm so happy that haven't changed...
Our love for the colours pink and blue, especially at the same time — now these are our main business colours.
Our obsession with kitty cats — now we have three of our own.
Our connection to stuffed animals — they still bring a warm sense of safety and help us fall asleep at night.
Our need for a dramatic haircut every other year — our hair is currently short, again.
Our self expression through writing, dance and style —all still a very big part of our life and we even make money doing them!
I don't think New Year's Resolutions are a bad thing—but I do think they're overrated and exist to get us to spend more money trying to improve ourselves. Most resolutions tend to fail because we think of the goal rather than HOW we’re going to achieve the goal. Think about the steps you’ll need to take, what you’ll do when you “fall off the wagon” and what you’ll do once you reach said goal. It’s not just about the goal, it’s about the process to get there.
Don't forget to enjoy living your life on the way to achieving your goals.
If this resonates with you, I encourage you to do the same. You get to define your life. Who says you have to do it the same as everyone else?